Business organisations and the legitimation of market inequalities

Skilling, P
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European Group for Organizational Studies (EGOS)

High levels of economic inequality are associated with a wide range of negative social outcomes. Public opinion surveys, moreover, consistently show that a majority of people are concerned about existing levels of inequality (even as they tend to underestimate how unequal their own societies are.) Why then, have the citizens of many western democracies been so reluctant to support policies and parties that are committed to addressing inequality? This paper, situated in the context of an especially small, distant and open economy, explores the discursive practices of business lobby groups and, more specifically, those groups’ arguments against higher wages at the lower end of the earnings distribution. It argues that these practices simultaneously rely on and reinforce a broad acceptance of the proposition that the social institution of the market is an immutable force that powerfully constrains society’s ability to pursue greater equality

31st EGOS Colloquium: Organizations and the Examined Life held at ALBA Graduate Business School, The American College of Greece, Athens, 2015-07-02 to 2015-07-04
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