The investment motives of Philips in Taiwan in the 1960s


Today Philips is one of the largest foreign investors in East Asia. The foundation for the company's East Asian position was laid by investment in Taiwan in the 1960s and early 1970s, at a time when this country and the rest of the region were still largely ignored by other European investors. This article investigates the motives for Philips to play a pioneering role among European firms in large-scale investing in Taiwan. The author uses the traditional method for direct investment analysis, known as Dunning's eclectic paradigm. He also addresses shortcomings in this method regarding individual company behavior, by adding a corporate governance analysis that is based on Freeman's stakeholder theory. The resulting analysis shows that, although locational factors constituted the main precondition to direct investment by Philips, the crucial reason Philips made its early investments in Taiwan was its chief executive officer's enthusiasm for this particular project.

Enterprise and Society 5/3, September 2004. Click on the image below to go to the article.