orgtheory meets black lives matter

Its been a while since I’ve jumped on this platform (apologies to Fabio for jumping in on “your” stream).  The events of the day are calling me out of blogging retirement because it turns out the most important policy response to the death of George Floyd has to do with OrgTheory: Defunding the Police.  The idea here is basically to do a root reorganization of the concept of policing by breaking it into several constituent elements are creating new organizations that are better aligned with specific missions.  Core competence comes to the rescue.

There also is a minor subplot unfolding that is miles and miles less important, but one I happen to be more connected to which is what seems to be the dramatic potential downfall of CrossFit.   This weekend, CrossFit’s founder—Greg Glassman—unleashed a series of very questionable communications that conflated the twinned crises of Covid-19 and #BLM into a massive fireball; the kind of fireball one sees when a platform falls from the stratosphere straight into the ground.

I wonder if other orgTheorists out there have been writing about either of these topics?  In particular, I’ve been teaching for a few years now in the area of public policy and my research has of course touched on social movements.  I think this is the first time–correct me if I’m wrong–where those two things have really converged.  Has there ever been a real, in the streets, social movement which demanded an organizational response of this kind?  If so, I’d love to read up on it more.  I’d be grateful for pointers towards any serious thinking on topics and I’ll post my own thoughts in due course.

Written by seansafford

June 9, 2020 at 11:27 am

Posted in uncategorized

One Response

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  1. “Has there ever been a real, in the streets, social movement which demanded an organizational response of this kind?”

    I would say yes, for example:

    1.) The labor movement since the 19th century in Europe and North America, maybe later elsewhere, has been been occupied with the organization of work in significant measure. Employer counter-organization arguably could be theorized here too, variously in different world-regional, national, and sub-national settings.

    2.) The U.S. civil rights movement demanded changes in the organization of consumer services both public and commercial, including (but hardly limited to) changes in the organization of electoral administration.

    3.) New Right counter-movements to #2 above, instantiated as anti-busing for example, a call to restore a prior organization of educational services.

    4.) In transnational fields, anti-WTO and related protests have demanded changes in organization of trade regimes.

    5.) #MeToo and its antecedents have included, at least indirectly, calls to change employers’ and states’ organization of workplace regulations.


    Brian Hoeft

    June 14, 2020 at 3:50 pm

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