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Transnational Corporation

  • By: Jennifer Johns
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

The term transnational corporation (TNC) is used to describe firms with overseas operations and is often used interchangeably with other terms such as multinational corporation or global firm. TNCs play a significant role in processes of globalization and are collectively a key actor in the global economy. A qualitative shift in the nature of the global economy since the 1970s has seen processes of globalization accelerate, and transnational firms are both a cause and an outcome of increased global economic integration. The unevenness of global economic activity is in part a result of the investment decisions made by the world's largest firms. Interest in TNCs—from academics, policymakers, and governments—focuses on their growth, geographies, investment decisions, and impacts on national economies.

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