Dissertation: How economic interests and moral considerations influence each other in discussions about relocating production abroad
When a company announces ist intention to relocate production abroad, controversy may arise not only on whether this makes sense economically, but also whether it is morally justifiable. How do moral and economic arguments influence each other? How do actors reconcile what they define as their economic interest and what they or others define as ethical? The project investigates six companies, three of which relocated production abroad while the other three cancelled initial plans for relocation. In what respects did the discussion about relocation differ between the two categories of firms? Documents and personal interviews are used to find out the moral significance actors attributed to their actions. The aim of the project is a theory of how economic action is embedded in moral discourse.
Local economies and their divergence to national institutions.
In this project, which I worked in for two years and which was supervised by Colin Crouch and Helmut Voelzkow, we analyzed eight clusters to see whether companies within them replicate national institutional structures as depicted by the literature on varieties of capitalism. Our findings showed a surprising degree of institutional divergence of many clusters to their national embedding framework.
The media industry in Cologne and the biotechnology industry in Munich-Martinsried for example, use institutions which strongly diverge from those of the German coordinated market economy (as seen by Hall/ Soskice 2001).