Multinational corporation

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A multinational corporation or multinational enterprise[1] is an organization, that owns or controls productions of goods or services in one or more countries other than the home country.[2] It can also be referred as an international corporation, a "transnational corporation", or as a stateless corporation.[3]

Overview[edit]

A multinational corporation is usually a large corporation which produces or sells goods or services in various countries.[4] It may be attributed as multinational corporation when a corporation is registered in more than one country or has operations in more than one country.[citation needed]

The problem of moral and legal guiding behaviors of multinational corporations, given that they are effectively "stateless" actors, is one of the urgent global socioeconomic problems that emerged during the late twentieth century.[5]

One of the first multinational business organizations, East India Company, arose in 1600.[6] After East India Company, came Dutch East India Company, founded March 20, 1602, which would become the largest company in the world for nearly 200 years.[7]

Conflict of laws[edit]

Main article: Conflict of laws

Conflict of laws is a set of procedural rules that determines which legal system and which jurisdiction applies to a given dispute.

The term conflict of laws itself originates from situations where the ultimate outcome of a legal dispute depended upon which law applied, and the common law court's manner of resolving the conflict between those laws. In civil law, lawyers and legal scholars refer to conflict of laws as private international law. Private international law has no real connection with public international law and is instead a feature of local law which varies from country to country.

The three branches of conflict of laws are:

  • Jurisdiction – whether the forum court has the power to resolve the dispute at hand
  • Choice of law – the law being applied to resolve the dispute
  • Foreign judgments – the ability to recognize and enforce a judgment from an external forum within the jurisdiction of the adjudicating forum.

Transnational corporations[edit]

A transnational corporation differs from a traditional multinational corporation in that it does not identify itself with one national home. While traditional multinational corporations are national companies with foreign subsidiaries,[8] Transnational corporations spread out their operations in many countries sustaining high levels of local responsiveness.[9]

An example of a transnational corporation is Nestlé who employ senior executives from many countries and try to make decisions from a global perspective rather than from one centralized headquarters.[10]

Another example of a Transnational Corporation is the Royal Dutch Shell corporation whose headquarters may be in The Hague, Netherlands but its registered office and main executive body where the decisions are made is headquartered in London, United Kingdom.[citation needed]

Multinational corporations and colonialism[edit]

The history of multinational corporations is closely intertwined with the history of colonialism, with the first multinational corporations founded to undertake colonial expeditions at the behest of their European monarchical patrons.[11] Prior to the era of New Imperialism, a majority European colonies not held by the Spanish and Portuguese crowns were administered by chartered multinational corporations.[12] Examples of such corporations include the British East India Company,[13] the Swedish Africa Company, and the Hudson’s Bay Company.[14] These early corporations facilitated colonialism by engaging in international trade and exploration, and creating colonial trading posts.[15] Many of these corporations, such as the South Australia Company and the Virginia Company, played a direct role in formal colonization by creating and maintaining settler colonies.[15] Without exception these early corporations created differential economic outcomes between their home country and their colonies via a process of exploiting colonial resources and labour, and investing the resultant profits and net gain in the home country.[16] The end result of this process was the enrichment of the colonizer and the impoverishment of the colonized.[17] Some multinational corporations, such as the Royal African Company, were also responsible for the logistical component of the Atlantic Slave Trade,[18] maintaining the ships and ports required for this vast enterprise. During the 19th century formal corporate rule over colonial holdings largely gave way to state-controlled colonies,[19][20] however corporate control over colonial economic affairs persisted in a majority of colonies.[15][19]

During the process of decolonization the European colonial charter companies were disbanded,[15] with the final colonial corporation, the Mozambique Company, dissolving in 1972. However the economic impact of corporate colonial exploitation has proved to be lasting and far reaching,[21] with some commentators asserting that this impact is among the chief causes of contemporary global income inequality.[22]

Contemporary critics of multinational corporations have charged that some present day multinational corporations follow the pattern of exploitation and differential wealth distribution established by the now defunct colonial charter corporations, particularly with regards to corporations based in the developed world that operate resource extraction enterprises in the developing world,[23] such as Royal Dutch Shell, and Barrick Gold. Some of these critics argue that the operations of multinational corporations in the developing world take place within the broader context of neocolonialism.[24]

Criticism of multinationals[edit]

Anti-corporate advocates[who?] criticize multinational corporations for entering countries that have low human rights or environmental standards.[25] They claim that multinationals give rise to large merged conglomerations that reduce competition and free enterprise, raise capital in host countries but export the profits, exploit countries for their natural resources, limit workers' wages, erode traditional cultures, and challenge national sovereignty.[citation needed]

The aggressive use of tax avoidance schemes allows multinational corporations to gain competitive advantages over small and medium-sized enterprises.[26] Organizations such as the Tax Justice Network criticize governments for allowing multinational organizations to escape tax since less money can be spent for public services.[27]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Pitelis, Christos; Roger Sugden (2000). The nature of the transnational firm. Routledge. p. 72. ISBN 0-415-16787-6. 
  2. ^ http://www2.econ.iastate.edu/classes/econ355/choi/mul.htm
  3. ^ Roy D. Voorhees, Emerson L. Seim, and John I. Coppett, "Global Logistics and Stateless Corporations," Transportation Practitioners Journal 59, 2 (Winter 1992): 144-51.
  4. ^ Doob, Christopher M. (2013). Social Inequality and Social Stratification in US Society. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education Inc. 
  5. ^ Koenig-Archibugi, Mathias (16 January 2004). "Transnational Corporations and Public Accountability". Government and Opposition: 106. Retrieved 2 February 2015.  Krugman, Paul (20 March 1997). "In Praise of Cheap Labor: Bad Jobs at Bad Wages Are Better than No Jobs at All". Slate. Retrieved 2 February 2015. 
  6. ^ http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/about/globalinc.jsp "GlobalInc. An Atlas of The Multinational Corporation" Medard Gabel & Henry Bruner, New York: The New Press , 2003. ISBN 1-56584-727-X
  7. ^ http://www.kb.nl/dossiers/voc/voc.html VOC at the National Library of the Netherlands (in Dutch)
  8. ^ Drucker, Peter F. (1997). The Global Economy and the Nation State. Council on Foreign Relations. p. 167. 
  9. ^ Case study: The Relationship between the Structure/Strategy of Multinational Corporations and Patterns of Knowledge Sharing within them. Oxford University Press. 2009. 
  10. ^ Schermerhorn, John R. (2009). Exploring Management. John Wiley and Sons. p. 387. ISBN 0-470-16964-8. 
  11. ^ Jeffrey, Alex, and Joe Painter. "Imperialism and Postcolonialism." Political Geography: An Introduction to Space and Power. London: SAGE, 2009. 174-75. Print.
  12. ^ Robins, Nick. "This Imperious Company." The Corporation That Changed the World How the East India Company Shaped the Modern Multinational. London: Pluto, 2006. 24-25. Print.
  13. ^ Robins, Nick. The Corporation That Changed the World How the East India Company Shaped the Modern Multinational. London: Pluto, 2006. Print.
  14. ^ Royle, Stephen A. Company, Crown and Colony: The Hudson's Bay Company and Territorial Endeavour in Western Canada. London: I.B. Tauris, 2011. Print.
  15. ^ a b c d Micklethwait, John, and Adrian Wooldridge. 2003. The company: A short history of a revolutionary idea. New York: Modern Library.
  16. ^ Howe, Stephen. "Empire by Sea." Empire: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2002. 77-80. Print.
  17. ^ Angeles, Luis. "Income Inequality and Colonialism." European Economic Review 51.5 (2007): 1155-176. Web. <http://www.uib.cat/congres/ecopub/ecineq/papers/011Angeles.pdf>.
  18. ^ Howe, Stephen. "Empire by Sea." Empire: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2002. 67. Print.
  19. ^ a b Jeffrey, Alex, and Joe Painter. "Imperialism and Postcolonialism." Political Geography: An Introduction to Space and Power. London: SAGE, 2009. 175. Print.
  20. ^ Robins, Nick. The Corporation That Changed the World How the East India Company Shaped the Modern Multinational. London: Pluto, 2006. 145. Print.
  21. ^ Howe, Stephen. "Empire by Sea." Empire: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2002. 78-83. Print.
  22. ^ Angeles, Luis. "Income Inequality and Colonialism." European Economic Review 51.5 (2007): 1155-176. Web. <http://www.uib.cat/congres/ecopub/ecineq/papers/011Angeles.pdf>.
  23. ^ Bakan, Joel. The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power. New York: Free, 2004. Print.
  24. ^ Azikiwe, Abayomi. "Burkina Faso: Masses Rise Up Against Neo-Colonial Rule." Global Research. Centre for Research on Globalization, 04 Nov. 2014. Web. 07 Feb. 2015.
  25. ^ Marc 'Globalization, Power, and Survival: an Anthropological Perspective', pg 484–486. Anthropological Quarterly Vol.79, No. 3. Institute for Ethnographic Research, 2006
  26. ^ Library of the European Parliament Corporate tax avoidance by multinational firms
  27. ^ Tax Justice Network Taxing corporations

External links[edit]