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Capitalism’s New Clothes | Evgeny Morozov
Zuboff’s Copernican revolution is much easier to explain by its debt to Chandler than Foucault. Chandler’s own prescriptions were usually limited to demanding that managers be more responsible. Zuboff transcends such defeatism. But her double movement will not win before both managerial capitalism and surveillance capitalism are theorized as “capitalism”—a complex set of historical and social relationships between capital and labor, the state and the monetary system, the metropole and the periphery—and not just as an aggregate of individual firms responding to imperatives of technological and social change. That the latter, miniaturized account of competitive enterprise is the working definition of “capitalism” in American business schools is no reason to impoverish the broader discussion of the system’s rationales and shortcomings.
surveillanceCapitalism  ZuboffShoshana  surveillance  Facebook  Google  businessModels  economics  capitalism  SiliconValley  power  control  ChandlerAlfred  HarvardBusinessSchool  managerialism  ParsonsTalcott  data  predictions  behaviour  Apple  Negri  autonomism  Italy  socialFactory  multitude  post-industrialism  Blairism  Taylorism  extractivism  advertising  Amazon  Uber  dctagged  dc:creator=MorozovEvgeny 
8 weeks ago by petej
An inevitable division: the politics and consequences of the Labour split | openDemocracy
As I’ve pointed out before most of the Blairite MPs became Labour MPs on the basis of a particular implicit understanding of what that role entailed. According to this understanding, the purpose of a Labour MP is to try to persuade the richest and most powerful individuals, groups and institutions to make minor concessions to the interests of the disadvantaged, while persuading the latter to accept that these minor concessions are the best that they can hope for. That job description might well entail some occasional grandstanding when corporate institutions are engaged in particularly egregious forms of behaviour (such as making loans to very poor people at clearly exorbitant rates), or when the political right is engaged in explicit displays of racism or misogyny. But it doesn’t entail any actual attempt to change the underlying distributions of power in British society; and in fact it does necessarily, and structurally, entail extreme hostility towards anybody who proposes to do that.
UK  politics  LabourParty  IndependentGroup  split  UmunnaChuka  Blairism  GapesMike  LabourFirst  Progress  class  capitalism  centrism  managerialism  anti-Semitism  Corbynism  Brexit  Labourism  coalition  Germany  FreeDemocraticParty  dctagged  dc:creator=GilbertJeremy 
9 weeks ago by petej
The Hollow Men II: Some reflections on Westminster and Whitehall dysfunction
An epic and important post on the failings of Whitehall bureaucracy. Thois is a huge piece that underlines how our governance structures are optimised to impede breakthroughs. Explains much of the problems with polticial stasis.
breakthrough  wrongsociety  managerialism  policy 
january 2019 by michael.bhaskar
Technology is improving, productivity isn't. Why?
Yves Morieux on how managerialism makes companies unproductive and how managers waste vast amounts of their time.
breakthrough  wrongsociety  managerialism 
january 2019 by michael.bhaskar
We Are Not A Dashboard: Contesting The Tyranny Of Metrics, Measurement, And Managerialism
The dashboard is the potent symbol of our age. It offers the elegant visualization of data, and is intended to capture and represent the performance of a system, revealing at a glance current status, and pointing out potential emerging concerns.
managerialism  Bigdata  dashboard  reductionism  counterpoint 
december 2018 by PieroRivizzigno
Australian national interest research
all federal research funding in Australia is scheduled to have a national interest test to ensure it is in the 'national interest's. sign of growing restrictions on academic freedom.
breakthrough  wrongsociety  populism  managerialism 
october 2018 by michael.bhaskar
Wall Street is turning its back on a basic driver of economic growth
Article showing the corporate funding of basic research is declining.

'Yet funding from sources outside the federal government -- which roughly indicates how much corporations are spending -- has declined as a share of the total national research budget from roughly a third during the Clinton administration to about a quarter today, as shown in the chart below from the paper.'

Also shows that Federal funding of R&D is declining as a share of GDP, and has been for decades (since the mid 1970s).
breakthrough  wrongsociety  financialisation  managerialism 
october 2018 by michael.bhaskar
Against metrics: how measuring performance by numbers backfires
Metrics, whether financial or otherwise, are actually damaging. This is a great argument that the growth of metrics everywhere does harm, especially in radical areas where breakthroughs could be made.
breakthrough  wrongsociety  financialisation  managerialism 
october 2018 by michael.bhaskar
Government could scrap some controversial NHS reforms - BBC News
I wonder what new name for PCTs and SHAs they will come up with
NHS  Tories  managerialism 
may 2018 by yorksranter
Why we should bulldoze the business school | News | The Guardian
"There are 13,000 business schools on Earth. That’s 13,000 too many. And I should know – I’ve taught in them for 20 years. By Martin Parker

Visit the average university campus and it is likely that the newest and most ostentatious building will be occupied by the business school. The business school has the best building because it makes the biggest profits (or, euphemistically, “contribution” or “surplus”) – as you might expect, from a form of knowledge that teaches people how to make profits.

Business schools have huge influence, yet they are also widely regarded to be intellectually fraudulent places, fostering a culture of short-termism and greed. (There is a whole genre of jokes about what MBA – Master of Business Administration – really stands for: “Mediocre But Arrogant”, “Management by Accident”, “More Bad Advice”, “Master Bullshit Artist” and so on.) Critics of business schools come in many shapes and sizes: employers complain that graduates lack practical skills, conservative voices scorn the arriviste MBA, Europeans moan about Americanisation, radicals wail about the concentration of power in the hands of the running dogs of capital. Since 2008, many commentators have also suggested that business schools were complicit in producing the crash.

Having taught in business schools for 20 years, I have come to believe that the best solution to these problems is to shut down business schools altogether. This is not a typical view among my colleagues. Even so, it is remarkable just how much criticism of business schools over the past decade has come from inside the schools themselves. Many business school professors, particularly in north America, have argued that their institutions have gone horribly astray. B-schools have been corrupted, they say, by deans following the money, teachers giving the punters what they want, researchers pumping out paint-by-numbers papers for journals that no one reads and students expecting a qualification in return for their cash (or, more likely, their parents’ cash). At the end of it all, most business-school graduates won’t become high-level managers anyway, just precarious cubicle drones in anonymous office blocks.

These are not complaints from professors of sociology, state policymakers or even outraged anti-capitalist activists. These are views in books written by insiders, by employees of business schools who themselves feel some sense of disquiet or even disgust at what they are getting up to. Of course, these dissenting views are still those of a minority. Most work within business schools is blithely unconcerned with any expression of doubt, participants being too busy oiling the wheels to worry about where the engine is going. Still, this internal criticism is loud and significant.

The problem is that these insiders’ dissent has become so thoroughly institutionalised within the well-carpeted corridors that it now passes unremarked, just an everyday counterpoint to business as usual. Careers are made by wailing loudly in books and papers about the problems with business schools. The business school has been described by two insiders as “a cancerous machine spewing out sick and irrelevant detritus”. Even titles such as Against Management, Fucking Management and The Greedy Bastard’s Guide to Business appear not to cause any particular difficulties for their authors. I know this, because I wrote the first two. Frankly, the idea that I was permitted to get away with this speaks volumes about the extent to which this sort of criticism means anything very much at all. In fact, it is rewarded, because the fact that I publish is more important than what I publish.

Most solutions to the problem of the B-school shy away from radical restructuring, and instead tend to suggest a return to supposedly more traditional business practices, or a form of moral rearmament decorated with terms such as “responsibility” and “ethics”. All of these suggestions leave the basic problem untouched, that the business school only teaches one form of organising – market managerialism.

That’s why I think that we should call in the bulldozers and demand an entirely new way of thinking about management, business and markets. If we want those in power to become more responsible, then we must stop teaching students that heroic transformational leaders are the answer to every problem, or that the purpose of learning about taxation laws is to evade taxation, or that creating new desires is the purpose of marketing. In every case, the business school acts as an apologist, selling ideology as if it were science."

"The easiest summary of all of the above, and one that would inform most people’s understandings of what goes on in the B-school, is that they are places that teach people how to get money out of the pockets of ordinary people and keep it for themselves. In some senses, that’s a description of capitalism, but there is also a sense here that business schools actually teach that “greed is good”. As Joel M Podolny, the former dean of Yale School of Management, once opined: “The way business schools today compete leads students to ask, ‘What can I do to make the most money?’ and the manner in which faculty members teach allows students to regard the moral consequences of their actions as mere afterthoughts.”

This picture is, to some extent, backed up by research, although some of this is of dubious quality. There are various surveys of business-school students that suggest that they have an instrumental approach to education; that is to say, they want what marketing and branding tells them that they want. In terms of the classroom, they expect the teaching of uncomplicated and practical concepts and tools that they deem will be helpful to them in their future careers. Philosophy is for the birds.

As someone who has taught in business schools for decades, this sort of finding doesn’t surprise me, though others suggest rather more incendiary findings. One US survey compared MBA students to people who were imprisoned in low-security prisons and found that the latter were more ethical. Another suggested that the likelihood of committing some form of corporate crime increased if the individual concerned had experience of graduate business education, or military service. (Both careers presumably involve absolving responsibility to an organisation.) Other surveys suggest that students come in believing in employee wellbeing and customer satisfaction and leave thinking that shareholder value is the most important issue, and that business-school students are more likely to cheat than students in other subjects."

"The sorts of doors to knowledge we find in universities are based on exclusions. A subject is made up by teaching this and not that, about space (geography) and not time (history), about collectives of people (sociology) and not about individuals (psychology), and so on. Of course, there are leakages and these are often where the most interesting thinking happens, but this partitioning of the world is constitutive of any university discipline. We cannot study everything, all the time, which is why there are names of departments over the doors to buildings and corridors.

However, the B-school is an even more extreme case. It is constituted through separating commercial life from the rest of life, but then undergoes a further specialisation. The business school assumes capitalism, corporations and managers as the default form of organisation, and everything else as history, anomaly, exception, alternative. In terms of curriculum and research, everything else is peripheral.

Most business schools exist as parts of universities, and universities are generally understood as institutions with responsibilities to the societies they serve. Why then do we assume that degree courses in business should only teach one form of organisation – capitalism – as if that were the only way in which human life could be arranged?

The sort of world that is being produced by the market managerialism that the business school sells is not a pleasant one. It’s a sort of utopia for the wealthy and powerful, a group that the students are encouraged to imagine themselves joining, but such privilege is bought at a very high cost, resulting in environmental catastrophe, resource wars and forced migration, inequality within and between countries, the encouragement of hyper-consumption as well as persistently anti-democratic practices at work.

Selling the business school works by ignoring these problems, or by mentioning them as challenges and then ignoring them in the practices of teaching and research. If we want to be able to respond to the challenges that face human life on this planet, then we need to research and teach about as many different forms of organising as we are able to collectively imagine. For us to assume that global capitalism can continue as it is means to assume a path to destruction. So if we are going to move away from business as usual, then we also need to radically reimagine the business school as usual. And this means more than pious murmurings about corporate social responsibility. It means doing away with what we have, and starting again."
mba  business  education  capitalism  businessschools  latecapitalism  2018  martinparker  highereducation  highered  corporatism  universities  colleges  society  priorities  managerialism  exclusions  privilege  environment  sustainability  markets  destruction  ethics  publicgood  neoliberalism  finance  money 
april 2018 by robertogreco

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