In this working paper we outline a way to trace corporate form. Our approach is built through a typology of what we call ‘Global Wealth Chains’, constructed around a series of ideal types based on assumptions of how actors align meaning and behavior through coordination. These actors are coordinating on “transacted forms of capital operating multi-jurisdictionally for the purposes of wealth creation and protection” (Seabrooke and Wigan 2017: 2). The use of corporate forms is particular important for this coordination, especially for relationships that are more complex. Our use of ideal types in the wealth chains framework has not been made explicit before, but we do here to clarify how tracing corporate form is not a task only for those working on theories of the firm and corporate networks, but also for scholars developing interpretive case studies that are brought into relief against ideal types of behavior. Our claims is that typologies and ideal types are useful for tracing corporate form because it provides us insights into the relations between actors (such as suppliers, clients, and regulators) rather than relying on theories of agency or structure to do the heavy lifting. This working paper first teases out some of the assumptions to help us understand how corporations act, and then proceeds to apply this logic to understanding how we can trace corporate form through direct types of corporate structures and activity. We locate this approach, identified in the literature as ‘global wealth chains’, as complementary to other contemporary work that focuses on corporate networks. We maintain that following a typology of ideal typical corporate forms and building a case by case comparison of real behavior against ideal types is an excellent way to understand corporate forms as a mix of agential and structural properties.
|Place of Publication||Ultrecht|
|Number of pages||24|
|Publication status||Published - Oct 2018|
|Series||Coffers Project Deliverables|