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Dominant corporate agents and the power elite in France and Britain

Maclean, Mairi and Harvey, Charles and Chia, Robert (2010) Dominant corporate agents and the power elite in France and Britain. Organization Studies, 31 (3). pp. 327-348. ISSN 0170-8406

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Abstract

Corporate elites are not a new phenomenon. However, the ways in which significant agents gain ascendancy to position of power vary across nations and cultures. Thie 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 powr 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 in two countries. It is suggested that power elites function through governance networks to promote institutional and organizational goals.