The Structure of the Private Multinational Enterprise

From the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, society has experienced the persistent tendency of business organizations to expand. Businesses evolved from the rural workshop to the urban factory; from the municipal firm to the regional firm and then to the national enterprise. More recently, enterprises have expanded even further, from national firms with small export outlets to huge multinational enterprises (MNEs) embracing business operations all over the globe coordinated under a single management. Yet, along with its beneficial results for the peoples of the world, each new economic era brings with it new problems as well.

The conflict between the development of MNEs and the sovereign states in which they operate has generated a vast business literature and has also commanded the attention of legal scholars. This Article does not deal with the socio-political and economic conflicts between these enterprises and sovereign states. Rather, its focus will be on the new legal dimensions sparked by the emergence of MNEs and the applicability of current legal concepts to their operations.