Innovation, Evolution and Economic Change
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Innovation, Evolution and Economic Change

New Ideas in the Tradition of Galbraith

Edited by Blandine Laperche, James K. Galbraith and Dimitri Uzunidis

The book begins with a penetrating analysis of the main features of today’s capitalism and in particular the conflict between shareholders and managers. It moves on to focus on the consequences of globalization in the decision-making processes of large corporations and represents an important step in the development of a theory of fraud and corruption within corporations. In the final part, the authors address and explore the consequences of the domination of influential groups over major social and political decisions, on the blurred boundaries between the public and the private sectors and its consequences in the fields of technological regulation and the evolution of public services. In so doing, the authors question the meaning and power of democracy in today’s society.
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Chapter 2: From One Managerial Capitalism. . . to Another

Pascal Petit


2. From one managerial capitalism … to another Pascal Petit 1. INTRODUCTION * By an irony of fate J.K. Galbraith’s book The New Industrial State was published more or less at the end of the Golden Age of capitalism.1 The accurate description he gives of ‘modern capitalism’, insisting on the role played by the technostructure of major companies, is in considerable contrast to the image of contemporary capitalism dominated by financial logic (see also G. Caire’s contribution, Chapter 5). The distance between the two concepts is formidable! However, if we retrace the history of the developments outlined by Galbraith, we are led, through a sequence of ruptures and continuities, to proceed to a new reading of our contemporary situation. What happened to the power exerted by that technostructure, to that ideology and those political relations on which it rested its primacy? Was the financial deregulation that followed the end of the Bretton Woods system enough to overthrow such power? In what way did their possible reconversion take place? In our stock-exchange euphoria of the 1990s, didn’t we, by mistake, see a takeover by financiers of the sectors in which the evolution was still fairly continuous and strongly centred on the evolution of the managerial world to which Galbraith was trying to draw our attention? Our purpose is to take up Galbraith’s organizational and institutional perspective in order to follow the structural developments that changed that technostructure and conferred on a small group of managers a new role and new powers, going so...

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