Communities at Work? The Concept of ‘Community’ in Organisational Analysis

Philosophy of Management 5 (3):31-41 (2005)

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Abstract
In this paper we assess the adequacy of the idea of community as an ideal-typical model against which real organisations and their management might be critically evaluated. Alasdair MacIntyre’s work on practices suggests that some forms of work activity require something more than contractual relationships withinorganisations: if he is right then perhaps we should acknowledge the importance of some notion of community at work. However, among the criticisms of the community approach are that it ignores issues of power and the inevitable existence in organisations of interest groups based on different values and pursuing different objectives. It can also be seen as ineluctably managerialist and hence incapable of producing a coherent and sustainable account of organisational life. Is ‘community’ just a strategy of social, political or organisational control? Does it assume a particular discourse of political subjectivity, to do with the nature of subjects who exist in communities? We assess the extent to which the idea of community at work is fatally damaged by these objections.
Keywords Applied Philosophy  Business and Professional Ethics  Social Science
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DOI pom2005534
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