Know thine enemy: Anti-globalization forces.

Author:Gallagher, Terence J.
Position:The Shape of Things to Come - Brief Article
 
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ONE OF THE MORE significant challenges to the boards of large public companies over the coming years will be dealing with the growing resistance to globalization. Although ill-defined, globalization encompasses a broad spectrum of concerns that are primarily directed toward limiting the spread of the democratic system of government and the private enterprise it fosters. The wide variety of groups opposing globalization advocate that the developing countries resist democratic capitalism and opt for a new form of socialism.

The events in Seattle and most recently in Genoa at the Economic Summits should be analyzed by boards for their direct implications. The pharmaceutical industry, for example, has already felt the impact of the groups marching under the banner to stop globalization. The attempt either to reduce the cost of medicines for AIDS or to void the patents held on those medicines is a case in point. The concept that all members of society are stakeholders in large public corporations and therefore have rights with respect to their direction is another example. The effort to limit business growth in order to preserve the environment is yet another instance where loosely allied groups try to stop the spread of capitalism.

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