The Future of Corporate Globalization: From the Extended Order to the Global Village

By Jeremiah J. Sullivan | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 13

GLOBALIZATION IN THE 21ST CENTURY

Globalization, the rapid expansion and integration of business activities across borders in response to dramatic technology and government policy changes in the latter part of the 20th century, has fostered equally dramatic changes in the goals and strategies of corporations in the United States and elsewhere. Yet all parties recognize that we only are at the beginning of what appears to be a transitional period from something we were to something we will be. In the late 20th century we were believers in what Freidrich Hayek called the extended order, that body of traditions and learned values constituting the epistemology of the socioeconomic paradigm. The paradigm told multinational corporations what they could and could not do and legitimized their global push. The model is a good one in that it has fostered wondrous increases in well-being in the West and now in the East. However, it is a bad one in that its defenders must preach the beauties of tough competition, consumerist individualism, and utilitarian ethics. However valuable these are—and they are valuable—they are hard to stomach.

By the end of the century voices, and even shouts on the streets, were being heard that things were wrong. Some claimed that the paradigm was unjust; others claimed that it led to instability. It was seen as a threat to individual autonomy and collective identity. It required people to rely on calculation rather than character in their dealings with each other. It was ruining the earth. Most of the criticism was disorganized, even anarchic, but it was coalescing around the four themes of justice, order, virtue, and sovereignty/identity. Helped by the Internet, it seemed likely to evolve into a new, broadened socioeconomic paradigm, the Global Village. What would

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