Essays on International Business History - Oil Industry Case Study

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The paper 'International Business History - Oil Industry" is a good example of a business case study.   Oil and its products are one of the major commodities that have led to industrialization in the world. First, the discussion will be based on the oil industry in Latin America. There were lesser other types of commodities from Latin America leading to the sensation that there was a need for economic nationalism from oil. Since the early twentieth century, there has been a debate over the dominance of the foreign countries on the oil industry which is a non-renewable resource.

The argument was that the multinationals dominated because the resource-rich countries lacked capital and know-how which the multinationals had. There were political tensions that took place because of the production of oil in areas which were under the control of the multinationals from the foreign countries which also supported home governments. These conflicting parties led historians from the working sector before 1990 to put more emphasis on the relation of labor and international politics. In those days the primary sources were few which made the historians base their findings on diplomatic records.

Most of the historians assumed a divided world between the occupants of the center, who oppressed the available resources, and those at the neighbourhood, who did get very little of the benefit from the natural wealth of their country (Bud-Frierman, Godley & Wale 2010, p. 58). After the 1990s there were more primary sources available and historians adopted new approaches methodologies in analyzing different topics; how private firms are internally organized, the role that was played by the capitalist from Latin America in the industry development, the oil industry impact on the culture of the society and the environment implications and how domestic policies have been determined by the oil industry.

During this time historians were concerned on the matters of the productions and they did not take into account the issue of consumption which was discussed a few years later. Historian said that production differed greatly between countries, mostly Mexico which benefited more and Venezuela which benefited less. A number of countries at different moments have changed the rule of the game.

The majority of the countries allowed dealing with multinational corporations in the early twentieth century. The oil shortage globally between 1917 and 1922 resulted to competition between the United States and Great Britain over sources of oil in America and this made the countries that produced oil to know that they are important (Bucheli 2010, p. 102). The responded by writing new legislation which led to increases of state control of the oil resources which unavoidably led to conflict between the home governments along with the foreign firms and Latin America government.

The labor unionism and rise of population in the 1930s and the recognition of the suggestion that the country could play a significant role in the economy made most of the government to take hostile action like modifying of the tax laws to increase payments which were made by companies, the imposition of royalties and companies had to labor locally (Palacios 2002). In the 1960s Venezuela did launch the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), hence changing balance of power in the oil industry. In the 1980s and 1990s, the international prices were moderately low and new Latin America showed a lesser role in the economy, this made a number of governments to reduce their participation in the industry thus encouraging the entry of firms from other countries.

Criticisms were aimed at the multinationals by the nongovernmental organizations, local human rights and labor organizations.


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