Towards Research on and Development of Nations, Unions and Firms as Worldwide Institutions

  • Howard V. Perlmutter


There is some evidence that the leaders of three key institutions of our world society, the nation State, the trade unions and the firm, have begun to take cognisance of the world scale of events. While the earth is hardly a ‘global village’ as Marshall McLuhan would have it, the nature and pace of scientific and technological advance in aerospace, in communications and transportation, have revolutionised concepts of distance, and imposed a sense of political and economic interdependence the planet Earth has never known. Raymond Aron called our age ‘The Dawn of Universal History’, which Lord Acton explained as:

‘... distinct from the combined history of all countries, which is not a rope of sand, but a continuous development, and is not a burden on the memory but an illumination of the soul.’

‘It moves in a succession to which nations are subsidiary. Their story will be told, not for their own sake, but in reference and subordination to a higher series, according to the time and the degree in which they contribute to the common fortunes of mankind ...’


Trade Union Collective Bargaining International Firm World Scale National Firm 
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  1. 1.
    See Howard V. Perlmutter: ‘Super-Giant Firms in the Future’, Wharton Quarterly, Winter 1968 ( University of Pennsylvania).Google Scholar
  2. 1.
    Howard V. Perlmutter: ‘Emerging East—West Ventures: The Transideological Enterprise’, Columbia Journal of World Business, September—October 1969.Google Scholar
  3. 1.
    Frank Tannenbaum: ‘The Survival of the Fittest’, Columbia Journal of World Business, March—April 1968.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The International Institute for Labour Studies 1972

Authors and Affiliations

  • Howard V. Perlmutter

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