chapter  20
15 Pages

Globalisation

WithPierre Gervais, Cheryl S. McWatters

Business history has a built-in tendency to favour the recent and the localised-even when it comes to multinational corporations. The business case study is the form of choice, and strategic lessons for the present a recurring goal, whereas the relevance of past connections and past contexts to contemporary business seem tenuous at best, at least at rst sight. As a result, while worldwide interconnections and their rapid intensication can serve as a backdrop against which internationalising business strategies should be assessed, they rarely constitute a topic of research per se, a point recently and forcefully made by Ekberg and Lange (2014). In the ambitious overview of the eld by Scranton and Fridenson (2013), the notion did not even make it as a chapter heading. Presented in their introduction as the dening element of an era of contemporary capitalism dating back to the 1970s, as an environmental sea change in the way that business is done, and as a decisive shift towards nancialisation and instability, globalisation is quickly subsumed under a variety of discrete ows or connections which the authors themselves present as ‘lacking a script’—basically a phenomenon as important as it is unexplained (3-4, 7).