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Impacts of Globalization Processes on the Swiss National Business Elite Community: A Diachronic Analysis of Swiss Large Corporations (1980–2010)

Elites on Trial

ISBN: 978-1-78441-680-5, eISBN: 978-1-78441-679-9

ISSN: 0733-558X

Publication date: 10 February 2015

Abstract

This paper investigates the impacts of globalization processes on the Swiss business elite community during the 1980–2010 period. Switzerland has been characterized in the 20th century by its extraordinary stability and by the strong cohesion of its elite community. To study recent changes, we focus on Switzerland’s 110 largest firms’ by adopting a diachronic perspective based on three elite cohorts (1980, 2000, and 2010). An analysis of interlocking directorates allows us to describe the decline of the Swiss corporate network. The second analysis focuses on top managers’ profiles in terms of education, nationality as well as participation in national community networks that used to reinforce the cultural cohesion of the Swiss elite community, especially the militia army. Our results highlight a slow but profound transformation of top management profiles, characterized by a decline of traditional national elements of legitimacy and the emergence of new “global” elements. The diachronic and combined analysis brings into light the strong cultural changes experienced by the national business elite community.

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Acknowledgements

Acknowledgments

We would like to thank Thomas David, University of Lausanne, for his collaboration on the first version of this paper, presented at the 2012 EGOS Conference in Helsinki, as well as the Swiss National Science Foundation for its financial support.

Citation

Davoine, E., Ginalski, S., Mach, A. and Ravasi, C. (2015), "Impacts of Globalization Processes on the Swiss National Business Elite Community: A Diachronic Analysis of Swiss Large Corporations (1980–2010)", Elites on Trial (Research in the Sociology of Organizations, Vol. 43), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 131-163. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0733-558X20150000043017

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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