Global Visions and Globalizing Corporations: An Analysis of Images and Texts from Fortune Global 500 Companies.
Sociological Research Online, 9(2)
Transnational corporations (TNCs) have a central role to play in globalization. At the same time, globalization carries risks for the corporation, and not all of those associated with TNCs may support globalization. While much of the globalization literature suggests that corporations are globalizing their production systems, or contributing to a global culture, there is little exploration of how globalization is framed and mediated within the corporate community itself. This article employs a semiotic analysis of images and texts from annual reports of Fortune Global 500 corporations. It argues that globalizing TNCs generate several narratives geared to persuading employees, shareholders, business partners and members of the financial community of the merits of globalization. They can be divided into at least three types geared to brand, industry leadership or organization. The narratives all have common themes to the extent that they are rooted in a customer focus, but they also demonstrate multiple and sometimes ambiguous global aspirations and expectations.
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