Education and Career of Multiple-Directors
This chapter looks at the career paths of multiple-directors in Germany and Great Britain: their education, their fields of study, the course of the careers, and the speed with which they climbed the career ladder. It examines whether these big linkers were ‘entrepreneurs’ at any time during their life course, or whether they started their careers right from the beginning as ‘bureaucrats’ in the large corporations. To expand the comparison, data on the professional career of managers in France and the United States are also analyzed, including their recruitment and promotion. It is shown that the central position of individual managers in the elite network can be explained by the following variables: the manager's age, the company's prestige, and the membership in lobby and interest organizations. It is not the individual manager, but the group of interrelated directors, who fulfill the entrepreneurial function within the corporate economy. The concepts of standardization and professionalization and the meaning of elite integration and homogenization are also considered.
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