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Impossible organisations: anarchism and organisational praxis

Reedy, Patrick


Patrick Reedy


Organisational scholarship tends to focus its attention mainly on conventional work organisations and so neglects the organisational practices and principles of other sites of organising. The paper considers the implications of this limited focus even within more critical scholarship through a close reading of a recent paper calling for a greater engagement with social movements. Specifically, I consider problems of understanding a phenomenon in terms of what it is not and evaluating alternative sites of organisation using conventional categories of analysis. I then go on to outline the potential contribution of anarchist theory and its enactment by recent anti-capitalist movements. These radically different approaches to organisation are evaluated and I argue that they present a profound challenge to mainstream assumptions. The paper concludes that critical organisational theory has much to learn from an engagement with such alternative sites of organisation but only if a determined attempt is made to move beyond the usual theoretical frameworks and that anarchist theory may help us do this.


Reedy, P. (2014). Impossible organisations: anarchism and organisational praxis. Ephemera: Theory and Politics in Organization, 14(4), 639-658

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 1, 2014
Publication Date 2014
Deposit Date Mar 17, 2016
Publicly Available Date Mar 17, 2016
Journal Ephemera : theory & politics in organization
Print ISSN 2052-1499
Electronic ISSN 1473-2866
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 14
Issue 4
Pages 639-658
Keywords Organization
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Copy of article first published in: Ephemera : theory & politics in organization, 201-, v.14, issue 4


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