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Performance and ProgressEssays on Capitalism, Business, and Society$
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Subramanian Rangan

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198744283

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198744283.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 16 June 2021

Corporate Power in The Twenty-First Century

Corporate Power in The Twenty-First Century

(p.395) Chapter 23 Corporate Power in The Twenty-First Century
Performance and Progress

Gerald F. Davis

Oxford University Press

Corporations in the twentieth century were generally premised on economies of scale. Control of assets and employment was centripetal, becoming more concentrated over time, while ownership was centrifugal, becoming more dispersed. Corporate power was vested in the executives and boards at the tops of corporate hierarchies, whose control of economic resources could often translate into political influence. Since the 1980s, these two trends have reversed: control of assets is more dispersed, while ownership is more concentrated in the hands of a few financial institutions. The ability to rent rather than buy productive capacity means that pop-up businesses are replacing large incumbents in many industries. This chapter describes some of the consequences of these recent developments for power and trust around the corporation.

Keywords:   corporate governance, vertical integration, outsourcing, American politics, corporate social responsibility, corporate elites, Nikefication

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