Abstract: Little is known about the links between the business sector and civil society in Norway. To address the lack of knowledge, this study focused on members of the business elite who are elected representatives in voluntary organizations. Information about these representatives was obtained from a national survey of Norwegian elites and used to examine to what extent voluntary organizations are integrated into the business community’s network of institutions and organizations outside the corporate world. The analyses demonstrate that voluntary organizations are well placed within this network. Moreover, business leaders who are elected representatives are well-connected. Several of them serve on state boards and have frequent contact with politicians and state administrators. Business leaders who have experienced pronounced social mobility seem to be more attracted to being involved in the governance of voluntary organizations than their colleagues with a more privileged background.
Keywords: business elite; civil society; elected representatives; Norway; voluntary organizations