Cohesion, structural equivalence, and similarity of behavior: An approach to the study of corporate political power

Sociological Theory 8 (1):16-32 (1990)
Abstract
Political sociologists interested in corporate power have focused increasingly on the extent to which the business community is cohesive. Studies of cohesion, however, frequently contain either no definition or operational definitions with little theoretical rationale. This paper examines the uses of the term cohesion in the power structure literature as well as in classical and contemporary sociological theory. I argue that: (1) cohesion is most appropriately defined as an objective characteristic of a social structure; (2) to understand a group's power, we should focus on the extent to which its members behave similarly; and (3) the concept of structural equivalence may be as likely to capture the processes of interest to power structure researchers as the concept of cohesion. Findings from a study of corporate political behavior are presented to illustrate this argument
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