In search of a dérive: For alternative media narratives of management and organization

Monika Kostera,

Jerzy Kociatkiewicz,

Michał Zawadzki


Many recent publications hold a dark view of contemporary business administration and its context. Th e current state of capitalism and corporate management is described as zombie (Harman, 2009), ghostly (Roy, 2014) or, in the most benign appraisal, sick but not dying (Tomlinson, 2010). At the same time, business schools, textbooks and popular management books remain wedded to a reductive view of social interactions, drawing inspiration as well as authority from a century of socioeconomic triumph as well as from the rigid defi nitions of management relations as handed down by the founding fi gures of the discipline. Drawing inspiration from Walter Benjamin’s (1940/1969) refi guring of Charles Baudelaire’s fl âneur, we revisit the haunted spaces of popular management books, using the situationist method of dérive to invoke the ghosts of foundational thinkers for inspiration and, possibly, exorcism. Th e aim of this excursion is to propose strategies for communication about some old ideas of management which still can  be regarded as vital, even though the contemporary forms may have become morbid (Fleming, 2017).

Słowa kluczowe: media discourse, popular management books, flâneur, dérive, neoliberalism, corporate culture

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