Organizing in the age of systems: Ivan Illich’s critical contributions to organization studies (Casagrande and de Freitas, 2020)

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Organizing in the age of systems: Ivan Illich’s critical contributions to organization studies

Cadernos EBAPE.BR

On-line version ISSN 1679-3951

Cad. EBAPE.BR vol.18 no.2 Rio de Janeiro Apr./June 2020  Epub July 10, 2020

https://doi.org/10.1590/1679-395177954x 

ARTICLE

Organizing in the age of systems: Ivan Illich’s critical contributions to organization studies

LUCAS CASAGRANDE 
http://orcid.org/0000-0002-8327-4810

NILO CORADINI DE FREITAS2 
http://orcid.org/0000-0002-2327-8297

1UNIVERSIDADE FEDERAL DO RIO GRANDE DO SUL (UFRGS) / ESCOLA DE ADMINISTRAÇÃO, PORTO ALEGRE – RS, BRAZIL

2UNIVERSIDADE FEDERAL DO RIO GRANDE DO SUL (UFRGS) / PROGRAMA DE PÓS-GRADUAÇÃO EM ADMINISTRAÇÃO, PORTO ALEGRE – RS, BRAZIL


ABSTRACT

This essay presents Ivan Illich’s critique of institutionalization in modern society and its evolution to the Age of Systems, the problems that arise, and its imbrication with technological choices. The essay explores the author’s thoughts and the contributions of his dialogues to the Organization Studies. The study presents the idea of institutional imbalance and correlates it with the concept of manipulative tools as opposed to convivial tools, assuming, therefore, that technique is not something neutral. The study then discusses how industrial society reifies the human being and becomes a great functional social system, a ‘body with organs,’ which needs the institutions ‘school,’ ‘health’, and industry. Industrial society creates disabling professions that specialize individuals until their full alienation and mediation, and it incorporates a system of mass surveillance in the subjectivity of each one. Against this, different propositions of withdrawing power, or deconstructing rules are possible, as shown by Giorgio Agamben.

Keywords: Ivan Illich; Conviviality; Age of Systems; Alternative Organizations; Institutionalization

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Organizing in the age of systems: Ivan Illich’s critical contributions to organization studies

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