Over the last two decades, the organization of companies and their integration into regional, national and global networks have undergone profound changes. Various factors are responsible for these changes. Some of them are regional competition, development of global supply chain networks, new social movements, automation of the production and services, digitalization of information system, changes in international trade regulations, and rapid environmental degradation, pandemics and global health hazards and associated policy changes and regulations. Consequences of these changes are uncertain. Along with scientific work, even public debate is beginning to discuss the backlash of the globalization movement, and questioning growth and the endangerment of democratic institutions. The future of global rise of companies is questioned in the light of these changes. There are indications that their strategies and structures are subject to tensions that could destabilized the productive and commercial networks in which they are embedded. In this emerging business environment, companies of all sizes and structures could find themselves facing a fundamental challenge for their growth and survival. While these enterprises play a fundamental role in employment generation, production and innovation, the regions in which they localized may also be impacted. Their position in the global economic hierarchy can change, leading to undesired economic and spatial consequences. Social, economic, political and academic actors believe these changes as dangerous, both for economic development and political stability. Many others consider that societies would be able to benefit globally from these upheavals and development.

This challenge has led a multidisciplinary and international group of researchers from the Université Paris Cité, other academic institutions in France and institutions from countries to carry out a project aimed at exploring the determinants and implications of changes in global business activities, through cases in various regions and countries.