The Power of Business Culture

Lyn Spillman

in Solidarity in Strategy

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780226769561
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226769554 | DOI:
The Power of Business Culture

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This chapter provides an overview of the knowledge gained about business culture and American business associations, and what that means for our understanding of contemporary economic life. Forms of disinterested solidarity, as well as self-interest, are intrinsic in orientations to economic action even of capitalist business. Solidarity grounded in the technical division of labor exists as a critical potential within capitalist economic activity. This is what critical theorists used to call a “cultural surplus,” a shared normative grounding for claims-making in favor of institutions of production and exchange that might turn self-interested strategy to more encompassing solidarity. In view of this cultural surplus, assuming that economic action grounded on a norm of strategic, self-interested exchange is a transparent and immutable fact of life is ultimately more dangerous than investigating disinterest and exploring the conditions of its creation in solidaristic institutions.

Keywords: business culture; American business associations; solidarity; self-interest; economic action; capitalist economy

Chapter.  9723 words. 

Subjects: Occupations, Professions, and Work

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