Beyond workplace democracy: Prefiguring non-capitalist social reproduction within Marx’s communist horizon

Author/s Patrizia Zanoni, Ozan N. Alakavuklar
Publishing Year 2024 Issue 2023/2
Language English Pages 32 P. 162-193 File size 565 KB
DOI 10.3280/SO2023-002008
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This contribution argues that, in order to foster a more socially just and sustainable economy and society, management and organization studies need to embrace novel, alternative forms of organizing the economy and society. We first discuss how the scholarship on workplace democracy, which promotes more participatory governance in firms and cooperatives, fails to acknowledge that exploitation and dispossession are constitutive features of capitalist institutions. As these institutions need to abide by the imperative of capital accumulation, they cannot be redeemed. Instead, we propose that our social reproduction should be organized through alternative non-capitalist economic practices. We point to the key role of prefiguration in envisioning alternatives to capitalism, and plead for embedding prefiguration within a ‘communist horizon’ based on the Marxist principle ‘from each according to their possibilities to each according to their needs’. We conclude with a call for bringing alternative economies to the core of management and organization studies, in view of expanding our current understanding of the economy beyond capitalism, as a means to sustain life on this planet rather than for capital accumulation.

Keywords: workplace democracy, economic alternatives, cooperatives, prefiguration, social mediation, Marxism

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Patrizia Zanoni, Ozan N. Alakavuklar, Beyond workplace democracy: Prefiguring non-capitalist social reproduction within Marx’s communist horizon in "STUDI ORGANIZZATIVI " 2/2023, pp 162-193, DOI: 10.3280/SO2023-002008