Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Is your boss reading Marx?

I saw this on the marxmail list this morning...

Sharon Smith - Plug
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Press Release
press_release_pom.doc (39KB)


Surprising call for Managers to turn to Marxism in academic journal

After the surprise result of Karl Marx being voted Britain’s Favourite Philosopher by the BBC’s audience last July, the new edition, published this week, of the academic Journal Philosophy of Management features a range of articles on Marxism and Management – with one calling for managers to turn to Marxism to be more successful.

Kieron Smith, an MBA graduate from the Open University, makes this link in his provocative piece entitled Marxism: Finding the Maestro in Management? He commented:

“I know it isn’t an obvious connection; however I felt managers were in dire need of some comprehensive self analysis and a set of tools with which to critically analyse the World around them. This is particularly pertinent at a time when Marx is being reassessed and Management is being criticized for its faddism and lack of academic rigor.”

This issue of Philosophy of Management is Guest Edited by David McLellan, Marx biographer, editor and scholar and Professor of Political Theory at Goldsmiths College, University of London, who added:

“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.”

Nigel Laurie, Editor and publisher of the Journal commented that:

“We’re delighted that one of the world’s leading Marx biographers and scholars has produced an issue that shows how concepts and theories from Marx and his followers can make sense of modern global management concerns – in the public and private sectors. This Marx issue continues our policy of bringing a range of philosophical traditions and standpoints to bear on one of the shaping forces of the modern world – and publishing work from practising managers as well as leading academics. In papers such as Marx and McDonaldization, How Neoliberalism Reproduces Itself, and How the State Changes Its Mind readers will find clear writing, fresh insights and rigorous thinking.”

Issue Contents:

David McLellan
Guest Editor Introduction: Marx, Marxism and Global Management

Kieron Smith
Marxism: Finding the Maestro in Management?

John Teta Luhman
Marx and McDonaldization: A Tropological Analysis

Bryan Evans
How the State Changes Its Mind: A Gramscian Account
of Ontario’s Managerial Culture Change

Alan Tuckman
Employment Struggles and the Commodification of Time:
Marx and the Analysis of Working Time Flexibility

Matthias Zick Varul
Marx, Morality and Management: The Normative Implications
of his Labour Value Theory and the Contradictions of HRM

Ernesto Gantman
Structural Change in Emergent Markets and the
Management Knowledge Industry: The Argentine Case

Kevin Young
How Neoliberalism Reproduces Itself: A Marxian Theory of Management

Nesta Devine

Is Analytic Marxism Possible? A ‘Socialist’ Interpretation of Public Choice Theory


Anonymous Poulod said...

I guess this is sort of the ultimate neoliberal triumph...have you actually read any of those articles? Can they be found online? I'm embarrassed to own McLellan-edited volumes of Marx's political writings after hearing this...

3:12 pm  
Anonymous Mike B said...

There's got to be a materialist explanation for all this... :)

I haven't checked out the journal yet but I'm tempted to. I don't know anything about the authors, except McLellan, who is pretty respectable as a biographer. But I would speculate that this is partly a product of departmental restructurings in universities over the last few years.

Plenty of Marxist scholars now find themselves in business schools. In particular, there's been a trend for industrial relations departments, a traditional home for marxists, to be merged with management departments. That's happened at Auckland Uni and Sydney Uni anyway, and I imagine it's a trend everywhere. (My own department at Sydney Uni, Political Economy, is under increasing pressure to put on courses aimed at business students.)

So no doubt these academics find themselves teaching the odd undergrad management paper and get research credit for publishing in their disciplinary journals. See also the journal "Critical Perspectives on Accounting", which is actually pretty good.

5:39 pm  

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