Forgotten globalizing actors: Towards an understanding of the range of individuals involved in global norm formation in multinational companies

Tony Edwards, Kyoungmi Kim, Philip Almond, Philipp Kern, Olga Tregaskis, Linn Zhang

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While there is substantial literature on global mobility, roles in the global integration of multinationals are not limited to internationally mobile staff. We focus on ‘globalizing actors’, defined as those within multinationals who are involved in global norm-making. Using interview-based qualitative data, we categorize individuals’ involvement in global norm-making according to the function within norm formation in which they are involved, their source of influence, and their geographical and organizational reach. We identify nine distinct types of globalizing actors. We demonstrate that many individuals play important roles in global norm-making without having formal hierarchical authority or being globally mobile. Our approach draws attention to the ways in which many globalizing actors use ‘social skill’ to further their aims. Our categorization of such ‘forgotten globalizing actors’ facilitates future research by allowing a fuller understanding of the ways in which individuals across multinationals contribute to global integration.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of International Business Studies
Early online date11 Jan 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 Jan 2024


  • global norms
  • globalizing actors
  • multinational companies
  • cross cultural management
  • case theoetic approaches
  • Cross-cultural management
  • Global norms
  • Multinational companies
  • Case theoretic approaches
  • Globalizing actors

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