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The Growth and Performance of British Multinational Firms before 1939: The Case of Dunlop

Geoffrey Jones
The Economic History Review
Vol. 37, No. 1 (Feb., 1984), pp. 35-53
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Economic History Society
DOI: 10.2307/2596830
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2596830
Page Count: 19
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The Growth and Performance of British Multinational Firms before 1939: The Case of Dunlop
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Abstract

The Case of Dunlop. Very little is known about the reasons which led British manufacturing firms to establish factories abroad before 1939 or the subsequent performance of these ventures. This article examines these matters in a study of the Dunlop Rubber Company based on archival sources. It is argued that the motives behind Dunlop's foreign investment decisions varied considerably between countries and over time. In the interwar years the two major factors were the behaviour of competitors and the policies of foreign governments. It emerges that many of Dunlop's overseas subsidiaries earned poor returns over long periods, and in this respect it is suggested that other British multinationals shared Dunlop's experience.

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