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The Rise of “The Rest”Challenges to the West From Late-Industrializing Economies$
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Alice Amsden

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780195139693

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0195139690.001.0001

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National Firm Leaders

National Firm Leaders

(p.190) 8 National Firm Leaders
The Rise of “The Rest”

Alice H. Amsden (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

After floundering for a century, the successful late industrializing countries (the rest) succeeded in creating professionally managed, large‐scale, national firms, although their importance varied by country. The mix of a country's business structures by size and ownership (private or public, foreign or national) influenced the level of its investment in skills. The long‐term strategic ‘make‐or‐buy’ technology choice was a function of firm composition. The process whereby a latecomer succeeds or fails to create a corps of ‘national firm leaders’ is the subject of this chapter. A national leader may be understood as a nationally owned and controlled firm that is ‘targeted’ by government (it receives a disproportionate share of ‘intermediate assets’), which allows it to become a dominant player in its ‘competitive base’ (domestic market), in exchange for which it is obliged to invest heavily in proprietary knowledge‐based assets; these assets, in turn, allow it to globalize through exporting or outward foreign direct investment.

Keywords:   competition, exports, firm size, foreign direct investment, globalization, industrial development, investment, knowledge‐based assets, late industrialization, national firm leaders, newly industrialized countries, ownership, skills

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