I receive and I give – such is human life. Each directs and is directed in his turn. Therefore there is no fixed and constant authority, but a continual exchange of mutual, temporary, and, above all, voluntary authority and subordination. (Bakunin, 2012/1882: 33)
Rethinking organizational hierarchy, management, and the nature of work with Peter Drucker and Colin Ward
Philosophical anarchism is a defensible position in theory. The only trouble with it is it never works. (Drucker, 2010: 40)
We have to build networks instead of pyramids. (Ward, 2008: 33)
How many anarchists does it take to start a conversation about anarchism in a business school? Perhaps the most appropriate punchline is that such a conversation shouldn’t ever take place at all, never mind the number of participants. And yet just that conversation did take place, in November 2010. In fact, the topic of anarchism almost naturally surfaces within discussions of forms of organising that escape the Procrustean bed of the day-to-day academic curriculum of business and management studies; at least it does if this special issue is anything to go by.
Management, business, anarchism. Can these three terms, that come with so much baggage, be fruitfully brought together? This special issue brings together contributions that range from discussions of anarchist political economy and anarchism as a theory of organisation to the practices of anarchist alternatives and the radical imagination. Scholars from anarchist studies as well as critical management studies highlight the various ways the connections between the two fields can be articulated.
Issue Editors: Konstantin Stoborod and Thomas Swann