Socializing Capital: The Rise of the Large Industrial by William G. Roy

By William G. Roy

The 1st completely sociological inquiry into the increase of company capitalism i do know of, and the main trenchant critique of the existing 'efficiency theorists' we're prone to have for it slow. The booklet abounds with beautiful insights into the rocky and hugely contingent historical past of the commercial company, heavily argued and intensely good documented. those are laurels Roy can leisure on for a very long time after this substantial and intriguing effort.(Charles Perrow, Yale collage )

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Additional info for Socializing Capital: The Rise of the Large Industrial Corporation in America

Sample text

The events were discontinuous rather than evolutionary, a revolution not a trend. The shape of the temporal pattern by which events occur has important theoretical implications. Social and economic theories not only suggest which factors explain a phenomenon, but also implicitly assume patterns of development over time (Abbott 1990; Aminzade 1992). 1, when suddenly hundreds of very large corporations appeared within a few short years. The first condition is that the acting units are independent from one another, but some sudden common change affects many of them similarly— something like a war, revolution, or sweeping legal change.

Second, the acting units could be independent from one another, but a coincidence of exogenous factors or some link among exogenous factors each affects one unit at a time. For example, if technology changed quickly in many industries, each industry with a technological change might see large corporations arising about the same time. Third, the units may not be independent from one another, but the fact that one unit changes induces others to change, creating a contagion effect. None of these fits efficiency theory.

Although American industry was becoming more efficient, such progress was just as likely in industries that did not incorporate as those that did. In order to advance beyond the negative results on the factors that did not explain the extent of incorporation, we must interpret the finding that size and capital intensity were such important factors in explaining the presence of corporations in an industry. Size of firm is interpreted by most analysts to represent a proxy for some other more “basic” variable.

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