Globalization and the Rise of Multinational Corporations and Branding
A further, crucial aspect of globalization is the nature and power of multinational corporations. Such companies now account for over 33 per cent of world output, and 66 per cent of world trade (Gray 1999: 62). Significantly, something like a quarter of world trade occurs within multinational corporations (op. cit). This last point is well illustrated by the operations of car manufacturers who typically source their components from plants situated in different countries. However, it is important not to run away with the idea that the sort of globalization we have been discussing involves multinationals turning, on any large scale, to transnationals:
International businesses are still largely confined to their home territory in terms of their overall business activity; they remain heavily 'nationally embedded' and continue to be multinational, rather than transnational, corporations. (Hirst and Thompson 1996: 98).
While full globalization in this organizational sense may not have occurred on a large scale, these large multinational corporations still have considerable economic and cultural power.
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