The Democratic Organisation: Democracy and the Future of Work, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Democratic Organisation

Democracy and the Future of Work, 1st Edition

By Thomas Diefenbach


328 pages | 1 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2020-06-24
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Current models of organisation divide people into owners and workers, managers and employees, forcing especially the latter to obey, to behave and to function well within a managerial and functional pecking-order. However, there is no natural law suggesting the existence or need of such organisations, even not in market economies and definitely not in modern democratic societies – and there is no justification for such types of organisations. The democratic organisation provides the institutions and organisational context so that individuals can maintain and pursue their fundamental freedoms and inalienable rights, dignity and creativity. Diefenbach develops and provides step by step a systematic and comprehensive, thorough and detailed general model of the democratic organisation. He describes the democratic organisation’s fundamental principles and values, governance and management, structures and processes, the ways it functions and operates both within the organisation as well as towards others and the environment.

Arguing that most current organisations are orthodox, hierarchical, anti-democratic, oppressive, unfair and unjust; this book presents a viable alternative, a better type of organisation - the democratic organisation. This book will be of interest to researchers, academics, practitioners, and students in the fields of management, organisation studies, strategic management, business ethics, entrepreneurship, and family business.

Table of Contents


1. Prevailing organisations and alternatives

Part I - The model of the democratic organisation

2. Libertarian constitution

3. Democratic governance

4. Democratic management

5. Equalising empowerment

6. Considerate conduct of business

7. General model of the democratic organisation

Part II – Attractiveness, legitimacy, and vulnerabilities of democratic organisations

8. The case for democratic organisations

9. Refutations and illegitimacy of the employment contract

10. Legitimate and illegitimate organisations

11. The iron threat(s) of disproportional empowerment

Final remarks

About the Author

Dr. Thomas Diefenbach is an independent scholar, writer, researcher and consultant and lives in Cambodia.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Management, Organizations and Society

Management, Organizations and Society represents innovative work grounded in new realities; addressing issues crucial to an understanding of the contemporary world. This is the world of organized societies, where boundaries between formal and informal, public and private, local and global organizations have been displaced or vanished along with other nineteenth century dichotomies and oppositions. Management, apart from becoming a specialised profession for a growing number of people, is an everyday activity for most members of modern societies. Management, Organizations and Society will address these contemporary dynamics of transformation in a manner that transcends disciplinary boundaries, with work which will appeal to researchers, students and practitioners alike.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Business Ethics
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Strategic Planning
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Corporate & Business History
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Development / General
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Organizational Development
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Ideologies / Democracy