112 research outputs found

    From knowledge dependence to knowledge creation: Industrial growth and the technological advance of the Japanese electronics industry

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    The thrust of the argument put forward in this paper is that the postwar technological advance of the Japanese electronics industry was in essence a product not a primary cause of industrial growth. We demonstrate that the industry's surge forward resulted from the interaction of a unique combination of political, economic and cultural forces. Business leaders took full advantage by investing on a massive scale in physical, organizational, human and technological resources. It was success in the marketplace and strong cash flows that allowed Japanese firms to import technology on a large scale, invest in scientists and engineers, and progressively develop world class technological capabilities. In establishing themselves as global players, Japanese electronics firms moved over the years from a position of knowledge dependence to one of knowledge creation. We explore how this transformation was achieved and how they learned to control and exploit knowledge creating systems and processes. In particular, we establish the multi-faceted context and complex set of relationships that have conditioned strategic decision making and the creation of technological capabilities

    Andrew Carnegie, World Making and the Logic of Contemporary Entrepreneurial Philanthropy

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    This paper focuses on the relationship between the business and philanthropic endeavours of world-making entrepreneurs; asking why, how and to what ends these individuals seek to extend their reach in society beyond business. We present an original model of entrepreneurial philanthropy which demonstrates how investment in philanthropic projects can yield positive returns in cultural, social and symbolic capital, which in turn may lead to growth in economic capital. The interpretive power of the model is demonstrated through analysis of the career of Andrew Carnegie, whose story, far from reducing to one of earning a fortune then giving it away, is revealed as more complex and more unified. His philanthropy raised his stock within the field of power, extending his influence and helping convert surplus funds into social networks, high social standing and intellectual currency, enabling him to engage in world making on a grand scale

    Capital theory and the dynamics of elite business networks in Britain and France

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    Post-print version. Final version published by Wiley; available online at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/The paper explores capital theory, examining the typology of forms of capital possessed by elite directors, and drawing in particular on the writings of Pierre Bourdieu. We are particularly interested in questions relating to the reproduction and regeneration of business elites. How do business elites reproduce and regenerate themselves, despite the fact that their membership is constantly changing? What qualifies someone for membership of an elite business group, and how do newcomers gain acceptance? We focus here on some of the ‘newcomers’ who participated in our study of French and British business elites (1998-2003), interviews with whom allow us to interpret the experience of those who have gained admission to elite business groups. We find that culture plays a critical role, imposing discipline and compliance to the rules of the organisational game, as individuals act along pre-ordained lines laid down by ‘habitus’. Our research points overwhelmingly to the power of cultural reproduction among business elites, despite the admission of newcomers to the boards of the leading companies of Britain and France, or of nouveaux riches into ‘old guard’ elite communities

    Pierre Bourdieu and elites:Making the hidden visible

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    Service nepotism in the multi-ethnic marketplace: Mentalities and motivations

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    Purpose– The purpose of this paper is to emphasize the multi-ethnic marketplace as the site of the emergence of service nepotism: the practice where employees bestow relational benefits and/or gifts on customers on the basis that they share a perceived common socio-collective identity. The authors draw on the contemporary turn to practice in social theory to explore why ethnic employees may engage in service nepotism even when they are aware that it contravenes organizational policy.Design/methodology/approach– Given the paucity of empirical research which investigates the multi-ethnic marketplace as a locus for the emergence of service nepotism, the authors adopted an exploratory qualitative research approach to advance insight into service nepotism. The study benefits from its empirical focus on West African migrants in the UK who represent a distinct minority group living in urban areas of the developed world. Data for the study were collected over a six-month period, utilizing semi-structured interviews as the primary method of data collection.Findings– The research highlights the occurrence and complexities of service nepotism in the multi-ethnic marketplace, and identifies four distinct activities (marginal revolution, reciprocal altruism, pandering for recognition, and horizontal comradeship), that motivate ethnic employees to engage in service nepotism, despite their awareness that this conflicts with organizational policy.Research limitations/implications– By virtue of the chosen theoretical lens, the authors were unable to demonstrate how service nepotism could be observed outside spoken language. Also, care should be taken in generalizing the findings from this study given the particularities of the sub-group involved. For example, since the study is based on a small sample of first generation migrants, the findings may not hold true for their offspring, whose socialization and marketplace experiences may be qualitatively different from those of their parents.Practical implications– Service nepotism challenges fundamental western egalitarian ideals in the multi-ethnic marketplace. Organizations may wish to develop strategies to placate observers’ concerns of creeping favouritism in a supposedly equitable marketplace. The research could also serve as a starting point for managers objectively to assess the likely impact of service nepotism on the organizing value systems and competitiveness. In particular, the authors suggest that international marketing managers would do well to look beneath the surface to see what is really going on in international marketplaces, since ostensible experiences of marketplace consumption may not always reflect underlying reality.Originality/value– By using service nepotism as an analytical category to explore the marketplace experiences of ethnic service employees living and working in industrialized societies, the research shows that the practice of service nepotism, whilst taken for granted, can have far-reaching impact on individuals, observers, and service organizations in an increasingly highly differentiated multi-ethnic society

    Crafting philanthropic identities

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    Service nepotism in cosmopolitan transient social spaces

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    © 2016, © The Author(s) 2016. This article examines service nepotism, the practice of bestowing gifts or benefits on customers by frontline service staff based on a perceived shared socio-collective identity. Adopting a micro-sociological approach, it explores the practice as played out in multi-cultural transient service encounters. Given the dearth of existing research and low visibility of service nepotism operating ‘under the radar’, the article assumes an exploratory qualitative research approach to capture it through ‘microstoria’: the sharing of stories by marginal actors, as recounted by West African migrants working in the UK. These stories reveal similarity-to-self cueing, non-verbal communication and the availability of discretionary authority as three salient logics in play. In a highly differentiated multi-ethnic society, service nepotism challenges a very specific customer-oriented bureaucratic ethos that demands impartiality. It also provides contexts for relatively powerless employees to rebalance their relationship with their organizations, thereby addressing a more pressing dysfunction within the market and society more generally

    Moving on up? Exploring the career journeys of skilled migrants in the professions

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    Pathways to power: class, hyper-agency and the French corporate elite

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    publication-status: Acceptedtypes: ArticleAuthor's post-print draft. Definitive version published by Sage; available online at http://online.sagepub.com/This paper explores pathways to power from the perspective of the French corporate elite. It compares those who enter the ‘field of power’ with those who fail to reach this final tier. Adopting an innovative econometric approach, we develop and test three hypotheses. These underline the pivotal role of external networks and the strategic advantage of hyper-agency in maintaining power; and indicate that social origin remains a powerful driver in determining success. Birthright and meritocracy emerge as two competing institutional logics which influence life chances. Higher-status agents benefit from mutual recognition which enhances their likelihood of co-option to the extra-corporate networks that facilitate hyper-agency. The objectification of class-based differences conceals their arbitrary nature while institutionalizing the principles informing stratification. We re-connect class analysis with organizational theory; arguing that social origin exerts an enduring influence on selection dynamics which inform processes of hierarchical reproduction in the corporate elite and society-at-large

    Michel Tournier, past and present:an interview with the author

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