Business political activity in technical controversy : a study of the socio-cultural embeddedness of economic organizations
Title: Business political activity in technical controversy : a study of the socio-cultural embeddedness of economic organizations
Author: DREYER, Marion
Citation: Florence : European University Institute, 1997
Series/Number: EUI PhD theses; Department of Political and Social Sciences
This study is a contribution to political sociology. It deals with political action as a special form of social action. The social actor looked at in its role as a political actor is the economic organization. The political activity of economic organizations is discussed in relation to a specific situation of societal conflict, modern technical controversy, and as an activity that is influenced by and related to society. The theoretical-analytical perspective in which this discussion approaches the issue of business political activity is the organization-environment perspective of 'neo'-institutionalist organizational sociology. The adoption of an approach that views the political activity of economic organizations as reflective of and responsive to the organizations’ wider societal environment is connected with the following two research objectives. First, the study seeks to counter the continual neglect within the field of business political activity research of the influence of social and cultural factors on the political involvement of economic organizations. The bulk of existing research in the field comes from the political and management sciences and investigates business political activity in terms of a power-strategic relationship between business institutions and institutional politics. Little attention is devoted to the interface between the business institution and society as a whole system nor to the broader role played by cultural currents, motivations, and symbolic meanings in shaping business political activity. Second, the thesis seeks to contribute to the work that social scientists have carried out in the field of new social movements research on the way in which the protest actors under investigation challenge the boundaries of institutional politics. It does so by discussing business political activity in the sphere of non-institutional politics as forming part of the main effect of the institutionalization of the new social movements. This effect is determined as the »renaissance« of the public sphere, as the rise of public discourse (Eder 1996a: 205).
LC Subject Heading: Business and politics
Defence date: 30 October 1997; Examining Board: Professor Colin Crouch (EUI) ; Prof. Klaus Eder (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - supervisor); Professor Giandomenico Majone (EUI - co-supervisor); Professor Ortwin Renn (Akademie für Technikfolgenabschätzung in Baden-Württemberg); First made available online on 15 May 2017