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TitleMultinational Enterprise in Ancient Phoenicia - Karl James Moore ; David Charles Lewis
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Multinational Enterprise in Ancient


Templeton College, University of Oxford

In his recent massive work on Mullinational Enterprises (MNEs)., Dunning
states that 'eitriier examples ol' embryonic MNEs can, most surely, be found in
the colonizing activities of the Phoenicians and the Romans, and before that,
in the more ancient civilisations ... However, this sort of history ... remains to
be written".' Considerable literature has recorded the evolution of MNEs in
Europe since the early Middle Ages.' There have also heen a number of books
and articles written on the economic history of this part of the ancient world.̂
However, little has been written concerning the earliest recorded MNEs.

In an effort to shed light on embryonic MNEs in ancient civilisations, this
article brings together a modern theory of the MNE and literature on ancient
Phoenicia. Led by Tyre, the city-states of ancient Phoenicia became the
greatest seafaring traders of ancient times. Using Dunning's eclectic
paradigm as a lens, this paper suggests these early Canaanite traders were
architects of the first truly intercontinental multinational enterprise, spanning
parts of Asia, Africa and Europe. The managed business hierarchy created by
the merchants of Ugarit and Tyre,

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