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Philosophy of Management

Volume 5, Issue 2, 2005
Marx, Marxism and Global Management

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Displaying: 1-9 of 9 documents


1. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 5 > Issue: 2
David McLellan Guest Editor Introduction: Marx, Marxism and Global Management
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2. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 5 > Issue: 2
Kieron Smith Marxism: Finding the Maestro in Management?
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A survey of Marxist approaches to management theory reveals some shallowness in approach and little in the way of critiques of modern theory, either macro or micro. By moving through stages of looking at the class position of managers, Marxist interpretations to date, including that of Lenin as an advocate of Taylorism and the crystallising of management theory in opposition to Cold War communism, the paper sets the scene for an argument that Marxists should address management theory today and that management theory would be better for it.
3. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 5 > Issue: 2
John Teta Luhman Marx and McDonaldization: A Tropological Analysis
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McDonaldization is usually seen as a ‘tragedy’ as humans become more rationalised in their everyday life, but from the view of Marx’s theory of historical change, I suggest that it might be seen as a ‘comedy’. As the world’s labour force becomes culturally the same it may finally gain an ironic awareness that isrequired for radical social change, thus, global rationalisation may create the conditions for a ‘global Proletariat’. The comedy of McDonaldization is that its repulsiveness as a way of life may actually lead to the possibility of achieving liberation from the domination of global capitalism.
4. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 5 > Issue: 2
Bryan Evans How the State Changes Its Mind: A Gramscian Account of Ontario’s Managerial Culture Change
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Neoliberalism’s relationship to New Public Management is well known but less is understood of how these ideas have become embedded in the state. This article explores one dimension of ‘how the state‘ changes its mind’ by exploring the ideological and cultural transformation within the senior management ranks of Canada’s largest provincial state, Ontario. A broadly Gramscian framework is used to develop greater insight into the process of cultural change within the state and the specific role of senior managers as the ‘organic intellectuals’ of the neoliberal revolution.
5. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 5 > Issue: 2
Alan Tuckman Employment Struggles and the Commodification of Time: Marx and the Analysis of Working Time Flexibility
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This paper explores new working time arrangements around a critique of the ‘commodification of time’ to illuminate the contradictions of such new flexibilities. Two features of these new arrangements are seen as relevant for evaluating the Marx/Engels analysis. Firstly, it roots the examination of time in commodification, although, as criticised in this paper, some authors have seen this as the generality of time rather than that within the exchange of labour power. Significantly – and central in all working time arrangements – it is labour power that is sold, be it for a particular period of time, rather than the time itself. Hence, working time arrangements set boundaries against ‘free’ time or time in which labour power is not sold as a commodity, that ‘free’ time which was recognised in the traditional arrangements – fought over in early industrialism – which set premium payments against anti-social hours within ‘overtime’. New working time arrangements tend to blur the boundaries between ‘free’ and ‘working’ time, assuming an availability of labour power to capital. While much of the promotion of flexibility stresses the possibility of making adjustment to suit social and domestic requirements it is more usually the means for altering working time to meet the demands of capital. The much-vaunted case of Volkswagen has led to ‘working time accounts’ becoming the established temporal arrangement within the German car industry and increasingly becoming the norm for other European auto producers. The name given to these new working arrangements within the motor industry suggests that time has indeed become further commodified. For workers within these new time regimes, the hours owed to their employer is displayed along with their earnings – and deductions – on their wage slip.As indicated, such systems of flexible time were also apparent to Marx in the changes instituted by industrial capital to ameliorate the impact of the regulation imposed by the Ten-Hour Bill. He offered the metaphor of the actor on stage and in the wings which seems useful for understanding our contemporary arrangements. In practice we now must distinguish between the operational time and time in which individual workers are engaged. Previously, premium payments – of ‘time and a half ’ and so forth – recognised time as heterogeneous, as ‘social time’ with a value beyond exchange of labour power. Theuniformity of flexible time represents a qualitative move towards a homogeneous measure of clock-time now stored in a system of exchange of time for money, allowing capital to increasingly control labour time through extending and accumulating ‘time debt’.
6. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 5 > Issue: 2
Matthias Zick Varul Marx, Morality and Management: The Normative Implications of his Labour Value Theory and the Contradictions of HRM
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It will be argued that, by reading Marx’s theory of value not as an explanation of capitalist development but as anthropology of capitalism’s moral implications, certain ethical contradictions of HRM can be identified. The main areas of conflict are seen in HRM’s pretence to equitable exchange relations in the workplace, its propensity to replace material with symbolical recognition through corporate culture and ideology, and in its tendency to lay claim not only on the employee’s labour power but on his or her whole personality.
7. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 5 > Issue: 2
Ernesto Gantman Structural Change in Emergent Markets and the Management Knowledge Industry: The Argentine Case (1989-2003)
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This essay examines the impact of the structural reform of the Argentine economy on the country’s management knowledge industry, in terms of the Marxian distinction between the economic base and the superstructure of capitalist society. By reconstructing the micro foundations of the process of knowledge creation, I explain how certain changes at the level of the economic base influenced the type of knowledge generated by Argentine scholars.
8. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 5 > Issue: 2
Kevin Young How Neoliberalism Reproduces Itself: A Marxian Theory of Management
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This paper explicates a Marxian theory of management that suggests that the social relation to be managed in capitalism is the separation of the political from the economic. While it is commonly understood that this must be an active process of management taken up on behalf of modern capitalist states, this paper suggests that the market mechanism itself also assumes this role without the active intervention of any managerial direction. The intensive expansion of the market facilitates a management function of subverting the political deliberation which challenges the political-economic separation that could otherwise be expected in neoliberal restructuring. Both the changing nature of consumption and the growth of the small business sector are cited as examples of ways in which neoliberalism reproduces itself in the presence of social contradiction but in the absence of any actively planned strategy of management to deal with those contradictions.
9. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 5 > Issue: 2
Nesta Devine Is Analytic Marxism Possible? A ‘Socialist’ Interpretation of Public Choice Theory
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Much management literature depends on the philosophical writings of F A Hayek and James M Buchanan. As such it is recognisably not Marxist but is in fact antithetical to Marxism. But there is a small, significant body of literature which attempts to recruit the ideas of writers in the field of ‘Public Choice’ (pre-eminently Buchanan) to the service of updated Marxist thinking about management. In this paper I argue that this endeavour, although it illustrates the common origins of neoliberalism and Marxism, cannot succeed without doing violence to the original and perhaps fundamental concepts of Marxist thought.