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Managerialism and the postwar evolution of the French national business system

Harvey, Charles and Maclean, Mairi and Press, Jon (2007) Managerialism and the postwar evolution of the French national business system. Business History, 49 (4). pp. 531-551. ISSN 0007-6791

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Managerial revolutions - which witness the appropriation of corporate power by professional managers - come in different shapes and sizes. This article builds upon existing critiques of Chandler's universal theory of the managerial revolution through reference to the French national business system, arguing that the concept of the managerial revolution is best understood within specific cultural contexts, elite ideologies and national business systems. It demonstrates, through the inclusion of original data, and a business historical case study, that the French model of capitalism is distinguished by continuing links between the state and business, by the density of its corporate networks, and the large number of elite actors with experience of working in an executive capacity in both the public and private sectors, in stark contrast to the UK.