Towards the end of 2015, the ephemera collective organised, chaired and participated within two separate Q+A panels celebrating the launch of Gerard Hanlon’s The dark side of management: A secret history of management theory. The events took place in The University of Leicester’s School of Management and Copenhagen Business School’s Management, Politics and Philosophy Department. Each of the events were recorded, transcribed, edited and amalgamated into the following feature.
ephemera: Let’s start with an overview and some introductory remarks.
Issue Editors: Frans Bévort, Per Darmer, Mette Mogensen and Sara Louise Muhr
Today considerations about the management of so-called ‘human resources’ is taken up almost routinely both in governmental programs, in organizations as well as in the private lives of citizens (Jackson et al., 2014; Lengnick-Hall et al., 2009). This, in tandem with the increasing power of HRM practices in contemporary corporations, signals how HRM has succeeded to construct itself as a ‘serious’ and ‘established’ field of research.
The field of HRM has for a long time been criticized by a lively tradition of work, which has engaged with the development of management in late capitalism and through this criticised HRM for its one-sided and restricted way of engaging with the human as a manageable ‘resource’. One stream of research often drawing upon Marxist theory and/or labour process theory (e.g. Braverman, 1973; Burawoy, 1979; Legge, 2005; Storey, 1995) and one... more
Management, business, anarchism. Can these three terms, that come with so much baggage, be fruitfully brought together? This special issue brings together contributions that range from discussions of anarchist political economy and anarchism as a theory of organisation to the practices of anarchist alternatives and the radical imagination. Scholars from anarchist studies as well as critical management studies highlight the various ways the connections between the two fields can be articulated.
While self-management has emerged as a robust way of getting things done in present-day work life and organizations, it also presents itself as a conception of considerable multivalency and ambiguity. In a broad sense, self-management seems to require that employees think, feel and act in ways that contribute to the realization and improvement of the individual worker, but only insofar as they concomitantly anticipate and contribute to the various needs of the organization (Manz and Sims, 1989; Thomas, 2002; Costea et al, 2008).