Multinational Corporation

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The term multinational corporation is commonly and incorrectly used to refer to any corporation that engages in business in more than one country. In its more precise meaning a multinational corporation is one that has independent operations in multiple countries, each acting as if it were a national corporation loyal to the interests of the host country and its people. The term is best understood as an artful term of choice of corporate PR because it implies a commitment to good citizenship everywhere. In fact it is nearly impossible to find any corporation that is truly multinational in this technically correct sense.

Most corporations referred to as multinational, are more accurately referred to as global or transnational corporations that accept no obligation or loyalty to the interests of any nation, place, or people other than their top managers and largest shareholders. It is unfortunate that even citizens engaged in challenging corporate rule often use the term multinational corporation, which plays into the corporate PR fiction of corporations that are loyal to local people and interests everywhere, thus undermining their own case.

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Author: David Korten