The evolution of multinational companies (MNCs) over the last decade has been characterized by a growing conflict between the requirements for economic survival and success (the economic imperative) and the adjustments made necessary by the demands of host governments (the political imperative). Faced with the conflict between the economic and political imperatives within a business, MNCs can respond in several ways. This article. based on intensive field research of the management processes in about a dozen MNCs. analyzes strategies and administrative processes used by MNCs to reconcile the conflicting economic and political imperatives. Ed.