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Impacts of Globalization Processes on the Swiss National Business Elite Community : A Diachronic Analysis of Swiss Large Corporations (1980-2010)
Research in the Sociology of Organizations
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.
Switzerland, corporate network, business elite, globalization, transnational community
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