Task: Synthesis of Sources
Choose ONE topic to discuss.
Topic 1: Globalisation
Read the articles below and, in not more than 500 words, synthesise the key points:
i) How can globalisation be defined?
ii) What are the causes of globalisation?
iii) What are the effects of globalisation?
Globalisation is the tendency for the world economy to work as one unit, led by large international companies doing business all over the world. Some of the things that have led to globalisation are the ending of trade barriers, the free movement of capital, cheap transport and the increased use of electronic systems of communication such as the Internet.
Longman (2000) Longman Business English Dictionary,London
Globalisation refers to the integration of markets in the global economy. Markets where globalisation is particularly common include financial markets, such as capital markets, money and credit markets and insurance markets, commodity markets such as markets for oil, coffee, tin, and gold and product markets, such as markets for motor vehicles and consumer electronics.
Why has globalisation increased?
The pace of globalisation has increased for a number of reasons:
1. Developments in ICT, transport and communications have accelerated the pace of globalisation over the past 30 years.
2. Increasing capital mobility has also acted as a stimulus to globalisation.
3. The development of complex financial products, such as derivatives has enabled global credit markets to grow rapidly.
4. Trade has become increasingly free, following the collapse of communism, which has opened up many former communist countries to inward investment and global trade.
5. The growth of multinational companies (MNCs) and the rise in the significance of global brands like Microsoft, Sony, and McDonalds, has been central to the emergence of globalisation.
Technology and Development
Our world is more connected that ever before, there are no borders or boundaries for the constant flow of data – in 2013 it was recorded that there were 6.8 billion mobile phone subscribers and 2.7 billion Internet users (ITU, 2013).
In World Bank client countries likeAfghanistan, providing cheap and efficient communication infrastructure has brought people out of isolation. In Nepal and the Philippines, new online platforms are helping people improve their standard of living through customer service and also through a digital book store that supplies the largest number of books in as we call it now e-books. People in Egypt are designing mobile applications to address their development challenges, such as traffic congestion. In thePacificIslands, connectivity has empowered health care providers and schools in delivering better services to citizens and inIndia, maternal health services can now be better monitored with simple technology.
Source: Economics Online Ltd. (2015) Globalisation [Online] http://www.economicsonline.co.uk/Global_economics/Globalisation_introduction.html (abridged)
These new channels of communication have helped spread a homogenous and largely commercial culture. Disney movies are children`s food the world over. Barbie dolls, fast-food restaurants, hip-hop music and corporate-driven, American-style youth culture attract millions of new converts from Abidjan, Côte d`Ivoire, to Sydney. Alternatively, you can now find a dazzling variety of `ethnic` foods throughout Europe, North America and Australia. In fact, many residents and visitors toBritainbelieve globalisation is the best thing to happen to English cooking in the past 500 years.
The process of change is unstoppable. That is not such a bad thing. In many ways, it is a positive process containing the seeds of a better future for all the world`s people. Globalisation cannot help but be a positive force for change if we come to recognize the common thread of humanity that ties us together.
However, gaps between rich and poor are widening, decision-making power is concentrated in fewer and fewer hands, local cultures are wiped out, biological diversity is destroyed, regional tensions are increasing and the environment is nearing the point of collapse. That is the sad reality of globalisation, an opportunity for human progress whose great potential has been thwarted. Instead we have a global economic system which feeds on itself while marginalizing the fundamental human needs of people and communities.
Source: Ransome, D. (1997) ‘Globalisation - An Alternative View.’ New Internationalist. Vol. 296, p. 8 (abridged)
Globalisation is a new word which describes an old process: the integration of the global economy that began in earnest with the launch of the European colonial era five centuries ago. But the process has accelerated over the past quarter century with the explosion of computer technology, the dismantling of trade barriers and the expanding political and economic power of multinational corporations.
Source: Ellwood, W. (2001) The No-Nonsense Guide to Globalisation.London: Verso, p.12
Globalisation is increasing inequality and poverty worldwide as national governments lose the ability to control their development strategies and policies. Political solutions are needed to reinvigorate democratic control both North and South. But political reforms need to be combined with particular mechanisms for structural reform. In combination, these should put meaningful employment and human rights at the heart of economic policy, boost local control and decision-making, and restore the ecological health and natural capital of our planet.
Source: Ellwood, W. (2001) The No-Nonsense Guide to Globalisation.London: Verso, p. 107
Most of us would look atBrazil,BelgiumandBangladeshand see three different cultures. Al Zeien, chief executive of Gillette, the US razor maker, simply sees a lot of people in need of a shave. He believes Gillette is a "global" company in the way few corporations are. "A multinational has operations in different countries," he says. "A global company views the world as a single country. We sell them the same products, we use the same production methods and we have the same corporate policies. We even use the same advertising, in a different language, of course."
To make sure managers worldwide are on the same wavelength, Mr Zeien insists they move from country to country and division to division. There are problems with his approach, he admits. Being transferred from country to country can be hard on staff. People in dual-career marriages, he says, probably should not work for Gillette.