Failure To Pursuade Essay

770 words - 4 pages

The Corporate Spread by John Madeley was intended to be a persuasive essay arguing that transnational corporations are secretive, unaccountable and one of the most influential actors in the global political economy (Madeley, 2013, pp. 1,17). While it is certainly possible that the general conclusion of Madeley’s essay is true; a reader of it couldn’t know because his writing lacks evidence and is full of speculation. In fact this is so much the case that it reads more like a wordy opinion piece you would find in the editorials of a newspaper than a reading used for academic instruction.

Initially, the paper starts out fine as the author introduces and defines what a transnational corporation is and provides a bit of background on foreign direct investment. Continuing the discussion on foreign direct investment is where the integrity of the essay begins to fall apart. He proceeds to describe: employment increases in TNC’s, 147 policy changes in host countries and increases in foreign direct investment (Madeley, 2013, p. 2). The problem is that the time period that Madeley is addressing covers twenty-six years and he fails to provide any context to consider this statistic in. There is no discussion about policy changes for national investment in those nations, nor is context provided demonstrating that 147 policy changes is even significant.

The author then moves on to explain to the reader how TNC’s are different from national corporations. Madeley concludes that large TNC’s have “enormous power over the governments of most developing countries, especially smaller countries” (2013, p. 5). The author does provide some supporting arguments to this claim suggesting that TNC’s are subject to preferential treatment over domestic firms from governmental authorities, and that TNC’s make all of their decisions from their offices in Washington, London and Tokyo with no obligations to consult the local people about their plans (Madeley, 2013, pp. 5-6). His conclusions could have presented as reasonable except that he failed to provide any evidence substantiating his claim that TNC’s are receiving preferential treatment or that TNC’s don’t consider local factors in making management decisions. It would have been helpful if he provided an example comparing the operations of a TNC with that of a large and influential domestic corporation to...

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