chapter  1
Pages 13

In 1950 most large multinational corporations were, in fact, only barely multinational. But, as Table 1.1 shows, by 1970 this situation had changed dramatically. Increasingly, large multinationals had subsidiary networks that spanned the globe. Having a presence in most areas of the globe meant that such corporations could no longer follow the diffusionist policies2 that had prevailed in the period from 1950 to 1970, policies that involved the setting up of foreign subsidiaries in familiar areas first and then gradual movement to the less familiar areas of the world. The frontier, at least in spatial terms, was fading fast. With a global network of subsidiaries set-up, the question for most large multinationals had changed from what would be the most profitable area in which to expand next to which of the existing areas could be relied upon to produce the highest returns.