Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2381/33283
Title: Organising Otherwise: Translating Anarchism in a Voluntary Sector Organization
Authors: Land, Christopher D.
King, D.
First Published: Nov-2014
Publisher: University of Leicester, University of Essex
Citation: Ephemera: theory and politics in organization, 2014, 14 (4), pp. 923-950
Abstract: Although foundational texts in Critical Management Studies (CMS) pointed to the empirical significance of anarchism as an inspiration for alternative ways of organizing (Burrell, 1992), relatively little work of substance has been undertaken within CMS to explore how anarchists organize or how anarchist principles of organization might fare in other contexts. This paper addresses this gap by reporting on the experiences of a UK Voluntary Sector Organization (VSO) seeking to adopt non-hierarchical working practices inspired by anarchism. The paper analyses this process of organizational change by examining how ideas and practices are translated and transformed as they travel from one context (direct action anarchism) to another (the voluntary sector). Whilst the onset of austerity and funding cuts created the conditions of possibility for this change, it was the discursive translation of ‘anarchism’ into ‘non-hierarchical organizing’ that enabled these ideas to take hold. The concept of ‘non-hierarchical’ organization constituted an open space that was defined by negation and therefore capable of containing a multiplicity of meanings. Rather than having to explicitly embrace anarchism, members were able to find common ground on what they did not want (hierarchy) and create a discursive space for democratically determining what might replace it.
ISSN: 2052-1499
eISSN: 1473-2866
Links: http://www.ephemerajournal.org/contribution/organizing-otherwise-translating-anarchism-voluntary-sector-organization
http://hdl.handle.net/2381/33283
Version: Publisher Version
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © the authors, 2014. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/ ), which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, School of Management

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