Sub-theme 65: Marxist Organization Studies: Enlightening the Future – The Challenge for Organizations

Matt Vidal, Loughborough University London, United Kingdom
Kyle Bruce, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia
Session I: Thursday, July 04, 11:00 to 12:30, SH-Wandsworth
Labour Process I
Chair: Matt Vidal
Christopher Nyland and Kyle Bruce
The evolution of employee management models: A return to Marxian analysis
Paul Goldman
Collaboration: The evolution of an organizational phenomenon
Ian Hill
Contradictions in the software labour process: agile vs waterfall
Session II: Thursday, July 04, 14:00 to 15:30, SH-Wandsworth
Labour Process II
Chair: Kyle Bruce
Matt Vidal
Contradictions of the labour process, worker empowerment and capitalist inefficiency
Amanda Hildebrandt
Commodity fetishism and conspicuous leisure: The concealment of labour in the image of the flight attendant uniform
Elcemir Paço-Cunha and Leandro Guedes
The Inflectionist approach of the labour process theory
Session III: Friday, July 05, 09:00 to 10:30, SH-Wandsworth
Subjectivity and Solidarity
Chair: Claes Belfrage
Xinmiao Song and Ngai Pun
Clashing gender: Subject making of youth workers at the crossroad of neoliberal crisis
Xiaotian Li
In search for labour agency: Working in the Chinese Internet industry
Ngai Pun and Hang Gao
Toward a micro-foundation of working-class youth solidarity: The case of China
Session IV: Friday, July 05, 11:00 to 12:30, SH-Wandsworth
Technology at work
Chair: Kyle Bruce
Chris Smith and Dan Huang
Enabled technology and disabled workers – Investigating the employment of workers with disabilities in contemporary China
Julie Monroe
‘It’s one rule for them and one for us’: The importance of occupational class in explaining who does housework at work
Session V: Friday, July 05, 14:00 to 15:30, SH-Wandsworth
Political Economy
Chair: Paul Goldman
Emrah Karakilic
Financialisation and the becoming of capital parasitic: The case of corporate social media
Yu Zheng, Chris Smith and Di Zhang
Automation, logistics work and commodity circulation
Claes Belfrage and Markus Kallifatides
The ‘profits without accumulation’ puzzle in small and open advanced economies. A critical case study of the changing relationships between the financial and non-financial sectors in the Swedish economy
Session VI: Saturday, July 06, 09:00 to 10:30, SH-Wandsworth
Digital rhetoric, economic restructuring and capital investment
Chair: Chris Smith
Yanan Guo
Communicative labor in entrepreneurial activities: Examining interactions between grassroots innovative entrepreneurs and angel investors in Beijing
Devika Narayan
Cannibalize this: How corporations are drawn to self-disrupt
Session VII: Saturday, July 06, 11:00 to 12:30, SH-Wandsworth
Forum – Marxism and Organization Studies
Chair: Matt Vidal
This is the 9th year that we have run an EGOS sub-theme on Marxist organization studies. This sub-theme has been successful in key respects: institutional space for Marxists to present their work and to network; a special issue in ‘Organization Studies’; and a community of scholars who return year after year.

But – although the network of scholars who have attended at least one of the subthemes is large – the sub-theme itself has not grown substantially over the years. And it’s not clear that Marxism is having an impact in organization studies beyond a relatively small group of scholars who are already Marxists.

In this forum, we want to have an open reflection and discussion on the following issues:

1. What is your personal experience with the sub-theme – what’s working, what’s not working, and what might work better?
2. What is your broader experience as someone engaging Marxist theory within the field of org studies (and the context of the business school)?
3. Do we agree that it is important to make institutional space for Marxist research? And for Marxists to engage mainstream social science, including organization studies?
a. What can we learn from attempts to make institutional space for Marxism in other fields (sociology, political science, economics, etc.)?
b. Tactically, is it better to focus on bringing Marxism into org studies or to bringing org studies into Marxism?
c. Institutionally, where should Marxist focus their energy within the academy – engaging the mainstream? Building an alternative?
d. Should we run the EGOS Marxist sub-theme next year?