S-Space College of Social Sciences (사회과학대학) Institute for Social Development and Policy Research (사회발전연구소) Development and Society Development and Society Vol.43 No.1/2 (2014)
A New “Spirit” of Capitalism? – Globalization and its Impact on the Diffusion of Neoliberal Management Thinking in Germany and the East Asian Economies
- Pohlmann, Markus; Lim, Hyun-Chin
- Issue Date
- Institute for Social Development and Policy Research, Center for Social Sciences, Seoul National University
- Development and Society, Vol.43 No.1, pp. 1-32
- Economic Elites; New Spirit of Capitalism; Neoliberalism; Globalization; Top-Management; Industrial Enterprises
- Mainstream globalization literature is quite clear in its assumptions of how globalization affects industrial enterprise. It is presumed to give rise to transnational companies and subsequently, to a transnational class of managers, who use neoliberal management thinking to accelerate the neoliberal transformation of the economy. The article puts these engrained assumptions to strong empirical test by analysing how transnational the life courses of 475 CEOs of the Top 100 industrial company groups in Germany as well as in Korea, Japan, and China are. Furthermore, having carried out 148 in-depth interviews with Top CEOs, the article asks if in fact a neoliberal spirit of capitalism is at work. The findings indicate that neoliberal management thinking is not emerging and that top managers are not the switchmen leading towards a financial market-driven economy. Although neoliberal management thinking has had some impact on German top managers, the various business systems in East Asia indicate the dominance of more indigenous cultural frames.