2008-03-09

Capital chief editor about "unsocial" behavior of transnational corporation CEOs

In a brilliant social analysis, aside from ideological blindness, Klaus Schweinsberg, chief editor of Capital (German business news magazine) answers a controversial question: Why the behavior of top managers of transnational corporations seems to be "unsocial" to the general public?

Schweinsberg's argumentation do not use any moral referenced reasons. In fact his argumentation is an analysis of the social environment of CEOs and other top managers. Some of the main reasons stated by Schweinsberg are:
  • The current but also the future elite have lost its social adhesion resp. embeddedness. Therefore this elite do not and cannot know what is going around in the real social world/environment; the leadership elite loses its social empathy.
    • But all this is just a result of the socialization (social environment and behavior) of future top managers: Those who want to become somebody in the upper management milieu, have to become a nobody in the generic milieu (soc. environment).
  • Managers have not as many decision options as assumed by the general public: They can act only within certain economical defined frames/rulesets and everything they do, have to follow rational reasons and economical paradigms which requirements often differ from common moral standards.
    • If managers would not follow these economical defined rulesets, they would not get the positions they got.
  • Conditional on their position managers are condemned to be isolated within their specific top manager milieu.

The solution to this problem is as controversial as the introductory question: The selection criteria for managers have to be changed to fulfill certain social requirements for socially embedded managers to close the spreading socioeconomical gap within the society. This is a quite questionable conclusion because it rises also another question: Is a "socially embedded manger" a good manager? Hereby the notion "good" refers to the leadership capabilities and economical decision qualities of a manger.