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Deducing a state-of-the-art presentation of the Eclectic Paradigm from four decades of development: a systematic literature review

Management Review Quarterly
Chris Wagner
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For over four decades the Eclectic Paradigm has experienced a myriad of interdisciplinary advancements and evolved into an ever-broader and complex accumulation of different macro- and micro-level concepts. Despite its persistent validity for research on multinational enterprise activity, subject-related studies have often failed to correlate to previous findings and have independently drawn upon various versions of the Eclectic Paradigm, which exacerbates the comparability of the respective results. Yet, the literature lacks a systematic analysis of the heterogeneous development within a consistent body of knowledge. This paper contributes to the contemporary debate in that it systematically reviews and classifies the diverse developments within a unified context and, consequently, synthesizes and integrates the extant knowledge into a state-of-the-art presentation of the Eclectic Paradigm. Here, the study has set out to provide future research with a coherent basis and conceptual starting point. At this, a systematic literature review is conducted, analyzing 66 journal articles published between 1980 and 2017. Deduced thereof, the study (i) scrutinizes the largely neglected basic prerequisites (intention, underlying context, level of analysis), (ii) analyzes the imperative developments of the Eclectic Paradigm, and (iii) encapsulates the above within a coherent, state-of-the-art macro-level envelope of the Eclectic Paradigm. In light of the findings, the study concludes by identifying issues that deserve more attention or remain under-researched and, hence, provides suggestions for further research.

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