Dominant corporate agents and the power elite in France and Britain

Mairi Maclean, Charles Harvey, Robert Chia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Citations (Scopus)


Corporate elites are not a new phenomenon. However, the ways in which significant agents gain ascendancy to position of power vary across nations and cultures. Thie paper analyses the ascension of a small minority of corporate agents to positions of dominance and the subsequent accession of a select few to the power elite. Our theoretical position builds upon the writings of Pierre Bourdieu on powr and domination. These constructs are elaborated and made tangible through a cross-national comparative study of dominant corporate agents in France and Britain. Our results demonstrate the extent to which power remains concentrated in the French and British corporate sectors; highlighting equally pronounced similarities and differences in two countries. It is suggested that power elites function through governance networks to promote institutional and organizational goals.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)327-348
Number of pages22
JournalOrganization Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2010


  • ascension and accession
  • Bourdieu
  • dominant corporate agents
  • power
  • elites

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