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A critical examination of the social impacts of large multinational corporations in the age of globalization

Hamid Yeganeh (Department of Business Administration, Winona State University, Winona, Minnesota, USA)

Critical Perspectives on International Business

ISSN: 1742-2043

Article publication date: 18 October 2019

Issue publication date: 22 May 2020

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to offer a critical examination of the social impacts of large multinational corporations (MNCs) in the age of globalization.

Design/methodology/approach

The study adopts a multidisciplinary approach and relies on various scholarly resources in several disciplines including international business, international economics, sociology and international relations. The analysis is organized around eight major areas and constituencies of MNCs including the global scene, workers, competitors, entrepreneurs, government and tax payers, social justice, nations/states and natural environment.

Findings

Giant MNCs have benefited from favorable conditions in the past three decades and currently dominate the global scene. In general, the rising corporate profits come not to the benefit, but to the detriment of workers. Large MNCs benefit from their immense resources to develop sophisticated competitive advantages against smaller rivals. They impede small entrepreneurs from scaling up their operations and increasing their market shares. Furthermore, large MNCs often take advantage of their power to shape national and international policies in ways that enable them to enhance their profitability. Overall, large MNCs aggravate the rising economic inequality in different ways, thus contributing to social and financial instability. Furthermore, large MNCs erode state sovereignty and enormously contribute to environmental degradation.

Originality/value

While most international business studies focus on the concept of corporate social responsibility or sustainable development, the originality of this paper resides in adopting an alternative perspective and offering a multidisciplinary and critical examination of the social impacts of large MNCs.

Keywords

Citation

Yeganeh, H. (2020), "A critical examination of the social impacts of large multinational corporations in the age of globalization", Critical Perspectives on International Business, Vol. 16 No. 3, pp. 193-208. https://doi.org/10.1108/cpoib-01-2019-0001

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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