The Advantage of Being Swiss: Nestlé and Political Risk in Asia during the Early Cold War, 1945–1970
Business History Review, 2020, vol. 94, issue 2, 373-397
Multinational enterprises faced new political risks after World War II in the context of decolonization and the Cold War. The risks were particularly high in Asia between 1945 and 1970. Although the relevant literature has focused essentially on organizational innovation and strategic choices in explaining how firms dealt with these new political risks, this article explores the informal roles that governments of small, neutral countries played in supporting their multinationals abroad. Looking at the case of Nestlé in Asia, the article argues that the backing of the Swiss federal authorities was crucial for the company to overcome various kinds of risks and ensure a long-term presence in the region.
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