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enterprise society


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A label commonly applied to those countries in which the state makes a conscious attempt to promote the qualities of self-reliance, innovation, and individual achievement. During the 1980s, for example, governments in Britain and the United States implemented a series of economic and social reforms, including the deregulation of industry and privatization of public utilities, in order to revitalize the (as they saw it) moribund organizational culture of late 20th-century corporate society. These policies were intended to promote economic competition, reduce the influence of the state in economic life, constrain public expenditure, and encourage individuals to take responsibility for their own welfare, mainly by promoting the adoption of market principles wherever possible. It is doubtful if this programme has had any long-term effect on entrepreneurship or the work ethic, although it contributed in some countries to a retrenchment of the welfare state. See the collection of papers in Russell Keat and Nicholas Abercrombie (eds.), The Enterprise Culture (1991).

Subjects: Sociology.


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