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Corporate elite and changing capitalism
Policy-planning organizations have undergone significant development in France over the last two decades. Interconnecting the economic, political and intellectual elites, their study merits particular attention. This paper examines the active involvement of the business community in these organizations to highlight its role in the policy-planning process. Focusing on the top 100 corporations and the top 40 policy organizations, it analyses the structure of their interlocking directorates. The cohesion of the policy-planning network significantly relies on the brokering role of a few business leaders and economists. The network discloses a core-periphery structure and a left-right polarization. The results shed light on the relative convergence among the main policy organizations and the relegation of less consensual organizations to the network periphery.
Un profil des actuels dirigeants d'entreprise : qui sont-il ? Quelles sont leurs origines sociales, scolaires, etc. ? Quelles relations ont-ils avec les dirigeants politiques ? Comment fonctionne leur organisation syndicale, le MEDEF ? Avec des encadrés sur des points précis comme les salaires, les nominations, etc. oui
Becoming a « cac 40 » French director: educational elitism and obtaining a post via the State body routeThis article examines French directors of Cac 40 companies at the end of 2007 with a focus on what higher education courses they followed. Former students from the more elite Grandes Écoles ( Hec business schools along with Polytechnique military engineering schools and the National School of Administration [ Ena ]) continue to dominate and there is still a tendency to recruit from the upper echelons of the State.
Depuis plus d’un siècle, les analyses de réseaux appliquées aux conseils d’administration des grandes entreprises (interlocking directorate studies) ont régulièrement observé la tendance qu’ont les banques à occuper une position plus centrale que les autres entreprises. Pour expliquer ce phénomène, les sociologues se sont principalement intéressés aux rapports de dette et d’actionnariat, en négligeant tout ce que la théorie économique pouvait apporter sur le rôle joué par les banques dans l’émission monétaire et l’intermédiation financière. Suivant ce point de vue, nous avançons l’idée que la centralité bancaire est avant tout l’expression d’une forme de collégialité régulant l’émission monétaire à destination des grandes entreprises, alors que la disparition progressive du phénomène serait le signe de l’émergence d’une régulation bureaucratique dominée par les banques centrales et les grandes institutions financières.
For quite some time, it has been clear that big companies interlocking directorates are the most developed in Europe. But a precise description of this phenomenon was still missing. This is what the present article aims to do, by applying various innovative methods to the small population of executives who form the core business circle of Europe. First we make use of network analysis to identify those who relate companies with each other concretely. Then we review the social properties of this community and its members’ professional trajectories. Eventually, sequence analysis enables us to extract the typical sequences of economic sectors these interlockers went through along their careers. The article reveals a clear domination of finance-based profiles among the men and women who lead Eurozone business milieu.
Back to the Field of Economic Power in France In 1978, Bourdieu and Saint Martin wrote a famous study, « Le patronat », which was based on a multiple correspondence analysis of French corporate elite. In this paper, we go back to their notion of “field of economic power” and apply their methodology to the 838 executive and non-executive directors of the CAC 40 firms in 2009. We show that the axis which opposes curricula linked to French state resources and foreign curricula is structuring.
In Euro-Clash, Neil Fligstein (2008) states that the constitution of a transnational capitalist class in Europe is not manifest, even though recent decades have been marked by the structuring of vast European markets. Following the insights of Hall and Soskice (2001), he stresses that globalized economic activities are compatible with a strong national anchorage with regard to ownership, governance or employment relations. In other words, increased trade and financial, market and economic integration does not automatically translate into social integration. Fligstein’s assumptions are all the more important as they break with a long-standing research tradition postulating the formation of a transnational capitalist class (Hymer, 1979) and conceptualize Europeanization as not only a mechanical byproduct of economic relations, but as a more complex social process.