globalization

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Related to International market: World Market, International market index

globalization

Operating around the world. Although many large companies have globalized for decades, the Web, more than any other phenomenon, has enabled the smallest company to have a global presence. See localization.

globalization

A mulifaceted process in which the world is becoming more and more interconnected and communication is becoming instanteneous. Aspects of this process include:
  1. the transformation of the spatial arrangement and organization of social relations involving ‘action at a distance’, a stretching of social relations and transactions (and power), including instantaneous communications across time-space;
  2. the increasing extensity, intensity, velocity and impact of global social relations and transactions (see Held et al. 1999);
  3. the creation of new networks and nodes – the ‘network society’ (CASTELLS) – associated with the new levels of dependence on knowledge/ information and ‘expert systems – the ‘information’ or ‘knowledge society’ – as well as the new risks associated with this – RISK SOCIETY;
  4. a dialect between the global and the local in which (consistent with a dialect of power and the duality of structure) the outcome is not a simple triumph of the centre over the periphery, mere Americanization’, or suchlike (see also MCDONALDIZATION).

As Held et al. (1999) suggest, a ‘vibrant’ ongoing debate exists on the characterization of globalization between three groups of theorists:

  1. ‘hyperglobalizers’ (e.g. Ohmae 1990; 1995) for whom global marketization is the main driver;
  2. 'S ceptics’ (notably Hirst and Thompson 1996a and b), who play down the level and distinctiveness of the change;
  3. ‘transformationalists’, including GIDDENS, for whom globalization is a distinctive new phase such that societies and states across the globe are experiencing profound social as well as economic changes – a ‘massive shake-out’ of social relations, economies, governance and politics – as they seek to adapt to an increasingly interconnected but also unpredictable and uncertain world.
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