The Eclectic Paradigm: A New Deal?

Kurt Pedersen


The 1970s was a decisive period in terms of theories of internationalization. Suffice it to mention the Uppsala model (1975, 1977), the transaction costs theory (1975) and the Porterian framework which was developed through the late 70s and ultimately presented in 1980. During the 1980s the development was spurred on with increasing emphasis on the process of internationalization. Resource-dependency and the resource-based view were added. 1976 saw the birth of the “eclectic paradigm” which was presented as, and remains, a theory of international production. The theory has now passed its silver anniversary, and this article seizes the opportunity to give the paradigm a routine check. Dunning’s hits and misses are counted, and the conclusion suggests that the usual accusations of over-ambitiousness may be modified in that, in at least one sense, Dunning is underambitious. The eclectic theory might, from the outset, have been presented as a far more general theory of internationalization, thus anticipating some recent elaborations of the paradigm that have added to its relevance as a strategic tool for multinational corporations.


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