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Andrew Kliman

Andrew Kliman

THE PERSISTENT FALL IN PROFITABILITY UNDERLYING THE CURRENT CRISIS

 

A message from Andrew Kliman

Dear Colleagues,

I have just posted a first draft of a longish (27,000 word) paper at: http://akliman.squarespace.com/persistent-fall

It’s entitled “The Persistent Fall in Profitability Underlying the Current Crisis: New Temporalist Evidence.”

It looks at the rates of profit of U.S. corporations, 1929-2007, with emphasis on the period since the early 1980s. The accompanying spreadsheet files will be posted at the same location soon, as soon as I can clean them up.

Comments are welcome.

Best,

Andrew

Andrew Kliman
http://akliman.squarespace.com:  “I Ain’t Gonna Work on Piero’s Farm No More”

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

DeadwingWORK, PLAY & BOREDOM

Call for Papers on ‘Work, Play & Boredom’ for an ephemera Conference at University of St. Andrews, 5-7 May 2010. Deadline for abstracts: 31 January 2010.

In recent years, play has become an abiding concern in the popular business literature and a crucial aspect of organizational culture. While managerial interest in play has certainly been with us for some time, there is a sense that organizations are becoming ever-more receptive to incorporating fun and frivolity into everyday working life. Team-building exercises, simulation games, puzzle-solving activities, office parties, themed dress-down days, and colourful, aesthetically-stimulating workplaces are notable examples of this trend. Through play, employees are encouraged to express themselves and their capabilities, thus enhancing job satisfaction, motivation, and commitment. Play also serves to unleash an untapped creative potential in management thinking that will supposedly result in innovative product design, imaginative marketing strategies and, ultimately, superior organizational performance. Play, it seems, is a very serious business indeed.

But this has not always been the case. Until very recently, play was seen as the antithesis of work. Classical industrial theory, for examples, hinges on a fundamental distinction between waged labour and recreation. Play at work is thought to pose a threat not only to labour discipline, but also to the very basis of the wage bargain: in exchange for a day’s pay, workers are expected to leave their pleasures at home. Given this context, we can well understand Adorno’s (1978: 228) comment that the purposeless play of children – completely detached from selling one’s labour to earn a living – unconsciously rehearses the ‘right life’. But play no longer holds the promise of life after capitalism, as it once did for Adorno; today, the ‘unreality of games’ is fully incorporated within the reality of  
organizations. When employees are urged to reach out to their ‘inner child’ (Miller, 1997: 255), it becomes clear that the traditional boundary between work and play is in the process of being demolished.

A certain utopianism underpins contemporary debates about play at work, evoking the pre-Lapsarian ideal of a happy life without hard work. In this respect, organizations seem to have taken notice of Burke’s (1971: 47) compelling vision of paradise: ‘My formula for utopia is simple: it is a community in which everyone plays at work and works at play. Anything less would fail to satisfy me for long’. But such idealism is not necessarily desirable. For while play promises to relieve the monotony and boredom of work, it is intimately connected to new forms of management control: it is part of the panoply of techniques that seek to align the personal desires of workers with bottom-line corporate objectives. We should not be surprised, then, when an overbearing emphasis on fun in the workplace leads to cynicism, alienation, and resentment from employees (Fleming, 2005).

While play at work has been extensively discussed in the popular and academic literature, the role of boredom in organisations has been somewhat neglected. It seems that boredom is destined to share the fate of other ‘negative emotions’, such as anger and contempt, which have generally been silenced in organization studies (Pelzer 2005). But boredom remains an important part of organisational life. As Walter Benjamin (1999: 105) observes, ‘we are bored when we don’t know what we are waiting for’. Boredom thus contains a sense of anticipation, even promise: ‘Boredom is the threshold to great deeds’ (ibid.). Since capitalism is preoccupied with fun and games, perhaps it is boredom rather than play that now serves unconsciously to rehearse the ‘right life’ in contemporary times.

This ephemera conference and special issue ask its participants to explore the interrelated themes of work, play, and boredom alongside an exploration of the cultural and political context out of which they have emerged.

Possible topics include:
–    The politics of play
–    Play and reality
–    Anthropology of play
–    Play and utopia
–    The boredom of play
–    Boredom as resistance
–    Identity and authenticity when played
–    The blurring of work and play
–    Playfulness at work
–    Creativity and play
–    Experience economy
–    Management games
–    Cultures of fun
–    Play and pedagogy
–    Seriousness and indifference
–    Foolishness and fooling around
–    Tedium and repetition
–    Humour, jokes, and cynicism
–    Childishness and management
–    Invention and innovation through play
–    Organizing spontaneity

The best papers of the conference will be published in a special issue of ephemera.

Confirmed Keynote Speakers:
Professor Niels Åkerstrøm Andersen, Professor at the Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark. Author of many books, including his recent Power at Play: The Relationship between Play, Work and Governance (2009, Palgrave Macmillan).

Professor René ten Bos, Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands. His many books include Fashion and Utopia in Management Thinking (John Benjamins, 2000).

Dates and Location:

5-7 May 2010 at School of Management, University of St Andrews, Scotland, UK.

Deadline, Conference Website, and Further Information:

The deadline for abstracts is 31 January 2010. The abstracts should be submitted as a Word document to Martyna Sliwa at martyna.sliwa@newcastle.ac.uk  The conference fee has not been set yet, as it is dependent on the number of participants, but will be kept to a minimum. PhD candidates pay a reduced fee.

Further information about the conference can be found on the conference website: http://www.ephemeraweb.org/conference With queries, you can also contact one of the conference organizers: Bent Meier Sørensen (bem.lpf@cbs.dk), Lena Olaison (lo.lpf@cbs.dk), Martyna Sliwa (martyna.sliwa@ncl.ac.uk), Nick Butler (nick.butler@st-andrews.ac.uk), Stephen Dunne (s.dunne@le.ac.uk), Sverre Spoelstra (sverre.spoelstra@fek.lu.se).

References:

Adorno, T. (1978) Minima Moralia: Reflections from Damaged Life. London and New York: Verso.
Benjamin, W. (1999) The Arcades Project. Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press.
Burke, R. (1971) ‘“Work” and “play”’, Ethics, 82(1): 33-47.
Fleming, P. (2005) ‘Workers’ playtime? Boundaries and cynicism in a “culture of fun” programme’, Journal of Applied Behavioural Science, 41(3): 285-303.
Miller, J. (1997) ‘All work and no play may be harming your business’, Management Development Review, 10(6/7): 254-255.
Pelzer, P. (2005) ‘Contempt and organization: Present in practice – Ignored by research?’ Organization Studies, 26(8): 1217-1227.

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

Deadwing

Deadwing

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

Co-operation

Co-operation

CENTRE FOR THE STUDY OF WORK AND EDUCATION UPDATE 5 SEPTEMBER 2009

 

OUR MANDATE: The Centre for the Study of Education and Work (CSEW) brings together educators from university, union, and community settings to understand and enrich the often-undervalued informal and formal learning of working people. We develop research and teaching programs at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (UofT) that strengthen feminist, anti-racist, labour movement, and working-class perspectives on learning and work.

For more information about CSEW, visit: http://www.csew.ca

***HAPPY LABOUR DAY!***

RESOURCE AVAILABLE FROM CSEW – WORKPLACE LEARNING: A CRITICAL INTRODUCTION

By J. Bratton, J. Mills, T. Pyrch & P.H. Sawchuk

Covering the multi-disciplinary nature of workplace learning research, this book offers introductions to matters of organizational studies, adult education, union education and leadership in order to support either the student or experienced scholar seeking to further enhance their critical appreciation of this complex field of study.
Broadview Press, 2004. Available online from publisher, UTP: http://www.utphighereducation.com or online at http://www.amazon.com

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SOCIAL ECONOMY CENTRE – UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO 2009-2010 WORKSHOP SERIES

October Workshop: Financial Management in Community Organizations, with Eric Plato, Director of Finance, Frontier College

Do you find it difficult to put together a budget for a proposal? Do you ask yourself ‘What am I looking at?’ when someone gives you financial support? Are you responsible for managing the finances for a project, but not sure what that means?

If so, join us in this workshop to learn:

*How to put together a budget for an organization or project
*Methods to deal with overhead costs
*How to read financial statements
*How to monitor a budget
 
DATE:  Friday, October 2, 2009 – 9:00 am – 4:00 pm.

COST: $140 + GST; Each additional participant from the same organization will receive a $15 discount, as will those who register for more than one workshop. Student rate available. Refreshments, coffee & tea served, but lunch not provided.

TO REGISTER:  http://sec.oise.utoronto.ca/english/workshops.php or contact Lisa White secworkshops@oise.utoronto.ca 416-978-0022

LOCATION:  Social Economy Centre of the University of Toronto, 252 Bloor St. W. (5th floor), Toronto, ON M5S 1V6, (St. George Subway Station)

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SOCIAL ECONOMY CENTRE – LUNCHBOX SPEAKERS’ SERIES

September Speakers’ Panel: Water Justice

When:  Wednesday, September 24, 2009, noon – 1:30 pm
Where:  Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto,
252 Bloor St. West, Toronto, Room 12-199

Speakers:

*Joe Cressy is the Campaigns Coordinator for the Polaris Institute. He will discuss the issue of bottled water and the need for public water infrastructure, both in Canada and internationally.
*Nancy Goucher is the Program Coordinator for the Forum for Leadership on Water (FLOW). She will discuss efforts to protect our critical fresh water resources, emphasizing the necessity of having all levels of government work together as part of a Canada-wide strategy to effectively address current and emerging threats to fresh water security.
*Mark Cazavara is the regional organizer (Ontario/Quebec) for The Council of Canadians, and he will talk about Dumpsite 41 in Toronto as it relates to water source protection, scarcity and the human right to clean water.

Bring your lunch and a mug – coffee, tea and water will be provided.

For more information, contact Lisa White at secspeaker@oise.utoronto.ca or visit our website at http://socialeconomy.utoronto.ca This event will also be webcast live on the Internet. Please see our website for detailed instructions.

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NEW ONLINE LABOUR STUDIES COURSE AT ATHABASCA UNIVERSITY

Our new Labour Studies course “Workers and the Economy” is up and running now. The course denounces market philosophy as a means to disempower workers, explains the economy from a workers perspective and explores possibilities to build a strong labour movement. Particularly timely: The course also includes a section on economic crisis.

Please also forward this information to people you know and who might be interested. Your questions, comments and critique are welcome anytime.

To find out more, follow this link http://www.athabascau.ca/html/syllabi/lbst/lbst330.htm or contact Ingo Schmidt at ingos@athabascau.ca

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LATIN AMERICAN TRADE UNIONISTS OF CANADA (“LATUC”) CONFERENCE

This September 11, 12, 13 the first ever conference of Latin American Trade Unionists from across Canada will be held in Toronto.

LATUC is a new coalition of Canadian union members of Latin American heritage.  LATUC seeks to strengthen the voice of Latin American workers within the Canadian Labour Movement.

LATUC calls for all Spanish speaking sisters and brothers in trade unions across Canada to attend and participate in the conference, which will take place on:

Date:  September 11, 12, 13 – 2009
Place:  Steelworkers Hall, 25 Cecil Street, Toronto, ON

For more information contact:  Edgar Godoy at president@cupe2191.org or at 416-979-9594

To see the agenda and registration forms, click here: http://cupe.on.ca/doc.php?document_id=919&lang=en

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LABOUR PHOTO OF THE YEAR CONTEST

Last year, LabourStart sponsored the first-ever international Labour Photo of the Year competition. It was a huge success. Photographers from all over the world submitted their pictures and a panel of expert judges selected a short-list of the five best. Our readers then voted in their thousands to choose the winning photo.

Today we’re very pleased to announce the second annual Labour Photo of the Year. We’re doing this because we want to encourage and recognize the talents of worker-photographers around the world, and at the same time to encourage them to tell the stories of our struggles in photos.  The deadline for submissions of photos is 30 September.

Full details are here: http://www.labourstart.org/lpoty/

Please share this message with your fellow union members — especially those with cameras!

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LABOUR DAY WEEKEND: A TIME TO BE THANKFUL FOR UNION POWER

By Gary Engler, rabble.ca

On Labour Day 2009 everyone should give a special thanks for union power and hope that it grows stronger.

Of course, this is not a message you read every day and some people may even be angered by it, but the truth is our society depends on unions to say “no” to the destructive forces unleashed by capitalism’s economic downturns.

To read more: http://rabble.ca/news/2009/09/labour-day-weekend-time-be-thankful-union-power

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TORONTO – PARKDALE’S FOOD, EARTH AND CULTURE FESTIVAL

Date: Sunday, Sept. 27, 2009
Masaryk Park, 220 Cowan Ave.
Our annual Fall extravaganza will be on Sunday, Sept. 27, in Masaryk Park.

For more info: http://www.greenestcity.ca

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TORONTO – HARVEST WEDNESDAYS: EAT GOOD AT THE GLADSTONE HOTEL

Gladstone Hotel Brings the Farm to Table Experience to Queen West

Every Wednesday July 08 to October 21, 2009

Every Wednesday the Gladstone Hotel and Chef Marc Breton offer urbanites farm fresh fare and an opportunity to experience the unparalleled flavour of foods harvested in the natural rhythm of our local growing season.

Each week Chef Breton’s menu is inspired by the fresh produce harvested by farmer Sherry Patterson of Chick-a-Biddy Acres CSA (Community Shared Agriculture) as well as local meats, cheeses, wines and beers from our Harvest Wednesday Partners.

Events and menus vary by the week. To see the 2009 Harvest Wednesday Events Schedule, menus and prices: http://www.gladstonehotel.com/harvestwed2009.html

* To Buy Tickets for Tastings call (416) 531-4635 Ext 7100
* To Reserve for Prix Fixe Dinners or Purchase Tickets for Final Harvest Table Dinner call (416) 531-4635 Ext 7100

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BOOK LAUNCH: CITIZEN WEALTH – WINNING THE CAMPAIGN TO SAVE WORKING FAMILIES BY WADE RATHKE

September 16, 2009
5:30pm – 7:30pm
Hart House (UofT)
7 Hart House Circle (basement)

Wade Rathke is among the most prolific community and labor organizers of his generation. He is the founder of ACORN USA (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, USA), which has worked to build the largest community based organization of low and moderate income families in America fighting for social and economic justice. A 2006 report credited ACORN USA’s redistributive campaigns with returning $15 Billion to poor and working class families and their communities through higher wages, home ownership opportunities and new curbs on predatory lending over a 10 year period. Wade Rathke will be speaking about lessons learned from a life of community organizing, as well as signing copies of his new book and answering questions. For more information on the book and Wade, please visit here.

To find out more about the book and Wade, click here: http://chieforganizer.org/
To find out more about ACORN, click here: http://www.acorn.org/index.php?id=12389

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MONDRAGÓN WORKER-COOPERATIVES DECIDE HOW TO RIDE OUT A DOWNTURN

The Mondragón Cooperative Corporation (MCC), the largest consortium of worker-owned companies, has developed a different way of doing business—a way that puts workers, not shareholders, first.

Here’s how it played out when one of the Mondragón cooperatives fell on hard times:  http://towardfreedom.com/home/content/view/1661/1/

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PODCAST – RADIO BASICS: UNIONISM AND THE FATE OF THE WORKING CLASS

Podcast in which labour studies Professor Stephanie Ross discusses the history of CUPE, the hypocritical nature of anti-union forces, the historical breakthroughs and strategic limitations of the current state of unionism.

Click here: http://www.radio4all.net/index.php/program/34695

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WOMEN’S COLLEGE HOSPITAL NEEDS YOUR ADVICE

We are speaking to 1000 women across Ontario about their needs when it comes to hospitals, healthcare and the care they receive. Join us and make your voice heard.

Women’s College Hospital in Toronto is building a new facility to achieve its vision of being the world’s pre-eminent ambulatory care hospital dedicated to women’s health. Join our online community forums to inspire new thinking and help WCH meet the needs of women (and their families). The more you share, the better WCH will be able to design their building, their programs and their health care practices.

It’s simple to get involved online: First, fill in a short survey of basic information to allow us to direct you to the forum that best meets your profile. Go to http://www.wch1000women.com to take the survey. (Note: To start the survey, click the “Submit This Page” button.) Secondly, share your views amongst like-minded women. Take part as much or as little as you want. We have a few questions to ask you to get the discussion started, but after you’ve answered those questions you’re free to share as much of your stories, hopes and dreams as you wish.

If you are unable to take part via the online study, all interested women in Ontario are invited to send an email or a letter describing your vision for the ideal women’s hospital. Describe how it might look, the interaction you would like to have with the people there and what is special about the care you receive in this hospital. Send your emails to:  WCH1000women@hotmail.com or mail us a letter at:  WCH 1000 WOMEN 2192 Queen Street East, Suite 62, Toronto , ON M4E 1E6.

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RALPH NADER AND SHIRLEY DOUGLAS: “PUBLICLY FUNDED HEALTH CARE AND ITS PRESERVATION IN CANADA ”, TORONTO

When: September 24, 2009, Lecture at 7:00 p.m.
Where: Great Hall, Hart House, University of Toronto

Post-lecture VIP cocktail reception with Ralph Nader and Shirley Douglas (at a private home)

Lecture: $19.62
Lecture + VIP reception: $196.20 (including tax receipt)

Proceeds support the University College Health Studies Program

For more information and to buy tickets go to this webpage: http://www.uc.utoronto.ca/component/option,com_events/task,view_detail/agid,174/year,2009/month,09/day,24/Itemid,2541/

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LEADERSHIP FUNDING OPPORTUNITY – VITAL PEOPLE

Are you a leader who is making outstanding contributions working at a not-for-profit organization in Toronto? Does your not-for-profit have someone on staff who shows incredible leadership, and is poised to take on an even greater role in the sector?

If so – consider applying for VITAL PEOPLE, the Toronto Community Foundation’s award program that supports and recognizes valued leaders who are making outstanding contributions working at not-for-profit organizations. Funded through our Vital Toronto Fund, Vital People grants of up to $5,000 are awarded to support the formal training or other informal development opportunities that best enable not-for-profit leaders to build their skills or knowledge or apply their experience in different ways to enhance their leadership contributions. Grants are available to those just taking on new leadership challenges as well as those with many years of experience.

Deadline for Application: 5:00 p.m., Wednesday September 30, 2009

For more information: http://socialplanningtoronto.org/communitynews/leadership-funding-opportunity-vital-people/

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THE END OF THE BUSINESS SIMILE

Insider Higher Ed, August 31, 2009

With so many companies collapsing, Daniel J. Ennis notices that academics are no longer being told that they need to learn management and strategy from the corporate world. As long as “business” represented competence and “university” represented inefficiency, then the Business Simile was able to win many an argument. But similes die, and they die when their referents stop making sense.

To read more: http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2009/08/31/ennis

***END***

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

 

Risk Takers

Risk Takers

CRITIQUE OF BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT

 

 

Call for critical papers on business and management

The International Journal of Management Concepts and Philosophy is a peer reviewed journal looking at business and related issues that over the last couple of years under my de facto editorship has tried to provide a home for more radical pieces from academics working in an otherwise hostile environment in business and related areas. We are increasing our number of issues and welcome more papers from critical scholars which engage with some of the establishment pieties that appear in business and management. We are open to both theoretical pieces and the use of empirical case studies to deconstruct and attack bigger concepts. Past contributors have included Jane Hardy looking at how the rhetoric of knowledge transfer can be a mask for exploitation of companies that are taken over; Ben Selwyn critiquing supply chain literature for ignoring social relations and showing how bottlenecks in the supply chain can aid effective workers action; Chris Yuill detailing some of the debate about health and work and alienation; Gareth Dale and others taking apart the talk of green shift in business; Rachel Aldred attacking the misuse of qualitative research methods to support state policy and so on.

We have also rescued some papers that have been circulating in samizidat including Hugo Radice’s paper on how the higher education system in the UK has come to mirror elements of the old USSR. We have recently published an excellent piece by Colin Barker on Industrialism, capitalism, force and states: some theoretical and historical issues’, carved out of one his many unpublished papers and available from me on request.

Anyone who might wish to submit a piece is invited to e-mail me and I will get back with an idea of whether it might be suitable. The journal website is: http://www.inderscience.com/browse/index.php?journalID=90&year=2007&vol=2&issue=3

Ignore the outdated editorial discussion and be guided by the last issues of volume 2 and volume 3 in terms of the approach we now encourage.

Mike Haynes
M.J.Haynes2@wlv.ac.uk

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk