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date: 10 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The thesis of this article is that organizational theorists could gain a great deal of insight regarding the evolution, structure, and behavior of organizations by better understanding their social, economic, and historical context as analyzed by such Marxian theorists as Aglietta, Arrighi, and others. Marxian political economy is particularly useful because of its relative success in understanding the dynamics of capitalism as a largely self-contained system. This starting point obviates the need to rely on unpredictable exogenous shocks to explain changes in the broader social environment of organizations. Despite the failure of regimes supposedly committed to Marxist principles, Marxian analysis ‘remains a powerful critique of bourgeois and capitalist society…still useful in examining the events taking place’. Even politically conservative scholars have acknowledged the explanatory power of a Marxian approach for understanding social and economic change.

Keywords: organizational theorists, organizational behavior, Marxian theory, political economy, social environment, economic change

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