The general objective of this presentation is the identification of Quebec’s economic elite in light of the changes related to the financialization of firms. The specific objective is to characterize this economic elite with regards to its attributes, including compensation in the case of senior management and the positions it holds in the network of relations between firms and Quebec organizations (governmental organizations, universities, business organizations, consulting firms, foundations). The first part aims to circumscribe financialization as a phenomenon and its structuring effect on firms.
From Québec Inc. to Financial Elite: How financial power has transformed the contemporary accumulation process
The result of the power acquired by financialization is the development of financial channels superimposed on preexisting industrial channels and their consequent profound transformation. On the level of the firm’s players, the institutional investors induce transformations by determining the form of governance to be favoured, which is then applied by the independent administrators. Senior management is then assessed and remunerated according to its ability to implement the firm’s financial strategies. In the second part of the presentation, the considerations presented above on the financialization of firms are brought to bear in the identification of the economic elite through their capacity to orient the forms of accumulation and, in doing so, the trajectory of capitalism. They guide the economic, normative and institutional processes at work in capitalism. Two complementary research approaches are carried out, the results of which constitute the third part of the presentation: the study of the compensation of senior management and the study of relations between elites through the descriptive contribution of network analysis.
About Audrey Laurin-Lamothe
Audrey Laurin-Lamothe is a sociologist and assistant professor in York University's Social Science department where she teaches in the Business and Society program. Her thesis created a portrait of the economic elite in Quebec in the context of increased firm financialization, through an analysis of individual profiles, compensation and social networks. Her research program is informed by the understanding that financialization is a driving force of economic transformation and more broadly, profoundly influences relationships among households, organizations and the State. Her previous academic contributions analyzed gender-based fiscal policies, public indebtedness and wages’ stagnation in Canada.