Peoples, Cultures and Careers #2 - Privilege and Prejudice
Prior research has found that contenders with upper-class backgrounds are favoured for CEO positions in corporate America. Since then, corporate America has undergone significant changes that have institutionalized shareholder primacy as the dominant principle. We examine implications of these changes, theorizing that upper-class bias in CEO selection has amplified since the 1970s. Using a novel dataset that compares social class backgrounds of candidates, we find that companies with concentrated ownership exhibit stronger preferences for upper-class contenders due to greater salience of shareholders as primary stakeholders. In contrast, collective bargaining agreements serve as a countervailing force, reducing upper-class bias in selection.
Host & Moderator
Professor Eddy Ng
Professor Ng is a Visiting Professor of Organisational Behaviour. His research focuses on managing diversity for organizational competitiveness, the changing nature of work and organizations, and managing across generations. His work has been funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada grants. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and a Co-Editor for Personnel Review. Prior to the academia, he spent 7 years with the TD Bank Financial Group.
Assistant Professor Michelle K. Lee
Michelle Lee’s current research studies the role of social class background on executive career paths and outcomes in organizational decisions. Her research also studies how experiences with CSR and wealth-oriented shareholder activism affect the career and future strategic decisions of the CEO. More broadly, her research areas include social class, CEO careers, shareholder activism, and corporate social responsibility.
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