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Showing them the door (nicely): rejection discourses and practices of a global elite

Article de François Goxe, Université de Versailles St Quentin-en-Yvelines (Larequoi) et de Nathalie Belhoste, Grenoble École de Management, retenu pour un numéro spécial de la revue Critical perspectives on international business (sélection d'articles depuis la création de la revue), sur le thème "Showing them the door (nicely): rejection discourses and practices of a global elite".

le 1 juillet 2018

Juillet 2018
– The purpose of this paper is to contribute to a critical approach of the identification and rejection strategies in discourses and practices of a “global elite” of business leaders and managers.

– A literature review of mainstream and more critical management and sociology literature on global or transnational elites and classes is presented. The identification and rejection discursive strategies of some (French) multinational corporations’ managers and internationalization agents are then empirically and qualitatively observed and analyzed.

– The findings are interpreted under the following strategies: constructive strategies, reproductive and legitimizing strategies and exclusion strategies. Some members of the global elite deploy a cosmopolitan and welcoming discourse to not only identify legitimate members of that class but also turn this discourse into one of exclusion, that is, find ways through language, and practice, to exclude those they perceive as illegitimate.

Research limitations/implications
– Management research on global elites needs more critical thinking and reflexivity to avoid acting as a mere vector of global managerial doxa. Studying values, practices and reactions of other less “prestigious” classes confronted with those elites (small- and medium-sized enterprises’ entrepreneurs, individuals from emerging countries, etc.) may contribute to such perspective.

– The paper shows that the literature (in management) often speaks very highly of global elites. It identifies some dynamics of power between members of that/those classes and individuals who intend to join them and thus provides explanations about the elite’s unwritten codes of conduct, pre-requisites for consideration and inclusion and shows how global classes/elites discursively legitimize and exclude others.

Keywords: Discourse strategies, Global managers, International elite

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