Stream B – Alternative Modes of Organizing: Communitarian Dreams and Immediate Realities
Comments: No Responses
Hitotsubashi University, Tokyo, 15th to 17th February 2013
Stream B: Alternative Modes of Organizing: Communitarian
Dreams and Immediate Realities
Mihaela Kelemen, Keele University, UK
Anita Mangan, Keele University, UK
The stream brings together researchers interested in alternative modes of organizing in response to the moral crisis that contemporary organizations appear to be facing. The focus will be on communal modes of organizing but the stream will not be restricted to them. Both conceptual and theoretical papers are welcome as well as papers taking a localized or a cross cultural perspective on the issues.
Throughout 20th century social theory, the rhetoric of ‘community’ has been used to index the warmth of immediacy, emotion and close relationships and has been contrasted to the cold rationality and instrumentality of modern corporations, the state, and society (Fournier and Kelemen, 2001). The rhetoric of community has been invoked by politicians and policy makers as the answer to all sorts of social, economic and political problems such as nationalism, social exclusion, unemployment, education, crime and poverty. It has also been hijacked by managers and corporate bureaucrats who have proposed a ‘third way’ model of management which brings together elements of communal rhetoric and the market (Parker, 2002). Yet, however much time and money is spent on community initiatives, community remains elusive and its consequences unpredictable. In a similar vein, alternative modes of organizing remain under-researched in both main stream and critical management fields (Mangan, 2009).
Community has multiple and contested definitions and cannot be put to work according to some top down political or managerial agendas. Indeed, the myriad of ways in which community unfolds in practice calls for a ‘bottom-up’ approach, one that recognizes the paradoxes built into community rhetoric (Brent, 2004), the frequent lack of consensus and one that is sensitive to individual and social needs in equal measure. Moreover, the relatively recent rise of individualism and consumerism in Western societies and beyond calls into question existing conceptualisations of community and for a more imaginative way to engage with community rhetoric at the level of practice, be it organizational or societal practice.
In particular, we invite papers that:
- Explore the meanings, rationales and forms of communal arrangements over time and across cultures
- Analyse the promises of community and the extent to which they can materialize
- Explore potential links between community, charity and friendship
- Engage with volunteering processes and their impact on society and on local and personal communities
- Account for volunteering processes from a cross cultural perspective
- Discuss the threat of professionalization of voluntary organizations through governmentality
- Provide a critique of existing managerial accounts of managing the voluntary sector
- Present cases of Community Based Organizations
- Imagine alternative/communitarian forms of social organization
If you wish to be part of this stream, please submit a 300-400 word abstract to the stream convenors by 15 July 2012. Confirmation of acceptance of proposals will be sent on 17 August 2012.
The final collection will be published in a special issue of the International Journal of Organizational Analysis.
Brent, J., 2004. The Desire for Community: Illusion, Confusion and Paradox. Community Development Journal, 39(3), pp. 213-223.
Fournier, V. and Kelemen, M., (2001) The crafting of community: recoupling discourses of management and womanhood, Gender, Work, Organization, 8/3, pp. 267- 290.
Mangan, A., 2009. ‘We’re not banks’: Exploring self-discipline, subjectivity and co-operative work. Human Relations, 62(1), pp. 93–117.
Parker, M., ed, 2002. Utopian and Organization. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing/The Sociological Review.