Schlagwort-Archiv: Democracy

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.

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:

Symposium „Partizipationspraktiken in Genossenschaften“ – Manuskripte und Folien

Zu unserem Symposium „Partizipationspraktiken in Genossenschaften“ im April in Chemnitz stehen nun die Manuskripte und Foliensätze als Download zur Verfügung. Herzlichen Dank an alle Beitragenden für das zur Verfügung stellen der Manuskripte! Hier die einzelnen Beiträge:

Jürgen Keßler, HTW Berlin: Genossenschaften zwischen unternehmerischer
Effizienz und Teilhabe – eine ökonomische und rechtliche Analyse

Herbert Klemisch, Wissenschaftsladen Bonn: (Post)Demokratie und Unternehmensmitbestimmung in Genossenschaften

Walter Vogt, IG Metall: ‚Mehr Teilhabe wagen‘: Belegschaftsgenossenschaften
als Möglichkeit für die Förderung betrieblicher Partizipation im Kontext von Standort- und

Ronald Hartz, Melanie Hühn, Irma Rybnikova, Markus Tümpel: Partizipationspraktiken in Genossenschaften – Ergebnisse und Diskussion der Fallstudien
Hier der Link zu den Materialien:





CfP – DISSENSUS! RADICAL DEMOCRACY AND BUSINESS ETHICS. Special Issue of the Journal of Business Ethics

Call for Papers

Special Issue of the Journal of Business Ethics


Submission Deadline: 4 June 2018


Carl Rhodes, University of Technology Sydney, Australia.

Iain Munro, Newcastle University, UK.

Torkild Thanem, Stockholm University, Sweden.

Alison Pullen, Macquarie University, Australia.


In an era of prolonged financial crisis, political instability and worldwide injustice, the economic and ethical legitimacy of corporate power requires continued challenge. Scandal after scandal has revealed corporations showing little regard for the institutions of liberal democracy. Whether it be tax evasion, law breaking, political lobbying or outright corruption, corporations are content to flout notions of justice, equality and freedom in an escalating pursuit of profit (see Barkan 2013; Brown 2015). Liberal democracy promises opportunity and inclusion, yet democratic states are complicit in strengthening the power of the corporations they glorify as wealth creators and job securers. In ‘post-democracy’ (Crouch, 2004) politics revolves around the conflated interests of corporations and politicians, reinforcing injustice and inequality on a global scale and resulting in poverty, torture, trafficking, imprisonment, and death. This special issue will investigate and challenge this state of affairs by exploring business ethics as it relates to ‘radical democracy’ (Mouffe, 1996; Robbins, 2011). This is democracy conceived as an ethical alternative to the potent marriage of the liberal democratic state and corporate power. As Rancière (2015) explains, the political dissensus required for democracy bears witness to marginalized voices excluded from the prevailing status quo. Such dissensus also enacts a particular ethics rested in the radical questioning and subversion of the totalizing tendencies of power. In response to what Ziarek (2001) has called ‘the ethics of dissensus’, the political task is to fight against the powers, injustices and inequalities that affect people not just politically, but also materially. This ethics goes beyond the questioning of corporate power, and projects us towards trajectories where people already live and work independently of the corporate-government complex. The ethics and politics of dissensus becomes the radically democratic alternative, directed towards sustainable futures at the level of life itself.


Papers are called for which explore the ethics and politics of radical democracy as it manifests in dissensus and the subversion of corporate power by alternative democratic practices and realities. This is no fantasy, it is witnessed by struggles in domains as diverse as environmentalism, agriculture, affective labour, domestic work, craftwork, art, and the hacker ethic of the open source community. Acknowledging that contemporary politics have created an inverse relationship between corporate power and democracy, we seek to consider the character of this inversion, how it has been resisted, and the alternatives to it. We do not just ask whether democratic alternatives to the liberalistic reign of corporations, markets and corporate governments are possible, but how they are and can be realized. Required is a profound ethico-political engagement; a struggle that moves from critique, to resistance, to alternative realities. This evokes, in Spivak’s (1993) words, an ‘impossible intimacy of the ethical’ that strives for a genuine respect of the value of difference. Such intimacy can also invoke a politically aware and democratic business ethics built on the potential of dissent, alterity and critique as a means of refusing hegemony of all types. Papers might consider, but are by no means limited to, the following topics:

• The effects of Free Trade Agreements and trade wars on democracy.

• Spaces, places and strategies for ethicso-political democratic dissent.

• The politics, ethics and aesthetics of dissensus, through feminism and critical race theory.

• The ethico-political struggle for alternative ways of life, work and organization in the context of global and nationalist capitalism.

• Alternative economies and the subversion of free market liberalism.

• The development of a heterodox management studies to better imagine alternatives within the field of management studies.

• The ‘depoliticization’ of theory and academic work more generally

• The praxis, organization and effectiveness of anti-corporate movements.

• Business ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility as anti-democratic forms of corporate consensus.

• Inequality, difference and class struggle.

• Critiques of corporate sovereignty, justice and dissent.

• Tensions between the materiality of democracy, neoliberal rationality and neoconservative ideology.


Authors should refer to the Journal of Business Ethics website for instructions on submitting a paper and for more information about the journal: Submission to the special issue by 4 June 2018 is required through Editorial Manager at: Upon submission, please indicate that your sub- mission is to this Special Issue. Questions about potential topics and papers should be directed to the guest editors.


Barkan, J. (2013) Corporate Sovereignty: Law and Government Under Capitalism, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Brown, W. (2015) Undoing the Demos: Neoliberalism’s Stealth Revolution, New York: Zone Books.

Crouch, C. (2004) Post-Democracy, Cambridge: Polity.

Mouffe, C. (1996) Dimensions of Radical Democracy: Pluralism, Citizenship, Community. London: Verso.

Rancière, J. (2015) Dissensus: On Politics and Aesthetics, London: Continuum

Robbins, J. W. (2011) Radical Democracy and Political Theology, New York: Columbia.

Spivak , G. (1993) Outside the Teaching Machine, London: Routeldge.

Ziarek, E. P. (2001) Postmodernity, Feminism and the Politics of Radical Democracy. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

Die Rückkehr des Dorfladens als Genossenschaft – 2

Vor einiger Zeit habe ich, auf einen Hausbesuch der taz verweisend, über die Rückkehr des Dorfladens als Genossenschaft am Beispiel des Ortes Bernitt in Mecklenburg berichtet. Im DLF-Magazin des Deutschlandfunk wurde gestern unter der Überschrift „Dorfladen statt Discounter“ über einen anderen, bisher erfolgreich laufenden Fall einer solchen Neugründung in Jagsthausen (Landkreis Heilbronn) berichtet . Hier geht es zur Reportage:



Die Genossenschaft – Bürgerschaftliches Engagement soll leichter werden. Feature im Deutschlandfunk

Ein instruktives Feature über Genossenschaften als mögliche Form (nicht nur) bürgerschaftlichen Engagements und über geplante Veränderungen im Sinne von Vereinfachungen der Genossenschaftsprüfung. Angesichts der nicht zuletzt durch die Prüfung bedingten niedrigen Insolvenzrate von Genossenschaften ein nicht unproblematisches Unterfangen …

Hier geht es zur Sendung und zum Podcast:

Community Economies – Webseite zu alternativen Formen des Wirtschaftens

Die Seite „Community Economies“ bietet zahlreiche Informationen und Ressourcen (Artikel, Videos, Unterrichtsmaterialien, praktische Handreichungen, weitere Links) zu alternativen Formen des Wirtschaftens. Entstanden ist die Seite vor dem Hintergrund der Arbeiten von Gibson-Graham (vgl. Gibson-Graham 2006a, 2006b, 2008) und der Perspektive der ‚diverse economies‘:



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

Gibson-Graham, J. K. (2006b): A postcapitalist politics. Minneapolis, London: University of Minnesota Press.

Gibson-Graham, J. K. (2008): Diverse economies: performative practices for `other worlds‘. In: Progress in Human Geography 32 (5), S. 613–632.