Also found in: Financial, Acronyms.
multinational corporationa company which operates from a home base in one country with subsidiaries in others. The term transnational company has increasingly been preferred to describe large international corporations since they may not have an easily identifiable home base. World economy and trade is increasingly dominated by such companies which many authors see as outside the control of national governments. This raises issues of the control which such governments have over their own economies. Whilst the role of multinational companies has been decisive for the fate of THIRD WORLD economies and is central to the concept of IMPERIALISM and NEOIMPERIALISM, the largest companies have the majority of their investments in industrial countries. Investment in the Third World may not be the most important area for multinational companies, but they derive high profits from such investments and the effect on small Third World countries can be very significant. See also DEPENDENT INDUSTRIALIZATION, DEPENDENCY THEORY, UNEQUAL EXCHANGE.
Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000