Re-examining ‘flexibility’

Authored by: Ali Mir , Raza Mir

The Routledge Companion to Management and Organizational History

Print publication date:  May  2015
Online publication date:  May  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415823715
eBook ISBN: 9780203550274
Adobe ISBN: 9781135918453


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The financial crisis of 2008, widely heralded as the biggest since the Great Depression, can be – and has been – read in multiple ways. The dominant understanding is that the crisis came about as a consequence of “a broad national breakdown in personal responsibility, government regulation and financial ethics” (Friedman, 2008). The explanations for the so-called Great Recession have pointed towards, inter alia, the absence of regulatory oversight (Varoufakis, 2011), the Wall Street culture of risk-taking (Lewis, 2008), the widespread adoption of toxic economic theories that assumed away risks (Smith, 2010), the cyclical tendencies of capital to move through expansions and recessions (see National Bureau of Economic Research, 2014), and the inevitability of periodic and/or endless crises under the reign of monopoly-finance capitalism (Foster and McChesney, 2012). Some, such as the philosopher du jour, Slavoj Žižek (2009), have argued that this moment represents nothing less than a moral failure of the modern world.

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