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Socially-based Curriculum Units · Multinational Corporations: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly


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Multinational Corporations: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Socially-based Curriculum Unit

In this unit, developed for CGW4U (Canadian and World Issues: A Geographic Analysis), students will learn that while MNCs bring economic benefits to the countries they locate in or out-source to, they can also cause negative impacts on the local, regional and global scale.

The unit starts with an introductory reading on globalization and multinational corporations.  The students then carry out a 4-part Internet research assignment over 3 periods.  First they evaluate the website of a multinational corporation of their choice.  They also examine the financial information of that company available from the Hoover’s website.  Students then investigate public concerns about corporations as expressed on the websites of three watchdog organizations:  Corporate Accountability International, the periodical Multinational Monitor and the Canada-based social activist site The Maquila Solidarity Network.  A page of reflective analysis of the research findings follows on the fourth day.  On the final day, students present their findings to the class in an oral report. An extension activity is also recommended–the showing of the TVO film The Corporation.

Students should understand that social activists and watchdog organizations, along with the actions of everyday consumers, play an important role in putting pressure on MNCs to operate ethically.  Multinationals should follow a code of conduct whereby human rights are respected, environments are protected and resources are exploited at a sustainable rate.

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