By Christian Berndt (auth.)
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Submit yr notice: First released March sixteenth 2000
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Additional resources for Corporate Germany between Globalization and Regional Place Dependence: Business Restructuring in the Ruhr Area
This results in a partial adjustment of organizational practices and corporate cultures along Anglo–American lines (Chapter 4). By pointing to persistent practices and interaction structures at the regional 14 Corporate Germany level, the ‘Americanization’ and ‘cultural homogenization’ theses are subsequently qualiﬁed. An important ﬁnding concerns the extent to which large regional ﬁrms continue to utilize traditional ties to other ﬁrms and to the state, and engage in both ‘defensive’ protection of traditional markets and ‘offensive’ expansion of the spatial reach of their activities (Chapter 5).
The failure to include issues of power asymmetries (that is, the critical view of power) is perhaps one of the main reasons for the overemphasis on positive aspects of embeddedness in the socio–economics literature. While this book does not necessarily adopt a zero-sum notion of power, I am also sceptical of the collectivist conceptualization found in wide parts of the networking literature. Power asymmetries are deeply ingrained in economic action and allow more powerful actors to appropriate more of the beneﬁts and socialize more of the costs vis-à-vis other agents.
In what follows I will brieﬂy discuss two crucial dimensions of institutions as understood by this school of thought, dimensions which will occupy me throughout this book: ﬁrst, ambivalence and the relationship between institutionalization (as a process) and agency, and, second, the crucial role of power and power relations in interaction. In doing so, I try to show that the current renaissance of classical IE can be linked to structuration theory, which claims to have put an end to the structure–agency debate (see Giddens, 1984; Görg, 1994), and ‘new economic sociology’ (see Granovetter and Swedberg, 1992; Smelser and Swedberg, 1994).
Corporate Germany between Globalization and Regional Place Dependence: Business Restructuring in the Ruhr Area by Christian Berndt (auth.)