It's Not Just for Communists Any More

Richard Marens

in The Oxford Handbook of Sociology and Organization Studies

Published in print March 2009 | ISBN: 9780199535231
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780198614128 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Business and Management C

It's Not Just for Communists Any More

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  • Business and Management
  • Organizational Theory and Behaviour
  • Business History



The thesis of this article is that organizational theorists could gain a great deal of insight regarding the evolution, structure, and behavior of organizations by better understanding their social, economic, and historical context as analyzed by such Marxian theorists as Aglietta, Arrighi, and others. Marxian political economy is particularly useful because of its relative success in understanding the dynamics of capitalism as a largely self-contained system. This starting point obviates the need to rely on unpredictable exogenous shocks to explain changes in the broader social environment of organizations. Despite the failure of regimes supposedly committed to Marxist principles, Marxian analysis ‘remains a powerful critique of bourgeois and capitalist society…still useful in examining the events taking place’. Even politically conservative scholars have acknowledged the explanatory power of a Marxian approach for understanding social and economic change.

Keywords: organizational theorists; organizational behavior; Marxian theory; political economy; social environment; economic change

Article.  11274 words. 

Subjects: Business and Management ; Organizational Theory and Behaviour ; Business History

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