Governments as Owners: Globalizing State Owned Enterprises

Location: Harvard Business School, Harvard University, Soldiers Field, Boston Massachusetts 02163

One of the major trends characterizing the beginning of 21st century is the globalization of state owned enterprises (SOEs) and the role of the state as a cross-border investor. Despite the rise of SOEs as dominant force in the global economic landscape, scholars' understanding of these firms' remain sparse. Unitil recently, most SOEs conducted business within state borders and tended to be domestically focussed and thus outside the domain of traditional international business research.

The successful internationalization of some SOEs creates a challenge to existing theoretical approaches and assumptions about the competitiveness and behavior of state-owned firms, the drivers and behaviors of multinational companies and the relationships between multinationals and governments. The conference aims to improve our understanding of this phenomenon as well as to promote extension of current theories to account for this phenomenon. Analyzing the internationalization of SOEs can serve as a good incubator for interdisciplinary ideas from a range of fields that straddle the periphery of the traditional international business domain such as the study of business and government, developmental economics, financial management, industrial policy and public sector management. By building a common platform drawing on eclectic contemporary work, IB scholars can help address the core issues that dominate debates on the global role of SOEs, SWFs, and state sponsored FDIs sourcing agencies that are collectively reshaping the impact of the state in global economic activity.

The conference is generously supported by Harvard Business School, Northeastern University and its Center for Emerging Markets and Thunderbird University. Attendance to the conference is open to the public.