Local/regional operations



When a global Head Office issues a letter to its operations (subsidiaries) around the world regarding the company policy for the year, and refers to those operations as "local operations", would the word have a negative (degradatory) connotation, implying that the Head office is superior? Will it indicate that the two are not equal partners?

If there is such a connotation, would using the word "regional" in place of "local" be better?

Thank you!
  • Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    Local would be Hong Kong. Regional would be Asia-Pacific. There is no negative connotation to "local" used in this business sense -- in fact, it can be a positive if the company is focused on understanding local sensitivities and ways of doing business.

    There is a fairly well-known slogan: Think Global. Act Local. (Or Think globally, act locally, as Wikipedia has it.) For me, it means to keep an eye on the big picture, but to act according to local sensibilities and customs and needs. The Wiki article begins with this under the Business section, with more on that link above:

    The term is also used in business strategy, where multinational corporations are encouraged to build local roots. This is sometimes expressed by converging the words "global" and "local" into the single word "glocal," a term used by several companies (notably Sony Corporation and other major Japanese multinationals) in their advertising and branding strategies in the 1980s and 1990s.

    Don't ever say glocal if we meet -- my first thought will be to perform a Heimlich maneuver. :D


    Thank you, Copyright, for your clarification.

    Just for your information, the Japanese language imported the word "local".
    Only when used in the context of "local operations" owned by a company headquartered in Japan,
    it could have a very slight condescending connotation. (Though not always...depends on how it's used)
    I am glad for your confirmation that that is not the case in English.

    By the way, Glocal was new to me... I'll make sure I won't blurt it out!

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