Globalisation through the kaleidoscope

Paliwoda, S.J. and Slater, Stephanie (2009) Globalisation through the kaleidoscope. International Marketing Review, 26 (4/5). pp. 373-383. ISSN 0265-1335 (

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The purpose of this paper is to offer an introduction and background as well as a narrative to the development of an economic, social, technological and cultural phenomenon that has been sweeping across national frontiers since first being identified by Theodore Levitt in 1983. The approach is to trace theoretical development but there is lack of a consensus on this subject and so the perspectives of key authors in this area are reviewed alongside each other to test for signs of possible convergence. Globalisation is a set of processes rather than just one. The practice is different from what the authors may have expected in that sales of the leading multinationals are not global but regional. Organisational forms reflect differences in strategic thinking with less uniformity being necessary or imposed. Individuals today recount their daily tasks in terms of using the names of global brands or products as nouns and verbs in everyday language. Attitudes towards globalisation are constantly changing. Equally, globalisation continues to evolve. What is presented here is an overview of the literature as it applies to international trade where globalisation was earlier hoped to bring an economic rescue to billions of people and liberate them from poverty. Marketing, organisational behaviour, risk assessment and strategic decision making all have important roles to play here and so further research is required to monitor a new global trading situation. It is hoped to contribute to further thought, discussion and conceptualisation of research in this area. The idea of globalisation and regionalisation is not new but the prevalence of this phenomenon in our daily lives is striking. As the concept has advanced and developed, more studies have been made of this phenomenon and from different perspectives. Here, it is hope to recount those different perspectives as well as reach certain conclusions as to where it has reached and how far it may be expected to reach.