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Authoritarianism, Oligarchy, Localism or Democratization? A neo-Schumpeterian perspective on alternative responses to the climate crisis

Welcome to an open lecture by professor Zlatko Bodrožić. In this talk, Prof. Bodrožić, discusses four possible pathways defined by our collective choices as concerns organization models and public policy: authoritarianism, oligarchy, localism, and democratization.
Portrait of Zlatko Bodrožić

Lecture abstract

There is considerable debate over the path of the green transformation. In this talk, Zlatko Bodrožić, discusses four possible pathways defined by our collective choices as concerns organization models and public policy: authoritarianism, oligarchy, localism, and democratization. Presenting a study co-authored with Paul Adler, Bodrožić will argue that the green transformation resembles in many respects the major technological revolutions we have witnessed over the past two centuries. He will outline a theoretical framework that builds on Schumpeter’s historical insights into economy-wide technological revolutions and on the work of several scholars who have extended his work. This historical perspective brings into focus how the paths taken by these revolutions were shaped by societal choices in two spheres: first, in the public policy sphere, where the choice concerns the role of the state in the economy, and second, in the organizational sphere, where the choice concerns the role of employees in organizations and of citizens in the state. Bodrožić and Adler locate the main alternatives pathways on a map that combines those two axes. The first axis is defined by whether the public policy regime is oriented toward laissez-faire, relying on the primacy of private value creation and on the market as the primary coordinating mechanism, or toward a regime in which the state plays a more transformative, system-building role in the economy. The second axis is defined by whether the dominant model of organization in employer/employee and government/citizen relations is a command model, relying on hierarchical authority as the primary organizing principle, or a more collaborative, participative, and enabling model, relying on community rather than hierarchy. Bringing the two main alternative choices for these two axes together in a 2 × 2 matrix, Bodrožić and Adler identify four possible pathways—authoritarianism, oligarchy, localism, and democratization—for confronting the climate crisis, and assess their strengths and weaknesses. To demonstrate the usefulness of this framework at a more micro level, Bodrožić and Adler address the taxi transportation industry. They analyze Uber in the US to illustrate the climate prospects for the Oligarchy path, ATX in the US for Localism, T3 in China for Authoritarianism, and the Helsinki Region Transport in Finland for Democratization.

About the lecturer

Zlatko Bodrožić is a Professor of Digital Enterprise at the University of Liverpool, UK. His PhD is from the University of Helsinki. Zlatko's research focuses on radical transformation processes—in particular on the green transformation and the digital transformation. To explain and enable us to shape radical transformation processes, Zlatko studies the interplay of the evolution of technologies, organisational paradigms, and public policy (see for example Administrative Science Quarterly, March 2018; Organization Science, January/February 2022). At the European Group of Organizational Studies conferences, he acts as co-coordinator of the Standing Working Group “Organization Studies in the Anthropocene: System Change, Not Climate Change” (2021-2026).

Lecture host

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