By Martin Parker, published by Pluto Press (£14.99)
What if business schools were to be replaced with schools for organising? The idea is the basis of Professor Martin Parker’s upcoming book, Shut down the business school – What’s wrong with management education, which argues a new way of thinking about management is required.
The book gives the example of Suma Wholefoods, the UK’s largest worker co-op and independent wholefood wholesaler. Suma specialises in organic, natural, ethical, vegetarian products.
In a separate chapter Prof. Parker explains how Suma functions on the idea of ‘self-management’, not the principle of ‘management by managers’. The co-op operates on an equal pay basis, with each of the 161 employees earning £40,000 a year in 2016. With employees taking turns in doing multiple tasks, everyone is collectively doing all the jobs that need doing.
The book uses the example of Suma to show that there are viable alternatives to management as a general form of organising. It also stresses that if business schools want to be proper disciplines, they need to include co-operatives and other business models in their curricula, and pay as much attention to these alternative models as paid to corporations and management.
Martin Parker has taught at various business schools and is currently Professor in the Department of Management at the University of Bristol. He is co-author of Fighting Corporate Abuse (2014).
- Shut Down the Business School is available from Pluto Press here.