S2: Leading Companies

This subproject focuses on the evolution, from 1890 to 2020, of the business elite in three major Swiss economic sectors: banking, watchmaking and pharmaceutical industries. The three sectors have a high economic and symbolic value for the Swiss economy and are clearly associated with the three cities Zurich, Basel and Geneva. The project will study the career capital of the Swiss and non-Swiss top managers of the major companies of the three sectors during this period.

We aim to collect systematically data on top management profiles (education; nationality; career steps; other activities and mandates) from 1890 to 2020 in order to identify the changing elements of career capital in different historical phases. We will also collect additional data through interviews and case studies for the recent period 2000-2020 in all the three sectors.

Our research will also explore, together with sub-theme 1 researchers, which roles these top managers have in local business associations and local governance institutions like Chambers of Commerce, and how they have developed connections in regional, national and transnational «ecosystems».

Project Leader: Eric Davoine
Collaborator: Pedro Araujo
Student Assistant: Margaux Lang