Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
The paper analyses the growth and profitability of the world's largest firms by reference to their size, degree of multinationality, main industry of operation, nationality of ownership and research intensity. The influence of size of firm on growth is stable but weak, its influence on profitability is negligible. Industry of operation has generally strongly influenced growth but the effect on profitability is not consistent amongst different time periods and samples. Division by research intensities of firms is significant in analysing growth, less in the analysis of profitability. Degree of multinationality does not contribute consistently to the explanatory power of the full equation for either dependent variable but nationality of ownership is a consistently powerful explanatory factor.
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