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Workers’ subsumption of the work process – a case study
Växjö University, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, School of Management and Economics. (Marknadsföring)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3323-907X
2006 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In my doctoral thesis Capital functions and the position of the workers (in Swedish), published in 1980, I explored a Marxian theory of Business administration, based on a little known work by Marx: “Resultate des unmittelbares produktionsprozesses”.

I explored concepts like three levels of functions of capital: owning, administering and leading; the generalization of capital functions and hence globalization; the possibility that the workers could acquire the control of lower functions of capital, cf. Bettelheim (1980) and hence undermining the owning of the company. This led to the hypothesis that the productive forces has not reached anywhere near its highest possible development under capitalism and hence that communism today or in our life time is a romantic dream. We should instead try to increase the productive forces within capitalism and broadening workers’ control over capital functions to make a future communist society possible. Only through such an expansion of actual control, could the working class prepare itself for democratic (in contrast to despotic) communism.

I left academia in 1977 because of the resistance to my ideas. I became a practitioner, working as a management consultant, executive in large corporations and owner of small companies. Whenever I could I tried to apply my theories, with good and bad results.

One of these was the reengineering of a subsidiary of ABB, Asea Brown Boveri, the Swedish- Swiss, electrical equipment giant. In 1988 – 1992 I developed and implemented a new business idea and the computer architecture to support it, to make the subsidiary more effective (ABB would not have let me do it otherwise) and, as a personal agenda, to extend workers’ control over leading and administrating. The results where both encouraging and limited, but still shows clearly how a work force can extend their control and the preparedness for further extension of that control. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. 1-14 p.
Keyword [en]
Productive forces, internal productive forces, external productive forces, subsumption, formal subsumption, real subsumption, capital functions, owning, administrating, leading, generalization of capital functions.
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-15336OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-15336DiVA: diva2:650090
Conference
Returning to Dialectics? Towards a Critical Philosophy of Management. A Conference at the Essex Management Centre, University of Essex, 8-9 June 2006
Available from: 2013-09-19 Created: 2013-09-19 Last updated: 2013-09-25Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard-cite-them-right
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • sv-SE
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  • nn-NB
  • de-DE
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More languages
Output format
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