Liczba leaderów biznesowych najwyższego szczebla, o których się mówi „leader na skalę światową” jest raczej niewielka. Ludzie Ci maja ogromną władzę choć nie posiadają demokratycznej legitymizacji do podejmowania decyzji, które mają wpływ na życie milionów ludzi. Często aspirują oni do wprowadzania zmian społecznych, które z jednej strony opierają się na libertariańskim modelu biznesowym, a z drugiej na inwigilacji i kontroli społecznej sprawowanej przez menedżerów.

Podczas wykładu prof. Richard Little z University of Cumbria opowie o genezie tego typu przywództwa oraz wynikających z niego implikacjach dla demokracji i sprawiedliwości społecznej.

Wykład w języku angielskim. Wstęp wolny.

16 kwietnia

“Let Them Have Fun” – Fantasies of Leadership. Practices of Control.

The tiny number of people who happen to run giant corporations are now routinely referred to as ‘global leaders’. Not a mere courtesy for Hikmet Ursek, the CEO of Western Union. He recently claimed that mere politicians, elected locally in this or that polity, lacked the political legitimacy of the head of a global business. We may prefer to think, in defiance of this arrogation, that the humblest community representative has greater legitimacy than a man who is paid to run a business (of 11000 employees) and who is accountable only to shareholders. Increasingly, such people busy themselves with a narrowly defined form of social change, largely tech-driven, gather to congratulate one another at Davos and Aspen and arrogate to themselves the powers that properly belong to democratically elected and accountable public servants.

In the language and arrangements of the companies these people run, we can find two opposed tendencies: one, a rhetorical commitment to a liberatory, entrepreneurial model of the firm; the other, an unfettered practice of managerial surveillance and social control. Taken together, these forces infantilize and disempower. The tensions that result are hidden in plain sight by the fantasy of the visionary business leader devoted to social change.

In this talk, I will track the emergence of this fantasy, think aloud about the implications of fetishized leadership for democracy and social justice and show some of the wilder manifestations of what I call ‘panoptic managerialism’ – the terrifying convergence of facial recognition technology and poorly-conceived algorithms of work-place behavior. I will offer an alternative view of leadership as self-disappearance in the service of common interests and the common wealth: an everyday form of mindful action and responsible citizenship that is a daily corrective to the high-handed presumptions of corporate dictators.


richard little 2

prof. Richard Little

A leadership specialist. He has consulted to clients worldwide: in business corporations, in the voluntary sector, universities, governments and civil society organisations.

Richard is Professor of Sustainability Leadership at the Institute for Leadership and Sustainability (IFLAS, University of Cumbria, UK). He is also a leadership specialist with Impact International with whom, for 35 years, he has consulted to clients worldwide: in business corporations, in the voluntary sector, universities, governments and civil society organisations. Richard believes that organisational and social justice – preconditions for true sustainability – call for leadership that is inclusive, open, collegiate and dialogical. As an international facilitator and trainer, Richard has developed short programmes and academic courses in facilitation, moderation and consulting and supporting social theory. Richard has close and long-standing connections with Poland, Japan and Italy. In the 1970s he was involved in radical theatre, strongly influenced by the work of Jerzy Grotowski and Tadeusz Kantor. Richard lives in the English Lake District. He has been a mountaineer and climber all his life.

Termin i miejsce

16 kwietnia 2019, godz.18.00 (wtorek)
Uniwersytet SWPS w Warszawie
ul. Chodakowska 19/31, aula 214 im. T. Tomaszewskiego

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