Management Seminars: Martin Parker
Professor Martin Parker (University of Leicester)
2D2, Priory Road complex, Priory Road, Bristol
Title: Shut Down the Business School: Towards a School for Organising
Can the discipline of ‘Management’ stop being advocacy and become a proper field of enquiry? Words like ‘business’ and ‘management’ refer to some particular forms of organization. Mostly large private sector corporations. These specific forms are then assumed to provide general models for all sorts of other organizations. Yet there are lots of forms of organization that an alternative ‘School of Organizing’ might look at in order to learn lessons. This means that the curriculum would not ignore organizations on a different scale, or in different cultures, or from different times, or that don’t assume the capitalist economy. ‘Organization’ refers to the characteristic patterns of people and things that humans arrange in order to get things done. It is a generous word, and it doesn’t need to be reduced to ‘management’. It could include co-operatives, local markets, kinship systems, groups, swaps, networks, communes, clubs and many other different forms, and which all articulate different assumptions about hierarchy, exchange, tenure, boundaries and so on. This will be a school for people who want to learn from other places, other times, other politics, and to consider the relevance of these lessons for their own attempts to make the world.