International business, cities and competitiveness: recent trends and future challenges

S. Iammarino, P. McCann, R. Ortega-Argilés

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: This paper aims to explain how thinking regarding multinationals, competitiveness and location in cities has evolved over the past five decades and how our current understanding and thinking about future challenges is contingent on these previous shifts.

Design/methodology/approach: The design of the paper is a conceptual piece linking different theoretical strands. Findings: Global cities are not always necessarily the key locations for future multinational investments. It depends on the activities taking place. Knowledge and technology and how they interact with the firm’s capabilities and objectives are crucial.

Research limitations/implications: The implications are that future multinational location choices will be driven by diversity, demography, protectionism, automation and industrial policy.

Originality/value: This paper provides a roadmap for scholars in the international business and competitiveness fields to understand the current and future challenges facing multinationals and their location behavior.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)236-251
Number of pages16
JournalCompetitiveness Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 21 May 2018


  • knowledge
  • technology
  • policy
  • cities
  • multinationals


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