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date: 06 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter argues that ‘management ideas’ are distinct from ideas about organization more generally. It suggests that the reduction of the latter to the former is an ideological move that encourages us to believe that there are no alternatives to management, as if all forms of organization were necessarily managerial. The aim is to reclaim organizing from those who claim expertise in management, and instead insist that we treat organizing as a form of politics. Using a case study of an English worker’s co-operative as an example, the chapter argues that attention to the politics of organizing should mean that questions of collectivism and the common good have to be balanced against ideas about autonomy and difference. The resulting forms of organization then need to be aimed at the service of the future, always in the knowledge that any form of organization is itself a form of politics made durable.

Keywords: alternative organization, co-operatives, Suma Foods, managerialism, politics, autonomy, collectivism, responsibility

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