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Walmart a Transnational Corporation

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Walmart a Transnational Corporation

Globalization: Business and Society in the Information Age

James Salerno

The transnational corporation that will be examined in this paper is Wal-Mart - the largest corporation in the U.S. that is also a major transnational corporation (TNC). Since the 1990s, Wal-Mart has sought to transform the company into a global brand by expanding its operations all over the world, starting from the Americas to Asia (Featherstone, 2005; Rowell, 2003). More than just the largest retailer in the U.S., Wal-Mart's strategy of offering the lowest prices to customers, as encapsulated in its slogan -- "Low Prices. Always." -- has reshaped the culture of the retail industry and consumerism throughout the world (Yancy, 2004).

As one of the largest TNCs in the world, Wal-Mart is an integral part of the business of international trade in information and entertainment. Various theories such as the modernization theory and the dependency theory have been formulated to capture the inextricably interwoven relationship between the mass media and TNCs. While TNCs have exerted imperialistic control over global trading arrangements by "dominating markets, resources, production and labor," their influence over the mass media has ensured that their domination practices are culturally justified (Thussu, 2000, p. 61). More specifically, since the media that are responsible for the transmission of information and entertainment are ultimately dependent on their sponsors - TNCs - for their existence, they have to project a positive image of the TNCs in their products (Thussu, 2000). Furthermore, as a result of the increasing centralization of ownership of the mass media, the mass media have extensive links to big businesses such as the TNCs, thus resulting in their bias in programming and…...

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