Rodrigo Nunes: Organisation of the Organisationless: Collective Action After Networks (2014)

11 November 2014, dusan

“Rejecting the dichotomy of centralism and horizontalism that has deeply marked millennial politics, Rodrigo Nunes’ close analysis of network systems demonstrates how organising within contemporary social and political movements exists somewhere between – or beyond – the two. Rather than the party or chaos, the one or the multitude, he discovers a ‘bestiary’ of hybrid organisational forms and practices that render such disjunctives false. The resulting picture shows how social and technical networks can and do facilitate strategic action and fluid distributions of power at the same time. It is by developing the strategic potentials that are already immanent to networks, he argues, that contemporary solutions to the question of organisation can be developed.”

Publisher Mute, London, with Post-Media Lab, Lüneburg
PML Books series
Anti copyright
ISBN 9781906496753
53 pages

Review (Dave Mesing, LA Review of Books, 2014)



Alexander Bogdanov: Tektology (1913–) [Russian, English]

3 December 2013, dusan

Bogdanov playing chess with Lenin during a visit to Gorky on Capri, Italy, April 1908. (source)

Tektology is a term used by Alexander Bogdanov to describe a discipline that consisted of unifying all social, biological and physical sciences by considering them as systems of relationships and by seeking the organizational principles that underlie all systems.

Bogdanov’s work on tektology, published in Russia in two volumes in 1913 and 1917, anticipated many of the ideas that were popularized later by Norbert Wiener in Cybernetics and Ludwig von Bertalanffy in the General Systems Theory. There are suggestions that both Wiener and von Bertalanffy might have read the German edition of Tektology which was published in 1928. (from Wikipedia)

In Bogdanov’s philosophical endeavours there was one very important motive: from his point of view the philosophy of Marxism should be a philosophy of modern natural science and in this respect he acted in full accordance with Engels’ thesis that “with each epochal discovery, even in the natural-historical field, materialism should inevitably change its form.” (from the Foreword)

English edition
Publisher Intersystems Publications, Seaside/CA, 1980
265 pages

Russian edition
First published as The Universal Science of Organization (Tektologia), 1913-1917
This edition: Tektologia: Universal Organizational Science
Publisher Ekonomika, Moscow, 1989
303 and 352 pages

English edition
Foreword by Vadim N. Sadovsky and Vladimir V. Kelle
Edited with an Introduction by Peter Dudley
Translated by Vadim N. Sadovsky, Andrei Kartashov, Vladimir V. Kelle and Peter Bystrov
Publisher Centre for Systems Studies, University of Hull, 1996
ISBN 0859588769
322 pages
via Ken

Aleksandr Bogdanov and Systems Theory (Arran Gare, Democracy & Nature, 2000)
Against Social Determinism (McKenzie Wark, Public Seminar, 2013)

Essays in Tektology (English, trans. George Gorelik, 1980, added on 2013-12-23, via Marcell Mars)
Essays in Tektology, 2nd ed. (English, trans. George Gorelik, 1984, added on 2014-3-25, via Marcell Mars)
Тектология. Всеобщая организационная наука. том 1 (Russian, 1989, DJVU)
Тектология. Всеобщая организационная наука. том 2 (Russian, 1989, DJVU)
Bogdanov’s Tektology, Book 1 (English, trans. Vadim N. Sadovsky et al, 1996)

See Monoskop wiki for further writings of Bogdanov.

Gideon Kunda: Engineering Culture: Control and Commitment in a High-Tech Corporation (2006)

3 March 2013, dusan

Engineering Culture is an award-winning ethnography of the engineering division of a large American high-tech corporation. Now, this influential book—which has been translated into Japanese, Italian, and Hebrew—has been revised to bring it up to date. In Engineering Culture, Gideon Kunda offers a critical analysis of an American company’s well-known and widely emulated “corporate culture.” Kunda uses detailed descriptions of everyday interactions and rituals in which the culture is brought to life, excerpts from in-depth interviews and a wide variety of corporate texts to vividly portray managerial attempts to design and impose the culture and the ways in which it is experienced by members of the organization.

The company’s management, Kunda reveals, uses a variety of methods to promulgate what it claims is a non-authoritarian, informal, and flexible work environment that enhances and rewards individual commitment, initiative, and creativity while promoting personal growth. The author demonstrates, however, that these pervasive efforts mask an elaborate and subtle form of normative control in which the members’ minds and hearts become the target of corporate influence. Kunda carefully dissects the impact this form of control has on employees’ work behavior and on their sense of self.

In the conclusion written especially for this edition, Kunda reviews the company’s fortunes in the years that followed publication of the first edition, reevaluates the arguments in the book, and explores the relevance of corporate culture and its management today.

Publisher Temple University Press, 2006
Labor And Social Change series
ISBN 1592135471, 9781592135479
320 pages

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