When social movements protest large corporations, are they taking on just the targeted firm or is their target part of an organized sector or the larger corporate class? Put differently, are large corporations purely atomistic entities or are they collective actors, organized at the level of their sector or the capitalist class? Extant research finds class-wide networks often unify the political behavior of connected firms, including in their responses to protests. Yet, other studies find the declining significance of these networks, suggesting the corporate class is now fractured. Given the mixed findings, a key aspect of the debate has remained understudied: the shift to narrower sectoral coalitions that are neither indicative of a fractured business nor a unified class. This study assesses the impact of class-wide and sectoral networks in unifying the response strategies of Fortune 500 corporations targeted for protest over six years. I test the influence of business-wide policy networks against the trade association network for manufacturing firms. Results suggest that large corporations are not fractured, atomistic actors nor are they constrained to sector-level organizing. Rather, while sectoral differences do exist, class-wide networks continue to unify the responses of firms across sectors.
"Class, Sectoral, or Self-interest? The Collective Action of Large Manufacturing Firms in Response to Protest,"
Class, Race and Corporate Power: Vol. 10:
2, Article 3.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.fiu.edu/classracecorporatepower/vol10/iss2/3