Since its publication in 1957, Ayn Rand's dystopian tome, Atlas Shrugged, has come to define the characteristics of contemporary capitalism as a libertarian philosophy premised on the valorization of the individual (rational selfishness) and the moralization of greed (ethical egoism). The title of the book refers to Atlas, a Titan in Greek mythology who holds the world on his shoulders and is meant to represent the aggrieved individuals who populate the entrepreneurial and capitalist class and who, according to Rand, support the ever-growing burden of "free riders" and "unproductive parasites" who demonize Atlas even as they add to his burden. The text has served as a bible to modern industrial thinkers who have, for too long, promoted the false assumption that economic activity is the foundation of civilization, and culture is a mere epiphenomenon.
The flaws in this logic, which Bell (1976) described as the cultural contradictions of capitalism, are only beginning to be fully appreciated. Current financial, political and economic crises, most notably the 2020/2021 covid-19 pandemic and its coordination problems, the 2007/2008 global financial crisis, the looming environmental fallout from climate change, and the rise of populism, have created an extraordinarily perilous situation for much of humanity, but with particularly devastating effects for the marginalized, the vulnerable and the poor. While productivity and economic activity have increased substantially, most of the benefits have accrued to the few and inequality has increased, suggesting a crisis of the neoliberal governance system (Fraser, 2017; Zanoni et al., 2017). The model of capitalism described in Atlas Shrugged was intended to avoid a dystopian future plagued by excessive government control over business and individual entrepreneurship yet the current market system has created a dystopia of its own (Chowdhury, 2021a), weakening social and political institutions with calamitous effects (Chowdhury, 2017).
AIMS AND SCOPE
This Special Issue seeks to challenge the core assumptions of contemporary capitalism – individualism, instrumental hyper-rationality and unconstrained accumulation of wealth – all of which are premised on a paradigm of non-cooperation (Chowdhury, 2021a) – and to explore alternatives with better societal impacts. While it has long been recognized that markets are but one of a number of forms of systems of exchange (Biggart and Delbridge, 2004) and comparative analyses have shown the range of forms that capitalism may take (Graeber, 2004; Leung et al., 2014; Orru et al., 1996), the wider range of alternative market systems have rarely impinged on our collective consciousness, in part because these alternatives are seldom addressed in management research or education (Chowdhury, 2021b; de Bakker et al., 2020). Our 'capitalocentric' (Gibson-Graham, 1996a) scholarship conceals vast swaths of social and economic activity (Zanoni et al., 2017). Where are the alternatives to the prevailing model of dystopian capitalism? And what place do new forms of organizing and managing play in these?
Various alternatives or "fixes" to capitalism have been advanced in recent years, such as degrowth (Martínez-Alier, 2012), barefoot economics (Max-Neef, 1992), stakeholder capitalism (Freeman et al., 2007), benefit corporations (Marquis, 2020), social entrepreneurship (Montgomery et al., 2011), collective entrepreneurship (Dana and Dana, 2010; Dana, 2015), impact investing (Arjaliès, 2010), inclusive innovation (George et al., 2012), purposeful business (British Academy, 2017; Mayer, 2017) and a greater push for more transparent accounting and financial systems (Brown and Dillard, 2015; Harrington, 2016) that can offer equitable governance practices (Donaldson, 2012). These fixes address elements of the capitalist system but doubts remain over their efficacy in tackling the fundamentals that perpetuate inequalities (de Bakker et al., 2020). Ideas of resistance from grassroots organizations and social movements (Goodwin and Jasper, 1997; Piven and Cloward, 1977), renewed intellectual activism (Morris, 2015) and advancement of black (Muzanenhamo and Chowdhury, 2021; Nkomo, 1992), feminist and queer (Gibson-Graham, 1996a and b) scholarship indicate the urgent need for deeper organizational and societal reforms.
To achieve radical reform, the path-dependent behavior of organizations and institutions must be challenged (Anteby, 2008; Fan and Zietsma, 2017; Mintzberg, 2021; Willmott, 1993). Radical changes in the mobilization of routines (Dionysiou and Tsoukas, 2013), commons as modern resources (Ostrom et al., 1989), political and emotional capabilities (Chowdhury, 2019, Huy, 1999), stakeholder engagement (Chowdhury, 2021b; Frooman and Murrell, 2005; Wicks et al., 1994), compassionate organizing (Dutton et al., 2006; Shepherd and Williams, 2014), and ethical leadership (Brown and Treviño, 2006) are needed to break free from the individualism, instrumentalism and inequality which accompany the prioritization of profit over societal well-being. We need alternative worldviews (Lawson, 2006), diverse languages (Chowdhury, 2017, 2021b), paradigm shifts (Hirsch, Friedman and Koza, 1990), "good" management theories (Ghoshal, 2005) and new organizational forms and practices that foster more cooperative and collective approaches (Barin Cruz et al., 2017).
We seek studies of alternatives that operate within organizations, improving social justice and compassionate organizing, respecting employees as whole beings with lives outside of work. We seek studies of innovative firms that intend not only to reduce their negative externalities, but also to have positive externalities for society. We are interested in activist and grassroots organizations and collective efforts of local people that try to make changes in practices across a number of organizations and contexts. We also encourage contributors to explore cooperatives (Bretos & Errasti, 2017), grassroots innovators (Halme et al., 2012; Ingram et al., 2010) and collective organizations that work to create governance or impact investment systems that make the market work for societal benefit (Aragòn-Correa et al., 2020). We are interested in those who work to disrupt existing systems (Daskalaki and Kokkinidis, 2017; Graeber, 2015) and what holds such systems in place (Zietsma et al., 2018).
These aspirations bring a few themes into focus for this Special Issue.
First, we seek scholarship that critically analyzes and learns from the dysfunctions of capitalism and which explores and explains the persistence of inequalities, individualism, instrumentalism and non-cooperative spaces (Chowdhury, 2021a), as well as management research's past failings in challenging these (Delbridge, 2013). We are interested in understanding:
Second, we are interested in advancing our understanding of how capitalism might be reimagined (Suddaby, Ganzin and Minkus, 2017) to enhance, and not harm, societal well-being. We are particularly interested in understanding:
Third, we believe that insights from management theory can help advance ways in which these alternatives might be implemented and sustained. Potential areas to explore include:
This list of questions and issues is illustrative rather than exhaustive. We welcome diverse methods, including qualitative, field experiment, survey, historical and laboratory methods as well as conceptual work on different types of organizations and their possibilities, including firms, governments, NGOs, grassroots and anarchist organizations with varied ideologies and purposes in order to advance research with a positive impact on society (Wickert et al., 2021).
Ultimately, our aim is to find more solid conceptualization and empirical examination of behaviours and spaces which can generate new and alternative theories and narratives which, at the same time, are pivotal for social changes. We are looking for papers which show deep thinking, a genuine approach of caring, and the courage to overcome the conservatism and inertia of existing theories. While we are not bound to any particular theories, various theoretical domains may be helpful: for example, concepts from development studies, sociology of markets, alternative psychology literature or radical philosophies. We are also open to theoretical avenues such as critical (race) theory, critical management studies, social movement theory, postcolonial theory, social contract theory, unorthodox institutional and agency theories, entrepreneurship theories (especially work that extends conventional social entrepreneurship), marginalized stakeholder theory (which goes beyond bottom-of-the-pyramid and conventional CSR), and any other theories that can enrich our understanding of new way of shaping a cooperative paradigm.
SUBMISSION PROCESS AND DEADLINES
SPECIAL ISSUE EVENTS
Post-submission: The guest editors will organize a special issue in-person revision workshop in Spring 2023 (exact dates, times, and place TBA). Authors who receive a "revise and resubmit" (R&R) decision on their manuscript will be invited to attend this workshop. Participation in the workshop does not guarantee acceptance of the paper in the Special Issue and attendance is not a prerequisite for publication.
Anteby, M. (2008). 'Identity incentives as an engaging form of control: Revisiting leniencies in an aeronautic plant'. Organization Science, 19, 202-20.
Arjaliès, D. L. (2010). 'A social movement perspective on finance: How socially responsible investment mattered'. Journal of business ethics, 92, 57-78.
Aragòn-Correa, J. A., Marcus, A. A. and Vogel, D. (2020). The effects of mandatory and voluntary regulatory pressures on firms' environmental strategies: A review and recommendations for future research. Academy of Management Annals, 14, 339-65.
Barin Cruz, L., Aquino Alves, M. and Delbridge, R. (2017). 'Next steps in organizing alternatives to capitalism: toward a relational research agenda: Introduction to the Special Issue'. M@n@gement, 20, 322-35.
Bell, D. (1976). The Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism. New York: Basic Books.
Biggart, N. and Delbridge, R. (2004). 'Systems of exchange'. Academy of Management Review, 29, 28-49.
Bretos, I. and Errasti, A. (2017). Challenges and Opportunities for the Regeneration of Multinational Worker Cooperatives: Lessons from the Mondragon Corporation-A Case Study of the Fagor Ederlan Group, Organization, 24, 154-73.
British Academy (2017). Principles for Purposeful Business. London.
Brown, J. and Dillard, J. (2015). 'Dialogic accountings for stakeholders: On opening up and closing down participatory governance'. Journal of Management Studies, 52, 961-85.
Brown, M. E. and Treviño, L. K. (2006). 'Ethical leadership: A review and future directions'.
The Leadership Quarterly, 17, 595-616.
Chowdhury, R. (2017). The Rana Plaza disaster and the complicit behavior of elite NGOs. Organization, 24, 938-49.
Chowdhury, R. (2019). (In)sensitive violence, development, and the smell of the soil: Strategic decision-making of what? Human Relations, 74, 131–52.
Chowdhury, R. (2021a). 'The mobilization of noncooperative spaces: Reflections from Rohingya refugee camps'. Journal of Management Studies, 58, 914-21.
Chowdhury, R. (2021b). 'Self-representation of marginalized groups: A new way of thinking through W. E. B. Du Bois'. Business Ethics Quarterly, DOI:10.1017/beq.2021.5
Daskalaki M. and Kokkinidis G. (2017). 'Organizing solidarity initiatives: A socio-spatial conceptualization of resistance'. Organization Studies, 38, 1303-25.
Dana, L. P. and Dana, T. E. (2010). 'Collective entrepreneurship in a Mennonite community in Paraguay'. In Entrepreneurship and Religion. Edward Elgar Publishing.
Dana, L. P. (2015). Indigenous entrepreneurship: An emerging field of research. International Journal of Business and Globalisation, 14, 158-69.
de Bakker, F. G. A., Matten, D., Spence, L. J. and Wickert, C. (2020). 'The elephant in the room: The nascent research agenda on corporations, social responsibility, and capitalism'. Business & Society, 59, 1295–302.
Delbridge, R. (2013) 'Promising futures: CMS, post-disciplinarity and the new public social science'. Journal of Management Studies, 51, 96-117.
Dionysiou, D. D. and Tsoukas, H. (2013). 'Understanding the (Re)Creation of Routines from Within: A Symbolic Interactionist Perspective'. Academy of Management Review, 38, 181-205
Donaldson, T. (2012). 'The epistemic fault line in corporate governance'. Academy of Management Review, 37, 256-71.
Dutton, J. E, Worline, M. C., Frost, P. J. and Lilius J. (2006). 'Explaining compassion organizing'. Administrative Science Quarterly, 51, 59-96.
Fan, G. H. and Zietsma, C. (2017). 'Constructing a shared governance logic: The role of emotions in enabling dually embedded agency'. Academy of Management Journal, 60, 2321-51.
Fournier, V. (2008) 'Escaping from the economy: The politics of degrowth'. International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, 28, 528-45.
Fraser, N. (2017). 'The end of progressive neoliberalism'. Dissent, www.dissentmagazine.org/online_articles/...
Freeman, R. E., Martin, K. and Parmar, B. (2007). 'Stakeholder capitalism'. Journal of Business Ethics, 74, 303-14.
Frooman, J. and Murrell, A. J. (2005). 'Stakeholder influence strategies: The roles of structural and demographic determinants'. Business and Society, 44, 3-31.
George, G., McGahan, A. M. and Prabhu, J. (2012). 'Innovation for inclusive growth: Towards a theoretical framework and a research agenda'. Journal Management Studies, 49, 661- 83.
Ghoshal, S. (2005). 'Bad management theories are destroying good management practices'. Academy of Management Learning & Education, 4, 75-91.
Gibson-Graham, J. K. (1996a) The End of Capitalism (As We Knew It): A Feminist Critique of Political Economy. Oxford: Blackwell.
Gibson-Graham, J. K. (1996b). Queer(y)ing capitalist organization'. Organization, 3, 541-45.
Goodwin, J. and Jasper, J. M (eds). (2004). Rethinking Social Movements: Structure, Meaning, and Emotion. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield.
Graeber, D. (2000). Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology. Chicago, IL: Prickly Paradigm Press
Graeber, D. (2015). The Utopia of Rules: On Technology, Stupidity, and the Secret Joys of Bureaucracy. Melville House.
Halme, M., Lindeman, S. and Linna, P. (2012). 'Innovation for inclusive business: Intrapreneurial bricolage in multinational corporations'. Journal of Management Studies, 49, 743-84.
Harrington, B. (2016). Capital without Borders: Wealth Management and the One Percent. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Hirsch, P., Friedman, R. and Koza, M. (1990). 'Collaboration or Paradigm Shift?: Caveat Emptor and the Risk of Romance with Economic Models for Strategy and Policy Research'. Organization Science, 1, 87-97.
Huy, Q. (1999). 'Emotional capability, emotional intelligence, and radical change'. Academy of Management Review, 24, 325-45.
Ingram, P., Yue, L. Q. and Rao, H. (2010). 'Trouble in store: Probes, protests, and store openings by Wal-Mart, 1998-2007'. American Journal of Sociology, 116, 53-92
Lawson, T. (2006). 'The nature of heterodox economics'. Cambridge Journal of Economics, 30, 483-505.
Leung, A., Zietsma, C. and Peredo, A. M. (2014). 'Emergent identity work and institutional change: The 'quiet' revolution of Japanese middle-class housewives'. Organization Studies, 35, 423-50.
Marquis, C. (2020). Better Business: How the B Corp Movement is Remaking Capitalism. Yale University Press.
Martínez-Alier, J. (2012). 'Environmental justice and economic degrowth: An alliance between two movements'. Capitalism Nature Socialism, 23, 51–73.
Max-Neef, A. M. (1992). From the Outside Looking In: Experiences in Barefoot Economics. London: Zed Books.
Mayer, C. (2018). Prosperity: Better Business Makes the Greater Good. Oxford University Press.
Mintzberg, H. (2001). 'Managing Exceptionally'. Organization Science, 12, 759-71.
Montgomery, A. W., Dacin, P. A. and Dacin, M. T. (2012). 'Collective social entrepreneurship: Collaboratively shaping social good'. Journal of Business Ethics, 111, 375-88.
Morris, A. (2015). The Scholar Denied: W. E. B. Du Bois and the Birth of Modern Sociology. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
Muzanenhamo, P. and Chowdhury, R. (2021). 'Epistemic injustice and hegemonic ordeal in management and organization studies: Advancing Black scholarship'. Human Relations. Doi:10.1177/00187267211014802
Nkomo, S. (1992). 'The emperor has no clothes: Rewriting "Race in Organizations"'. Academy of Management Review, 17, 487-513.
Orru, M., Biggart, N. and Hamilton, G. (1996). The Economic Organization of East Asian Capitalism. London: Sage.
Ostrom, E., Burger, J, Field, C. B.; Norgaard, R. B. and Policansky, D. (1999). 'Revisiting the commons: Local lessons, global challenges'. Science, 284 (5412), 278–82.
Piven, F. F. and Cloward, R. A. (1977). Poor People's Movements: Why They Succeed, How They Fail. New York: Pantheon.
Shepherd, D. A. and Williams, T. A. (2014). 'Local Venturing as Compassion Organizing'. Journal of Management Studies, 51, 952-94.
Suddaby, R., Ganzin, M. and Minkus, A. (2017). 'Craft, magic and the re-enchantment of the world'. European Management Journal, 35, 285-96.
Wickert, C., Post, C., Doh, J. P., Prescott, J. E. and Prencipe, A. (2021). 'Management research that makes a difference: broadening the meaning of impact'. Journal of Management Studies, 58, 297–320.
Wicks, A., Gilbert, D. and Freeman, R. (1994). 'A feminist reinterpretation of the stakeholder concept'. Business Ethics Quarterly, 4, 475-97.
Willmott, H. (1993). 'Strength is ignorance; slavery is freedom: Managing culture in modern organizations'. Journal of Management Studies, 30, 515-52.
Zanoni, P., Contu, A., Healy, H. and Mir, R. (2017). 'Post-capitalistic politics in the making: The imaginary and praxis of alternative economies'. Organization, 24, 575-88.