PhD Scholarship: History of Foreign Multinational Enterprises in Australia

This PhD scholarship forms part of a large-scale three-year ARC Discovery Grant that investigates the history of multinational firms in Australia since Federation and is based at the University of Wollongong, the Australian National University and the University of Melbourne.

The project aims to deliver the first history of foreign multinational firms in twentieth-century Australia, connecting to, and enhancing, a rich overseas literature on global business. Foreign corporations have played a critical but poorly understood role here with government policy and popular opinions polarised between approval for new investment, job creation and innovation against concern for their impact on tax revenue, competition, and economic policy. Through a closer, long term understanding of multinationals – their magnitude, motives to settle here, corporate structures, adaptation to local conditions, and impact – the findings will inform public debate and policy about the roles of foreign investment and foreign enterprises in the Australian economy today.

The Chief Investigators are Senior Professor Simon Ville (Wollongong), Emeritus Professor David Merrett (Melbourne), Associate-Professor Pierre van der Eng (ANU) and Associate-Professor Andre Sammartino (Melbourne). The project will also collaborate with some of the leading scholars in international business history, particularly Professor Geoff Jones (Harvard Business School) and Professor Mira Wilkins (Florida International University). 

The PhD candidate will be an essential part of the project team and pursue a course of research integral to its aims and outcomes. The investigators are flexible about the focus of the candidate’s contribution taking account of their background and interests. The PhD project might, for example, focus on British, American or Japanese firms entering Australia or address a theme such as the economic impact of multinationals.

One scholarship is available for commencement in 2021.

This project would suit a candidate with:

  • A background in History and/or International Business and/or Economics reflecting the interdisciplinary nature of the project with an Hons 1, high 2A or equivalent
  • Some experience handling descriptive data and archival sources
  • Additional relevant research experience, skills and/or peer-reviewed research activity, awards and/or prizes will be regarded favourably

The notional closing date is 31 January 2020 but candidates interested in the role are encouraged to contact Simon Ville: