Managerialism and the post-war evolution of the French national business system

Mairi Maclean, Charles Harvey, Jon Press

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Managerial revolutions - which witness the appropriation of corporate power by professional managers - come in different shapes and sizes. This article builds upon existing critiques of Chandler's universal theory of the managerial revolution through reference to the French national business system, arguing that the concept of the managerial revolution is best understood within specific cultural contexts, elite ideologies and national business systems. It demonstrates, through the inclusion of original data, and a business historical case study, that the French model of capitalism is distinguished by continuing links between the state and business, by the density of its corporate networks, and the large number of elite actors with experience of working in an executive capacity in both the public and private sectors, in stark contrast to the UK.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)531-551
Number of pages21
JournalBusiness History
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2007


  • Elites
  • French national business system
  • Managerial revolution
  • Networks
  • State-business relations


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