Waves of Globalization
from 11:00 PM to 11:55 PM
Waves of Globalization: Repetition and difference in organizing over time and space
Globalization is the buzzword of the new millennium. Its presence can be felt in everyday life; its forces strain established orders, opening new possibilities for global organizations. We appear to be the witnesses of something entirely new. History, however, seems to move in circles that resemble previous ones. Globalization is no exception. Some authors refer to current events as the third wave of globalization. The fist wave started in the 15th century, the Age of Discovery, with Portugal and Spain playing major roles. The second wave came in the early 19th century and lasted until World War I. The driving force of this period was the United Kingdom and it resulted in the increased relevance of the North Atlantic. The third wave of globalization began with the aftermath of World War II, and it has got a new form during the past two decades. It sees the world’s economic center moving eastward, with China and India gaining in size and importance.
What is interesting about these – or even alternative – views of globalization is the fact that what appears as a new and irresistible force of social change, may actually be a new form of a recurrent historical process, in which organizations (be they the kingdoms, or trading companies of the past, or the multinationals of today's modern world) play a substantial role.
Giddens, Bauman, Castells and others forayed into globalization’s impact on people and their interactions, and their theories continue to inspire organizational scholars in their quest to uncover the dynamics and undercurrents of the third wave. They argue that globalization reveals itself in how organizing happens today, be it in leadership, innovation, global teams, born global ventures, business ethics, or new organizational designs. This is, in our opinion, why we need to continue to study globalization in its organizational aspects and implications.
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