Organizing America

Author: Charles Perrow
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400825080
Size: 78.76 MB
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American society today is shaped not nearly as much by vast open spaces as it is by vast, bureaucratic organizations. Over half the working population toils away at enterprises with 500 or more employees--up from zero percent in 1800. Is this institutional immensity the logical outcome of technological forces in an all-efficient market, as some have argued? In this book, the first organizational history of nineteenth-century America, Yale sociologist Charles Perrow says no. He shows that there was nothing inevitable about the surge in corporate size and power by century's end. Critics railed against the nationalizing of the economy, against corporations' monopoly powers, political subversion, environmental destruction, and "wage slavery." How did a nation committed to individual freedom, family firms, public goods, and decentralized power become transformed in one century? Bountiful resources, a mass market, and the industrial revolution gave entrepreneurs broad scope. In Europe, the state and the church kept private organizations small and required consideration of the public good. In America, the courts and business-steeped legislators removed regulatory constraints over the century, centralizing industry and privatizing the railroads. Despite resistance, the corporate form became the model for the next century. Bureaucratic structure spread to government and the nonprofits. Writing in the tradition of Max Weber, Perrow concludes that the driving force of our history is not technology, politics, or culture, but large, bureaucratic organizations. Perrow, the author of award-winning books on organizations, employs his witty, trenchant, and graceful style here to maximum effect. Colorful vignettes abound: today's headlines echo past battles for unchecked organizational freedom; socially responsible alternatives that were tried are explored along with the historical contingencies that sent us down one road rather than another. No other book takes the role of organizations in America's development as seriously. The resultant insights presage a new historical genre.

Corporate Crime Under Attack

Author: Francis T. Cullen
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317523660
Size: 59.51 MB
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In exploring the criminalization of corporations, this book uses the landmark "Ford Pinto case" as a centerpiece for exploring corporate violence and the long effort to bring such harm within the reach of the criminal law. Corporations that illegally endanger human life now must negotiate the surveillance of government regulators and risk civil suits from injured parties seeking financial compensation. They also may be charged with criminal offenses and their officials sent to prison.

Corporate Power And Responsible Capitalism

Author: Bryn JoneS
Publisher: Edward Elgar Publishing
ISBN: 1784717282
Size: 17.24 MB
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In this important book, Bryn Jones uses insights from political economy, historical analysis and sociological concepts of the corporation, as a socially disembedded but political actor, to address concerns over the over-reach of Anglo-Saxon corporation

Corporate Governance And Firm Organization

Author: Anna Grandori
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 9780199269761
Size: 30.11 MB
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Recent scandals involving large firms, in the USA and elsewhere, have brought into focus the role and conduct of major multinationals. This text looks at issues surrounding the organisation of such companies, and the ways in which it impacts on corporate governance.

From Communists To Foreign Capitalists

Author: Nina Bandelj
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400841259
Size: 23.98 MB
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From Communists to Foreign Capitalists explores the intersections of two momentous changes in the late twentieth century: the fall of Communism and the rise of globalization. Delving into the economic change that accompanied these shifts in central and Eastern Europe, Nina Bandelj presents a pioneering sociological treatment of the process of foreign direct investment (FDI). She demonstrates how both investors and hosts rely on social networks, institutions, politics, and cultural understandings to make decisions about investment, employing practical rather than rational economic strategies to deal with the true uncertainty that plagues the postsocialist environment. The book explores how eleven postsocialist countries address the very idea of FDI as an integral part of their market transition. The inflows of foreign capital after the collapse of Communism resulted not from the withdrawal of states from the economy, as is commonly expected, but rather from the active involvement of postsocialist states in institutionalizing and legitimizing FDI. Using a wide array of data sources, and combining a macro-level account of national variation in the liberalization to foreign capital with a micro-level account of FDI transactions in the decade following the collapse of Communism in 1989, the book reveals how social forces not only constrain economic transformations but also make them possible. From Communists to Foreign Capitalists is a welcome addition to the growing literature on the social processes that shape economic life.

The Sociology Of The Economy

Author: Frank Dobbin
Publisher: Russell Sage Foundation
ISBN: 1610448421
Size: 34.94 MB
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The new economic sociology is based on the theory that patterns of economic behavior are shaped by social factors. The Sociology of the Economy brings together a dozen path-breaking empirical studies that explore how social forces—such as shifts in political power, the influence of social networks, or the spread of new economic ideas—shape real-world economic behavior. The contributors—all leading economic sociologists—show these social forces at work in a diverse range of international settings and historical circumstances. Examining why so many American banks followed industry leaders into foreign markets in the 1970s, only to pull back within a few years, Mark Mizruchi and Gerald Davis suggest that social emulation rather than rational calculation led banks to expand globally before there was any evidence that foreign offices paid off. William Schneper and Mauro Guillé show that despite the international diffusion of the hostile takeover during the last twenty years, the practice became widespread only in countries with political institutions conducive to buying and selling entire companies. Thus during the 1990s, the United States and United Kingdom. saw hundreds of hostile takeover bids, while Germany had only a handful, and Japan just one. Deborah Davis explores resistance to the globalization of Western ideas about real-estate ownership—particularly in China where the government has had little success in instituting a market system in place of traditional, family-based real-estate inheritance. And Richard Scott examines the controversial rise of managed care in the American healthcare system, as the quest for market efficiency collided with the ideal of equity in access to health care. Together, these studies provide compelling evidence that economic behavior is not ruled by immutable laws, and is but one realm of social behavior, with its own conventions, roles, and social structures. The Sociology of the Economy demonstrates the vitality of empirical research in the field of economic sociology and the power of sociological models in explaining how markets operate.

Wealth Power And The Crisis Of Laissez Faire Capitalism

Author: D. Gibson
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 0230119778
Size: 58.13 MB
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This forcefully argued book offers a provocative picture of the political, intellectual, and economic forces that have shaped the history of the United States, offering an extensive and in-depth critique of laissez-faire doctrine and a novel reformulation of the work of American System writers, Gibson traces America's rise to global supremacy.

Capitalism

Author: Bruce R. Scott
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 9781461418795
Size: 63.61 MB
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Two systems of governance, capitalism and democracy, prevail in the world today. Operating simultaneously in partially distinct domains, these systems rely on indirect governance through regulated competition to coordinate actors; inevitably, these systems influence and transform each other. This book rejects the simple equation of capitalism with markets in favor of a three-level system, a model which recognizes that markets are administered by regulators through institutions and governed by a political authority with the power to regulate behavior, punish transgressors, and redesign institutions. This system's emergence required the sovereign to relinquish some power in order to release the energies of economic actors. Rather than spreading through an unguided natural process like trade, capitalism emerged where competitive pressures forced political authorities to take risks in order to achieve increased revenues by permitting markets for land, labor, and capital.

Who Rules America

Author: G. William Domhoff
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Humanities, Social Sciences & World Languages
ISBN: 9780072876253
Size: 32.51 MB
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Drawing from a power elite perspective and the latest empirical data, Domhoff’s classic text is an invaluable tool for teaching students about how power operates in U.S. society. Domhoff argues that the owners and top-level managers in large income-producing properties are far and away the dominant figures in the U.S. Their corporations, banks, and agribusinesses come together as a corporate community that dominates the federal government in Washington and their real estate, construction, and land development companies form growth coalitions that dominate most local governments. By providing empirical evidence for his argument, Domhoff encourages students to think critically about the power structure in American society and its implications for our democracy.