In the course of the past two centuries, the internationalisation of companies has occurred as a result of the arrival in the international arena of a competitive advantage which was acquired and developed in the country of origin by chance. However, in a world where technical skills and opportunities for innovation are increasingly dispersed, this approach is less applicable. It has been replaced, both in well established multinationals and in new companies, by an integration model which is able to attract dispersed skills and knowledge. It merges them and then diffuses them throughout the rest of the company. It has to overcome problems posed by appropriating knowledge which varies from one socio-cultural group to another. It also has to overcome the constant tension which exists between commercial and manufacturing concerns.
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