The current understanding of Regional Integration is largely macro-economic and political in orientation and has tended to neglect, even ex post, the significance of the Single European Market (SEM) for the spatial restructuring of individual firms. The problem stems largely from a lopsided understanding of Regional Integration. This paper introduces a two-level approach in which integration and its outcomes are studied based on the strategic intent and strategic realities of two types of key actors: governments and core companies. In this contribution it is argued that in advocating the SEM, these actors did not necessarily share the same strategic intent. A new firm-level data set shows also that the expectations of European policymakers did not accurately match actual strategies developed by European core companies.

Regional Integration, business-government relations, core companies, spatial organization of activities, strategic intent/reality
Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior (jel L2), Firm Organization and Market Structure: Markets vs. Hierarchies; Vertical Integration; Conglomerates (jel L22), Regulation and Industrial Policy (jel L5), Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting (jel M), Business Administration: General (jel M10)
Erasmus Research Institute of Management
ERIM Report Series Research in Management
Copyright 2001, A.R. Muller, R.J.M. van Tulder, This report in the ERIM Report Series Research in Management is intended as a means to communicate the results of recent research to academic colleagues and other interested parties. All reports are considered as preliminary and subject to possibly major revisions. This applies equally to opinions expressed, theories developed, and data used. Therefore, comments and suggestions are welcome and should be directed to the authors.
Erasmus Research Institute of Management

Muller, A.R, & van Tulder, R. (2001). Macro Intentions, Micro Realities (No. ERS-2001-70_ORG). ERIM Report Series Research in Management. Erasmus Research Institute of Management. Retrieved from