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. The 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 definitions of management relations as handed down by the founding figures of the discipline. Drawing inspiration from Walter Benjamin’s (1969) refiguring of Charles Baudelaire’s flâneur, 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. The 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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