Glocalization and Globalization

Table of Content


 The importance of a phenomenon is recognized by the number of people it involves and affects. Hence, the minute we key down the term global, we realize its importance and an understanding as to why has it taken a centre stage in countless debates around the world in the last two decades.

This essay could be plagiarized. Get your custom essay
“Dirty Pretty Things” Acts of Desperation: The State of Being Desperate
128 writers

ready to help you now

Get original paper

Without paying upfront

As a child almost everyone’s heard of the Adam and Eve’s story – tracing back to our history of origin. There have been efforts made since time immemorial to claim that we all were born of one man and woman. In this sense of extending connections to other people around the world, globalization is nothing new.

Though, Globalization became extremely fashionable in the academic world in 1990’s, the traces of homogenizing the world can be found even before that. People who are familiar with the term globalization are certainly familiar with countless brands across the globe. One such brand that stands as a case in point is Benetton – that had adopted the “multi-racial” theme in early 90’s, with its slogan “All the world’s colors!” After a visit from a U.N.E.S.C.O. official, who stated “This is the United Colors here!” Benetton decided to use the name officially.

Hence, romanticizing the world as one is certainly not the latest trend. It may have come in different forms from time to time but certainly with the same perspective of looking at the world as one.


Now the question comes, what is this phenomenon of globalization that has been subject at the same time to such vilification and such praise? Fundamentally, as defined by Joseph Stiglitz, it is the closer integration of the countries and peoples of the world which has been brought about by the enormous reduction of costs of transportation and communication, and the breaking down of artificial barriers to the flows of goods, services, capital, knowledge and people across borders. [1]

Globalization has been accompanied by the creation of new institutions that have joined with existing ones to work across borders. Many writers have traced the early globalizing processes in the dissemination of religion and culture, interactions of people, groups, communities through trade and commerce from the ancient times.


While globalization to many means integrating the world economy, the phenomenon of integrating the world intellectualism in the name of glocalization has lately gained increasing popularity around the world.

According to the sociologist Roland Robertson, who is credited with popularizing the term, glocalization describes the tempering effects of local conditions on global pressures. At a 1997 conference on “Globalization and Indigenous Culture,” Robertson said that glocalization “means the simultaneity, the co-presence of both universalizing and particularizing tendencies.” [2]

This in turn is accompanied by deliberate choices made by the consumers. Needless to say that consumerism dominates today’s global market. Today people prefer to know what to expect in all settings and at all times. They neither want nor expect surprises. There is a lot of emphasis on such things as discipline, order, systematization, formalization, routine, consistency, and methodical operation.It is these familiar and comfortable rituals that make fast-food restaurants attractive to legions of people.[3] However, for the practice of selling a global product locally it is essential to possess a good knowledge about local consumers. For this practice to be effective, it is then necessary to recruit local skills to give familiarity to a global product. Earlier the mantra for a good business was to create a demand in the market, however, with the information revolution, accountability has become key to any good business. Hence, for a global brand to be able to permeate to the local market, by seamlessly integrating with local cultures it is necessary to possess knowledge on local needs across the globe. The concept of Mcdonaldization is more than just opening the food joint across the globe. It also means acquiring knowledge on stigmas attached to food products. Establishing a business is more than selling the product. It also means learning about different customs, lifestyles, tastes and in turn catering to such precision.

Glocalization to be meaningful must include at least one component that addresses the local culture, system of values and practices and so on. [4]

The term was modeled on Japanese word dochakuka, which originally meant adapting farming technique to one’s own local condition. In the business world the idea was adopted to refer to global localization. The word as well as the idea came from Japan (Robertson, 1995:28).[5]


Peter Drucker, popularly known as the management Guru in his works on The New Realities and Managing in a Time of Great Chance, points out that the emerging society is one based on knowledge. He says it is about people and optimum joint performance; it is embedded in the culture of its country; it is a commitment to goals and values clearly set out and believed by the institution; it allows for growth and development of its individuals The  modern organization has social responsibility. it blends individual responsibility with communication; and it is a variety of factors that tell you how well you are doing, not just looking at the bottom line. Yet, in the end, only one thing matters. “The single most important thing to remember about any enterprise is that results exist only on the outside,” he said. “The result of a business is a satisfied customer.

He also lays emphasis on organizing work and making it suitable for human beings having peculiar physiological and
psychological properties, abilities, and limitations, and a distinct
mode of action local market conditions, trends and perceptions.

This explains in brief his concept on glocalization. Talking about social responsibility through glocalization, one can relate this phenomenon to what is called corporate social responsibility (CSR).  One of the most frequently asked questions for all those individuals and organizations dealing with CSR issues is the obvious – just what does “Corporate Social Responsibility” mean anyway? Different organizations have framed different definitions – although there is a considerable common ground between them.

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development in its publication “Making Good Business Sense” by Lord Holmes and Richard Watts used the following definition. “Corporate Social Responsibility is the continuing commitment by business to behave ethically and contribute to economic development while improving the quality of life of the workforce and their families as well as of the local community and society at large”[6]The same report gave some evidence of the different perceptions of what this should mean from a number of different societies across the world. Definitions as different as “CSR is about capacity building for sustainable livelihoods. It respects cultural differences and finds the business opportunities in building the skills of employees, the community and the government” from Ghana, through to “CSR is about business giving back to society” from the Philippines.[7]

Akio Morito, Chairman of Sony Corporation, one of the best known brand names, is known for giving a human face to the corporate world. He favoured not just “globalization” in the abstract, but something he called “global localization.” Under his formulation of global localization, multinational companies should strive to manufacture and create jobs in local markets, transfer technology and skills, defend the environment, and otherwise contribute as good corporate citizens building up local and regional economies around the world.[8]


In conventional parlance, the current era in history is generally characterized as one of globalization, technological revolution, and democratization. In all three of these areas media and communication play a central, perhaps even a defining, role. Economic and cultural globalization arguably would be impossible without a global commercial media system to promote global markets and to encourage consumer values.

The term glocalization has many connotations. Besides picking up local talent to make a global product or service effective it also does not overlook the fact that with increasing efforts on making the world look as one many identity crises come to the forefront. Hence, when we talk about McDonaldization – it is no more seen as an international trend invading the local culture. On the contrary by adding local names in the menu, it leaves an impression of being absorbed in the local culture. But more than that this new concept has changed the basis on which private enterprise is expected to contribute to the public good. With companies recognizing that improving their own impacts and addressing wider social and environmental problems will be crucial in securing their long-term success. Hence, this explains the paradigm shift from brand conscious markets to value conscious markets in the name of glocalization.


Stiglitz,Joseph.Globalization and its Discontents.New York: Norton,2002

Khondker, H. Habibul. “Glocalization as Globalization : Evolution of a Sociological Concept” Bangladesh e- Journal of Sociology, Vol. 1 No.2 (2004)

Ritzer,George.The McDonaldization of Society U.K.: Pine Forge Press,2000.

Robertson,Roland.Glocalization: Time-Space and Homogeneity-Heterogeneity(ed.) London: Sage,1995.

[1] Joseph, Stiglitz.Globalization and its Discontents ( New York:Norton, 2002)
[2] Habibul, H Khondker. Glocalization as Globalization : Evolution of a Sociological Concept  (Bangladesh e- Journal of Sociology, Vol. 1 No.2, 2004)
[3] George Ritzer.The McDonaldization of Society (U.K.: Pine Forge Press,2000) pp.83-85

[4] Lech W. ZACHER GLOBALIZATION – COUNTER – TENDENCIES, OPPOSITIONS AND CRITIQUES Paper presented to the ISA 2001 Hong Kong Conference on “Globalization and Its Challenges in the 21st Century”, July 26-28, 2001, Hong Kong University

[5]Roland. Robertson. Glocalization: Time-Space and Homogeneity-Heterogeneity,(ed.), (London: Sage,1995)., pp. 25-44.
[6] “Making Good Business Sense” report at the World Business Council for Sustainable Development website
[7] ibid.


Cite this page

Glocalization and Globalization. (2016, Dec 18). Retrieved from

Remember! This essay was written by a student

You can get a custom paper by one of our expert writers

Order custom paper Without paying upfront