Now showing 1 - 10 of 68
  • Publication
    Following Maslow - an outline theory of motivation for the individual firm
    Bakan (2004) likens the characteristics of a corporation to those of a psychopathic human being. This idea of comparing the corporate entity to a human individual recognises the progression of the corporate form from Thoreau's 'conscientious men' in 1849 to a single legal persona 50 years later. The legal doctrine of corporate personality was established through a series of decisions including Pembina Consolidated Silver Mining (1888) and Salomon (1897). This status has been reaffirmed by the application of the First Amendment to defend the rights of the corporation to make political donations (Schiff 2012). Our new quasi-human companion is a kind of clumsy monstrous child, operating on an equal legal footing alongside human creatures of a vastly inferior size and power.
  • Publication
    'These our actors': the representation of players in the legal game
    (Edge Hill University, 2017-07-05) ; ;
    Recent trends in litigation, corporate structuring and technological innovation have highlighted core dynamics concerning identities generally, and legal personhood in particular. This paper seeks to explore and question the concept of the legal person, itself, as an actor, and its construction through quasi-juridical systems of power. We argue that there is an ontological separation between living men and women and their legal representations, and propose a conceptual schema based in part on the games studies literature, wherein actorial identities known as 'Avatars' are created by performative declarations (Searle, 2006), and act within a bounded Framework. This schema is employed to distinguish corporations from individuals, to model the use of legal ‘Avatars’ by Apple Inc. and show unique properties of Bitcoin technology as well as the novelty of decentralized autonomous organizations such as zeromember LLCs (Bayern, 2014).
  • Publication
    The university as fool
    (Routledge, 2011-08)
    Donncha Kavanagh (chapter eight) invites us to think of the university as fool,the idea of fool taken from the mediaeval courts and elsewhere in which the fool had a crucial role to play. The role of the fool, after all, is to present ambiguity to the powerful, wittily engaging his audience but perhaps to disturb a little as well.The fool is an irritant, a provocateur, whose modus operandi is to provoke newwisdom in others. Within the fool's foolishness, then, lies wisdom. Understood as fool, the university has had several masters or 'sovereign institutions' over its near-one thousand years of history, including the crown, the nation, the state, theprofessions and the world of work. The idea of fool, however, implies a certain 'liminality' from the main structures of power and so an issue (for Kavanagh) isthe extent to which this liminal role has been or is being abandoned. If, qua fool, the university is both to institutionalise and to de-institutionalise, the universitycannot become subservient to any authority. 'The fool must . . . be carefulnot to transgress this (liminal) role.' Accordingly, 'there is an . . . onus on the university . . . to actively foster intellectuals that question and play with society's institutions.'
  • Publication
    Perpetuating sales: enabling incumbent survival of radical technological shifts
    Technological change can either sustain the competencies of existing firms or destroy them (Bower and Christensen, 1995). When a new dominant technology is sustaining, it incentivises existing firms to invest and it sustains the current trajectory of the industry (Arrow, 1962). When a technology is radical, it requires firms to acquire new competencies, causes current competencies to lose their value and incentivises entrants to invest (Gilbert and Newbery, 1982; Teece 1986; Tripsas, 1997). Existing firms, who are often entrenched in the use and routines of their old technological trajectory, find it difficult to transition to the new technology and entrants who can more easily adapt to the new radical technology replace them in the industry (Tushman and Anderson, 1986; Christensen, 1997; Tripsas, 1997).A body of literature has emerged, discussing how existing firms can prepare for such change and react to it once it occurs (Christensen, 1997; Jiang et al., 2010; Hess and Rothaermel, 2011; Tripsas, 1997; Tushman and Anderson, 1986). This literature has created exceptions where existing firms can survive these radical technological shifts. There are broadly three categories described in the incumbent survival literature- (i) specialized complimentary assets to the new technology that allow incumbents a competitive advantage on entrants. (ii) Strategic alliances with firms in different industries or different places in the supply stream that allows firms access to a wide array of competencies and (iii) R&D innovation which gives firms a wider frame of reference for new technologies.
  • Publication
    Restoring Phronesis and Practice: Marketing's Forgotten P's
    (Emerald, 2014)
    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine the evolution of marketing’s philosophical conversation over the last 120 years, focusing on the emergent meaning of the notion that marketing should become more 'scientific'. Design/methodology/approach: Focuses on the US academic marketing literature, primarily journal articles and books published in the first half of the twentieth century. Findings: The Aristotelian distinction between techné, epistemé and phronesis provides a rich basis for framing philosophical discussion in marketing, and should supplant the art-science debate and Anderson’s distinction between science1 and science2. Prior to 1959, the marketing journals provided a forum for phronesis, though this diminished as the academic marketing community largely abandoned the inductive, contextual approach in favour of a deductive, 'scientific' methodology. The Ford Foundation played an important role in effecting this change. Practical implications: The paper highlights the importance of forums where practitioners can reflect on the ethical and social implications of their practices and then work to enhance these practices for the greater social good. Originality/value: Advances the concept of phronesis in the marketing literature and distinguishes it from epistemé, which has dominated academic marketing discourse over the last 60 years.
  • Publication
    Markets, Exchange and the Extreme
    Marketing is contemplating its End, in at least two senses of the word (Brown 1993b; Brownlie and Saren 1992; 1995). Ruminations on its demise are unsurprising, since crisis and images of death are primal parts of our attempt at making sense of the world (Kermode 1967). Such apocalyptic visions occur with particular sharpness at fin de siècle times, not to mention towards the close of a millennium, which might explain the recent flurry of announcements of the End: of the world (Meadows et al. 1972), industrial society (Touraine 1974), capitalism (Lash and Urry 1987), the social (Baudrillard 1988), history (Fukuyama 1989), and work (Rifkin 1995). Latter-day predictions of marketing's imminent downfall can be seen as prototypical of this phenomenon. Moreover, these declarations are singularly characteristic of modernity, with its passion for re-invention, for new Ends and new Beginnings. But histrionic proclamations of the End often fail to deliver on their promise of finality: for beneath the cloak of eschatological language is modernity's ongoing teleological project of rampantly re-visioning the future. We prefer, therefore, to demur from the current discussion on the End of Marketing. Rather, we shall focus, in this chapter, on the End in Marketing. Here, we interpret End as meaning limit, extreme or margin, and, in particular, the extremes of the human condition.
  • Publication
    Changing the Rules of the Game: Recasting the Legal and Ethical Foundation of Business and Management
    (European Group for Organizational Studies, 2017-07-08) ; ;
    The neoliberal critique tends to pit the state—and its multifarious appendages—in opposition to the market, with the former typically depicted as a negative, debilitating, inefficient entity, in contrast to the market which is presented as a ‘natural’ phenomenon and the solution to virtually all socio-economic problems. Buoyed up by transaction cost economics, which sees markets as natural and organisations— both public and private—as instances of ‘market failure’, the neoliberal critique has waged an incessant war on the state, seeking to minimise and marginalise its remit, while, at every turn, questioning its need for and use of resources. In short, the state (and its bureaucracy) is bad and the market is good. However, this critique is problematic because the historical record indicates that markets are either directly or indirectly produced by government action, and, paradoxically, attempts to create a ‘free’ market have increased rather than reduced the size of the state’s bureaucracy (Graeber, 2015). What is clear is that the state, through legislation, enables business to happen, and is also deeply implicated in monitoring and controlling business practice.
  • Publication
    Running to Stand Still: Late Modernity's Acceleration Fixation
    (Duke University Press, 2007) ; ;
    That we live in a time of unprecedented and ever-increasing change is both a shibboleth of our age and the more-or-less explicit justification for all manner of 'strategic' actions. The seldom, if ever, questioned assumption is that our now is more ephemeral, more evanescent, than any that preceded it. In this essay, we subject this assumption to some critical scrutiny, utilizing a range of empirical detail. In the face of this assay we find the assumption to be considerably wanting. We suggest that what we are actually witnessing is mere acceleration, which we distinguish as intensification along a preexisting trajectory, parading as more substantive and radical movement away from a preexisting trajectory. Deploying Deleuze's (2004) terms we are, we suggest, in thrall to representation of the same at the expense of repetition of difference. Our consumption by acceleration, we argue, both occludes the lack of substantive change actually occurring while simultaneously delimiting possibilities of thinking of and enacting the truly radical. We also consider how this setup is maintained, thus attempting to shed some light on why we are seemingly running to stand still. As the Red Queen said, 'it's necessary to run faster even to stay in the one place'.
  • Publication
    Reading Star Trek: Imagining, Theorizing, and Reflecting on Organizational Discourse and Practice
    This paper considers the parallels and intersections between Star Trek and contemporary management discourse. We show that the central issues of complex organisations and management are represented in fictional scenarios in Star Trek and that these find their 'real world' correspondences in the management literature. Tracing this theme over the thirty-year lifespan of the product, we outline both the central axial problems of organisations as well as contextual transformations, and, by focusing on particular episodes, we identify and analyse germane micro-sociological and micro-organisational processes. Thus, we consider Star Trek an 'expressive good' - that is, a material product of the culture industry that gives expression to the prevailing cultural processes through which its production and circulation takes place. Moreover, Star Trek, as an exemplary science fiction utopia/dystopia, facilitates a critical imaginary enabling us to envision a variety of organisational alternatives through which we can assess and reflect on our own management practices and organisational contexts.