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Multinationals, skill formation systems and skills capture: A cross-national study of multinationals in the aerospace sectors in the UK and Australia, and the role they play in skill formation.

Bowkett, Cassandra 2019. Multinationals, skill formation systems and skills capture: A cross-national study of multinationals in the aerospace sectors in the UK and Australia, and the role they play in skill formation. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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Abstract

Multinationals are important global actors who have changed the face of production through outsourcing and offshoring, but research looking at whether these firms have also transformed the process of skill formation is sparse. This research addresses this gap, with a cross-national study of multinationals in the aerospace sectors in the UK and Australia, and the role they play in skill formation for professional engineers. Conceptually, the research builds on the handful of studies that have explored the role of multinationals in skill development, including work arguing that multinationals have built global infrastructure termed global skill webs that enable them to ‘capture’ the process of skill formation. The project also draws on previous work on skill formation systems, the role of multinationals in shaping sub-national conditions through organisational or institutional experimentation, and the broader literature on the multinational firm. Using this foundation, the research explores the extent to which these multinationals engage with and potentially shape engineering skill systems in the UK and Australia, and whether these firms have built global skill webs that reduce their reliance on national skill systems. The thesis makes an empirical contribution to the existing work on the role of multinationals in skill formation. The findings from the research challenge some of the existing theories on skill formation systems, by arguing that the multinational as an actor should be distinguished from other firms. The project contributes conceptually, by extending an existing theory looking at the interplay between local, national and extra-national institutions and applying it to the multinational, differentiated from other firms. This adaptation of existing theory extends some of the existing theories on the role of multinationals in skills capture and global skill webs, by highlighting how these are shaped and mediated by national institutions. Certain actors, such as universities, can be connected into this global infrastructure and act as anchor points for what have been termed ‘firm-specific’ extra-national institutions such as global skill webs.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Multinationals, skill formation systems, skills capture, aerospace sectors
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 12 September 2019
Date of Acceptance: July 2019
Last Modified: 12 Sep 2019 15:46
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/125424

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