After the Decline of Large U.S. Corporations: Where Do the New Giants Come from?

By Stephan Manning.

The latest Forbes 2000 Rankings leave no doubt: Large corporations continue to exist (and they grow even larger), but fewer than ever originate in the U.S. Among the Top 10 listed firms (in terms of sales, profits, assets, and market value) four are Chinese – including the first and second ranked Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) and China Construction Bank. So is it really true that large corporations are collapsing, as Gerald Davis and Israel Drori suggest in their provocative article? Or are we simply witnessing the declining relevance of U.S.-based firms? Should we, in turn, just focus on the continuous power of Western multinationals in global production networks, as David Levy suggests in his related post, or is there another important dynamic: the gradual but certain shift of gravity from U.S., European and Japanese firms to new giants from BRIC countries – China, India, Russia and Brazil – and other emerging economies? Continue reading

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Corporate Power in an Age of Global Value Chains

By David Levy.

Gerald Davis and Israel Drori make the provocative argument in their thoughtful piece, After the Collapse of the Large Corporation – Progressivism 2.0?, that the era of powerful, large corporations able to provide long-term economic security for employees is over. If the corporate giants of the last century required a strong, centralized government to provide adequate regulation and countervailing power, Davis and Drori contend that we need new models of governance for an era of fragmented, networked economic forms. While it’s undoubtedly true that economic activity has become more disaggregated in the internet age, the demise of the large corporation, and more importantly, of corporate power, has been greatly exaggerated. Continue reading