For several years now, we have run a set of PDWs on "ALTERNATIVE ECONOMIC FUTURES" at the annual AOM meeting. The program and background readings from previous years are available here, and now we are a group at connect@aom that you can join. This year in Boston, we have three PDWs -- we think they will interest ONE members. We hope to see you there!
Socialism in Management Thought and Practice: Past, Present, Future
Program Session: 48
Scheduled: Friday, Aug 9, 2019 8:00AM - 9:30AM (sorry for the time!)
Boston Hynes Convention Center 309
Socialism is back. Encompassing a wide range of denotations, socialism is back in public discourse in many countries from which it had been absent for many years-now sometimes as epithet but surprisingly often as a self-declared identity. This PDW explores what the concept of socialism has meant and might mean in the context of management practice and theory.
Paul Adler will argue that to efforts to resolve the major crises-economic, political, environmental, social-that we face in the world today cannot succeed so long as our economy remains based on capitalist private enterprise. The way forward, he argues, is via a radical socialist transformation that would socialize the ownership of society's productive assets and institutionalize a democratic form of strategic management for the nation's productive resources.
Jerry Davis will argue that the organization of the economy in the US is at a hinge point, where prospects brighten both for the revival of old forms, such as producer and consumer cooperatives (e.g., Land o' Lakes, REI) and mutuals (e.g., State Farm, Vanguard), as well as for new ones that rely on advances in technology, such as peer production (e.g., Linux, Wikipedia) and platforms (Uber, Airbnb).
Chris Nyland will review the substantial influence of socialists on management thought in the first half of the twentieth century, and why many members of the American Socialist Party embraced and actively promoted the scientific management movement.
Seray Ergene, Marta Calás, and Linda Smircich ask: What if we imagine leaving the épistème of the age of "Man at the center of knowledge", the epoch which has brought us to the brink of ecological disaster through discourses and practices of advanced market capitalism, and move on to imagine entering the age of the Anthropocene, requiring that we radically re-conceptualize the relationship between humanity and nature?
Creating Inclusive Organizations Through Shared Ownership, Participation and Profits
Program Session: 158
Friday, Aug 9, 2019 1:00PM - 2:30PM
Boston Hynes Convention Center 202
Since the Great Depression of 2008 interest has grown in inclusive organizations that share ownership, participation and profits such as worker cooperatives, employee stock ownership plans (ESOP's), perpetual trusts, and employee-owned collectives. All such organizations would fall under Paul Adler's (2016) definition of alternative economic futures. Some countries such as the United States and United Kingdom have passed legislation to encourage the development of such enterprises. Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO's) emphasizing ESOP and cooperative associations have been established or have become more visible in multiple countries. The United Nations declared 2012 as the International Year of Cooperatives. On July 28, 2017, the China Daily reported that employee-owned firms were growing rapidly in China. Furthermore, it attributed the resurgence of the Chinese stock market and investor confidence to the growth in shared ownership. Despite the interest and application of alternate economic forms, there is little coverage of them in both the academic (Thompson, 2014) and popular press (Alperovitz, 2017). Consequently, understanding how to develop such enterprises is not well disseminated. Thus, the purpose of this workshop is to bring together some of the leaders in this area to present some ideas and for all the participants in the workshop to work collaboratively to examine and address these issues.
The Fall and Rise of Corporate Forms: Post-Corporate Futures and Corporate Alternatives
Program Session: 357
Saturday, Aug 10, 2019 10:00AM - 11:30AM
Boston Hynes Convention Center 303
The corporation has been guiding thinking of economic organization for more than a century. Today, however, it stands at a crossroads. As economic, social, and environmental failures of capitalism are widely identified as structural deficits associated with the corporation, scholars are developing post-corporate scenarios for economic organization, such as digital platforms or local communities (Davis, 2016a, 2016b). Other responses continue to draw on the corporate form, seeking to improve it. Alternative forms of corporations, such as Certified B Corporations and Benefit Corporations, have emerged to integrate social and environmental objectives into the corporate agenda (Gehman & Grimes, 2017). Building upon this model, the French government is about to redefine the corporate purpose by highlighting the responsibility to pursue social or environmental innovation as part of the raison d'être of corporations (Segrestin, Levillain, & Hatchuel, 2018). These new developments follow the Germanic example, where the purpose of the corporation has always included the pursuit of the public interest – a feature that is clearly missing in prevailing understandings of the modern corporation (Leixnering, Meyer, & Doralt, 2018; Veldman et al., 2016). Integrating different perspectives on post-corporate scenarios as well as corporate alternatives, this PDW discusses whether the future of economic organization will still be guided by corporate forms or rather turn out as post-corporate. Doing so, it invites panelists and participants to reflect on the role and theory of the corporation, and how these shape our modern economies as well as our societies (Adler, 2019).