TREND TOWARD GLOBALIZATION
The United States emerged as the world's most dynamic commercial power after World War II. Winning the war without any battles being fought on its soil, and with much of Europe and Japan lying in ruins, American industrial might was unchallenged for a decade or so after the war. This position of preeminence bred overconfidence. As an example, the term "international business" was parochially understood to mean a U.S. firm opening up a branch office, say, in France, to assist the parent in selling American goods in the European market. As Europe recovered from the devastation of war, the concept of international business expanded from a marketing function of U.S. products sold overseas to a manufacturing function of U.S licensed products made, and sold, overseas. This was an early, generally unrecognized, step in the process of globalization, a word that has only fairly recently entered into the business vocabulary. Globalization of commerce and trade took another step forward when the intent of building a manufacturing plant in Europe was the marketing of the goods not just within Europe but outside Europe, including the United States itself.
This exceeded the boundaries of meaning implied by the phrase "international business." This new variant of international business required a new name: the "multinational corporation." The designation multinational corporation, according to a professor at a prestigious institution, could be achieved if a company was a Fortune 500 company with at least a 25 percent equity investment in manufacturing facilities in at least six different nations. This was still a rather parochial view of international or multinational, because the company must be a U.S. domiciled company numbered among the Fortune 500.
By this definition, the multinational company did not come into existence after World War II, but in the latter half of the nineteenth century. Isaac Singer, the inventor of the sewing machine, was both a mechanical and a marketing