Historic constructions of the early multinational : On power, politics and culture in Pan Am narratives
Kivijärvi, M., Mills, A. J., & Mills, J. H. (2018). Historic constructions of the early multinational : On power, politics and culture in Pan Am narratives. International Journal of Business and Globalisation, 20(2), 222-250. https://doi.org/10.1504/IJBG.2018.10010230
Published inInternational Journal of Business and Globalisation
DisciplineBasic or discovery scholarshipJohtaminenBasic or discovery scholarshipManagement and Leadership
© Inderscience Enterprises Ltd., 2018. This is a final draft version of an article whose final and definitive form has been published by Inderscience Enterprises Ltd. Published in this repository with the kind permission of the publisher.
This paper examines how Pan American World Airways (Pan Am) - an early incarnation of a multinational enterprise (MNE) - developed its image as an international company. In particular, we examine how the company developed and managed potentially conflicting narratives, including the modernising US company and the airline of 'the Americas' (specifically South America); the carrier of US national interests and the politically neutral actor serving to unify cultures; the purveyor of exotic experiences and the pioneer of modernism. Through a focus on organisational narratives, we reveal the powerful influence of such story telling (through design and serendipity) on images of the peoples and countries where the MNE operates. In contributing to the narrative turn in business history we argue for a relational approach to narrative analysis.
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