Chapter 6: Global business, geopolitics and the United Nations global compact: the geographic reach and transnational efficacy of voluntary sustainability codes
In this chapter the authors explore the interconnection between global businesses, the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), and the geopolitical landscape. The authors discuss each component generally and then their convergence. While some have popularly fashioned global business to be uniform and universal (Friedman, 2005), the international business academic community is firmly entrenched in studying a complex and dynamic business world (Ghemawat, 2011). The term globalization is often used to describe the contemporary milieu of international business and globalization has been alternatively described as the “unprecedented compression of time and space reflected in the tremendous intensification of social, political, economic, and cultural interconnections and interdependencies on a global scale” (Steger, 2002, p. ix), and “the integration of economic activities, across border, through markets” (Wolf, 2004, p. 14). Nevertheless, Ghemawat reminds us that “most types of economic activity that can be conducted either within or across borders are still quite localized by country” (Ghemawat, 2007, p. 11). The authors believe these definitions to be mutually inclusive and reflective of the present state of the international business environment. The United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) officially launched in July 2000 as a major policy initiative of Kofi Annan, past United Nations Secretary General. The original intent of the voluntary initiative was to provide space for global corporations to be responsible global citizens.
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