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A Working Theory of Cross-National Conflict Shifting as an International Public Relations Dynamic
Unformatted Document Text:  Cross-National Conflict Shifting 4 The Concept of Cross-National Conflict Shifting The concept of Cross-National Conflict Shifting was first defined by Welge and Holtbrügge in 1998 and expanded in the second edition of their book International Management (2001). They explain that “multinational corporations are not just confronted anymore with national, but increasingly globally active interest groups, which not only observe the behavior of single subsidiaries in the respective host nations, but also the behavior of multinationals as a whole” (p. 323). It is becoming more difficult for international businesses or multilateral organizations to operate with impunity because “interest groups in one country condemn multinational corporations for what they are doing in other countries” (Berg & Holtbrügge, 2001, p. 112). More importantly, repercussions of wrongdoing or perhaps accidents in a developing nation are also felt at home –the country where the transnational corporation is headquartered— because “conflicts are not fought anymore in the country in which they originated, but in the country in which the interest groups can best push through their position” (Welge and Holtbrügge, 2001, p. 324). Most transnational corporations have their headquarters in developed nations where it is most likely that international NGOs will coordinate their anti-corporate campaigns and far- reaching media outlets to diffuse their latest controversial international news through a multiplicity of channels. Yet it appears that transnational organizations are behind in coordinating and controlling communication strategies and information management among their subsidiaries worldwide. Welge and Holtbrügge (2001) elaborate: [T]hose conflicts will have impacts on the activities in other countries because of numerous interdependences. … Due to those dangers a centralized and worldwide standardized public affairs [or public relations] management is not able to recognize and

Authors: Molleda, Juan. and Quinn, Candace.
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Cross-National Conflict Shifting
4
The Concept of Cross-National Conflict Shifting
The concept of Cross-National Conflict Shifting was first defined by Welge and
Holtbrügge in 1998 and expanded in the second edition of their book International Management
(2001). They explain that “multinational corporations are not just confronted anymore with
national, but increasingly globally active interest groups, which not only observe the behavior of
single subsidiaries in the respective host nations, but also the behavior of multinationals as a
whole” (p. 323). It is becoming more difficult for international businesses or multilateral
organizations to operate with impunity because “interest groups in one country condemn
multinational corporations for what they are doing in other countries” (Berg & Holtbrügge, 2001,
p. 112). More importantly, repercussions of wrongdoing or perhaps accidents in a developing
nation are also felt at home –the country where the transnational corporation is headquartered—
because “conflicts are not fought anymore in the country in which they originated, but in the
country in which the interest groups can best push through their position” (Welge and
Holtbrügge, 2001, p. 324).
Most transnational corporations have their headquarters in developed nations where it is
most likely that international NGOs will coordinate their anti-corporate campaigns and far-
reaching media outlets to diffuse their latest controversial international news through a
multiplicity of channels. Yet it appears that transnational organizations are behind in
coordinating and controlling communication strategies and information management among their
subsidiaries worldwide. Welge and Holtbrügge (2001) elaborate:
[T]hose conflicts will have impacts on the activities in other countries because of
numerous interdependences. … Due to those dangers a centralized and worldwide
standardized public affairs [or public relations] management is not able to recognize and


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