The Baltic Region

2016 Issue №3

Back to the list Download an article

Framework for the Analysis of Geography of Transnational Corporations Investments Abroad



This article develops a methodology for studying the geography of companies — an area of human geography that remains understudied in Russia. The authors refer to foreign direct investment (FDI) studies to stress the importance of analysing individual transnational corporations. Special attention is paid to FDI statistics, including international statistics provided by IMF, OECD, and UNCTAD, the official data of central banks on FDI destinations, and information on companies’ assets by geographical segments. The article emphasises limitations of classical localisation concepts (e. g. A. Lösch’s theory) and key concepts of transnationalisation (e. g. J. H. Dunning’s ‘eclectic paradigm’, R. Vernon’s ‘product life cycle’, and the ‘flying geese paradigm’ developed by Japanese authors). Dynamic localisation concepts (e. g. the Uppsala model and hierarchical/wave diffusion models) are considered an important contribution to the existing theoretical framework for studying FDI geography. Various patterns of spatial d istribution of FDI are examined taking Russian transboundary investments, including those distorted by the ‘neighbourhood effect’ as an example.


1. Bannikov, A. Yu. 2015, Klastery kak novaja forma territorial’noj organizatsii khimicheskoj promyshlennosti Germanii [Clusters as a new form of territorial organization of the German chemical industry], PhD thesis, Moscow.
2. Vitkovskij, O. V. 1997, Geografija promyshlennosti zarubezhnyh stran [Geography of industry of foreign countries], Moscow. 
3. Russian Federation: Inward Foreign Direct Investment Positions by Instruments and Geographical Allocation in 2013—2015, available at: (accessed 1 May 2016).
4. Grechko, E. A. 2006, Modeli upravlenija transnatsional’nymi korporatsijami v uslovijah globalizatsii [Management models of transnational corporations in conditions of globalization], Moscow.
5. Kuznetsov, A. V. 1999, Germanija: sovremennyje osobennosti geografii prjamyh zarubezhnyh investitsij [Germany: modern features of foreign direct investment geography], Voprosy ekonomicheskoj i politicheskoj geografii zarubezhnyh stran, no. 14, p. 69—81.
6. Kuznetsov, A. V. 2015, The Baltics in the Geography of the Largest Transnational Corporations of Europe, Baltic Region, no. 1, p. 25—35. DOI: 10.5922/2079-8555-2015-1-2.
7. Kuznetsova, O. V., Kuznetsov, A. V., Turovskij, R. F., Chetverikova A. S. 2007, Investitsionnyje strategii krupnogo biznesa i ekonomika regionov [Investment strategies of large business and economy of regions], Moscow.
8. Lobanov, M. M. 2010, Transformatsija otraslevoj i territorial’noj struktury promyshlennosti postsotsialisticheskih stran Tsentral’no-Vostochnoj Jevropy [Transformation of industrial and territorial structure of industry of post-socialist countries of Central and Eastern Europe], PhD thesis, Moscow.
9. Mironenko, N. S., Fomichev, P. Yu., Giter, B. A. 1999, Transnatsionalizatsija mirovogo khozjajstva [Transnationalization of world economy], Prostranstvennyje struktury mirovogo khozjajstva, Moscow, p. 197—224.
10. Pruss, Ye. A. 2009, Osobennosti sovremennogo razmeschenija bankov na territorii SShA [Specifics of modern localization of foreign banks in the USA], Voprosy ekonomicheskoj i politicheskoj geografii zarubezhnyh stran, no. 18, p. 158—170.
11. Samusenko, D. N. 2014, Geograficheskij analiz protsessov prjamogo investirovanija v sovremennom mirovom khozjajstve [Geographical analysis of FDI processes in modern world economy], Vestnik Moskovskogo universiteta, Ser. 5. Geograpfija, no. 1, p. 42—48.
12. Sluka, N. A., Pil’ka, M. E. 2014, Global’nost’ gorodov SShA s positsij korporativnogo podhoda [Global status of US cities from corporate approach], Ekonomichna ta sotsial’na geografija, no. 1 (69), p. 86—94.
13. Buckley, P. J., Ghauri, P. N. 2004, Globalisation, Economic Geography and the Strategy of Multinational Enterprise, Journal of International Business Studies, Vol. 35, no. 2, p. 81—98.
14. Davidson, W. H. 1980, The Location of Foreign Direct Investment Activity: Country Characteristics and Experience Effects, Journal of International Business Studies, Vol. 11, no. 2, p. 9—22.
15. Dunning, J. H. 1998, Location and the Multinational Enterprise: A Neglected Factor? Journal of International Business Studies, Vol. 29, no. 1, p. 45—66. 
16. Globaltrans Investment PLC, 2015, Directors’ report and consolidated financial statements for the year ended 31 December 2014, available at: 1 May 2016).
17. Hayter, R., Watts, H. D. 1983, The Geography of Enterprise: A Reappraisal, Progress in Human Geography, Vol. 7, no. 2, p. 157—181. 
18. Håkanson, L. 1979. Towards a Theory of Location and Corporate Growth. In: Hamilton, F. E. I., Linge, G. J. R. (eds.), Spatial analysis, industry and the industrial environment, Chichester — N. Y., p. 115—138.
19. Johanson, J., Vahlne, J.-E. 1977, The Internationalization Process of the Firm — A Model of Knowledge Development and Increasing Foreign Market Commitments, Journal of International Business Studies, Vol. 8, no. 1, p. 23—32.
20. Krumme, G. 1969, Toward a Geography of Enterprise, Economic Geography, Vol. 45, no. 1, p. 30—40. 
21. Kuznetsov, A. V., Kvashnin, Yu. D., Nevskaya, A. A., Chetverikova, A. S. 2015, EAEU and Eurasia: Monitoring and Analysis of Direct Investments, St. Petersburg. 
22. Lösch, A. 1940, Die räumliche Ordnung der Wirtschaft, Jena. 
23. McNee, R. B. 1958. Functional Geography of the Firm, with an Illustrative Case Study from the Petroleum Industry, Economic Geography, Vol. 34, no. 4, p. 321—337. 
24. OECD, 2008, Benchmark Definition of Foreign Direct Investment, 4th edition, Paris.
25. Ozawa, T. 2011, The (Japan-Born) “Flying-Geese” Theory of Economic Development Revisited — and Reformulated from a Structuralist Perspective, Global Policy, Vol. 2, no. 3, p. 272—285.
26. Penrose, E. 1959, The Theory of the Growth of the Firm, Oxford. 
27. Schlunze, R. D. 1992, Spatial Diffusion of Japanese Firms in West Germany and West Berlin from 1955 to 1989, Geographical Review of Japan, Series B, Vol. 65, no. 1, p. 32—56.
28. Vernon, R. 1966, International Investment and International Trade in the Product Cycle, The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Vol. 80, no. 2, p. 190—207.