There has been a widespread assumption that globalization can only have a positive impact on the society. But according to a new US research, this worldview is far too simplistic and unrealistic and ignores the fact that international human trade is essentially the dark side of international business.
With their article in the Journal of Global Business Advancement, Patriya Tansuhaj of the Department of Marketing and International Business Institute at Washington State University, in Pullman and Jim McCullough of the University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, hope to raise awareness among the business research community with a view to finding solutions to human trafficking.
It is a tragic fact of life that the world's most disadvantaged people are often the most easily exploited. Seeing greener grass on foreign shores, many are willing to risk everything with a people smuggler and to spend their life savings to be transported across borders with counterfeit documents.
They often leave family behind, hoping to send money home, but more often than not end up beholden to the smugglers' associates and enslaved in a lowly job with little pay and poor accommodation, constantly on the look out for the shadow of immigration officials over their shoulder.
The researchers claim that the international business research community has largely ignored the problem.
"International business academicians can no longer leave the understanding of this phenomenon in the hands of political scientists, sociologists and anthropologists," the researchers said.
"We must be actively involved in providing a more systematic explanation with a clear set of recommendations to governments and the global business sectors," they added.
The team emphasize that trade in human beings is not restricted to individuals trafficked illegally across borders, but involves the sale of body parts and, increasingly, a virtual trade in pornographic images, often elicited under duress.
As such they have devised a general research classification of international human trade problems that will allow social scientists and others to analyze how such trade takes place in the familiar marketing context of product, price, place, and promotion and so develop a clearer understanding of the drives of human trade with a view to finding ways to tackle the problem.