MNCs and Host Country Employment Institutions: A Comparative Case Study of Automotive Firms in Turkey's VET System

  • Vildan Tasli

Student thesis: Phd


This thesis focuses on how and to what extent multinational companies (MNCs) engage with the vocational education and training (VET) system in Turkey to meet their skill needs. This enables the analysis of the two-way relationship between MNCs and host country institutions. There is a rich body of the MNC literature exploring MNCs’ practices in the host country context and the literature of skill development focusing on national skill systems of different countries. However, in terms of skill-related activities, there has been a limited discourse on MNCs’ relationship with the host country institutions. This thesis attempts to address the need for more research within this field through comparing MNCs from different home countries and exploring how and why they differ in their interaction with the host country’s VET system. The thesis also explores whether the host country context enables or constrains different forms of MNC engagement. This thesis adopted a qualitative case-study approach using an in-depth semi-structured interview technique and drawing on institutional documents to compare one Japanese, one German, and one Turkish firm operating in the Turkish automotive industry. In order to obtain a better understanding, the research included the suppliers, partner vocational schools of these firms, and other VET actors (the state, industry representatives, and chambers). It used a hybrid process of inductive and deductive thematic analysis to interpret raw data. Four major conclusions emerging from this research are considered as key contributions to the literature. Firstly, the findings of this thesis have contributed to the debates in late versions of the institutional theory by showing the important role of agencies in shaping the structure. It has provided evidence that MNCs do not just conform to the institutional environment of the host country in which they operate, but, as the drivers of change, they also influence this environment. In addition, the thesis has contributed to the debates on MNCs’ embeddedness in different environments, institutional difference between home and host countries, and contradictory roles of the state.
Date of Award1 Aug 2018
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorDamian Grimshaw (Supervisor) & Arjan Keizer (Supervisor)


  • Institutional theory
  • Host-country institutions
  • Japan
  • Germany
  • Skill
  • Turkey
  • Vocational education and training (VET)
  • Agency
  • Multinational companies (MNCs)

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