1 University of Applied Sciences BFI Vienna, Austria
DiscussionExternal contestation between powers at the international level as well as internal contestation over the course of foreign policy regularly pose major political risks to multinational enterprises (MNEs). Concerning EU-EEU relations, the war in Ukraine, sanctions and countersanctions, and associated uncertainties about the further course of the conflict are major political risks, European enterprises are currently facing. The break in EU-EEU/Russia relations requires strategic management decisions to be taken in the short-, mid-, and long-term.
This paper analyses the perception of political risks deriving from the Ukraine war and changing EU-EEU relations among managers of MNEs. It furthermore deals with their strategic short-, mid-, and long-term management responses in this context. It draws on field research carried out in pre-war Ukraine in October 2021, drawing on 10 qualitative interviews with managers of multinational enterprises of varying sizes, and industries (such as transport, chemistry, construction, technology, infrastructure, telecommunication, finance and banking). In what ways are companies confronted with political risks related to EU-EEU relations? How do they perceive the conflict in general? How do they manage these risks? Additionally, the field research focused on the managers’ perceptions of the root causes of the conflict between Russia and the EU.