A phenomenon whereby “in order to produce goods for a market of diverse consumers, it is necessary for any producer…to adapt his/her product in some way to particular features of the envisaged set of consumers” in a foreign market (Robertson & White, 2007). This is the point where the global and local interact to produce hybridised outcomes.



“The growing interdependence of countries worldwide through the increasing volume and variety of cross-border transactions in goods and services and of international capital flows, and through the more rapid and widespread diffusion of technology” (source: IMF). 


Theoretical perspectives

  • The growing interdependence of countries and increasing volume and variety of exchanges in goods, services and capital has given birth to TNCs
  • World culture theorists argue that this process is driving us towards increased similarity, or homogeneity
  • World systems theorists assert that capitalist forces are significant in this process
  • Improved technology and increased global mobility make it easier to access emerging markets
  • TNCs want to maximise profits and so modify their products for local tastes

In the field of culture, glocalisation can be seen when elements of global culture (such as movies,
global brands, or consumption patterns) are reinterpreted by local cultures. It can also happen
when elements of a local culture are combined with a global phenomenon. For instance, when in
the lobby of an international standard hotel - the archetype of a homogenised room - elements of
local culture are introduced through, for instance, a local style of decoration or uniforms with a
local influence (Backhaus, 2003).

In the field of economics, glocalisation also occurs when global firms open branches in region
where there are specific labour skills that are relatively difficult to find. In this case, global firms
become locally territorialised through their workers or specific local settings (for example through
their proximity to a prestigious university or through good relations with their suppliers), in the
sense that they are dependent on these specific local goods or services and therefore cannot
move away easily (Cox, 1997). This is, for example, the case of Silicon Valley and some other
industrial districts.



  1. Define glocalisation
  2. Summarise the theoretical perspectives above
  3. Read pp 211-217 Core Book
  4. Make notes on the reading
  5. Note three examples from the slideshow below

essay question

Explain how and why glocalization occurs [10 marks]


international            national            westernisation            global-local nexus               homogeneity 


neo-imperialism       hybridised outcomes          trojan horse strategy           world systems theory     


repatriation of profits          cultural values            capitalism             global               local