Tag Archives: Management

Did you hear the one about the Anarchist Manager?

24 Sep

The 3rd Anarchist Studies Network conference took place between the 3rd and the 5th of September, at that network’s home, Loughborough University. As with the 2nd ASN conference two years ago, we organised a stream at the conference which invited participants to consider the relationship between Anarchism and (Critical) Management Studies (CMS). Over the past two years we also organised a similar event at the Manchester Critical Management Studies conference and a double book launch, here at Leicester. These various events, taken together, are leading up to a special issue of the open-access online journal ephemera, entitled “Management, Business, Anarchism”, due to be published this November. It has been an interesting two years.

that'd be great

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The Evolution of Critical Management Studies?

13 Aug

Here’s a post I helped write with Marton Racz about a PhD conference were helping organise at the University of Leicester on the 16th and 17th of September.

It is just over three years since Martin Parker and Robyn Thomas published their influential description of the concerns which a critical academic journal should have. Parker and Thomas – renowned critical scholars both – then and until very recently presided over Organization, within which the piece was published, as editors-in-chief. Just like their predecessors, they understood themselves to be developing and maintaining a critical tradition of scholarship by developing and maintaining the journal Organization. So within the hall of mirrors predicament that is reflexive manifesto making, as anybody who reads the article can see, a disgruntled form of modesty evidently prevails. So too, one can also read, does evolutionary imagery:

If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck and smells like a duck, then it’s probably a duck, even it likes to claim that it is a velociraptor (p. 424).

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Final Reminder: Anarchism and Critical Management Studies

26 Feb

Please find below a link to the call for papers for the Anarchism and Critical Management Studies stream at the 8th International CMS conference to be held in Manchester from the 10th to 12th of July 2013. The final deadline for abstracts submissions is the end of this week (01/03/13), so please do get in touch and send us something as soon as possible if you would like to participate. You should email both Thomas (trs6 (at) le (dot) ac (dot) uk) and Kostya (ks302 (at) le (dot) ac (dot) uk).

One may get the impression with this initiative that we are trying to marry two mutually exclusive traditions: anarchism and management. We would argue that there is in fact nothing exclusive about the study of management, either as a phenomenon of capitalist society or as a mode of organisation, and anarchism. Sadly, the only points of contact between the two seem to have been in the co-opting of anarchist and other radical ideas into mainstream management discourse; for example, think of non-heirarchical, networked workplaces or canteens with vegan options. Is it the case that these and other examples have been deprived through their integration of their powerful ethical and political potentials, or can they be salvaged for radical political praxis?

To say the least, management annoys us intensely, primarily because it is more often than not the management of one group of people by other people: workers by managers, women by men, non-white people by white people, and so on. This is one point at which anarcha-feminism, queer anarchism and postcolinial theory can intervene in the debate around anarchism and management, and we would encourage anyone working on the intersection between anarcha-feminist theory, queer theory or anarchist race theory and how these relate to contemporary business and management to consider submitting an abstract. We recognise that our original call for submissions didn’t reflect this openness to a complete picture of the social and political struggle against capital and as a result perhaps excluded many non-male and non-white academics, but we assure you this was not intentional and we more than welcome submissions dealing with all aspects of anarchist theory and how they relate to management and business, both in terms of critiquing mainstream models and realities and defining alternatives.

Another thing we want to encourage is submissions that deal with topics that are perhaps sometimes considered peripheral to management but that are nonetheless crucial to the development of both business and anarchist struggle (if such a neutral appreciation of a means can be accepted); for example, marketing and PR, economic analysis, etc.

If you or any of your friends and/or colleagues are working on anything that would fit within this broad definition of anarchism and critical management studies, then please do get in touch with us as soon as possible.

The full CFP is available here: https://socialmediaandradicalpolitics.wordpress.com/2013-cms-conference-cfp/

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