Table of Contents
- Concept of Globalisation
- Critical Analysis of the Features of Globalisation
- Differing Perspectives on Globalisation
Since the early 1900s, the particular term ‘globalisation’ has been under rigorous scrutiny in the international forefront where experts have been regularly concentrated on the development of a structured all-inclusive definition of globalisation. According to Rothenberg (2003), “globalization is the acceleration and intensification of interaction and integration between people , companies and governments of different nations” (pp: 1). Today, with the altering viewpoints, globalisation has emerged as “neologism of the new millennium” (Putko, 2006: 1). Consequently, it has made a resounding effect on the picturesque of humanity playing a pivotal role in the social aspect and thereby making drastic changes in the welfare of the civilisation of humanity. Globalization can also be referred to as a phase of amalgamation in which exchanges of world views, goods, ideas and various aspects of cultures take place (Lee & Vivarelli, 2006).
Based on this context, the paper will be concentrated on explaining the concept of globalisation as an on-going phenomenon by critically discussing the significant features of the terminology. Emphasising on the vividness of the term ‘globalisation’, an explanation will also be provided in the discussion henceforth, elaborating the theoretical context of the phenomenon.
Concept of Globalisation
Globalisation can be referred to as one of the significant outcomes of the continuous expansion of trade activities and exchanges taking place since ages in the progressively integrated and borderless international economy. There have been extraordinary developments in the trade and exchange-related activities, through services, production functions and also through the interaction of currencies in the capital movements (Ojeili & Hayden, 2006). Consequently, globalisation has emerged as one of the revolving strata, opening the doors in the international economy and leading towards the assimilation about markets on a global basis. Although the phenomenon is much debated and illustrated in the economic sphere of the world economy, it has also been playing a crucial role in influencing the social area of humanity, interrelating and comparing one culture with another. This also provides a broader scope of harmony and uniformity within the global social atmosphere. Hence, it is based on these rudiments that globalisation has often been regarded as a ‘mega-phenomenon’ rather than a mere change process (Stefanović, 2008; Houghton & Sheehan, 2000).
It is in this context that globalisation process is often argued to facilitate ways for trade liberalisation as well as economic liberalisation heading towards the reduction of conservative and monopolistic trade contributing mainly in the development of a liberal world. The description provided by Archibugi & Iammarino (2002) further illustrates that
“the pace of globalisation and that of technological change have in fact been strictly interrelated and, from a long-term perspective, it appears less important to establish which one should be considered responsible for triggering the other rather than to establish that they mutually enforced each other” (pp. 99).
Hence, globalisation can also be termed as a change driver in today’s context. For instance, globalisation has often been observed to influences changes within organisations, economies, as well as the social environment of various cultures facilitating technological changes through resource mobilisation rendering higher chances for innovation and development. Another vital dimension of globalisation, which has often been identified in its conceptual framework, is its role in augmenting better communication within the various participants. Contextually, the primary communicators or drivers of globalisation have been identified in terms of Multinational Corporations (MNCs) which emphasises on the higher mobilisation of resources, innovation as well as global collaborations through strategic procedures (Ritzer, 2011).
Majority of theoreticians have proposed technical aspects as one of the critical issues for the emergence of globalisation in particular. For instance, by the end of 19th century, the goods demanded, and capital required was witnessed to be increased substantially within a short-run period because of some substantial interventions, such as steam engines, electricity and telephones. The upsurge in demand for such interventions in the neighbouring economies gradually gave rise to free trade operations in the economic sphere. This particular phenomenon can further be observed to continue even in the 21st-century context where the technological base of modern globalisation comprises the recent activities of innovation which includes systems of telecommunications, new processes of transportation and augmented uniformity in resource allocation. Studying the chronology of globalisation, the terminology can be identified in three distinct phases, i.e. the period of 1870-1914, the period of 1915-1980 and after the period of post-1980s (Rakić, 2006).
From the above description, it can be observed that technology has been the prime force to drive globalisation since the early days. However, with increasing concern and consequently with the greater collaboration of various aspects with the terminology such as requirements for social and cultural developments through adequate resource allocation, the phenomenon has indeed taken the shape of a ‘mega-phenomenon’. Today, it not only teaches the dimensions of technological progress but illustrates the effect of any and every kind of change being transmitted from one location to another. In the words of Stefanović (2008),
“globalisation can also be defined as a compression of time and space in a way that events in one part of the world have instantaneous effects on distant locations…as a historical structure of material power…[representing] historical transformation in the economy, politics and culture” (pp. 264).
Critical Analysis of the Features of Globalisation
The fundamental and mostly considered characteristic of globalisation is that it is a continuous phenomenon which is further multidimensional. To be elaborated, rather than acting as a single process, it works in multiple directions from technology advancements to social welfare and global sustainability. It also acts as a changing force toward diversity and innovations. The current trend also reflects that globalisation has provided rooms for transportation advancements, structures in telecommunication systems containing the augmentation of internet services that provided better stability in the civilisation of humanity and has also helped in certain cultural as well as economic activities that are mutually interdependent. Today, globalisation can no more be termed as identical to globalism, which mainly features the objectives for an end state of events wherein the principles are shared by or related to the world’s population, their environment and their roles as inhabitants of the country either in terms of consumers or producers (Reich, 1998).
It is in this context that globalisation imposes both advantageous and disadvantageous effects on the participants which again tend to be depended on various attributes such as economic and social policy concerns of different economies, the divergences of global economics and differences of perspectives deciphered by the players including MNCs, governments and societies towards change. For instance, a positive view of its recent trend depicts that globalisation has instigated rapid alterations in the economic and technological spheres. Conversely, a negative perspective describes that globalisation has simultaneously caused inevitable cultural and political consequences in terms of social and economic segregation and unhealthy competition at a more significant extent. Contextually, globalisation has also been accused of causing disembedding in the current day context which implies towards the changes occurring in social structured where people are distracted from the economic aspects of the environment in the want for the competitive global position (Intriligator, 2003).
Globalisation has also been examined to facilitate communication and transportation, which are further considered to be the significant drivers of change in the modern-day context. Hence, globalisation can also be termed to play the role of a substantial change driver. For instance, the impact of globalisation has been emerged as increasingly visible since the 20th century when telecommunication networks were witnessed to grow incessantly bringing change within the organisational, economic as well as social contexts (Eriksen, 2007).
Apart from playing the role of a change driver, globalisation, in various instances has been witnessed to act as a metaphor towards standardisation of a particular economy, culture or society. An in-depth perspective towards the phenomenon depicts that globalisation has been influencing the higher level of comparability amid economic drivers and common standards which were completely unidentified in earlier centuries. Notably, it has been with the effects of telecommunication facilities that people today have become much aware regarding the developments instigated in the comparatively advanced world. This further tends to influence the other nations to strive for a similar position at the global forefront. However, such standardisation features deciphered by globalisation has also been observed as a contributor to international integration, uniformity and harmony (Eriksen, 2007).
Being a process of divergences, alterations and consequent improvements, globalisation has also acted as a vital ingredient in social as well as cultural and economic mixes of distinct ideologies, philosophies and rationalities. This particular feature of globalisation can be well-identified concerning the act of immigration and migration. Even though the movement has been a vital facet of human culture since ancient times, globalisation has influenced more frequent migration activities through transportation and technology advancements. This has virtuously resulted in cultural diversities where the mixture of cultural dimensions has gained enhanced importance. From a philosophical perspective, globalisation necessitates the awakening of the new era and replicates the destruction of boundaries among people to lead a peaceful life. For instance, in the recent context, it can be observed that there has been a continuous flow of capital as well as other necessities in the global economy facilitating the uniform allocation of resources (Eriksen,
Differing Perspectives on Globalisation
Studying the broader context of the phenomenon in the modern-day setting, it can be affirmed that different perspectives suggested by various authors in the context of globalisation, commonly implies increasing and expanding interactions between individuals and organisations across the world (Lechner, 2009). In this context, it has often been argued that globalization proposes the relationship between territoriality and authority from a state-level point of view to cosmopolitan and sub-national units offering focus on technological innovations than on philosophical problems. However, globalisation also implies distinctively in various instances, deciphering positivity as well as negative implications following different structures and processes related to the political as well as economic functionalities the effect of the change in the character of the goods and possessions (Reese, 2010). It also suggests that through globalisation, greater emphasis is rendered towards economic and political aspects. Based on a similar context, Beynon & Dunkerley (2000) stated that globalisation denotes the processes through which the different rudiments of the world scenario are combined into a distinct cluster, which can further be signified as the global society. This suggests globalisation is a process to provide reunion with the environmental characteristics (Beynon & Dunkerley, 2000). As can be observed, the dimensions of globalisation are indeed wide-spread and lack adequate explanation to mitigate the perplexities witnessed in its theoretical descriptions. With this concern, various academic reasons were developed to describe the features of globalisation comprehensively.
For instance, the theory of divergence emphasises on the cultural unevenness of the world economy. It replicates how those differences affect the enactments of people, organisations and economies at large towards a particular issue which provides a generalised perspective towards globalisation as a change driver. As per the rudiments of this theory, the phenomenon of globalisation is also grounded on the issues related to practical judiciousness and aims of human understandings and experiences through the construction of meaningful and subject-related works. Therefore, globalisation attempts to recognise the critical dimensions of cultural unevenness where precise practices or interpretations characterise each aspect. Similarly, the theory of convergence aims at explaining the reasons owing to which the organisations are becoming increasingly alike when compared in the global context. The convergence theory also refers to a set of constraints that are rooted in the context of the worldwide economy which directly effects the re-structuring of organisations causing similarities within the business, economic as well as social rudiments (Stohl, 2004).
The above description based on the conceptualisation of the phenomenon termed as ‘globalisation’ apparently reveals that the terminology presents a complex and multidimensional viewpoint towards the changes occurring within the global context. It has often been argued in this context that the recent trends depict a higher degree of interdependency and uniformity in the typical scenario where economies are becoming increasingly clustered in a unique business environment. One of the primary reasons for such alterations has been identified as globalisation which further can be identified with the illustration of trade liberalisation, technology advancements, transportation facilities, innovations, and communication. It is worth mentioning in this context that more extensive researches and analysis are required to develop a furthermore comprehensive explanation to the aspect of globalisation distinguishing its various dimensions.
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