Thursday, February 18, 2010


Glocal or Glocalization is the new lingo in business.  It represents the ability to “think globally and act locally”.  It represents individuals, groups, organizations or communities which are able to bridge scales (local and global) to help overcome meso-scale, bounded or “little box” thinking.

'Glocals' is a term often used to describe a new social class: expat managers who travel often and switch homes often, and are therefore both global and local.

he term glocalization originated from within Japanese business practices. It comes from the Japanese word dochakuka, which simply means global localization. Originally referring to a way of adapting farming techniques to local conditions, dochakuka evolved into a marketing strategy when Japanese businessmen adopted it in the 1980s.

The glocalization approach suggests that reconsidering frames of references and order schemas is useful for both global and local research and management. Indeed, global and local are really two sides of the same coin as a place may be better understood by recognising the continuum nature of glocalisation.

In various uses, glocalisation has entailed elements of the following:

  • Including and combining local, regional, and global, or micro-meso-macro, as one dimension, the magnitudes or scale dimension. Manfred Lange [1] used the term "glocal" in late 1989 during preparations for the Global Change exhibition, and presented a poster on local and global change. [2]. [more below and external links]
  • Using electronic communications technologies, such as the Internet, to provide local services on a global or transregional basis. Craigslistand Meetup are examples of web applications that have glocalised their approach.
  • Individuals, households and organisations maintaining interpersonal social networks that combine extensive local and long-distance interactions.[1]
  • The establishment of local organisation structures, working with local cultures and needs, by businesses as they progress from national to multinational, or global businesses. As has been done by many organisations such as IBM.
  • The creation or distribution of products or services intended for a global or transregional market, but customised to suit local laws or culture.
  • The declaration of specified locality - a town, city, or state - as world territory, with responsibilities and rights on a world scale: a process that started in France in 1949 and originally called Mundialisation.

McDonald's Corporation is one of the best users of glocalization. Each of its restaurants, in more than 100 countries, offers McDonald's branding, but the actual menus vary to meet the local culinary tastes and dietary requirements. McDonald's restaurants in India offer mostly chicken, lamb and vegetarian dishes since many Hindus don't eat beef. Walk into an Israeli McDonald's and you can order a kosher Big Mac

Organizations such as the Glocal Forum and the Think Tank on Glocalization push for the creation of a more stabilized world though a series of glocalized strategies:

  • Emphasizing city-to-city diplomacy
  • Developing local economies and encouraging free societies
  • Encouraging and revitalizing local cultures
  • Developing tourism opportunities for economic and social benefit
  • Developing sporting opportunities for economic, social and health benefit
  • Empowering youth with a glocalized view of the world
  • Using information and communication technology to foster economic development and social relations

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