Date: Mon May 22 2006 - 19:18:04 EDT
Mike W sent us the CFP for this issue on January 21, 2004. Sure enough, it happened. / In solidarity, Jerry Philosophy of Management formerly Reason in Practice Volume 5 2005 ______________________________________________________ Number 2 Guest Edited Marx Special Issue Guest Editor Introduction: Marx, Marxism and Global Management At first sight, the ideas of Marxism and management seem to have not much to do with each other - even to be antithetical. Nevertheless, with the increasing complexity and scope of the productive forces during the twentieth century, there has been much interaction between the two. After all, the Soviet Union was a very (ill) managed society, and both Lenin and Gramsci were enthusiastic about Taylor’s ideas of ‘scientific’ management of the labour process. And, on a wider scale, many writers (and many of them Marxist) in the mid-twentieth century analysed the all-persuasive increase in bureaucracy and sometimes predicted the emergence of managers, whether in capitalist or communist societies, as a new ruling class. James Burnham’s The Managerial Revolution is but the most extreme example of this trend. The basic idea here is that, whereas in Marx’ s day the owners of business enterprises directly controlled their operation, with the rise of the joint-stock company, there has been a separation of ownership and control. The ownership is dispersed among relatively powerless shareholders: the people with the power are the invisible managers accountable, if at all, only to the laws of the market. All the above propositions are controversial. But it does show that the Marxist tradition does have something to say about management. And, given that Marx has been voted in a recent BBC poll Britain’s favourite philosopher, it seems appropriate to ask what he and his followers have to say about contemporary management. The contributions which follow sketch out possible answers in different fields. In a wide-ranging historical survey, Kieron Smith, a manager himself, discusses Marxist views about the position of managers in the class structure of society and the altering role of the manager based upon economic and social changes in capitalist economies. He stresses the ways in which Marxist thinking can help managers to do a better job by understanding the broader economic context in which they operate. John Luhman’s article on McDonaldization strikes a different note: in a punchy and innovative style, that the advent of global rationalization à la McDonald, although almost universally lamented, he claims might turn out to be progressive with its very repulsiveness producing an equally global aversion to capitalism and its effects. The next four contributors are more specific: Bryan Evans adopts a Gramscian perspective on how neoliberal ideas have become embedded among public sector managers - in this case, Ontario; Alan Tuckman takes us back to Marx’s discussion of the ‘commodification of time’ and then explains its relevance for understanding the changing role of managers in contemporary global capitalism; Matthias Varul uses Marx’s theory of value to launch a wholesale critique of Human Resource Management whose approach he sees as both specious and potentially totalitarian; and Ernesto Gantmann looks at how the development of the Argentinian economy has changed the nature of management training. Returning to a wider perspective, Kevin Young presents a Marxian theory of management by looking at the changing nature of consumption and the growth of the small business sector to illustrate how neoliberalism can effectively reproduce itself by removing politics from economics. And finally Nesta Devine gives us a sharp dissection of the attempts of some Marxists to use Public Choice Theory, normally associated with anti-Marxists such as Hayek, to express their own strategy. Thus the contributions below, taken in their entirety, do show that large sections of contemporary management, both in the public and private sector, could benefit from more self-analysis and an attempt to locate themselves more clearly in contemporary economic development. Such a self-awareness can only help the contribution of managers to a more humane society. And the contributions to this issue show that the types of Marxist approach demonstrated in them can help in this process. David McLellan David McLellan is Professor of Political Theory at Goldsmiths College, University of London. He was educated at Merchant Taylors School and St. John’s College, Oxford. He has been Visiting Fellow at the State University of New York and at the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Simla. He has also lectured widely in North America, on the continent of Europe, and throughout Asia. His numerous books have been translated into thirteen languages and include Karl Marx: His Life and Thought (1973, 3rd ed 1996), Simone Weil: Utopian Pessimist (1990), and Unto Caesar: The Political Relevance of Christianity (1993). ¨ Kieron Smith Marxism: Finding the Maestro in Management? 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. Kieron Smith Kieron Smith is a senior manager, currently working for a UK retail chain. He recently completed his MBA with the Open University Business School and studied Politics and Government at Kent University, and attended Professor David McLellan’s course on Marx & Marxism. He was co-founder of e-command.co.uk, a new media networking group, and is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Management. He has previously written for The Bookseller magazine. Kieron.Smith@CriticalManager.com ¨ John Teta Luhman Marx and McDonaldization: A Tropological Analysis 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 is required 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. John Teta Luhman John Teta Luhman is an Assistant Professor of Management in the Department of Business Administration at the University of New England. A founding Board Member of the Standing Conference of Management and Organization Inquiry, and an Editorial Board Member for Tamara: Journal of Critical Postmodern Organization Science, his research focuses on the historical development of organisational social structure and how narratives (i.e. stories, drama) are related to organisational issues such as culture and change. ¨ Bryan Evans How the State Changes Its Mind: A Gramscian Account of Ontario’s Managerial Culture Change 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. Bryan Evans Bryan Evans is an Associate Professor in the Department of Politics and Public Administration, Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada. Prior to joining Ryerson in 2003 he held several senior policy and management positions within the Ontario government. He co-authored, with John Shields, Shrinking the State: Globalisation and Public Administration Reform (1998) which offers a critique of neoliberal restructuring of the public sector. ¨ Alan Tuckman Employment Struggles and the Commodification of Time: Marx and the Analysis of Working Time Flexibility 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. The uniformity 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’. Alan Tuckman Alan Tuckman teaches employment relations and organisational studies at Nottingham Business School, Nottingham Trent University. As well as research on working time, where he has contributed (along with Emma Bell) to a recent collection edited by Whipp, Adam and Sabelis, he has published widely on trade unions and employee representation, and on management ideology. He is currently researching ‘Europeanisation’ across the British, German and Czech motor industry as well as, recently, representative mechanisms of employee voice outside collective bargaining. email@example.com ¨ Matthias Zick Varul Marx, Morality and Management: The Normative Implications of his Labour Value Theory and the Contradictions of HRM 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. Matthias Zick Varul Matthias Zick Varul is lecturer of sociology at the University of Exeter. His research interests include social theory, consumerism, health and illness and the sociology of work. His most recent publication is a book on the normative background of health consumerism Geld und Gesundheit. Konsum als Transformation von Geld in Moral Berlin, Logos 2004. firstname.lastname@example.org ¨ Ernesto Gantman Structural Change in Emergent Markets and the Management Knowledge Industry: The Argentine Case (1989-2003) 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. Ernesto Gantman Ernesto Gantman received his MS and PhD degrees from the Universidad de Buenos Aires (Argentina). At present, he is a Professor and Researcher at the Facultad de Cs Económicas, Universidad de Buenos Aires. He also teaches at the Escuela de Economía y Negocios Internacionales, Universidad de Belgrano (Argentina). His current research interests are the evolution of management knowledge and the study of underdevelopment in Latin America with special reference to the Argentine case. He has recently published Capitalism, Social Privilege and Managerial Ideologies (Ashgate 2005). ¨ Kevin Young How Neoliberalism Reproduces Itself: A Marxian Theory of Management 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. Kevin Young Kevin Young is a PhD student at the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a Steering Committee member of the Canadian Progressive Economics Forum. A Deputy Editor of the journal Millennium: Journal of International Studies, his previous publications can be found in Alternate Routes: A Journal of Critical Social Research and Oeconomicus. He gratefully acknowledges the assistance of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and Kerstin Priwitzer and Gabriel Seifert for their helpful comments. ¨ Nesta Devine Is Analytic Marxism Possible? A ‘Socialist’ Interpretation of Public Choice Theory 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. Nesta Devine Nesta Devine is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Education at the University of Waikato in New Zealand. Her academic background is in history and philosophy. She was at one time a secondary school teacher, and became interested enough in the politics and theory behind the reforms in school management to undertake a PhD in the area. Her book Education and Public Choice, A Critical Account Of The Invisible Hand In Education was published in December 2004 by Praeger. She has also contributed to various journals on issues relating to education, politics, and ethics. Currently she is engaged on research concerning the experiences of minority teachers in New Zealand schools.
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