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Corporate repeat investment and regional institutional capacity - The case of after-care services in Wales

Publisher
SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD
Publication Date
Keywords
  • Ge Environmental Sciences
  • Ht Communities. Classes. Races
Disciplines
  • Political Science

Abstract

This paper examines the role of after-care services in the corporate 'repeat-investment' process at foreign-owned establishments (FOEs) in Wales - a region of the UK which has attracted a significant number of inward investors. With the growing importance of repeat investment in peripheral regions, development agencies increasingly seek to support foreign production establishments with,after-care services', such as supply-chain initiatives and lobbying corporate HQs. In this paper the corporate processes that influence the role and importance of regional after-care services are examined. Building upon an understanding of multinational enterprises as differentiated entities, the analysis centres on the repeat-investment process at two FOEs where after-care was important, and two FOEs where it was irrelevant. A heterogeneous range of corporate processes which are mostly beyond the authority of FOEs are found to influence the importance of after-care services. Such processes are related to the wider corporate context in which production establishments operate, suggesting that regions are being tied into important scalar processes of institutionalization with corporate processes functioning at much broader socio-spatial scales. This raises important questions about the extent to which regions can influence corporate processes, given their multi-scalar nature, and suggests that there should be greater emphasis on the broader political economy in which regions are embedded, one aspect of which is the (asymmetrical) power relations between regional development agencies and multinational enterprises.

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