ÖZP 2012/2 S.141-160
"Austria Inc." Forever? On the Stability of a Coordinated Corporate Network in Times of Privatization and Internationalization
Keywords: corporate network, interlocked directorates, coordinated capitalism, business elite
One of the features of organized Austrian capitalism is a tightly knit corporate network that facilitates the control and coordination among companies ("Austria Inc.?). In the 80ies the subsidiaries of the Austrian industry-holding stock company (ÖIAG) and the largest banks were the central hubs of the network. Thirty years later the ÖIAG has privatized nearly all its companies, banks merged, dissolved their industry holding, and joined international business groups. Nevertheless, "Austria Inc.? has not eroded. On the basis of an empirical analysis of interlocked directorates, considering the time frame 1976-2000, this article investigates which reconfigurations facilitate to perpetuate "Austria Inc.? The analysis suggests three explanations: Despite the extensive privatization of Austrian economy, national owners continue to prevail within the network. The banking group Raiffeisen filled the gap that was opened by the withdrawal of the state from the economic sphere. Members of the Austrian elite still use board meetings for social networking.