On the foundations of alternative organisations

Noel Connors, Ray Griffin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


In this paper we speculatively argue that organisational communion is impossible whilst we remain committed to the political religion of bureaucracy, one that commits us to a damaging gnostic conception of organisational forms. As a process, the research has taken the form of storytelling interviews with twenty-six leaders drawn from all facets of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) as they talk about their understanding and place within it. As such, offers a useful glimpse into the unorthodox organising principles of the organisation. In selecting this organisation, one that stands a little aloof of contemporary managerialism and bureaucracy, with its own highly developed autodidactic approach to organisation; we endeavour to identify and describe a site of organisation without too much in the way of contemporary commitments.
In this inductively compelled study, we employ qualitative, interpretivist and critical methods to produce a contextual understanding of this vibrant amateur Irish sporting organisation. By employing the analytical tool of deconstruction, the paper aspires to surface some of the heteroclite practices the organisation bolsters, and so; perhaps another type of organisation is possible.
What emerges from these ethnographic accounts is the story of an organisation that gives people space to flourish, to be both mind and meat, a connection to place and family without a telos of progress, process and growth. And so, in this paper we attempt to explore an alternative organisation, one that is positioned neatly against the corruption of organisation and the shysterism of contemporary management; by demonstrating a return of the ecumenic and of leadership; using a unique Irish organisation.
Original languageEnglish (Ireland)
Title of host publicationCritical Management Studies
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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