Purpose—Through a case study of Pan American World Airways (Pan Am), this chapter sets out to explore the roots of 20th century globalization and the postcolonial nature of the trading relations involved.
Design/methodology/approach—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.
Findings—The chapter 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 United States. Drawing on a case study of Pan Am, the chapter 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.
Research limitations/implications—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.
Practical implications—The chapter generates insights into the role of rhetoric in developing trading relationships and its roots in embedded notions of postcolonial thinking and generalizations.
Originality/value—The chapter 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.M., Mills, A.J., Helms Mills, J.C. and Durepos, G. (2017), "Markets, Organizations, Institutions, and National Identity: Pan American Airways, Postcoloniality, and Latin America
Emerald Publishing Limited
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