Ellersgaard, Christoph Houman3; Larsen, Anton Grau3; Munk, Martin D.4
1 Department of Sociology, Faculty of Social Sciences, Københavns Universitet2 Aalborg University3 Department of Sociology, Faculty of Social Sciences, Københavns Universitet4 Aalborg University
The Case of the Danish Top CEOs
Although the business elites in western societies have a very privileged social background in common, there are substantial differences in the reproduction mechanisms and social trajectories leading to a position within this elite group. These differences are explored by comparing the career paths of the top 100 CEOs in Britain, France, Germany and Denmark. In France and Britain, this reproduction is mediated through degrees from elite universities. In Germany, the principle of admission is the incorporated cultural capital acquired through an exclusive bourgeois origin combined with any university degree. Elite universities also hold little importance for Danish top CEOs, partly due to the institutions’ historic decline; instead, reproduction is mediated through time spent in the economic field, placing the case of the Danish CEOs between that of their British and German counterparts. Specific trajectories of Danish executives, in particular sales people, are identified using Multiple Correspondence Analysis and cluster analysis.