Inward foreign direct investment and constitutional change in Scotland

Brad MacKay, Stephen Young, Duncan Ross

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)


    Purpose ? The purpose of this paper is to undertake an analysis of the implications of potential Scottish independence for inward foreign direct investment (FDI), multinational enterprise strategies
    and the local economy.
    Design/methodology/approach ? This paper takes a multidisciplinary approach drawing on literature and evidence in the international business and management, political economy and economic geography fields to analyse the role and impact of inward FDI in Scotland following possible Scottish independence.
    Findings ? Scotland continues as an attractive location for FDI, with greater diversity than hitherto. While the country?s comparative advantages in immobile natural resources provide some protection from uncertainty, weak embeddedness is a risk factor irrespective of independence. A range of
    transition costs of independence are identified, which could be high and of indeterminate duration, and some will be sector-specific. There are also new possibilities for tailoring of policies and potential reindustrialization opportunities in renewable technologies. The foreign investors most vulnerable to political risks and uncertainties are those whose market scope is the rest of the UK (rUK) either as exporters or value-chain integrators, in addition to the high political risk industries of energy, banking and financial services and defence. Scottish subsidiaries? significance within their parent MNE groups
    will also be a major factor in determining responses to political risks and uncertainties.
    Originality/value ? Specific focus on the impact of potential independence on the foreign-owned
    sector as a major contributor to the Scottish economy.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)118-138
    JournalMultinational Business Review
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


    • Foreign Direct Investment, Scotland, Multinationals, Independence,


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