Thinking Big: Student Led Research on the World's Largest Global Corporations

28 Pages Posted: 18 Oct 2015

See all articles by Jolanta Olender

Jolanta Olender

Australian National University (ANU)

Georgina Fry

Australian National University (ANU)

Sigrid Robinson

Australian National University (ANU)

Sara Anicic

The University of Western Australia

Kath Hall

ANU College of Law

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: April 6, 2015

Abstract

In 2008 the ANU College of Law commenced a program of law reform and social justice activities; a key part of which is to give law students opportunities to explore and enhance the role of law in society through study, research and social justice initiatives. Law students are encouraged to develop their own projects, and in 2012 the Global Corporate Power Project (‘the Project’) began. From humble beginnings, the Project has now produced research on the size, geographical spread and regulation of global corporations in the banking, insurance, food and beverage, military technology, mining, hotel, pharmaceuticals, automotive and consumer electrics industries. Defining a “global corporation” and determining how powerful such corporations are has been the underlying focus of the research.

This Working Paper explores the Project and its key findings about these industries. It begins by discussing globalisation, and the implication for state sovereignty. In Part 2, the paper sets out the methodology and criteria used in the Project to identify and classify corporations based on their geographical spread. One of the unique aspects of the Project is that it has developed its own methodology to identify geographically diverse corporations. In Part 3, the key findings about the banking, insurance, food and beverage, tobacco, and military technology industries are identified and discussed. The discussion highlights how, in all these sectors, there are less than six corporations that can be called "global". Not surprisingly, many of these corporations are household names and would be familiar to regulators, consumers and governments around the world. Finally, in Part 4, the article reflects on the importance of such research for student learning and future research directions.

Keywords: Globalization, Corporate Accountability, Multi-national Corporations, Global Regulation

Suggested Citation

Olender, Jolanta and Fry, Georgina and Robinson, Sigrid and Anicic, Sara and Hall, Kath, Thinking Big: Student Led Research on the World's Largest Global Corporations (April 6, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2675705 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2675705

Jolanta Olender

Australian National University (ANU) ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 2601
Australia

Georgina Fry

Australian National University (ANU) ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 2601
Australia

Sigrid Robinson

Australian National University (ANU) ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 2601
Australia

Sara Anicic

The University of Western Australia ( email )

35 Stirling Highway
Crawley, Western Australia 6009
AUSTRALIA

Kath Hall (Contact Author)

ANU College of Law ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia

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