Anti-Globalization Movement




Anti-globalizationmovement is a social, ideological movement that was formed to opposethe globalization process. The movement was anchored in theprinciples of the Anti-globalization concept of opposing theglobalization phenomenon, especially in the business environment.Anti-globalization is a concept formed in the late 90s to campaignagainst the domination of local economic space and the environment bythe large multinational companies (Engler,2007).The Anti-globalization concept is based on the feeling that themultinationals are dominating the local economies and reducing thepotential of local industrialization. Anti-globalization is alsoreferred to as the global justice movement, neoliberalism oralter-globalization. To advance this ideology, the proponents starteddemonstrations and campaigns aimed at opposing globalization, in whatthe media developed to all the Anti-globalization movement.

TheAnti-globalization movement gained ground by opposing any largeorganization or corporation that seemed to be large. Neil(2007) argues that the protestors didnot advocate the globalization of business, which is the main featureof the multinational corporations. Therefore, participants of theAnti-globalization movement are characteristically seen as opponentsof the multinationals. According to Neil(2007),the social movement does not advocate the globalization tendenciescreated by the large multinationals as they seek global market(Cunningham,2014).Therefore, participants oppose the business structures of themultinational corporations. In addition, they perceive themultinationals as empires that are interested in dominance throughacquisition of political power. Therefore, the Anti-globalizationmovement focuses its attention to oppose all the large globalorganizations.

Toadvance their agenda, the proponents of the movement criticizeglobalization by basing their criticism on other related ideas. Oneof the ideas that they relate to is corporate capitalism. Accordingto Haber(2014), thisis the development of corporate bodies through dominance in themarket as well as in the economic space. It reflects the tendency bylarge corporate organizations to dictate the market forces andoperations. In addition, the Anti-globalization movement relates tothe idea of corporate influence over government. According to Stegerand Erin (2012), theproponents of the Anti-globalization, the large corporations dominatethrough hierarchical bureaucracies that characterize capitalistmarkets.

Significanceof the Anti-globalization Movement

TheAnti-globalization movement had direct and indirect significance onthe multinationals in the United States. While the movementvehemently opposed the multinationals in the country, they alsoopposed the sources of funds for these organizations. Therefore, theyhad signed on the trust that the public had placed on the vastorganizations that conduct global business.

Oneof the main significant impacts of the Anti-globalization movement inthe United States was to oppose the sources of funds for Americancorporations. One of the main ways of opposing this was theopposition of the global financial and trade institutions. Themovement opposed the formation of the World Trade Organization andthe International Monetary Fund (Gumrukcu,2010).The movement affected the relationship between the global financinginstitutions and the American corporations. According to Martel(2010), thisis because some American multinational partner with the globalfinancial institutions to get financing for their internationalbusiness. While the Anti-globalization movement did not affect thesources of funds for these corporations directly, it created a scenewhere the firms had to be cautious on their global financialalternatives.

Anothersignificance of the movement is the formation of mixed publicopinions of the American population about the multinationalcorporations. The issues raised by the Anti-globalization movementsparked a feeling of mistrust by the American population directedtowards the corporations and institutions operating global business(Reedy,2014).At the same time, the movement sparked opinion that the multinationalcorporations in America are seeking dominance by influencing thegovernment. The movement caused a public opinion that multinationalsare power seekers by influencing the political processes in thecountry (Steger&amp Erin, 2012).While Americans did not focus their opinion on the Anti-globalizationmovement’s perspective, the activities of the protests led tonegative publicity by the large organizations.

Impactof Anti-Globalization on U.S multinationals

TheAnti-globalization movement has impacted on the multinationalcorporations in the United States. The movement has succeeded ininfluencing the general opinion of the public and the governmenttowards the large corporations (Long,2015).However, the social movement has not directly affected the businessoperations of the American multinational. This impact is because themovement has presented a non-financial and non-operational impact ofthe multinational corporations (Malcolm,2014).While the movement has had a negative impact on Americanmultinationals, the same has positively impacted on the businessorganizations.


Oneof the most common impacts of the Anti-globalization movement of theAmerican multinational corporations is creating awareness of positivebusiness environment. The Anti-globalization movement managed tocreate awareness for the need of responsible corporate bodies in theAmerican business environment as well as in the world (Gumrukcu,2010).This awareness kept the multinational corporations in the UnitedStates on their toes to improve the business environment anddealings. Multinational corporations worked to improve their conductand dealings with other corporate bodies in the United States as wellas in the global environment (Reedy,2014).They did this because they became aware that their actions were thesubject of discussion by the Anti-globalization movementparticipants.

TheAnti-globalization movement impacted heavily on the ethics of themultinational corporations in the United States. The protestors andproponents of the Anti-globalization movement have repeatedly citedunethical actions by the multinationals during their campaign againstthe globalization phenomenon. The movement has promoted the practiceof ethics among the multinationals by criticizing their pastunethical practices (Reitan,2012).For instance, the criticism against Nike, Inc led to the promotion ofwork ethics and development of considerable good working conditions.As a protest against the American multinationals, the protestorsattacked selling centers for Nike, Starbucks, Old Navy and Gap amongother target organizations (Frost, 2006). This created a sense ofcaution for these organizations to adhere to basic ethics and goodgovernance.

Inaddition, the Anti-globalization movement promoted the relationshipbetween the multinational corporations in the United States and thegovernment. The criticism of the Anti-globalization movement directedto the multinationals sparked the feeling of consciousness of therelationship between the government and the American multinationals(Maiguashca,2011).While the American multinationals did not change their businessinteractions with the government, the influence of theAnti-globalization movement streamlined the way they deal with thepublic. This is because the Anti-globalization criticized themultinationals of corrupt dealings with the government that onlysought for political power. The multinationals were criticized ofcontrolling state policies to favor their business operations throughunfair business dealings with the government of the day. Thiscriticism impacted on them positively as they changed their businessorientations while dealing with the state.

Thecriticism by the Anti-globalization movements led to the streamliningof the practices of the multinational corporations in foreigncountries. Because of the criticism, these organizations changed theway they approached business environment in other countries,especially the third world nations (Sheoin,2015).Multinational corporations in the United States were accused ofengaging in bad labor relations and unethical hiring in theirfactories in third world. For instance, Nike Inc was criticized ofhaving their products manufactured in factories with deplorableworking conditions. Particularly, Nike, Inc among other companies wascriticized for using underage workers and promoting child labor intheir overseas production factories (Frost, 2006). As a result, theychanged and introduced reforms that led to better working relationsin the factories in these countries.


Theimpact of the Anti-globalization movement was largely negativetowards the multinational corporations in the United States. Thefirst impact is that the very idea of Anti-globalization was an ideaagainst the focus of the multinational corporations. The main focusof the multinationals is to expand their business in differentcountries and ride on the globalization process. Therefore, anymovement that is against the globalization phenomenon means that theyare against the basic process that develops the business model of themultinational corporations. Therefore, the Anti-globalizationmovement worked against the expansion of the multinationalcorporations.

TheAnti-globalization movement impacted the American multinationalcorporations by creating a negative publicity for the companies. Thenegative publicity affected the business environment for the targetedcompanies, leading to reduced sales and customer loyalty. Accordingto Sheoin(2015), theactivists of the Anti-globalization movement specifically focused onthe practices of the multinational corporations and exposed them tothe media. While some of these practices were normal businessdealings, some of the actions by the multinationals were unethical.Therefore, the negative publicity by the Anti-globalization movementpainted the firms in bad picture. As a result, the publicity createdby the Anti-globalization movement scared many people who aresensitive to organizational practices.

Inaddition, the Anti-globalization movement impacted negatively on thebrands of the multinational corporations in the United States. Theproponents of the Anti-globalization movement countered the successof these brands with negative publicity and information about thebrands which affected their performance on the market. For example,Starbucks was accused by the Anti-globalization movement of usingchild labor for its foreign coffee bean farms and having unpaidforeign workers (Frost, 2002). In addition, the brand was accused ofbeing made up of non-organic beans. Moreover, the brand was accusedby the socialist movement of using unfairly driving competition inthe local market. This negative publicity gave a challenge to thetargeted companies to respond and defend the multinationalcorporations from the criticism.

Anothernegative impact of the Anti-globalization movement was a direct lossfor the multinational companies that were targeted by the protests.The direct losses were a result of the attacks on the shops andretail centers of the multinational corporations targeted by theAnti-globalization movement. According to Frost (2002),Anti-globalization demonstrators in 1999 attacked and smashed thewindows of McDonalds, Gap, Nike and Starbucks among othermultinational corporations. The protestors were protesting againstthe establishment of the World Trade Organization among otherinstitutions of global trade. The campaign against the global tradeand financial institutions was also directed to the multinationalcorporations that seemed to be working with the global bodies.

Inaddition, the Anti-globalization movement has impacted on thefinancial environment in regard to the establishment and expansion ofglobal business. The movement has attacked the global financialinstitutions that work with the multinational corporations in theUnited States (Maiguashca,2011).The Anti-globalization movement is opposed to the financingorganizations that fund global business carried out by themultinational organizations. In addition, the Anti-globalizationmovement was against the development of global business andincreasing profits by the multinational corporations in the UnitedStates (Reitan,2012).For instance, the World Bank and the world trade organization wereaccused of funding the unethical business practices of themultinationals, and called for rectification.

FutureStrategies to deal with the Impact

Toaddress the impact of the Anti-globalization movement in the UnitedStates, the multinational corporations ought to implement certainstrategies. One of the future strategies is to establish strategicpublic relation teams to respond to the criticisms forwarded by theAnti-globalization movement. The teams would deal with the task ofdefending the company from the negative publicity that the socialistmovement spreads in any future campaigns. The strategy has workedbefore for some corporations. For instance, in 2000, Starbucksengaged Audrey Lincoff, their director of public affairs to counterthe negative publicity the firm had received from theAnti-globalization protestors (Frost, 2006). This strategy helped thecompany clear any negative information that was floated by theprotest movement.

Anotherstrategy is to expand business operations to countries with liberalbusiness environment and less criticism. The strategy for themultinational corporations is to focus their business operations incountries that have not been infiltrated by the ideologies of theAnti-globalization movement. However, the strategy does not mean thatthey should ignore the concerns raised by the Anti-globalizationmovement in the United States. The strategy will be a means oflitigating their business interests against adverse opinion inAmerica. While the movement has Anti-globalization movement has someadverse concerns against the multinational corporations, theprotestors have some legitimate issues that should be addressed.Therefore, in setting business in new countries, the multinationalsshould work on understanding the reasons behind the protests and howto appropriately respond to them.

Inaddition, the multinational corporations should relate strategicallyto the state and the public to maintain a positive image. Thestrategy is to establish and maintain positive and favorablerelations with both the government and the public (Cox&amp Curry, 2010).One of the ways of achieving this strategy is engaging in consistentcorporate social responsibility programs and projects. The strategywill show the concern for the public interests and not just thecapitalistic interests of making profits and increasing revenuedominance. The public will have tangible evidence of concern forsocial order by the multinational corporations. Moreover, themultinational corporations will have a strong defense against thecriticism from the Anti-globalization movement.


Anti-globalizationmovement is a symbolic tool of opposing the development of themultinational corporations and global economic institutions byopposing the globalization phenomenon. The movement created asignificant impact on the business environment for multinationalcorporations in the United States. This is because theAnti-globalization movement was characteristically opposed to themultinationals and their dominance of the global business. As aresult, the movement had a positive and negative impact on themultinational corporations in America and beyond. On one side, themovement created awareness of the need for ethics and good practicesof these firms while on the other side, it created adverse publicity.However, with the implementation of appropriate strategies for publicimage, multinational corporations can deal with the impact of theAnti-globalization movement.


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