Multinational Companies and the Formation of Global Norms: The Role of Globalizing Actors

In his inaugural lecture at Loughborough University London, Professor Tony Edwards discussed global norm formation in multinational companies and the various roles of ‘globalizing actors’ involved in this process.

The formation of global norms that shape the nature of work is a crucial element to how multinational companies (MNCs) achieve a degree of consistency across their operations in different countries. The process of global norm formation involves a range of steps, including creating or identifying the idea that is intended to become a norm, disseminating it and getting buy in from a wider group, implementing it in a range of operating units and divisions, and monitoring its evaluation in practice. Each of these steps is likely to be challenging and subject to disputes and conflict.

In his lecture, Professor Edwards sought to establish the range of types of people who are active in the process of global norm formation, a diverse group who he refers to as ‘globalizing actors’. He assessed what they do in their day-to-day work, what resources they use to exert influence on the process of global norm formation and how widespread the influence of their activities is.

Professor Tony Edwards' Inaugural Lecture at Loughborough University London, 3 April 2019