Globalization to Glocalization: A Conceptual Analysis Mohammad ShamsuddohaAssistant Professor, Department of Marketing Studies and International marketing University of Chittagong
Globalization to Glocalization: A Conceptual A nalysisAbstract This paper examines the evolution and transformation of the concept of globalizationto glocalization. The paper will also trace the history and the development of the concept of“glocalization”, which originated in Japan as a popular business strategy. The paperexamine in broad terms concepts, theories and principles of glocalization in businessperspectives. The paper wants to focus on the epistemological analysis of the globalizationand glocalization themes. In Economic Sciences, it is often difficult to trace the origin ofconcepts: these concepts are often products of collective endeavors. Inside these processes,from the “post-globalization era”, a new ethical feeling is born to measure the corporateperformances that are business, social and ethical performances: these processes will requirenew accounting instruments and new accounting professional profiles. The article alsoprovides a discussion on the importance of well-defined concepts and approaches used byscholars and by practitioners in various contexts. It is troublesome when the use of a conceptor an approach is ambiguous and confusing. The discussion focuses on and demonstratesthrough, the globalization of business activities and the term ‘global strategy’. Thewidespread use of popular jargon cannot cover the fact that a genuine or true global strategyapproach appears to be a managerial viewpoint. The terms “glocal strategy” and the‘glocalization ’ of business activities are introduced to enhance the accuracy of the presentusage by scholars and by practitioners of the term global strategy and the phenomenon oftendescribed as the globalization of business activities.Keywords: Globalization, Glocalization, LocalizationIntroduction A combination of the words "globalization" and "localization" used to describe aproduct or service that is developed and distributed globally, but is also fashioned toaccommodate the user or consumer in a local market. This means that the product or servicetailored to conform to local laws, customs or consumer preferences. Products or services thatare effectively "glocalized" are, by definition, going to be of much greater interest to the enduser. Yahoo! is an example of a company that practices glocalization. It markets a portal thatis viewed worldwide and offers different versions of its website (and related services) fordifferent users. For example, it provides content and language variations in some 25 countries
including China, Russia and Canada. It also customizes content to appe al to individuals inthose locations. A number of both public and private companies currently practiceglocalization in an effort to build their customer bases and grow revenues(http://feeds.investopedia.com). It would be extremely difficult to identify who used the term “globalization” for thefirst time. According to Malcolm Waters (1995) whose book titled Globalization is a fineprimer, Roland Robertson was one of the early users of the term. More recently, RolandRobertson and Kathleen White edited Globalization: Critical Concepts in six volumes is atour de force, which present some of the most important essays on this subject. No matterwho coined it first, at the dawn of the 21st century globalization as a concept, as a slogan, asa term is used more frequently than any other terms. In Singapore, from the inflow of foreigncapital, technology, workers or “foreign talents”, music, movies, popular culture, almosteverything has resonance with globalization. Globalization is a heroic process, globalizationis a sinister process, depending on which side of the debate one stands. Some tend to seeglobalization as a brakeless train crushing everything in its path, others see benefit in gettingon board the train towards economic growth and modernization.Objectives of the studyThe research pursued the following objectives: 1. To examine the glocalization concepts in various aspects; 2. To confer the prerequisites , core value and policy matter for glocalization; 3. To identify the principles of globalization in the light of business challenges ;Methodology of the Study The study has covered various literatures on globalization, localization, glocalizationand internationalization of trade based on USA. UK and other developed countries like theEuropean Union countries. A Library research method (Archive) has been used in this study.Different books, journals, periodicals and online papers have been observed by the researcherto find out different issues in global business dimensions in this connection. Mostlysecondary data has been compiled in this study and this data has been collected from focusedcountries’ literatures, textbooks, e -journals, government publications etc.
Evolution of the Concept Glocalization According to the dictionary meaning, the term “glocal” and the process noun“glocalization” are “formed by telescoping global and local to make a blend” (The OxfordDictionary of New Words, According to Wordspy, glocalization means, “the creation ofproducts or services intended for the global market, but customized to suit the local cultures.”(http://www.wordspy.com/words). If one takes a long-term view of globalization, “locality”or “local” itself is a consequence of globalization. Hardly, any cultures can be seen asisolated or unconnected from the global processes. Robertson, one of the pioneers in thestudy of globalization, did not view globalization as a recent phenomenon nor did he see itbecause of modernization. The globalization of business activities and the term global strategy emerged in the early1980s. Levitt (1983, p. 92) is often considered as the first to recognize the trend towardsglobalization and states that: Companies must learn to operate as if the world were one largemarket ignoring superficial regional and national differenc es. In addition, he argues that thecompanies that do not adapt to the new global realities will become victims of those that do.Jeannet and Hennessey (1992) argue that there are various factors limiting the global strategyapproach and the globalization of business activities. For example, they refer to marketcharacteristics, industrial conditions, marketing institutions, and legal restrictions. Robertson conceptualized globalization in the twentieth century as “the interpenetrationof the universalization of particularization and the particularization of universalism”(Robertson, 1992:100 emphasis in the original). Khondker (1994) building on Robertson’sframework argued that globalization or glocalization should be seen as an interdependentprocess. “T he problem of simultaneous globalization of the local and the localization ofglobality can be expressed as the twin processes of macro-localization and micro-globalization. The idea of a society managed by the mechanism of the free and voluntarytrade, of an economic integration to a planetary level, is not born with our short experience ofglobalization, which has been wasted for his greatest part in the 90s. Instead, this idea, takeshis origin from the classic economic thinking, as well as the effective economic integration,based on market, was already advanced one hundred years ago, before undergoing a greatregression (Harold, 2001); other episode of economic integration of big areas, build ondifferent bases, broken by periods of de-globalization, ha ve taken place in the human history,and it can demonstrate that this alternance is possible (Arrighi, 2000).
In the last years, we have known a new economic, political and cultural process, calledglobalization, which is universally known like a new stage of capitalistic system, a newcapitalism (Simmonds et al., 2000; Sklair, 2001). The globalization is an economicphenomenon, that conditions especially economic integrations, but it makes also problems formany cultures around the world, because there is incompatibility between humanrelationships and the extreme exploitation of resources and the maximization of the conceptof competitiveness on liberalized markets (Boyer et al., 1996). The first view is the “clash of cultures” view expressed in terms of clash of thecivilizations by writers like Samuel Huntington. The second notion is best expressed in thephrase of “McDonaldization” of the world (Ritzer, 2000). This view obviously suggests ahomogenized world, a world dominated by a single culture that erases differences of localcultures. The third view is that of “hybridization” (or “synthesis”). Much of human evolutionof culture can be seen as exchanges, diffusion, etc. where cross-breeding, borrowing andadjusting to the local needs and so on were very common (Khondker, 2004). Therefore, it ispossible to refer to a product as being internationalized if it has been developed to meet mostof the needs of an international community, but not customized to a specific region. Thecustomization to a specific region is called localization (Robertson J. C., 1999). Glocalization(a neologism of globalization and localization) has emerged as the new standard inreinforcing positive aspects of worldwide interaction, be it in textual translations, localizedmarketing communication, socio -political considerations, etc. Its decorum is to serve anegotiated process whereby local customer considerations are coalesced from the onset intomarket offerings via bottom -up collaborative efforts. Cultural, lingual, political, religious andethnic affiliations are simultaneously researched and integrated into a unified holisticsolution. In this manner, the intended market is given a stake in the overall process and notjust the mere end result (Sassen, 2000). However, in the end what is needed is a set ofglobally valid concepts that will help us examine processes of social transformation that isinextricably connected with global transformation (Khondker, 1994; Castells, 1998; Wade,1996). Defining globalization as transnational, transregional processes which affects a widenumber of local communities. Area studies scholars perhaps failed to recognize theimportance of global forces because they misconstrued the geography of cultural areas.(http://www2.hawaii.edu).
Macro-localization involves expanding the boundaries locality as well as making somelocal ideas, practices, institutions global. The rise of worldwide religious or ethnic revivalistmovements can be seen as examples of macro-localization. Microglobalization involvesincorporating certain global processes into the local setting. Consider social movements suchas the feminist movements or ecological movements or consider new production techniquesor marketing strategies, which emerge in a certain local context and over a period thesepractices spread far beyond that locality into a larger spatial and historical arena. Considerprint industry or computer industry with a specific location of its emergence has now becomea global phenomena. Overcoming space is globalization. In this view of globalization,globalization is glocalization. Glocalization, however, is radically changing that reality.Increasingly those who leave can return home and maintain the ties of family and nationalitythat used to characterize them. (http://www2.hawaii.edu/fredr/diacon).Prerequisites for glocalization Every concept has some fundamental prerequisites that assure its follower who followthis concept for his own interest. According to glocal forum (www.Glocalforum.org), theprerequisites for glocalization are as follows:- 1. Reform of traditional diplomacy 2. Peace and development 3. Centrality of cultural issues 4. Municipal governance 5. Resource management 6. Civil society and democratization 7. Public funds 8. Private resources 9. Financial mechanisms 10. Innovative sectors 11. Capacity buildingCore Values in the Glocal World As per The Christian Book Summaries, a new world brings with it new values. Thesevalues both good and bad form new cultures. Here is a sample list.1. Syncretism: pulling together the best ideas from a wide array of thoughts to formulate anew ideology
2. Hedonism: a belief that everything is relative; there are no absolutes3. Pragmatism: placing value on what works, produces, and sells4. Collaboration: many people working together in many networks to achieve commonobjectives For the moment, it may be worth considering a few actions carried out by the GlocalForum as part of an awareness-raising policy of, such as: 1. Advocacy of a glocal perspective among international organizations, governments, private enterprises, trade unions and financial institutions; 2. Spreading the vision and the approach of glocalization among local authorities and civil societies; 3. Promoting a pro-urban culture, while bearing in mind the serious problems affecting cities, and indeed trying to help solve them, as part of a process of integration between urban and rural areas; 4. Implementing a communication strategy, integrated with forms of networking, in order to bring various publics or targets such as youth, women, businessmen, professionals, members of volunteer organizations in touch with the glocalization project, while keeping to a wider action directed at the world public opinion, clearly in collaboration with the media.The principles The identification of glocalization principles is another outcome of CERFE’s study onthe glocal approach. In particular, they emerge from the analysis of the glocal vision inrelation to other alternative visions. In this regard, some prominent differences among thesepositio ns can be identified, pertaining, for example, to the tendency shared by mostinternational aid policies to keep development programs and peace-oriented initiativesseparate. In the glocal approach, this separation is an anomaly to be rectified. Anotherdifference concerns the widespread attitude to flatly oppose global to local. Different is alsothe role accorded by glocalization to the city, understood as a social and political bridge tobring together local initiatives and global dynamics. There are many diverging opinions onthis issue since some experts continue to perceive the urban condition in a very negative way. For these actors, glocalization could be a real, new prospect, being characterized by someextrinsic features – to be viewed as expressions and effects of the glocal vision – and namely:
1. Universal nature of the glocal proposal, addressed to actors of both developed and developing countries, based on equal and not conflicting relationships. 2. Concreteness , emerging from its rejection of any ideology and from its tendency to assess the results of policies and actions in relation to their effects on the stakeholders’ lives; 3. Mobilize human energy, above all within the local civil societies, but also by spurring de-bureaucratized public adminis trations, socially -oriented enterprises, volunteers and individuals towards glocal action; 4. Sustainability, owing to its double orientation to use both public and private resources and to exploit both local and global opportunities, also referring to power ful political and economic actors; However, the real strength of the glocal proposal and perhaps its very appeal lies in itsintrinsic and content related features. In order to account for this aspect, a “glocalization idealmap” has been developed through the research, from which a first set of principles listedbelow: 1. The importance of local actors: The first element making up the glocalization vision is the full recognition that the actors and social relations at local level have acquired crucial importance for development and peace. Often it is the agency of the local actors, their assessment of local problems and needs, their knowledge, their attitude to exercise governance over issues that affect them directly that makes the difference in terms of success or failure in development programs. The same is true for the effects that the quality of social relations at the local level have on peace-building and pacification strategies. Nevertheless, the relevance of this kind of actors is no longer limited to the locality. They are showing an unexpected capacity to interact with and influence actors of higher levels in the global arena, be they States, international agencies or even global corporations. It is this attitude of local actors that makes the glocalization approach realistic and able to provide unprecedented concreteness to peace and development strategies. Among the new actors, one should not underestimate the role of youth, whose contribution of imagination and orientation to the future is essentia l to the glocal vision and women, whose capacity to play a leading role in development strategies and peace building has been demonstrated repeatedly in these last decades.
2. The war/poverty nexus: At the core of the glocal approach, there is the assumption that the most destabilizing factor of the current world crisis is the vicious circle poverty/endemic war, proliferation of conflicts and spread of violence. Situations of war and conflict, and the culture which derives from and fosters them, tend in fact to go beyond their place of origin and to attain global dimensions while threatening the overall stability of the international community. In this perspective the entry point of glocalization to tackle this circle is not so much the issue of conflict resolution (which is under state responsibility), but peace building in connection w ith development.3. Mainstreaming peace building: In the glocalization perspective, peace building is no longer regarded as a sectorial policy, but is seen as a central axis of any development strategy. This entails the drive to give concreteness and content to peace, by making peace dividends take root at local level, while mobilizing local actors to take the new opportunities offered and build a social, economic and cultural regime that is as consistent and self-sustaining as that of war.4. The link between stability, poverty-reduction, and development: It is now generally recognized that poverty reduction is not so much an outcome of, but a prerequisite for development. The glocal assumptions, however, bring us one step further in pointing out that no serious effort in fighting poverty and achieving sustainable development can ultimately succeed if an adequate degree of stability is not attained at all levels, from local, to global. I is the virtuous circle of stability, t poverty reduction and development that in the long run can contrast the vicious one of poverty, war and conflict.5. The role of the city: Cities are the place where civil societies are emerging with more strength and where their relations with governing and administrative bodies are more direct. They are also engines of economic growth, centers of cultural and intellectual innovation and privileged arenas for social empathy and change as well as institutional reform. They can, thus, be considered as the most relevant social units for glocalization strategies including people-to-people cooperation, preventive diplomacy and cross-border relationships – for the fight against poverty and in order to promote sustainable development and peace.6. Governance: The glocalization effect could ultimately contribute to a more pluralistic and integrated governance of globalization, striving to correct the shortcomings of market dynamics vis-à-vis social and economic inequalities. This entails a double movement: on the one hand, bringing the benefits of globalization to local levels; on
the other supporting and empowering local realities so that they can contribute with their perspectives, options and demands to the global decision-making process. 7. The use of global knowledge: The movement towards glocalization is strengthened by the characteristics of the knowledge society. These include increased circulation of knowledge, communication and peer-to-peer learning, and the possibility to ins ert local actors and organizations into global communication circuits. This can enhance the practice of a real multiculturalism, in which local players and their cultures, far for being depressed and nullified, can access the global arena and find ways of cross- fertilizing each other.Conclusions Different countries development experience, which underpinned by appropriatescience and technology policies, provides a convincing example of the effectiveness ofglocalization as a conscious development strategy. Although the strategy was not alwaysperfect and there were lapses from time to time but generally, it has shown that culturalfusion can be an asset if properly harnessed for the objective of attaining socioeconomicgrowth without creating gross inequality and social dislocation. The sociological concepts ofglobalization in general and glocalization in particular can be of great value in understandingthe dynamic social transformation in Southeast Asia, especially in Singapore and Malaysia. Itis always possible to carry away with “methodological nationalism”, a position that says eachcountry or society should be examined in light of its own context through the devices of itsown homegrown methodology. Such a position would lead to intellectual closure foreclosingdialogue and understanding between societies. In the globalized world, such discourses havelimited value. Yet, it is important to take the local context and variables and not to fall intothe trap of blind imitation or aping of western ideas and concepts. However, in the end whatis needed is a set of globally valid concepts that will help us examine processes of socialtransformation that is inextricably connected with global transformation.References1. Arrighi G. (2000), Globalization and Historical Macrosociology, in J. Abu-Lughod (ed.) Sociology for the Twenty-First Century: Continuities and Cutting Edges, Chicago University Press, Chicago.2. Boyer R. and D. Drache (1996), States Against Markets: The Limits of Globalization, Routledge, London.
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