The East India Company: The First Modern Multinational?

Bingley, Emerald
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Multinational Corporations And Organization Theory: Post Millenium Perspectives, 2017, pp. 43 - 70
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The East India Company can lay claim to being the world’s first company whose operations involved systematic organization of multiple countries. It was a pioneer and innovator: it was one of the first companies to offer limited liability to its shareholders; it laid the foundations of the British empire; it spawned Company Man; it developed its own ‘university’. It was a trader, merchant, mercenary, military force and civil administrator; a pioneer bureaucracy as well as being a lean operation. Using an analytic lens drawn from contemporary discussion on MNCs the article reviews the role of the East India Company over its life and draws parallels with contemporary MNCs.
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