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The BI Business History Seminar

The untold story: Teaching cases on multinational enterprises in US business schools and the rise of International Business as a new academic field, 1955-1964

The untold story: Teaching cases on multinational enterprises in US business schools and the rise of International Business as a new academic field, 1955-1964

Rolv Petter Amdam (BI)
[the paper is co-authored with Gabriel Benito (BI) and Birgitte Grøgaard (BI)]

In the 1950s and 60s, US firms became more international and expanded as MNEs both in volume and geographically. The academic community observed this process and started to develop educational programs, research, associations and academic journals that reflected this process.

Based on Hambrick and Chen’s (2008) theory on the rise of new academic fields, the paper explores how the expansion of MNEs legitimized and mobilized resources to create IB as a new academic field. The paper is based on a source that has remained untapped. In 1964, the Ford Foundation financed a project to gather information about all teaching cases written from 1955 to 1964 that were relevant for developing educational programs on multinationals. We have created a database based on information from the 489 cases that the project collected.

The paper explores three dimensions related to the cases: 1) How a transnational networks of academic scholars were mobilized to collect information to support the expansion of US MNEs in new areas; 2) how the geographical profile of the cases reflected the MNE expansion, and 3) how the content of the cases reflected this process.

Practical information

  • Time:Thursday, 08 April 2021 11:30 - 13:00
  • Place:Digital on Zoom
  • Price:Free
  • Contact:Espen Ekberg (Espen.Ekberg@bi.no)