Charting the Contours of Multinationals in Britain

Tony Edwards, Olga Tregaskis, Paul Edwards, Anthony Ferner, Paul Marginson, Jane Arrowsmith, Duncan Adam, Michael Meyer, Ali Budjanovcanin

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The importance of multinational companies (MNCs) in the UK economy is not
in question. One way in which this is evident is that Britain is a major recipient
of foreign direct investment (FDI) by MNCs, accounting for 8.7% of the inward
stock of global FDI. In addition, large numbers of multinationals originate in
Britain; the UK accounts for 14.2% of the stock of outward FDI. In both cases
the UK is the second largest individual country, behind the USA. The
prevalence of MNCs means that they have significant scope to influence the
‘rules of the game’ within the country.
Against this backdrop, it is not surprising that there have been numerous
studies of the impact of MNCs on employment practice. Yet, as we show
below, many of the studies that have used a survey to address this issue have
been partial in coverage, based on small numbers and failed to assess the
limitations of their population listings and sampling frames. This paper
summarises the background to a new survey of employment policy and
practice in MNCs, which we believe to be the most comprehensive study of
these issues in the UK. The purpose of the paper is to describe the challenges
encountered in carrying out the three main phases of the research, specifically
the construction of the population, the screening of this population and the
conduct of the main survey itself.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages25
Publication statusUnpublished - 2006


  • multinationals
  • survey methods

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