“Capital breeds capital” - Bourdieu and the Cross-National Importation of Organizational Models

Ruomei Yang, Charles Harvey, Frank Mueller, Mairi Maclean

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter draws upon Bourdieu’s concept of capital to examine the importation of organizational models and the adaptive processes that we observed in respective institutional contexts. Through the lens of a longitudinal case study, we demonstrate how a coalition of elite actors mobilized capital to successfully import the US community foundation model into the North East of England. By converting different forms of capital within the philanthropic field, local power brokers enabled the local adaptation of models and associated practices aligned with particular community needs and circumstances. Our main contribution to this book is to demonstrate the need for elite actors to convert capital, which can facilitate the importation of organizational models. We show how local elite actors drawn from different professional and business fields build coalitions during the process of importation to engage in the conversion of different types of capitals.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBourdieu and Research in Organization and Management Studies
EditorsSarah Robinson, Jette Ernst, Ole Jacob Thomassen
Number of pages26
Publication statusAcceptance date - 6 Sep 2020


  • Bourdieu, capital theory, elite networks, organizational models, social capital, symbolic capital

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