This paper analyzes a particular model of domestication of financialization: engineers’ capitalism. Engineers’ capitalism is a conception of the firm in which innovation and technology are held to be the firm’s purpose and long term means of survival. As a consequence of this technocratic conception, engineer managers and research and development engineers are those that are supposed to set the strategic orientations of the firm. Based on the case study of an aeronautics firm that had experienced a conflictual merger, the paper shows how top managers use this managerial ideology in order to ensure shareholder support whilst building the firms’ integration. Faced with strong pressures in favour of the firm’s financialization –change in the structure of the shareholding and in the policies pursued by the State as a shareholder– the CEO and the CFO govern the firm with an engineers’ capitalism which has been made compatible with shareholder value. The article contributes to a questioning of the struggles inside the field of top management over adequate responses to financialization. It also highlights the decisive role played by the multilevel government of the firm in understanding the strategies of enterprises.
- government of firms
- research and development