Next steps in organizing alternatives to capitalism: toward a relational research agenda
This journal article makes sense of the current landscape of research into alternative organizational forms to capitalism and proposes new research directions. The 2008 financial crisis and conservative government responses have made organizing alternatives to capitalism a significant object of interest in both academic research and practice. Current research focuses on alternative organizational forms themselves – specifically, their types/models, creation/development processes, and objectives and impacts – and looks into both incremental and fundamental alternatives. The article proposes that future research also investigate the building of relationships between those organizations and key actors – such as governments, universities, investors, and civil society – as no less part of the organization of alternatives. It then outlines the papers in the special issue journal that cover both the current and future research directions; they look into the unique institutional logic of hybrid organizations, mobilizing paradox theory to study worker cooperatives as social enterprises, how indigenous enterprises evolve in the capitalist system, and policy changes that would encourage alternative businesses to grow. In conclusion, the article reiterates its aim of documenting and organizing the field of organizing alternatives to capitalism and connecting research in this field to the societal role of key actors.