The Routledge Companion to Alternative Organization  book cover
1st Edition

The Routledge Companion to Alternative Organization

ISBN 9780415782265
Published December 11, 2013 by Routledge
408 Pages 18 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Despite the Great Recession, slightly different forms of global capitalism are still portrayed as the only game in town by the vast majority of people in power in the world today. Unbridled growth, trade liberalisation, and competition are advocated as the only or best ways of organizing the contemporary world. Unemployment, yawning gaps between rich and poor, political disengagement, and environmental devastation are too often seen as acceptable ‘side effects’ of the dominance of neo-liberalism.

But the reality is that capitalism has always been contested and that people have created many other ways of providing for themselves. This book explores economic and organizational possibilities which extend far beyond the narrow imagination of economists and management theorists. Chapters on co-operatives, community currencies, the transition movement, scrounging, co-housing and much more paints a rich picture of the ways in which another word is not only possible, but already taking shape. The aim of this companion is to move beyond complaining about the present and into exploring this diversity of organisational possibilities. Our starting point is a critical analysis of contemporary global capitalism is merely the opening for thinking about organizing as a form of politics by other means, and one that can be driven by the values of solidarity, freedom and responsibility.

This comprehensive companion with an international cast of contributors gives voice to forms of organizing which remain unrepresented or marginalised in organizational studies and conventional politics, yet which offer more promising grounds for social and environmental justice. It is a valuable resource for students, activists and researchers interested in alternative approaches to economy and society in a variety of disciplinary and interdisciplinary fields.

Table of Contents

Part I: Introduction  1. Advanced Capitalism: Its Promise and Failings  2. Alternatives: Past, Present and Prospective  3. Imagining Alternatives  Part II: Work and Labour  4. Between Class and the Market: Self-Management in theory and in the Practice of Worker-Recuperated Enterprises in Argentina  5. Worker-Owned-and-Governed Cooperatives and the Wider Cooperative Movement: Challenges and Opportunities within and beyond the Global Economic Crisis  6. Communes and Intentional Communities 7. Non-Commodified Labour  8. Family and Household Reproduction   9. Immigrants and Immigration  10. Toward a Politics of Anonymity: Algorithmic Actors in the Constitution of Collective Agency and the Implications for Global Economic Justice Movements  Part III: Exchange and Consumption  11.  Fair Trade: Social Justice and Production Alternatives  12. Complementary Currencies as Slternative Organisational Forms 13. Gifts, Gifting and Gift Economies – On Challenging Capitalism with Blood, Plunder and Necklaces  14. Voluntary Simplicity   15. The Bioregional Economy: Reclaiming our Local Land  16. Organizing Transition: Principles and Tensions in Eco-Localism  Part IV: Resources  17. Credit Unions  18. Alternative and Social Accounting 19. The Commons   20. Scrounging and Reclaiming  21. Free and Open-Source Appropriate Technology  22. Education: By the People for the People   23. Social Movements and Global Governance  24. Horizons of Possibility: Challenge, Co-Optation and Transformation

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Martin Parker is Professor at the School of Management, University of Leicester, UK

George Cheney is Professor of Communication Studies and Coordinator of Doctoral Education in Communication and Information at Kent State University, Ohio, USA

Valérie Fournier is Senior Lecturer in Organization Studies at Leicester University, UK

Chris Land is Senior Lecturer in Work and Organisation at the University of Essex, UK


A formidable achievement which makes an important contribution both to public debate and to a range of academic disciplines. The variety and richness of ways of organizing has become almost invisible in recent political, economic and managerial discourse. This timely collection of essays serves as a reminder and a rallying call for those seeking to create or revive alternatives to the stifling and discredited orthodoxy of conventional organizations.

Christopher Grey, Professor of Organization Studies, Royal Holloway, University of London.

Parker, Cheney, Fournier and Land have put together an excellent collection, and added an analysis on the ability of these important forms in achieving organizational effectiveness as well as their struggle to achieve the ideals of social and environmental justice. The book would complement the reading lists for business courses in organizational behavior, organization theory, or organizational change. It would also be a benefit for anyone teaching advanced courses in economics, sociology, or public administration.

John T. Luhman, Eastern New Mexico University, USA

What a wonderfully tonic set of essays about the alternatives to capitalism taking shape all around us! Authors from across the globe discuss an astoundingly rich array of alternatives, from coops in Argentina to voluntary simplicity, from credit unions to eco-localism. If you had any doubt that another world is possible, read this and be challenged!

Paul Adler, USC Marshall School of Business, Los Angeles, USA

This Routledge Companion to Alternative Organization should not be viewed, as just a rigorous critique of capitalism with all its promises and excesses. These authors aim to think differently and imagine a new world. The solutions they propose or theorize are applied in various contexts [...] Because of its positive and inspiring focus, this Routledge Companion to Alternative Organization is an instructive reference for public and university libraries as well.

Yves Laberge, University of Rennes, France