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Article
Publication date: 7 October 2014

Mairi Maclean and Charles Harvey

The purpose of this study is to explore some of the distinctive features of organizing and organization in France which set it apart from organization in other nations…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to explore some of the distinctive features of organizing and organization in France which set it apart from organization in other nations, and which are fundamental to its modus operandi. In particular, this article is concerned with elite connectivity and concerted action by elite “connectors”.

Design/methodology/approach

The research underpinning this article stems from a cross-national comparative project on business elites and corporate governance in France and the UK. This has three dimensions, being quantitative, qualitative and case study-based. Concerted action by the ruling elite is explored through two illustrative vignettes: the ousting from office of Jean-Marie Messier and State-sponsored expansion as pursued by EDF. Both examples shed light on the French business elite’s response to globalization and the development of international business.

Findings

The paper finds elite cohesion to be achieved quite differently in the two countries. In addition, it finds that the ties that bind French connectors tend to be strong and institutionally based.

Practical implications

The case of EDF suggests that the most ambitious of State-sponsored strategies can also be the most successful. It implies that elite ideologies in France have deviated relatively little from sentiments expressed by Rousseau and de Gaulle concerning the primacy of the national interest and the conviction that firms can serve as an (expansionist) instrument of the nation. The Messier case illuminates the pattern of close relationships among the French business elite. It demonstrates how a strategy of expansion may come unstuck when it is not grounded in the customary modes of business regulation.

Originality/value

This research confirms a slight preference on the part of the French business elite for more homogenous ties. Against this, the paper demonstrates that a significant proportion of the French elite act as boundary spanners, brokering relationships with others from more distant parts of the wider network. The integration of the French elite in the Eurozone has potentially favored bridge-building relationships and weakened national embeddedness. This may contribute to the decline of indigenous interlocks, while promoting the further internationalization of top management teams. The implications of this for organizational strategy, firm survival and economic performance form an agenda for future research.

Details

International Journal of Organizational Analysis, vol. 22 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1934-8835

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Book part
Publication date: 10 February 2015

Mairi Maclean, Charles Harvey and Gerhard Kling

Bourdieu’s construct of the field of power has received relatively little attention despite its novelty and theoretical potential. This paper explores the meaning and…

Abstract

Bourdieu’s construct of the field of power has received relatively little attention despite its novelty and theoretical potential. This paper explores the meaning and implications of the construct, and integrates it into a wider conception of the formation and functioning of elites at the highest level in society. Drawing on an extensive dataset profiling the careers of members of the French business elite, it compares and contrasts those who enter the field of power with those who fail to qualify for membership, exploring why some succeed as hyper-agents while others do not. The alliance of social origin and educational attainment, class and meritocracy, emerges as particularly compelling. The field of power is shown to be relatively variegated and fluid, connecting agents from different life worlds. Methodologically, this paper connects biographical data of top French directors with the field of power in France in a novel way, while presenting an operationalization of Bourdieu’s concept of the field of power as applied to the French elite.

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Book part
Publication date: 1 May 2012

Emmanuel Zenou, Isabelle Allemand and Bénédicte Brullebaut

Representation of women on boards is getting more and more attention these recent years (Hillman, Shropshire, & Cannella, 2007; Nielsen & Huse, 2010), all the more as…

Abstract

Representation of women on boards is getting more and more attention these recent years (Hillman, Shropshire, & Cannella, 2007; Nielsen & Huse, 2010), all the more as recent influence by the legislator accelerates the pace of change. Indeed, in France, a new law adopted in January 2011 stated that the proportion of female directors should not be lower than 40% in all major companies.

Most previous research focused on the impact of the presence of women in boards on performance, but there are few studies on female directors' networks. In order to help to better understand the ties at the origin of these networks, we study several characteristics and network ties of female directors of French companies belonging to the SBF 120 index and we compare them with male characteristics. We test the specificity of four types of board of directors' networks: attendance at the same elite educational institutions, use of business networks, civil servants' networks, and interlocking directorates.

Our findings suggest that female directors' networks tend to find their origin in business networks more than men. Conversely, male directors have more board interlocking and are more often graduated from elite schools than women. These results show that female directors' networks have specific origins in comparison with men's ones. The exploration of this specificity could be an asset to better understand the role and influence of female directors' networks in governance.

Details

Research in Finance
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-752-9

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Book part
Publication date: 10 February 2015

Glenn Morgan, Paul Hirsch and Sigrid Quack

Abstract

Details

Elites on Trial
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-680-5

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Article
Publication date: 7 October 2014

Peter Stokes, Eric Davoine and Ewan Oiry

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536

Abstract

Details

International Journal of Organizational Analysis, vol. 22 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1934-8835

Content available
Article
Publication date: 7 April 2020

Carine Girard and Stephen Gates

This paper aims to demonstrate that state shareholders are confronted with contradictory logics leading to institutional contradictions that activist shareholders can…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to demonstrate that state shareholders are confronted with contradictory logics leading to institutional contradictions that activist shareholders can exploit. The competing logics of the state as shareholder and their impact on corporate governance and shareholder activism offer fertile grounds for research advances in Coordinated Market Economies (CMEs).

Design/methodology/approach

Through an extensive literature review of state ownership, institutional contradictions and shareholder activism, this paper analyzes two case studies involving the French State as shareholder.

Findings

In the French context, these two cases illustrate how institutional contradictions result in opportunities for shareholder activism. By focusing on the institutional contradictions of the state shareholder, this investigation suggests a need for experimental research to observe how shareholder activists adapt to each institutional change in CMEs. This experimentation can help policymakers to avoid creating additional conditions that shareholder activists can exploit.

Research limitations/implications

This focuses only on France and its state shareholdings. To generalize results, studies of other CMEs and state shareholders are needed.

Practical implications

Policymakers should consider all legislative proposals for their potential to deviate from corporate governance practice by experimenting with them in a laboratory setting. Shareholder activists can compare state shareholders’ actions against the state’s legislation to emphasize institutional contradictions that counter minority shareholders’ rights.

Originality/value

This research is the first to analyze how the state as shareholder can exploit its competing logics to resist against shareholder activism and support management or to become itself a shareholder activist.

Details

Corporate Governance: The International Journal of Business in Society, vol. 20 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1472-0701

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 11 May 2007

Jonathan Perraton

Institutions underpin the operation of national economies. These differ significantly between countries reflecting varying historical paths, policy choices and national…

Abstract

Institutions underpin the operation of national economies. These differ significantly between countries reflecting varying historical paths, policy choices and national cultures. Moreover, they need to be understood systemically as an ensemble of relations between their component parts: financial systems, corporate governance, industrial relations, patterns of state intervention, etc., have evolved together so that their operation and effects tend to reinforce each other. Different countries faced by common exogenous changes will tend to evolve along different lines rather than converge. National institutions matter: they significantly affect economic performance and distribution.

Details

Capitalisms Compared
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-414-0

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Article
Publication date: 6 June 2016

Nadia Toumi, Ramzi Benkraiem and Amal Hamrouni

This paper aims to investigate board director disciplinary and cognitive influence on corporate value creation.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate board director disciplinary and cognitive influence on corporate value creation.

Design/methodology/approach

Fixed-effect regressions are used to check whether gender diversity, education, independence and size of the board of directors affect measures of corporate value creation.

Findings

The empirical results show that corporate value creation is positively influenced by the cross effect of the board independence and the presence of women. They also point out a positive impact of the cross effect of board independence and management education. They reveal that the board of directors contributes significantly to corporate value creation, particularly when there is a mix of independent, female and management-qualified directors.

Originality/value

The evidence presented and discussed in this paper should be of interest to managers and regulators. The methodological approach and the empirical results extend the existing literature. They enrich the limited empirical research devoted to this theme, especially in a continental European context, i.e. France. They shed light on the effect of board of directors’ disciplinary and cognitive influence on corporate value creation.

Details

Corporate Governance, vol. 16 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1472-0701

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 17 August 2015

Elina Varamäki, Sanna Joensuu, Erno Tornikoski and Anmari Viljamaa

The purpose of this paper is to increase the understanding of how entrepreneurial potential is developed among young people. Changes in individuals’ entrepreneurial…

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2381

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to increase the understanding of how entrepreneurial potential is developed among young people. Changes in individuals’ entrepreneurial intentions and the antecedents of intentions are investigated, as well as the impact of entrepreneurship education on the changes.

Design/methodology/approach

Ajzen’s Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) is applied. Longitudinal data from 197 HE students, in their first and third year of studies, is examined using path analysis.

Findings

Overall the entrepreneurial intentions of HE students decreased over time. Intentions decreased particularly for those with high initial level of intentions, whereas the group with increasing intentions rose from low to neutral level of intentions. Changes in attitudes and perceived behavioral control have a significant positive impact. Versatile entrepreneurship courses have direct effect on changes in attitudes. Changes in attitudes have a dual role, as they influence change in both intentions and perceived behavioral control. The developed model explains 19 percent of the variance among women and 28 percent among men, suggesting gender differences in development of intentions.

Research limitations/implications

Only one way of developing entrepreneurial potential in young people (i.e. education) is covered. The empirical sample is limited to one university.

Practical implications

The results suggest versatile methods of entrepreneurship education are more effective in developing intentions than perhaps purely active modes. Gender differences should be considered when designing interventions to foster entrepreneurial potential.

Originality/value

The research confirms with longitudinal individual-level data the applicability of TPB on entrepreneurial intentions and demonstrates the mediated impact of versatile entrepreneurship courses on changes in intentions.

Details

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. 22 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1462-6004

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 6 September 2012

Laurent Dobuzinskis

Over the last three quarters of a century, the discourse on economic and social policy has oscillated between two polar opposites: an interventionist approach and a free…

Abstract

Over the last three quarters of a century, the discourse on economic and social policy has oscillated between two polar opposites: an interventionist approach and a free market-oriented one. The former led to the establishment of the Keynesian welfare state and was dominant in the post-war years, but the latter gained much ground beginning in the 1980s, forcing defenders of the welfare state to retreat into a more defensive position. In the wake of the ‘Great Recession’, however, these two visions are once again sustaining vigorous debates in the global public arena. Economists in their role as policy advisers and public intellectuals, in other words as ‘experts’, have participated actively in such debates; the gains made by (what its critics call) ‘neo-liberalism’ were due, in no small measure, to the growing prestige and influence of Austrian economics. The experts’ discourse tends to be a historical and arguments are often phrased in terms of supposedly ‘cutting edge’ theoretical and empirical advances.1 Yesterday's theories are judged obsolete and irrelevant. I argue that a more historically informed perspective can actually be more rewarding.

Details

Experts and Epistemic Monopolies
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-217-2

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