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Dominant Corporate Agents and the Power Elite in France and Britain

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Mairi Maclean, Professor Charles Harvey


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Corporate elites are not a new phenomenon. However, the ways in which significant agents gain ascendancy to positions of power vary across nations and cultures. This paper analyses the ascension of a small minority of corporate agents to positions of dominance and the subsequent accession of a select few to the power elite. Our theoretical position builds upon the writings of Pierre Bourdieu on power and domination. These constructs are elaborated and made tangible through a cross-national comparative study of dominant corporate agents in France and Britain. Our results demonstrate the extent to which power remains concentrated in the French and British corporate sectors; highlighting equally pronounced similarities and differences between the two countries. It is suggested that power elites function through governance networks to promote institutional and organizational goals.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Maclean M, Harvey C, Chia R

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Organization Studies

Year: 2010

Volume: 31

Issue: 3

Pages: 327-348

Print publication date: 01/03/2010

ISSN (print): 0170-8406

ISSN (electronic): 1741-3044

Publisher: Sage Publications Ltd.


DOI: 10.1177/0170840609357377


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