In Global Business, it’s More than Just Semantics!
Michael Porter, the highly acclaimed Harvard Business School professor, was one of the first scholars to define the differences between a “Multinational Company” and a “Global” company. In Competitive Advantage of Nations (1990), he argued that a multinational firm is one that operates businesses in many different countries, but a global firm pursues a unified strategy to coordinate various national operations.
So a conglomerate that has businesses in many countries that are only linked by several back office operations are probably closer to a multinational, whereas a company that links their supply chains from some countries, manufacturing in others, service and support in yet others is definitely closer to Porter’s global ideal. Other analysts and consultants have gone further suggesting that true global corporations essentially shed their home nation identity and act as stateless organizations.