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The Other Half of the Globalization Story: Reverse Leverage As Witnessed in the Manufacturing Sector of Taiwan IT Industry

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Globalization as a corporate strategy has a long history and involves many facets of an economy. The conventional theory of globalization is concerned with the strategy of multinational corporations (MNCs) based in the traditional industrialized countries (TICs) with Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) or other forms of expansion leveraging of foreign resources to sustain their growth and competitiveness in the world marketplace. Leveraging, however, is never a one-directional process. The leveraging company will inevitably provide capital and knowhow to companies in the host nations, and thereby create an opportunity of reverse leveraging for the latter, even at the expense of the former. In the long term, this leveragereverse leverage process gives rise to a cycle where the original leveraging MNCs inadvertently help develop new competing MNC's that leverage on others. There is clearly a gap in the existing literature. Therefore, this study intends to explore the processes and mechanisms of reverse leveraging employed by NIC-based companies and hopefully to develop a formal model and theory appropriate to NICs. The particular questions addressed in this study are: How did companies in Taiwan make the transition from local to global? What globalization strategies did these companies employ? Were these strategies consistent with the conventional theory of globalization? How do they differ?


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