The Politics and Aesthetics of Entrepreneurship

The Politics and Aesthetics of Entrepreneurship

A Fourth Movements in Entrepreneurship Book

Edited by Daniel Hjorth and Chris Steyaert

This fourth book in the New Movements in Entrepreneurship series focuses on the politics and aesthetics of entrepreneurial processes, in order to shed light on entrepreneurial creation itself.

Chapter 2: Freedom, Opportunism and Entrepreneurialism in Post-Bureaucratic Organizations

Christian Maravelias

Subjects: business and management, entrepreneurship, organisation studies


2. Freedom, opportunism and entrepreneurialism in postbureaucratic organizations Christian Maravelias INTRODUCTION In mainstream managerial and entrepreneurial research, individual freedom has been as celebrated as the bureaucratic form of organization has been discredited (Peters and Waterman, 1982; Drucker, 1985; Baumol, 1996). Allegedly, bureaucratic divisions between professional and private behaviour, economic and social concerns, rational and emotional motives, and so on, at once split individuals morally in halves and push the free sphere of individuals’ lives with potentially valuable ‘resources’ such as individuals’ social relations, desires and interests outside of work (Adler, 2001). Not surprisingly there has been a strong call for and numerous attempts at forming a concept of an entrepreneurial post-bureaucratic organization in which employees would be empowered to work autonomously within teams and projects that managers orchestrate (facilitate relationship-building and trust, inspire, promote learning, and so on) rather than control (for example, Kanter, 1983; Drucker, 1985; Hecksher and Donnellon, 1994; Mintzberg, 1998). However, in the increasingly influential field of critical management studies (CMS) individuals in such post-bureaucratic1 organizations have emerged as free only superficially. In fact, these studies have pointed out that such organizations do not emancipate workers from oppression, but attempt to snare them in power relations even more efficiently than did the iron cage of bureaucracy (for example, Kunda, 1992; Barker, 1993; Casey, 1999; Fleming and Spicer, 2004). Post-bureaucratic organizations seek to make commitment to and identification with work and the organization a norm that has to be respected by those who wish...

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