As the name implies, a multinational corporation is a business concern with operations in than one country. These operations outside the company’s home country may be linked to the parent by merger, operated as subsidiaries, or have considerable autonomy. They have the capacity to shape global trade, production, and financial transactions. Multinational corporations are viewed by many as favoring their home operations when making difficult economic decisions, but this tendency is declining as companies are forced to respond to increasing global competition.
Multinational corporations are sometimes perceived as large, utilitarian enterprises with little or no regard for the social and economic well being of the countries in which they operate, but the reality of their situation is more complicated.
Multinational corporations have existed since the beginning of overseas trade. They have remained a part of the business scene throughout history, entering their modern form in the 17th and 18th centuries with the creation of large, European-based monopolistic concerns such as the British East India Company during the age of colonization.