A [Business] Model for World Development

A [Business] Model for World Development

  • Case
  • Teaching Notes

Neoliberalism is getting a bad rap from diverse critics. For its advocates, however, neoliberalism is seen a set of values underpinning the emancipatory ideals of western democracies. The conflicting ideals of advocates and critics of this way of organizing our humanity are impacting the very shaping of globalization, corporate, and personal identities, and the human relationship with Earth. Power is at play. Yet, imposition of power contradicts the value of liberty espoused by both the neoliberals (in the form of free-marketeers) and the advocates of western democracies. Inattention to this contradiction weakens opportunities to learn about what is suppressed in understanding. The concept of aporia is introduced with dual intent: (a) to demonstrate the value of critical organizational studies and social constructivism to management education and (b) to provide an historical insight into conflicts between free market capitalism and democratic values. The institutional examples chosen to illustrate this conflict are the Mont Pèlerin Society (MPS) and the United Nations (UN). These two organisations have had significant influence on the direction of globalisation since World War II with ongoing impact. This case study examines how these organisations turn vision into strategy, strategy into policy, and policy into practice. The case is developed to demonstrate the value of critical theory for a style of management education that takes its stand with an urgent need to radically transform ways of being human widely considered as damaging to people and planet.

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