Abstract: Did Inward FDI Promote Spanish Managerial Talent? A Study of Two Companies, Bayer and ITT, 1880-1975

Nuria Puig


This paper deals with inward FDI spillovers on host economies. In particular, it explores how multinationals promote talent within and around their subsidiaries, and how local talent might shape the multinational's operations in the country. In order to do so, we first propose our literature-grounded definition of local talent to examine afterward the operations of two prominent MNEs, Bayer and ITT, in Spain during the second industrial revolution. We pay particular attention to these companies' mode of entry, how they got in contact with their future local partners, how management positions were distributed within their subsidiaries, and which in-company training activities were carried out and how they were organized. Our ongoing research shows, first, that local partners played a key role in MNEs' operations in the country, enabling foreigners to obtain information about the local market and to deal effectively with economic nationalism and other adverse situations. And, second, subsidiaries' local managers contributed to the process of knowledge transfer promoted by MNEs' headquarters at least through their educational background and contacts. We argue, to conclude, that this interplay between MNEs' operations and local managerial talent is a key element to understand FDI spillovers in the long term.