The Strategies of Multinational Corporations and Social Regulation : European and Asian Perspectives

 05/17/2011

International Colloquium Description

The Strategies of Multinational Corporations and Social Regulation : European and Asian Perspectives

14-15 June 2011

Venue: Hong Kong Baptist University, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong

Organisers:

– Department of Government and International Studies, Hong Kong Baptist University

– French Centre for Research on Contemporary China, Hong Kong

– Research Center on Integration and Cooperation in the European Area (ICEE), University Paris 3 Sorbonne Nouvelle

 

Organising Committee:

– Jean-Pierre Cabestan, Professor & Head, Department of Government and International Studies, Hong Kong Baptist University

– Jean-François Huchet, Director, French Centre for Research on Contemporary China, Hong Kong

– Xavier Richet, Jean Monnet Chair, French Centre for Research on Contemporary China, Beijing, & Professor, University Paris 3 Sorbonne Nouvelle, Research Center on Integration and Cooperation in the European Area (ICEE)

– Violaine Delteil, Visiting Scholar, Department of Government and International Studies, Hong Kong Baptist University & Assistant Professor, University Paris 3 Sorbonne Nouvelle, Research Center on Integration and Cooperation in the European Area (ICEE),

– Patrick Dieuaide, Assistant Professor & Head, Institute for European Studies & Research Center on Integration and Cooperation in the European Area (ICEE, University Sorbonne Nouvelle.

 

Aims and Objectives:

The purpose of this conference is to analyze and foster discussion of the links between the globalization of productive systems brought about by foreign direct investment (FDI) and the dynamics of social regulations, both at the transnational level and within national boundaries. Key actors in the new era of globalization, multinationals are also at the center of questions regarding articulation between transnational, regional, and territorial levels of social regulation. Given their capacity to export social norms from one territory to another and to cause competition between norms in place in the different territories in which they operate, these firms are also increasingly the focus of new social conflicts and new forms of social protest. Recent protests by Chinese employees of Japanese subsidiaries are just one powerful example of these new tendencies. Tensions among transnational groups in Europe due to the differentiation of social norms between the West and the East territories of the EU (the “old” and “new” member states) constitute a further example.

The conference seeks research approaches along two broad fronts: First, a theoretical and empirical approach that examines links between the strategies of multinationals and local public policy in order to contribute to better understanding of the institutional dynamics of social regulation. Second, a comparative approach will compare regional spaces, with particular attention to Europe on the one hand, and to the two great emerging powers, China and India, on the other. Foreign direct investments that are of interest to the conference include both European ones and Chinese and Indian “new FDIs”. These studies will be particularly attentive to the “spill-over” effects of these FDIs on the content and nature of territorial norms where they operate, as well as on the building of premises for global social regulation.

 

The conference will be organized around three broad research strands:

1) Direct foreign investment, implantation strategies, and modes of entry. The subjects to be explored will bear on the redeployment of value chains on a transnational scale, the link between industrial strategies and entry modes, the impact of the geographical distance of subsidiaries from their corporate headquarters for the design of local managerial referentials (resulting from transfer, hybridization or divergence from managerial fundamentals), as well as how entry modes influence human resources management and social relations.

2) Institutional environment, attractiveness policies, and local industrial dynamics This strand will include the institutional dynamics at work in territories that are increasingly oriented towards the search for attractiveness, the specificity of national labor regulations (whether established through legislation or convention, and which govern labor markets, industrial relations and employment relations), as well as the impact of local public policies in attracting FDI and in supporting “spill-over” effects.

3) Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Human Resources policies, and social relations The subjects included in this strand will explore the growing role of Corporate Social Responsibility in shaping the human resources policies of multinational firms. A more or less formalized managerial tool, CSR will also be investigated regarding its capacity for mobilizing other stakeholders in multinational firms’, and in particular for promoting local or transnational union activities. This conference is organized by the Department of Government and International Studies Department (Hong Kong Baptist University), in partnership with the French Centre for Research on Contemporary China (Hong Kong) and the Research Center on Integration and Cooperation in the European Area (ICEE, University Paris 3 Sorbonne Nouvelle). The conference will further strengthen cooperation between these institutions that has to date resulted in two international conferences.

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