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  • 101.
    Garsten, Christina
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology. Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE).
    Sörbom, Adrienne
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE).
    Small Places, Big Stakes: Meetings as Moments of Ethnographic Momentum2017In: Meeting Ethnography: Meetings as Key Technologies of Contemporary Governance, Development, and Resistance / [ed] Jen Sandler, Renita Thedvall, New York: Routledge, 2017, p. 126-142Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 102.
    Garsten, Christina
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE).
    Sörbom, Adrienne
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE).
    The Politicization of Corporations: The Case of the World Economic Forum2014Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

     

     

    The Politicization of Corporations: The Case of the World Economic Forum

    Christina Garsten and Adrienne Sörbom

     

     

    Abstract

     

    This paper departs from an interest in the involvement of business leaders in the sphere of politics, in the broad sense. At a general level, we are seeing a proliferation of usages of non-market corporate strategies, such as testimony, lobbying, interlocking of positions and other means to influence policymakers at all levels of government and international institutions as an adjunct to the firm’s market strategies. This paper brings to the fore the role of corporations in the World Economic Forum (WEF), and how firms act through the WEF to advance their interests, financial as well as political. What is the role of business in the WEF, and how do business corporations advance their interests through the WEF? Empirically we depart from ethnographic field studies of the World Economic Forum, drawing on observations from WEF-events and interviews with participants and organizers. We propose that corporations find a strategically positioned amplifier for their non-market interests in the WEF. The WEF functions to enhance and gain leverage for their ideas and priorities in a highly selective and resourceful environment. In the long run, both the market priorities and the political interests of business may be served by engagement in the WEF. By way of corporate financial resources, the tapping of knowledge and expertise, and access to vast networks of business relations, the WEF is also able to amplify its own voice and agency in the field of global governance.

     

     

  • 103.
    Garsten, Christina
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology. Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE).
    Sörbom, Adrienne
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE).
    Think tanks as policy brokers in partially organized fields: The case of World Economic Forum2014Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    As has been noted in research on think tanks it is difficult to describe what a think tank is, and to pinpoint what it is in think tank activities that generates powerful relationships towards other actors. This is even more the case when talking of transnational think tanks. In this report we give a theoretical account of how relationships organized by transnational think tanks may be analyzed.

    In the report we are drawing on empirical findings from the World Economic Forum (WEF), seen as a transnational think tank addressing a non-national audience. We are suggesting that think-tank experts are engaged in the brokerage of ideas and knowledge, implying anintermediary activity, wherein ideas are translated, shaped and formatted. Operating at the interfaces of various actors, think-tank experts formulate and negotiate ideas with and among actors, encouraging them to adopt and use those ideas.

    The main argument in the report is that this brokerage can be seen to generate ‘partially organized fields’. The think tank organizes other actors not by constructing a complete organization, but by establishing and maintaining a decided network, drawing upon such organizational elements as membership, monitoring and sanctions. This allows think tanks to maintain a degree of flexibility, whilst gaining control of valuable resources.

    In the case of the WEF the report show that the combination of a small core of completeorganization with a larger environment of only partial organizing essentially allows the WEF to be bigger than they actually are. The decided networks, i.e. the partnerships, the working groups, and the communities, significantly extends the reach of the WEF, allowing it to reach across organizational boundaries.

    We suggest that this form of organizing is the prime way for transnational think tanks toorganize outside themselves, thereby exerting political influence. The potential influence it may exert resides in its influence over the shaping of agendas in other organizations, the formulation of pressing political issues, and by mobilizing actors in their decided networks to carry the issues further, on other organizational platforms and with other organizational mandates.

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    fulltext
  • 104.
    Garsten, Christina
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE). Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
    Sörbom, Adrienne
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE).
    Uneasy alignment: Transparency and opacity at the World Economic Forum2014Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 105.
    Garsten, Christina
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE). Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
    Sörbom, Adrienne
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE).
    Values aligned: the organization of conflicting values within the World Economic Forum2014In: Configuring Value Conflicts in Markets / [ed] Susanna Alexius, Kristina Tamm Hallström, Padstow: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2014, p. 159-177Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 106.
    Garsten, Christina
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology. Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE).
    Thedvall, Renita
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE). Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
    Free commodity exchange: Skype and Spotify and the complexity of market relations2014Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 107.
    Garsten, Christina
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology. Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE).
    Thedvall, Renita
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE). Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
    Transparency by proxy: knowledge, indicators, and legitimacy in market practice2014Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 108.
    Garsten, Christina
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
    Wulff, Helena
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
    Introduction: from people of the book to people of the screen2003In: New technologies at work: people, screens, and social virtuality / [ed] Christina Garsten, Helena Wulff, Oxford: Berg Publishers, 2003, p. 1-6Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 109.
    Hasselström, Anna
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
    Garsten, Christina
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
    Homo mercans and the fashioning of markets2004In: Market Matters: Exploring Cultural Processes in the Global Marketplace, 2004Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 110.
    Hasselström, Anna
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
    Garsten, Christina
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
    Risky Business: Discourses of Risk and (ir)responsibility in Globalizing Markets.2000Other (Other academic)
  • 111.
    Hasselström, Anna
    et al.
    Stockholm University.
    Garsten, Christina
    Stockholm University.
    Risky Business: Negotiating ideas of trust, business and friendship in financial markets2003In: Ethnos, Vol. 68, no 2, p. 249-270Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 112. Koene, Bas
    et al.
    Galais, Nathalie
    Garsten, Christina
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology. Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE). Copenhagen Business School, Denmark.
    Management and Organization of Temporary Agency Work Foreword2014In: Management and Organization of Temporary Agency Work / [ed] Bas Koene, Nathalie Galais, Christina Garsten, Routledge, 2014, Vol. 27, p. xi-XIIChapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Over the past two decades, the concept of “regular employment” has been challenged and changed rapidly and fundamentally. We have seen a growth of short-term employment. Increasingly, organizations make use of contingent employees (Bergström and Storrie 2003) and contract work (Barley and Kunda 2004). From the beginning of the 1990s onwards, the growth of these “non-standard work arrangements” has attracted scholarly attention (e.g., Casey 1991; Delsen 1995; Purcell and Purcell 1998; Kalleberg 2000). Along with these developments, temporary work and the temporary work agency industry have both grown rapidly. In the United States, temporary agency work (TAW) grew at an annual rate of 11 per cent between 1972 and 1998, against 2 per cent annual growth for regular non-farm employment (Kalleberg 2000). During the 1990s, temporary work agencies were legalized and regulated in many European countries (Bergström and Storrie 2003), refl ecting a growing sociocultural readiness for temporary employment and supporting its proliferation (Koene, Paauwe, and Groenewegen 2004). Critics voiced concern about the risks of bringing contingency back in and of undermining work conditions and workplace community (e.g., Benner, Leete, and Pastor 2007; Kalleberg 2009). Still, during the 1990s, temporary contracts in Europe grew by 25 per cent (Kalleberg 2000), and in the fi rst decade of the new millennium, we saw a steep growth of agency work in Europe from 2,605 million to 3,924 full-time equivalents between 2002 and 2007 when it peaked, a growth of 51 per cent (Ciett 2011).

  • 113. Koene, Bas
    et al.
    Garsten, Christina
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology. Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE). Copenhagen Business School, Denmark; Stockholm School of Economics, Sweden.
    Galais, Nathalie
    Management and organization of temporary work2014In: Management and organization of temporary agency work / [ed] Bas Koene, Christina Garsten and Nathalie Galais, London: Routledge, 2014, Vol. 27, p. 1-20Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 114. Krause-Jensen, Jakob
    et al.
    Garsten, Christina
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
    Introduction: neoliberal turns in higher education2014In: Learning and Teaching, ISSN 1755-2273, E-ISSN 1755-2281, Vol. 7, no 3, p. 1-13Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 115. Moeran, Brian
    et al.
    Garsten, Christina
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology. Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE).
    Business Anthropology: Towards an Anthropology of Worth?2013In: Journal of Business Anthropology, E-ISSN 2245-4217, Vol. 2, no 1, p. 1-8Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 116.
    Svallfors, Stefan
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, The Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI).
    Rothstein, Bo
    Garsten, Christina
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
    Werner, Björn
    Selling, Niels
    Politikerkarriär? –Nej tack!2015In: Magasinet Arena, ISSN 1104-4209, no 1, p. 14-19Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 117.
    Sörbom, Adrienne
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE).
    Garsten, Christina
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE).
    Discreet Diplomacy: Practices of Secrecy in Transnational Think Tanks2021Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper studies secrecy practices within transnational think tanks. Drawing on ethnographic data from three such organisations, we explore how everyday practices undertaken in secrecy amount to discreet diplomatic efforts. We suggest that transnational think tanks should be understood as “shutter boxes” that engage in three types of secrecy practices: shadowed, hidden, and conspicuously shown. Although outwardly striving for transparency, secrecy practices are vital for transnational think tanks as they strive to establish themselves as actors of consequence in foreign relations and diplomatic circles. Practices of secrecy are part and parcel of the power game played by think tanks, in which all participants learn and master what to discuss and what not to display.

  • 118.
    Sörbom, Adrienne
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE).
    Garsten, Christina
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE).
    Discreet Diplomacy: Practices of Secrecy in Transnational Think Tanks2023In: The Cambridge Journal of Anthropology, ISSN 2047-7716, Vol. 42, no 1, p. 98-117Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article aims to expand both the analytical gaze of diplomacy studies and anthropological interests in the field of transnational think tanks, advocacy and policy advice. Drawing on ethnographic data from three such organisations, itinvestigates secrecy practices within transnational think tanks, focusing on how everyday practices undertaken in secrecy amount to discreet diplomatic efforts. In a variety of ways, secrecy is utilised as a resource in foreign relations and diplomacy, thereby aiming to leverage status and influence. Although outwardly striving for transparency, secrecy practices are thus vital in the striving of transnational think tanks to establish themselves as actors of consequence in foreign relations and diplomatic circles. It is argued that practices of secrecy are part and parcel of the power games played, in which all participants learn and master what to discuss and what not to display. These practices, however, also imply a challenge in terms of accountability and transparency.  

  • 119.
    Sörbom, Adrienne
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE). Södertörns högskola, Sverige.
    Garsten, Christina
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE).
    Future Fears: Anticipation and the Politics of Emotion in the Future Industry2021In: Culture Unbound. Journal of Current Cultural Research, ISSN 2000-1525, E-ISSN 2000-1525, Vol. 13, no 3, p. 1-25Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper is based on ethnographic work in organizations that form part of what we term the Future Industry – e.g. think tanks, consultancies and governmental bodies – involved in the charting, description and analysis of future scenarios. That is to say, an industry explicitly aiming for organizing the future. In the paper we analyze this industry, which we see as serving and feeding into, the emotional streams of contemporary politics and economics. In the interest of selling beliefs of the future, we suggest that it attempts to make its customers sense the pros and cons of the particular future it puts forth. The paper argues that the mapping and selling of futures to a large extent involves the voicing of “problems” and the presentation of “desirable futures”, the cultivation, articulation and management of fear, anxiety, and hope, as well as a reliance on metrics, reason, and evidence, are central components.

  • 120.
    Sörbom, Adrienne
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE).
    Garsten, Christina
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
    His Master’s Voice? The Role of Business in the World Economic Forum2013Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper departs from an interest in the involvement of business leaders in the sphere of politics, in the broad sense. Many global business leaders today do much more than engage narrowly in their own corporation and its search for profit. At a general level, we are seeing a proliferation of usages of non-market corporate strategies, such as testimony, lobbying, interlocking of positions and other means to influence policymakers at all levels of government and international institutions as an adjunct to the firm’s market strategies. Conversely, there is an enhanced interest on the part of policymakers to influence firm behaviour through multi-stakeholder involvement, public – private agreements and networks forms of governance. The paper brings to the fore the role of corporations in the World Economic Forum, and how firms act through the WEF to advance their interests, financial as well as political. What is the role of business in the World Economic Forum, and how do business corporations advance their interests through the WEF?

    The results show that corporations find a strategically positioned amplifier for their non-market interests in the WEF. The WEF functions to enhance and gain leverage for their ideas and priorities in a highly selective and resourceful environment. In the long run, both the market priorities and the political interests of business may be served by engagement in the WEF.

    However, the WEF cannot only be conceived as the extended voice of corporations. The WEF also makes use of the corporations to organize and expand their own agency, which not necessarily coincides with the interests of multinational corporations. By way of corporate financial resources, the tapping of knowledge and expertise, and access to vast networks of business relations, the WEF is also able to amplify its own voice.

  • 121.
    Sörbom, Adrienne
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE).
    Garsten, Christina
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE).
    His Master’s Voice?: The Role of Business in the World Economic Forum2012Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 122.
    Sörbom, Adrienne
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE).
    Garsten, Christina
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
    Policy brokers in partially organized fields: the case of World Economic Forum2013In: 8th International Conference in Interpretive Policy Analysis 2013 in Vienna from July 3rd- to July 5th, 2013, 2013Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    As has been noted in research on think tanks it is difficult to describe what a think tank is, and to pinpoint what it is in think tank activities that generates powerful relationships towards other actors (Ricci 1993). This is even more the case when talking of international think tanks. In this paper we give a theoretical account of how these relationships organized by international think tanks may be analyzed.

    Think tanks are often established as non-profit organizations, and hence part of civil society. But because corporations and private foundations often fund them they operate across organizations and organizational spheres, as ‘boundary-spanning organizations’ (cf. Medvetz 2012). In the cross-boundary environment established by think tanks, ideas are disseminated to other actors: governments, authorities, the media and the public.

    Drawing on empirical findings from the World Economic Forum (WEF), seen as a think tank like organization, we suggest that think-tank experts are engaged in the brokerage of ideas and knowledge, implying an intermediary activity, wherein ideas are translated, shaped and formatted (c.f. Smith 1991; Ingold & Varone 2012). Operating at the interfaces of various actors, think-tank experts formulate and negotiate ideas with and among actors, encouraging them to adopt and use those ideas (cf. Mosse 1985; Wedel 2009).

    This brokerage can be seen to generate ‘partially organized fields’ (cf. Ahrne & Brunsson 2011). It organizes other actors not by constructing a complete organization, but by establishing and maintaining a decided network and drawing upon such organizational elements as membership, monitoring and resources.  This allows the think tanks to maintain a degree of flexibility, whilst gaining control of valuable resources.

    The WEF is a not-for profit organization, based in Geneva Switzerland. It was founded in 1971 by Professor Klaus Schwab. Today the organization has approximately 500 employees, financed by the organization’s 1000 members, coming from the largest corporations in the world.  WEF is most known for its annual meeting in Davos, but it hosts a vast number of private meetings around the world, and has built a world wide network of people and organizations coming from many parts of society, such as corporations, churches, NGOs as well as national and international authorities.

  • 123.
    Sörbom, Adrienne
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology. Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE).
    Garsten, Christina
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE). Södertörn University College, Sweden.
    Risk, resilience, and alternative futures: Scenario-building at the World Economic Forum2016Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The implications of globalization and geopolitical shifts are central concerns in think tanks and other organizations geared to producing knowledge about the contemporary world. The World Economic Forum, a nonprofit international organization headquartered in Geneva, concentrates a large part of its work around the production of The Global Risks Report. The paper discusses the The Global Risks Report and the models of alternative futures outlined in the report, as examples of organizational scenario-building. The report draws on expertise available within the different communities and knowledge networks created by the WEF and builds on research, projects, debates and initiatives piloted by the organization. It is suggested that the risk scenarios articulate a particular form of ‘anticipatory knowledge’, geared to contribute to the shaping of political priorities and agendas. The scenarios aim to shape perceptions of what constitute ‘global problems’, and how they might best be addressed and governed and confer a degree of agency onto the organization and its partner organizations, i.e. the world’s largest transnational corporations. Hence, they contribute to anticipatory governance, i.e. governance geared to integrate imaginaries of the future into regulatory processes.

    Download full text (pdf)
    fulltext
  • 124.
    Sörbom, Adrienne
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE).
    Garsten, Christina
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE).
    Values aligned : the organization of conflicting values within the World Economic Forum2011Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 125.
    Thedvall, Renita
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE). Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
    Garsten, Christina
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE). Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
    Free commodity exchange: Skype and Spotify and the complexity of market relations2013Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 126.
    Wulff, Helena
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
    Garsten, Christina
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
    New Technologies at Work: People, Screens and Social Virtuality2003Book (Refereed)
123 101 - 126 of 126
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