Anarchism, Organization and Management
Critical Perspectives for Students
You might think that anarchism and management are opposed, but this book shows how engaging with the long history of anarchist ideas allows us to understand the problems of contemporary organizing much more clearly. Anarchism is a theory of organizing, and in times when global capitalism is in question, we need new ideas more than ever.
The reader of this book will learn how anarchist ideas are relevant to today’s management problems. In a series of student-friendly short chapters on contemporary topics, the authors challenge the common sense that has allowed particular forms of organization and market to become globally dominant. Do we always need leaders? Is technological change always a good thing? Are markets the best way to arrange forms of exchange? This challenging book is essential for anyone who wants to understand what is wrong with business school theory and what we might do about it.
For students and teachers of management, the standard textbook reproduces the dominant ideas about the way that business should be done. This book turns those ideas on their head, asking awkward questions about authority, technology and markets and demanding that its readers think hard about whether they want to reproduce those ideas too. Students of management, like everyone else, know that the current global system is broken but they don’t know what they can do about it. This unique book uses 200 years of anarchist ideas to give readers a clear guide for building the organizations and businesses of the future and places choice and responsibility at the centre of making a new world for people and the planet.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction. Management and Anarchism, and Organization – Martin Parker, Thomas Swann and Konstantin Stoborod
PART I: Managers and Management: History and Present
2. An anarchist prehistory of management – Nidhi Srinivas
3. Anarchy in Management Today – Brian Wierman, Edward Granter, and Leo McCann
PART II: People and Organizations
4. Difference and Diversity in Organizations – Claire Jin Deschner
5. Managing the Self – Peter Bloom
6. Business Ethics – David Bevan
PART III: Structure and Culture
7. Decision Making and Power – Maarit Laihonon
8. Organizational Culture – Elen Riot and Martin Parker
9. Leadership and Authority – Lucas Casagrande and Guillermo Rivera
PART IV: Markets, Finance and Accounting
10. Finance and Value – Kenneth Weir and Christopher Land
11. Accounting in organizations and society – Anders Sandstrom
PART V: New Technology and New Economy
12. The Collaborative and Sharing Economy – Ozan Ağlargöz and Feyza Ağlargöz
13. Crowdsourcing and Digital Platforms – Andreas Kamstrup and Emil Husted
14. Trust, Finance and Cryptocurrencies – Enrico Beltramini
PART VI: Markets and Exchange
15. Marketing, advertising and persuasion – Amanda Earley
16. Innovation and Entrepreneurship – Alf Rehn
17. Exchange beyond the market – Richard J. White and Colin C. Williams
18. Conclusion: What to do with this book – Martin Parker, Thomas Swann and Konstantin Stoborod
Martin Parker is a professor in the School of Management, University of Bristol, and author of Shut Down the Business School (2018).
Konstantin Stoborod is an independent scholar based in Moscow.
Thomas Swann is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in Politics and International Studies at Loughborough University. His book Anarchist Cybernetics will be published in 2020.
'This exquisite book achieves what it sets out to do. It shows that another world, a non-managerial world, is indeed possible.'
Marx & Philosophy Review of Books
'Have you been waiting for a management book that would help you in your work and planning? Or, have you, like me, spent many good hours imagining a working, living, breathing anarchist society? If so, then this book is for you. It is also for you, if you are curious about what lies in the parts of the maps of organizing, officially marked with "here be dragons." Or if you are tired of the assumption that there is no alternative, when everything in and around us is bursting with an abundance of alternatives, and the future of the planet happens to depend on using our imagination more often, and better? Yes, this book is it: a powerful and practical invitation to think about management and organization differently.'
Monika Kostera, The Jagiellonian University, Poland
'Tackling conventional approaches to management with clarity and assurance, this collection invites students to re-think and re-imagine organisation by detaching "management" from bureaucratic, market principles. Parker, Stoborod and Swann outline a brilliant case for anarchist recuperation and the contributors to this collection provide a critical exploration of the mainstream that helps explain why so many of us find it hard to manage in our neat and tightly managed worlds.'
Ruth Kinna, Loughborough University, UK
'This book aims to be an "antidote to management common sense." It fits the bill by being at once exciting and cultured, challenging and relevant. The chapters, crisply organized, juxtapose routine and contemporary management ideas and issues (e.g. culture, decision making, new technologies, innovation) with anarchist forms, inviting readers to meet different and stimulating realities of organizing that expand and struggle with notions of collective and individual freedom, autonomy and responsibility.'
Alessia Contu, University of Massachusetts, Boston, USA