glocalization

Glocalization is the concept that in a global market, a product or service is more likely to succeed when it is customized for the locality or culture in which it is sold. For example, the international fast food chain McDonalds illustrates the concept of glocalization by changing their menus to appeal to local palates and customs.

Glocalization is the concept that in a global market, a product or service is more likely to succeed when it is customized for the locality or culture in which it is sold. 

The international fast food chain McDonalds illustrates the concept of glocalization by changing their menus to appeal to local palates and customs. For example, in India, a country in which the cow is sacred, the menu features McVeggies instead of hamburgers. In Singapore, customers can order a Chicken SingaPorridge; in Hong Kong, some Seaweed Shake Shake Fries. 

The term, which combines the words globalization and localization, first appeared in the late 1980s in articles by Japanese economists in the Harvard Business Review. According to the sociologist Roland Robertson, who is credited with popularizing the term, glocalization describes the tempering effects of local conditions on global pressures. At a 1997 conference on "Globalization and Indigenous Culture," Robertson said that glocalization "means the simultaneity --- the co-presence --- of both universalizing and particularizing tendencies." Internationalization, an earlier term for globalization, is still used in some industries when referring to preparing products for international marketing.

 

This was first published in May 2013

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