Sociology Index

TRANSNATIONAL CORPORATIONS

Multinational Corporations, Conglomerate

Corporations whose sales and production are carried out in many different nations. As a result of their multinational reach these transnational corporations are often thought to be beyond the political control of any individual nation state.

There has been widespread agreement that transnational corporations constrained the exercise of state power in the Third World. During the 1970s there have been increasing challenges to this idea.

A new orthodoxy has emerged which suggests that the transnational corporation rather than national sovereignty is increasingly 'at bay'. The research described in this article examined the responses of transnational corporations to Nigeria's increasingly stringent indigenization policies during the 1970s. Transnational corporations have developed a range of defensive strategies which effectively neutralize the Nigerian policy.

It is clear first that the sharing of equity is a long way from the sharing of control in joint ventures with transnational corporations. Any assessment of the balance of bargaining power between states and transnational corporations must take account of the dynamics of change within each of the major protagonists.

Changes have taken place in the relationship between states and transnational corporations during the 1970s. However, most observers have ignored the defensive responses and capabilities of transnational corporations. The balance of bargaining power between host-countries and transnational corporations has not shifted either as far or as quickly as most of the advocates of the 'resurgence of the state' literature maintain. - The Illusion of State Power: Transnational Corporations and the Neutralization of Host-Country Legislation - Thomas J. Biersteker, Yale University and the International Peace Research Institute, Oslo - Journal of Peace Research, Vol. 17, No. 3

Transnational Corporations - Power, Influence and Responsibility 
Sorcha Macleod, Douglas Lewis, University of Sheffield, UK 
Global Social Policy, Vol. 4, No. 1, 77-98 (2004)
In terms of the New World Order, the largest Transnational Corporations (TNCs) are central players. They influence the policies of governments worldwide. Transnational Corporations influence the destinies of individual economies in the developing world. Any constitutional architect who does not attempt to set a framework of accountability and global citizenship for the Transnational Corporations would demean their craft. How do we orchestrate the healthy influence of Transnational Corporations in terms of economic growth and opportunity with the necessity of their conforming to the underlying values of the world community? Can we legislate for corporate responsibility and if so, how? If not, what alternatives are available? This article will explore the values and mechanisms for ensuring that the corporate world is in tune with the expectations of cosmopolitan democracy. More and more detailed information is becoming available on the influential activities of Transnational Corporations but as yet there appears to be no game plan for where they fit in to canons of global responsibility.

Transnational Corporations and Repression of Political Rights and Civil Liberties: An Empirical Analysis - MATTHIAS BUSSE, HWWI - Hamburg Institute of International Economics - Kyklos, Vol. 57, pp. 45-65, February 2004 
Abstract: Transnational Corporations are often accused by non-governmental organisations of ignoring fundamental democratic rights, such as civil liberties and political rights, in the countries of their investments.

Transnational firms and the changing organisation of innovative activities 
A Zanfei, Universit´┐Ż di Urbino, Ise-Facolt´┐Ż di Economia, Via Saffi 2, 61029 Urbino, Italy
Abstract: It is suggested that a transition is taking place towards new modes of organising transnational corporations' innovative activities. First, different units of multinational firms, including foreign-based subsidiaries, are increasingly involved in the generation, use and transmission of knowledge. Secondly, multinationals are developing external networks of relationships with local counterparts, through which foreign affiliates gain access to external knowledge sources and application abilities.

Controlling Transnational Corporations: The Role of Governmental Entities and Grassroots Organizations in Combating White-Collar Crime - Jurg Gerber, College of Criminal Justice, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville
Eric L. Jensen, Department of Sociology, University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho 83844-1110, USA 
International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, Vol. 44, No. 6, 692-713 (2000)
Controlling transnational corporations is problematic because of the absence of powerful international regulations and inconsistent national legislation. Transnational corporations that conduct business in several countries can therefore often engage in corporate behaviors that are illegal in one country but not in others. However, efforts to control these transnational corporations are undertaken in spite of such difficulties.

Transnational Corporations and Global Citizenship - HAZEL HENDERSON 
American Behavioral Scientist, Vol. 43, No. 8, 1231-1261 (2000)
Abstract: Transnational corporations are major global actors, many larger than most nation states. The evolution of their organizational structures and of relevant national and international law is reviewed briefly.

Transnational Corporations, Competition and Monopoly - Rhys Jenkins, University of E. Anglia, Norwich. 
Review of Radical Political Economics, Vol. 21, No. 4, 12-32 (1989)
The paper argues that much of the literature on the impact of Transnational Corporations on the Third World is located at the level of circulation. Making use of the recent critical literature on monopoly and competition, it is argued that surplus profits earned by Transnational Corporations in Third World countries are not primarily the result of market power, but derive from their ability to enter markets in which very favorable demand conditions exist and from their productivity advantages with respect to local firms.

A New Transnational Corporate Social Structure of Accumulation for Long-Wave Upswing in the World Economy? - Phillip Anthony O’Hara, Global Political Economy Research Unit, Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Australia 
Review of Radical Political Economics, Vol. 36, No. 3, 328-335 (2004)
Abstract: This article examines whether a new transnational corporate social structure of accumulation (SSA) has emerged in the global economy to promote long-wave upswing. It explores the main tendencies of the transnational corporate system; three main engines of potential growth; and the evidence of profitability, accumulation, productivity, and growth. Then the dominant contradictions are surveyed. Overall, a new transnational corporate SSA does not seem to be operating, and long-wave upswing is not evident for the global corporate economy.

The Power of Rights: Imposing Human Rights Duties on Transnational Corporations for Environmental Harms - AMY SINDEN, Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law

THE NEW CORPORATE ACCOUNTABILITY: CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY AND THE LAW, Doreen McBarnet, Aurora Voiculescu, & Tom Campbell, eds., Cambridge University Press, 2007 
Abstract: This essay attempts to construct a normative justification for the imposition of human rights duties on transnational corporations (TNCs) that commit environmental wrongs in the developing world. Under the now near-hegemonic worldview of welfare economics, Transnational Corporations are analogised to individuals competing in the marketplace and thus placed squarely on the private side of the public/private divide. If we step outside of the economic worldview, however, and recognise the extent to which the normative justifications for civil and political human rights have traditionally been rooted in a perceived need to counteract the imbalance of power between the individual and the state, it becomes clear that it is frequently far more appropriate to treat Transnational Corporations as “like states” than “like individuals.” Many Transnational Corporations, after all, wield more power and resources than many states. Accordingly, at least where one of two sets of factual circumstances exist, human rights duties should be imposed directly on Transnational Corporations for environmental harms: 1) where the state has become so weak and/or corrupt as to be non-functional, or 2) where the Transnational Corporations has so much power and influence within the domestic government that it essentially controls state decision-making. 

Transnational corporations and the geographical transfer of localised technology: a multi-industry study of foreign affiliates in Sweden - Inge Ivarsson, Department of Human and Economic Geography, School of Economics and Commercial Law, Sweden.
Abstract: Based on unique firm-level data from 323 majority-owned foreign affiliates (MOFAs) located in West Sweden in the beginning of 2000, we show that foreign-located affiliates of transnational corporations (TNCs) generate technological competencies, both internally as well as through organised cooperation with external business partners in the host country. This seems true not only for manufacturing affiliates, but also for wholesale affiliates supplying industrial products, as well as professional service affiliates providing technical services. All three categories of affiliates are engaged in ‘dynamic technological integration’. This indicates that not only the technological competence of MOFAs themselves, but even the geographical context in which they are embedded is a relational asset that is crucial for the overall technological competitiveness of Transnational Corporations. However, technological linkages between foreign Transnational Corporations and host country partners does not come automatically, instead they need substantial and long-term investments in personal and non-personal resources.

Transnational Corporations and the Global Food System - McLaughlin, Martin M - Center of Concern 
Abstract: This chapter from the book World Food Security describes in very accessible terms the structure and behavior of the global food system, likening it to a corporate cartel dominated by a handful of powerful food companies.

US-Based Transnational Corporations and Emerging Markets
Nitzan, Jonathan. (1996). Emerging Markets Analyst. Vol. 5. No. 3. July. pp. 13-24. (Magazine Article; English).
Abstract or Brief Description: Transnational corporations are accounting for a growing share of global economic activity and their dependence on emerging markets is rapidly rising. For US-based Transnational Corporations, the attraction of emerging markets stems from superior economic growth, higher rates of return and, most importantly, from the prospects of expanding market share.

Transnational Corporations and Education: Current Issues and Prospects - Cieslik, Jerzy 
Source: International Review of Education, v28 n4 p457-67 1982 
Abstract: Discusses how transnational corporations might contribute to various forms of education in developing countries and describes measures states should take to encourage their receiving benefits.

Human rights and transnational corporations: the way forward
High Commissioner’s Report: A speaker summarised the report of the Commissioner of Human Rights on the responsibilities of transnational corporations and related business enterprises with regard to human rights of 15 February 2005 (E/CN.4/2005/91). The report reviewed existing initiatives and standards and compared their scope and legal status, in particular the ILO Tripartite Declaration of Principles concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy, the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, the United Nations Global Compact, and the draft Norms on the Responsibilities of Transnational Corporations and Other Business Enterprises with regard to Human Rights (draft Norms).

Human rights codes for transnational corporations: what can the Sullivan and MacBride principles tell us?
McCrudden, C (1999) Human rights codes for transnational corporations: what can the Sullivan and MacBride principles tell us?. Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 19(2):pp. 167-202.
Abstract: The development of codes of conduct for transnational corporations is considered, particularly those involving human and labour rights. The issue of compliance with such codes is examined through a detailed consideration of the development and operation of the Sullivan and MacBride Principles. The origin, evolution, and effects of these Principles is considered. Particular attention is paid to institutional and other features surrounding their enforcement, including the use of selective purchasing, shareholder activism, and linkage to government financial incentives.

HOPE-HELIUM: GLOBAL SOCIAL CHANGE AND RATIONALE OF TRANSNATIONAL CORPORATIONS’ PARTNERSHIP WITH COMMUNITY FOUNDATIONS
SVETLANA V. POUCHKAREVA, UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS, INSTITUTE FOR POLITICS AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES
Abstract: With the purpose of generating a discussion over the rationale of transnational corporations’ partnership with community foundations, the scholar explores a blend of theories from political, business and social studies and matches them with the data received from community foundations and the partner transnational corporations in seven countries. The study approaches concepts of global social change and social capital affecting transnational corporations and suggests that community foundations, due to their features of ‘glocality’ and ‘epistemics’, assist transnational corporations to strategically align their business needs with the demands of their multiple communities, maximise their competitive advantages.

Joint ventures with transnational corporations