City Research Online

The Rise of the 1%: An Organizational Explanation

Murphy, J. & Willmott, H. (2015). The Rise of the 1%: An Organizational Explanation. In: Elites on Trial. Research in the Sociology of Organizations, 43. (pp. 25-53). Emerald. doi: 10.1108/S0733-558X20150000043013


The paper adopts an organizational perspective to explore the conditions of possibility of the recent re-emergence of overt class-based discourse on one hand, epitomized by the ‘We are the 99%’ movement, and the rise on the other hand of a populist, nativist and sometimes overtly fascist right. It is argued that these phenomena, reflecting the increasingly crisis-pronecharacter of global capitalism, the growing gap between rich and poor and a generalized sense of insecurity, are rooted in the dismantling of socially embedded organizations through processes often described as‘financialization’, driven by the taken-for-granted dominance of neoliberal ideology. The paper explores the rise to dominance of the neoliberal ‘thought style’ and its inherent logic in underpinning the dismantling and restructuring of capitalist organization. Its focus is upon transnational value chain capitalism which has rebalanced power relations in favour of a small elite who is able to operate and realize wealth in ways that defy and often succeed in escaping the regulation of nation states.

Publication Type: Book Section
Departments: Bayes Business School > Management
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