Through a case study of Pan American World Airways (Pan Am), this paper sets out to explore the roots of twentieth century globalization and the postcolonial nature of the trading relations involved.
Drawing on Foucault's broad notion of “the archive” a critical hermeneutics approach is used to examine a series of company‐produced texts, including minutes, travelogues, company narratives, annual reports, film, diaries, and published histories.
The paper argues that Pan Am contributed to the “idea of Latin America” and, in the process contributed to practices of dependency that served the interests of the USA. Drawing on a case study of Pan Am, the paper further argues that multi‐national corporations help to establish the contours of international trade by influencing the very character and boundaries of the territories traded in, with troubling implications for the countries traded in.
As a detailed case study extension of the findings to other global trading arrangements needs to take into account to social‐political context and relational histories of the players involved.
The paper generates insights into the role of rhetoric in developing trading relationships and its roots in embedded notions of postcolonial thinking and generalizations.
The paper contributes to an understanding of the role of language and the social construction of national identities involved in the development of international business.
Hartt, C., Mills, A.J., Helms Mills, J. and Durepos, G. (2012), "Markets, organizations, institutions and national identity: Pan American Airways, postcoloniality and Latin America", critical perspectives on international business, Vol. 8 No. 1, pp. 14-36. https://doi.org/10.1108/17422041211197549Download as .RIS
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