The Modern Corporation: The Site of a Mechanism (of Global Social Change) that Is Out-of-Control?

  • Tony LawsonEmail author
Part of the Social Morphogenesis book series (SOCMOR)


The modern corporation, in particular the multinational, is assessed by many as being the site of an unstoppable mechanism of frequently unwanted, often far-ranging, social change. My concern here is to identify the structural conditions that underpin the workings of the corporation that ground these assessments. Specifically, my concern is to identify the fundamental nature of the corporation and specifically the multinational, examine how the structural conditions that underpin its workings emerged, and briefly question whether these conditions, now firmly established, are at all susceptible to constructive transformation


Firm Corporation Subsidiary Ontology Social positioning Community Artefact Legal fiction Juridical person Rights Obligations 



I am very grateful to the Independent Social Research Foundation for funding the research on which this paper draws. I am also grateful to participants of the Morphogenic Workshop for helpful comments when I first presented a draft of this paper at its meeting in Oxford in January 2014, and to Margaret Archer for further comments on a revised draft.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of EconomicsUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK

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