Globalization and the Corporations: The Case of the California Fortune 500


This article argues that there is a genuine process of globalization taking place among the Fortune Global 500 corporations domiciled in California. Globalization is assessed in terms of four criteria: (1) foreign direct investment; (2) benchmarking and world best practice; (3) global corporate citizenship; and (4) global vision. The study is based on interviews in ten of the fifteen Global 500 corporations in California, plus one private corporation with comparable revenues. The interviews focused on the uses and meanings of globalization in corporate vocabularies and practices, and the salience of these four criteria. The interview findings and company, business press and scholarly publications provide substantial support for the thesis that a genuine process of globalization is taking place, even if it is more advanced in some corporations than others, and that this globalization has important effects on local and regional economies.