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Democratic reason and practice: repositioning community aspirations

Denise Faifua (School of Management, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Australia)

Journal of Organizational Change Management

ISSN: 0953-4814

Article publication date: 4 July 2008




This paper seeks to complement the work on community unionism by arguing criticality is the core human capacity required to convey and share experiences of community.


An over emphasis on historical materialism and a fetish with dialectics in critical theory more generally has had an impoverishing impact on understandings of the democratic reason and practice which offers the potential to reinstate communal values and democratic reason in individuals, organisations and society writ large. More recently, these limitations have led some writers to critically reflect on ways in which to reinstate communal values and democratic reason in individuals and in society writ large.


Only by conceding to the communal value of criticality and in particular the value of critical consensus in organising and the employment relationship will it be possible to bring community and indeed unions back into play.


A crucial point is the shift from conflictive employment relations to a consensus framework but without the loss of democracy. Moreover, this criticality is accessible to both the organisers of unions and to potential members.



Faifua, D. (2008), "Democratic reason and practice: repositioning community aspirations", Journal of Organizational Change Management, Vol. 21 No. 4, pp. 511-518.



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Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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