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Understanding Corporations

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Western University
Sociology 3321F/G

Understanding Corporations • A Transnational or Multinational Corporation refers to a large-scale business organization that is headquartered in one country but operating in many countries - The shareholders in transnational corporations live throughout the world. Most shareholders have little control over where plants are located, how much employees are paid, or how the environment is protected. • The largest transnational corporations are headquartered in the United States, Japan, Korea, and Germany. Concentration of Corporate Wealth • Concentration of Wealth – Wealth in the business community is centralized in a relatively few major corporations, and this concentration is increasing. In 2000, for example, the minimum revenue to be in among the 500 largest corporations was $2.9 billion. The top corporation, Exxon Mobil, had $210 billion in revenues. Also, consider: - Less that 1% of all corporations account for over 80% of the total output of the private sector - Of the 15,000 commercial U.S. banks, the largest 50 hold more than one-third of all assets - One percent of all food corporations control 80% of all the industry’s assets and about 90% of the profits - Six multinational corporations ship 90% of the grain in the world - Nine massive conglomerates dominate the U.S. media landscape, supplying virtually all the television programs, movies, videos, radio shows, music, and books - Each of the top three companies—Exxon Mobil, General Motors, and Ford—has revenues greater than the national budgets of all but 7 of the 191 nations of the world. • A country’s wealth is usually measured by Gross Domestic Product (GDP), but this indicator fails to show how the wealth is divided by the members of the society and how the people really live. It also does not take into consideration the informal economy, the alternative economic exchanges and activities (e.g., crime, drug trafficking, prostitution) that are not documented. The Myth of Competition • Interlocking Directorates refer to the linkages that result when an individual serves on the board of directors of two or more companies • Megamergers – Th
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