Schlagwort-Archiv: Alternativen

Teaching alternative forms of work and organization – Audebrand/Camus/Michaux (2017): A Mosquito in the Classroom

To learn and to teach something about alternative forms of work and organization is one of the urgent tasks of critical management and organization studies. However, one of the most striking problems in teaching alternatives is the lack of imagination, that is the idea that these are real and possible alternatives. As Gibson-Graham (2006: XV) write about their own experiences: „In the face of a new discourse of the diverse economy, participants in our projects can easily recognize the activities and enterprises it names, but they cannot readily identify with the alternative subject positions it avails. Most of them get up in the morning wanting a job – and if not wanting one, feeling they need one – rather than an alternative economy”.

One idea to cope with this problem seems to reframe it or to tackle it in a roundabout way. Luc Audebrand and colleagues introduce cooperatives into the classroom via the topic and reflection of paradoxes in organizations. They argue that “despite the absence of the cooperative business model in mainstream management textbooks and curricula, this model can offer a high pedagogical value for management education in that it can foster paradoxical thinking” (Audebrand et al. 2017: 216).

Said this, we can think about several other topics which makes it possible to introduce alternatives. Just think about power, participation, democracy or sustainability and maybe then alternatives are just around the corner or at least are worth to talk about it in the classroom.


Audebrand, Luc K., Annie Camus, und Valérie Michaud. 2017. A Mosquito in the Classroom: Using the Cooperative Business Model to Foster Paradoxical Thinking in Management Education. Journal of Management Education 41 (2): 216–248. doi: 10.1177/1052562916682552. []

Gibson-Graham, J. K. 2006. The end of capitalism (as we knew it). A feminist critique of political economy. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

New Publication on Cooperatives – Pansera/Rizzi (2018): Furbish or perish: Italian social cooperatives at a crossroads. In: Organization (OnlineFirst)

Another interesting case study about about market pressure, scaling up of coops and the conflict between democratic management and commercial success.

Pansera, Mario/Rizzi, Francesco (2018): Furbish or perish: Italian social cooperatives at a crossroads. In: Organization (OnlineFirst).


Although the public debate tends to privilege investor-owned organisations, alternative forms of organisation are mushrooming at the borders of the capitalist economy. In this work, we contribute to the debate on alternative economies by analysing a specific form of worker-owned organisations which originated in Italy in the 1970s and was recognised by Italian legislation in the 1990s: the social cooperative. By drawing on data gathered over 3 years of participant observation, this article explores the tensions and contradictions generated by the rapid growth of an Italian social cooperative focused on waste recovery and its preparation for reuse. We show how social cooperatives might be able to reconcile their commercial success with their founding principles of equality and democratic management. This article contributes to the debate on the ‘regeneration thesis’ by providing new insights into the factors and drivers that force social cooperatives to scale up and to engage in competition with mainstream competitors, the internal conflicts and solutions that emerge in this process and the external alliances that social cooperatives can leverage to prosper and flourish.

New Article about Cooperatives – Audebrand (2017): Expanding the scope of paradox scholarship on social enterprise: the case for (re)introducing worker cooperatives. In: M@n@gement 2017/4.

Between ‘staying  alternative’  and  ‘going  mainstream’ …

Audebrand, L. (2017). Expanding the scope of paradox scholarship on social enterprise: the case for (re)introducing worker cooperatives. M@n@gement, vol. 20,(4), 368-393. doi:10.3917/mana.204.0368.

Abstract. Over the past decade, scholars have argued for using a paradox
perspective  as  a  provocative  and  insightful  lens  for  understanding  social
enterprises. This article addresses two gaps in this burgeoning literature.
First,  it  expands  the  focus  on  social  enterprises  to  include  worker
cooperatives,  which  are  often  overlooked  but  are  highly  relevant  to  this
area  of  study.  Worker  cooperatives  are  unique  among  social  enterprises
due to their foundational principles: worker-ownership, worker-control and
worker-benefit. Due to their dual nature as both a democratic association
and  an  economic  enterprise,  the  relationship  between  the  cooperative’s
social  mission  and  its  business  venture  is  mutually  constitutive  and
inescapable.  Second,  this  article  calls  for  paradox  scholarship  on  social
enterprise  to  include  the  study  of  paradoxical  tensions  other  than  the
conspicuous tension between financial and social performance. This article
suggests  broadening  this  focus  to  include  the  tensions  between
communality  and  individuality,  hierarchy  and  democracy,  and  between
‘staying  alternative’  and  ‘going  mainstream’.  Overall,  this  article  seeks  to
construct  a  stronger  theoretical  basis  on  which  to  build  future  paradox
research on alternatives to the dominant economic paradigm.

New Publications: Rhodes/Wright/Pullen on „Impact“ and Bousalham/Vidaillet on „how competition undermines alternatives“

There are two new and interesting publications, both published in Organization, I want to inform you about:

Contradiction, circumvention and instrumentalization of noble values: How competition undermines the potential of alternatives | First Published December 3, 2017


Recent studies have shown that alternative organizations are particularly exposed to the risk of losing ‘their soul’ or their capacity to put into practice their original ends when they compete with capitalist companies. But what happens when an alternative organization competes exclusively with another alternative organization? This article addresses this question using a unique and ‘revealing’ case, in which two mutual insurance organizations compete structurally and directly with each other and propose the same products to the same target population, at the same time and same place. The case shows in concrete terms how competition can undermine the integrity of alternative organizations and expose them to a dissociation between ends and means by leading them to: (1) adopt ‘dirty’ practices that are incoherent with their founding purpose, (2) circumvent the coherent practices that have been specifically designed to reach their alternative ends, and (3) instrumentalize their alternative ends and turn them into means of coping with competition. Furthermore, the case shows how the dynamic of structural and direct competition, because of its ‘captivating’ nature, may prevent local actors from ‘denaturalizing’ or questioning these incoherent practices. This study suggests that any action aimed at promoting alternative organizations requires taking due account of the competitive environment in which local actors of alternatives are placed and which can seriously undermine their emancipatory potential.


Changing the world? The politics of activism and impact in the neoliberal university | First Published December 15, 2017


This article explores the political differences between academic activism and the recently emerged research impact agenda. While both claim that academic work can and should engage with and influence the world beyond the academic ‘ivory tower’, their political meaning and practice are radically different. Following the distinction made by Jacques Rancière, we argue that research impact performs a policing function which, despite its own rhetoric, is arranged as an attempt to ensure that academic work maintains a neoliberal status quo by actually having no real political impact. Academic activism, in contrast, serves to politicize scholarly work by democratically disrupting political consensus in the name of equality. Being an academic activist in an era of research impact rests in a twofold movement: that of both acting in the name of equality in an effort (using Marx’s terms) to ‘change the world’ and resisting and contesting an academic administration whose police actions have attempted to eliminate such forms of democratic practice from the political consensus. The argument is illustrated with examples from the Australia Research Council’s statements on research impact and the practice of climate change activism.

CfP „The Ethics of the Commons“ – Special Issue of the Journal of Business Ethics

Call for Papers

Special Issue of the Journal of Business Ethics

The Ethics of the Commons

Submission Deadline: 15 December 2018

Guest editors Helen Haugh, University of Cambridge, UK,<>

Marek Hudon, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium,<>

Camille Meyer, University of Victoria, Canada,<>

Ana Maria Peredo, University of Victoria, Canada,   <>

Introduction to the Special Issue

The concept of ‘the commons’ has a long history (Sison & Fontrodona, 2012) and during the last three decades has generated increasing excitement in the scholarly literature. A major factor in the surge of interest has been the work inspired by Elinor Ostrom, Nobel memorial prize in economics sciences laureate for 2009, especially when linked to the economic and social crises that have fostered interest in different ways of organizing economic life. Recovering and implementing the concept of the commons has been hailed by scholars and practitioners as a way of creating new collective wealth (Akrivou & Sison, 2016; Bollier & Helfrich, 2014; Tedmanson et al., 2015), and for addressing what are seen as the societal ills created by neoliberalism (Caffentzis, 2010). This is a call for submissions to a special issue of the Journal of Business Ethics aimed at providing an overarching perspective on the ethical dimensions and drivers of the phenomenon labelled ‘the commons’. In its broadest sense, ‘the commons’ is understood to refer simply to resources of many kinds, e.g., open access and public goods, where no individual person has the right to exclude others from enjoying their benefits. Ostrom focuses on the common property regime – a tighter concept of the commons wherein some group succeeds in making a ‘common pool resource’ a shared benefit by establishing the right of exclusion from it and managing it in a way that avoids the infamous ‘tragedy of the commons’ (Ostrom, 1990, 1999; Ostrom & Hess, 2008). This special issue particularly welcomes more bounded conceptualization of the commons. The (re)emergence of a “commons paradigm” (Bollier, 2011) refers explicitly to how civil society organizations enable people to collaborate and share. This paradigm presents a way that is simultaneously novel yet draws also on the deep history of analyzing social practices implemented through cooperation, collective action and solidarity. Collective forms of resource ownership and management are often directed toward the common good in keeping with the ethics of living in a community whose purpose is both individual and collective flourishing (Argandoña, 1998; Haugh, 2007; Melé, 2009, 2012; Peredo & Chrisman, 2006; Sison et al., 2012). In this regard, commons organizations create, transform and legitimize nonprofit and community norms and rules (Bushouse et al., 2016; Marquis & Battilana, 2009; Périlleux & Nyssens, 2017). Some forms of commons require multiple forms of collective action for their management (Ostrom, 1990). These participatory methods generate ethical challenges due to the complexity of their management and collective governance. Others have drawn attention to the way that new commons are being created in many resources and environments (Fournier, 2013; Meyer & Hudon, 2017, and how commons are being ‘enclosed’ and removed from wider access (Bollier, 2003). The idea of ‘commoning’ has become a central concept in determining how commons are created and recognized as a social phenomenon (Euler, 2015; Fournier, 2013; Linebaugh, 2008).

This call seeks papers that examine the ethical landscape of the commons in any and all of these dimensions. Possible Themes and Topics We seek papers that shed light on the ethical foundations and implications of the commons. We welcome original papers from a wide variety of methodological and disciplinary perspectives and invite papers that provide insights into, but not limited to, the following topics:

Topic 1: Conceptualization, Ethics and Rights related to the commons – How does ethics shape the definition and conceptualization of commons? – How do different ethical theories provide descriptive and normative insights into commons? – Property rights, including common property rights, are after all rights. How do the ethical implications of different property regimes compare and influence entrepreneurship and organizing? – For organizations and communities, how do ethical drivers enable collective action in social, environmental and other commons?

Topic 2: Governance of Commons – What are the motivations and mechanisms for cooperation and participation in commons governance and management? – What are the ethical challenges to and limits of collective action and decision-making in commons organizations? – How has the conception, practice and institutionalization of commons evolved over time, and what are the ethical factors that contribute to its evolution and persistence? – How do values and culture regenerate collective practices?

Topic 3: Social and Community Entrepreneurship and Impacts – What insights can a study of the commons offer to social and community entrepreneurship research? – How is social value created through commons organizations? – What are the ethical implications of new commons and new ways of commoning for entrepreneurship? – What are the ethical impacts of commons in housing? Food? Environmental activism? Other commons?

Topic 4: The Commons in a Market Society – Are there differences in the way that private property and common property regimes influence markets? If so, what are the ethical implications? – Do prevailing conceptions of entrepreneurship impinge on the role of the commons as a means of producing and distributing goods, e.g., by new forms of enclosure in items such as traditional knowledge, patents, and the human genome? – Do commons represent an ethical challenge to capitalist-market/neoliberal political systems? Submission Process and Deadlines Authors are encouraged to refer to the Journal of Business Ethics website for instructions on submitting a paper.


The CfP for download as a PDF file: CfP_JBE_The Ethics of the Commons

Neue Veröffentlichung in Managementforschung 27(1): „Von anderen Organisationen – Ein Essay über Perspektiven kritischer Organisationsforschung“

Eine kleine Eigenwerbung: Mein Artikel „Von anderen Organisationen – Ein Essay über Perspektiven kritischer Organisationsforschung“ ist nun in der Managementforschung 27(1) erschienen.

Link zum Beitrag:

Eine Vorabversion findet sich auf Academia und Researchgate:


Der Essay geht von der Beobachtung aus, dass trotz der Allgegenwart von Kritik die kritische
Praxis sich auf einem notorisch schwankenden Grund befindet sowie angesichts propagierter
gesellschaftlicher  Alternativlosigkeiten  und  eines  herrschenden  zynischen  Bewusstseins  als
ein eher naives und trübsinniges Geschäft erscheint. Mit Blick auf die Organisationsforschung
werden deshalb mit der immanenten Kritik, der an Foucault anschließenden Genealogie sowie
der welterschließenden Kritik drei Perspektiven kritischer Organisationsforschung diskutiert,
welche der kritischen Praxis schärfere Konturen verleihen. Mit der welterschließenden Kritik,
welche sich der Sichtbarmachung von Heterotopien, von anderen und alternativen Formen des
Organisierens widmet, wird eine kritische Praxis vorgeschlagen, welche den Gegensatz von
Affirmation  und  permanenter  Kritik  unterläuft  und  so  zu  einer  Revitalisierung  von  Kritik
beitragen kann.

Critical  Management  Studies  ·  Foucault  ·  Genealogie  ·  Heterotopie  ·  Immanente  Kritik  ·
Kritische Organisationsforschung · Welterschließung


The  essay  starts  with  the  observation  that,  despite  the  omnipresence  of  criticism,  critical
practice  is  on  a  notoriously  fluctuating  ground.  Even  more  the  propagated  lack  of  social
alternatives  and  a  dominant  cynical  consciousness  turns  critique  to  a  rather  naive  and  dull business.  Regarding  organizational  research,  the  perspectives  of  immanent  criticism,
Foucault’s  genealogy,  and  critique  as  world-disclosure  are  discussed  to  give  the  critical
practice sharper outlines. With world-disclosure devoted to the visualization of heterotopies,
that is of alternative forms of organization, a critical practice is suggested which undermines
the  opposition  between  affirmation  and  permanent  criticism,  and  thus  contributes  to  a
revitalization of critique.

Critical  Management  Studies  ·  Critical  organization  studies  ·  Foucault  ·  Genealogy  ·
Heterotopia · Immanent critique · World-disclosure

Call for papers Sub-Theme 05: Organizing Resilience: In, Against, Despite and Beyond Capital, LAEMOS 2018, Buenos Aires, March 22-24

Call for papers Sub-Theme 05: Organizing Resilience: In, Against, Despite and Beyond Capital, LAEMOS 2018, Buenos Aires, March 22-24


Ana C. Dinerstein

Luciana Ghiotto

F. Harry Pitts

Patrizia Zanoni

*Deadline abstract submission (up to 1000 words): September 30, 2017.*

Extract from the CfP:

„This stream welcomes submissions that recode the concept of resilience away from survival within the present organisation of work and economic life, towards the development of alternatives ‘in, against and beyond’ capitalism. In critical management studies, resilience is associated with resistance within organizations and how working place resistance relates to other spheres in civil society (Spicer and Böhm 2007). Social movement organizations’ role is regarded as the ‘sites’ for the creation of novel organizational subjectivities and ethical practices’ (Munro, 2014: 1127). This approach demands to ‘reposition organization theory’ towards an anti-hegemonic approach (Böhm 2006: 104) that links critical organization studies with developments in anti-capitalist movements towards the renewal of organization studies (Reedy, 2014: 652) in the direction of utopia (on this see Parker –ed. 2002).“

You can find the full CfP as well as the other streams of the conference at the conference website:

Post-Capitalistic Politics in the Making: Practices of Alternative Economics – Special Issue, Organization 24(5)

Special Issue: Post-Capitalistic Politics in the Making: Practices of
Alternative Economics, Organization 24(5)

Post-capitalistic politics in the making: The imaginary and praxis of
alternative economies
Patrizia Zanoni, Alessia Contu, Stephen Healy, Raza Mir

Entrepreneurial reproductive labor as alternative economic practice: The
ambivalent discourse of seasonal consignment sales
Alexis Bryson, Sarah E. Dempsey

The illusion of the digital commons: ‘False consciousness’ in online
alternative economies
Marinus Ossewaarde, Wessel Reijers

Alternative organizations in finance: Commoning in complementary
Camille Meyer, Marek Hudon

Spaces of open-source politics: Physical and digital conditions for
political organization
Emil Husted, Ursula Plesner

Supporting alternative organizations? Exploring scholars’ involvement
in the performativity of worker-recuperated enterprises
Susana C Esper, Laure Cabantous, Luciano Barin-Cruz, Jean-Pascal Gond

Gemeinnützige Genossenschaft als Rechtsform für Alternativbetriebe

Die Frage möglicher Rechtsformen und den damit verknüpften partizipativen und basisdemokratischen Elementen ist bedeutsam für alternative Organisationsformen. Die gemeinnützige Genossenschaft stellt eine Möglichkeit dar – hierzu ein knapper Bericht über den zu den Höfen der solidarischen Landwirtschaft (SoLAWi) zählenden Vauß-Hof in der Zeitschrift contraste: