فراسرمایه داری : دیالکتیک فقر
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|12332||2007||35 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Critical Perspectives on Accounting, Volume 18, Issue 6, September 2007, Pages 671–705
Accounting measurement and management consulting privilege the efficient allocation of resources, as the principal imperative to a firm's survival in a free market economy. MetaCapitalism is a generic form of contemporary change strategies adopted across corporate consulting, which promotes extreme outsourcing and downsizing of human capital, de-capitalisation of all ‘non-core’ capital assets and the diminished role of the State in the global free market economy. Its most salient danger, with its total disregard for even the slightest social or public policy implications, is an unmistakable endorsement of a fundamentalist brand of value free, reckless capitalism that is ultimately detrimental not only to the long-term business interest, but human as well. This paper critically examines how MetaCapitalism has shaped Fortune 100 companies, during the period 1998, when its recommendations were said to have begun taking effect, until 2003 to: (a) determine whether a correlation exists between the level of MetaCapitalisation and firm performance; (b) determine, explore and analyse the deficiencies inherent in the MetaCapitalist model and reasons for its failure; (c) highlight the social and public policy implications. The findings highlight the imperative to recognise and address the inherent deficiencies of MetaCapitalism, which advocates a fundamentalist brand of capitalism driven by Social Darwinism, for that is the only way upon which a more efficient, sustainable and socially responsible market, and consequently, society of which we are all participants and custodians of can be created and maintained.
MetaCapitalism advocates a radical transformation of existing corporate structures, characterized by the creation and maintenance of large bases of physical and human capital, to the MetaCapitalist firm—scarcely capitalised, brand focused, highly flexible, devoted to customer satisfaction, and driven by the Internet and e-networks. It seeks opportunities in the Internet as a disruptive technology on a global scale to create value. The perceived change is in the shift from the traditional scale economics business model to a new business process model that utilises Internet business to business (b2b) technologies to create and enhance electronic trade exchange relationships across the supply and demand chains, so as to lower transaction and procurement costs, and drive faster innovation. The strategy advocates a radical outsourcing and downsizing of human capital, de-capitalisation of all non-core capital assets and the diminished role of the State in the free market economy. It relies on the creation of Value Added Communities (VACs), which are on-line exchanges that enable MetaCapitalist firms to form networks and alliances with other companies that focus on key parts of the supply and demand chain. These VACs leverage and diffuse the financial, human, intellectual, technological and brand capital in ways designed to accelerate economic growth. The strategy is not a novel concept with its focus on downsizing, de-capitalisation and quest for efficiency, but it does however develop its revolutionary character as a result of the innovatory effect of the Internet and e-market technology, the radical and fundamentalist nature of its recommendations, and utter disregard for any social or public policy implications. The promises of ‘untold riches,’ such as “the period 2000–2002 will represent the single greatest change in worldwide economic and business conditions ever,”2 where global capital markets will increase from US$ 20 trillion to US$ 200 trillion in less than 10 years,3 while the Dow Jones will rise to 100,000 points are quite irresistible and seductive.4 How can you go wrong then one has to ask? MetaCapitalism appears perfect, even flawless but, upon closer examination, one comes to the sobering realisation that firms such as Cisco, Ford, General Electric and Dell, amongst many others, touted as MetaCapitalist leaders, have in fact experienced significant decreases in overall market value, as represented in their share price—a key measure of MetaCapitalist performance. Additionally, the recent global economic upheaval of corporate collapses, like Enron and WorldCom, could not have been averted regardless of the dismal failure of their accountants, Arthur Andersen—if MetaCapitalism had not been implemented to such an extent. Others who have also aggressively implemented the strategy have been acquired, or fallen out of the Fortune 100 rankings—such as Compaq, Lucent Technologies, Merrill Lynch and Delphi, to name a few. The broader economy has not experienced the promised “exponential accumulation of mass,”3 and markets have remained stagnant, with many in fact displaying signs of negative growth and recession, only now beginning to rise from the fall-out of the recent Wall Street ‘techno-bubble’ and September 11 attacks. The question that begs an answer, and is at the heart of this paper then is: has MetaCapitalism been responsible for such upheaval of corporate failures?
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The MetaCapitalist argument has some merit, such as the revolutionary impact of b2b and network technologies, importance of efficiency, the need to be more flexible and respond faster to rapidly changing market conditions, but the strategy poses significant social and political concerns if adapted literally to its extreme. Indeed it was in fact the strategy's complete and utter disregard for the strategy's social and public policy implications that was the catalyst for this paper. MetaCapitalism is effectively a fundamentalist form of capitalism. What distinguishes fundamentalist systems of capitalism, such as MetaCapitalism, is the “accelerated structural change, producing more creation and more destruction, more efficiency and more inequality.” One commentator has even described it as “capitalism on steroids.”17 In essence one of the overriding aims of this paper was to convey the numerous deficiencies of the capitalist system, one that has been described as “a searing indictment of an unjust international order.”18 These deficiencies include, amongst many other shortcomings, the unequal distribution of benefits, information, widening gap in inequality, insipient threat of the creation of monopolies and oligopolies, a nature of ‘elitism’ or the inability of the market's self-correcting mechanism with State intervention to produce outcomes efficient to broad array of groups because of its vested interest in maintaining the status quo as a means of preserving its power and wealth. Its political essence, however, is the shift of power from public authorities to both private and institutional economic interests. Inevitably this reduces the sphere of democratic control.”19 Essentially this is at the very core of what Soros sees as the main threat to the ‘Open Society’: the unfettered intensification of laissez-faire capitalism and the spread of market values into all areas of life. Soros's observation that “there is something inherently wrong with making the survival of the fittest a guiding principle of civilized society,”20 in essence, highlights the main concern of this paper. The free market is not a perfect market; rather it is riddled with inherent deficiencies, which for reasons of self-interest and inherent faults in the system will not self-correct. Continuing then upon a laissez-faire ‘Social Darwinist’ system, without redress of its deficiencies, as effectively proposed under MetaCapitalism, will then ultimately become detrimental to the long-term interests and well-being of both human beings and society, and consequently the efficiency of the markets as well. Although it may seem obvious that these challenges pose immediate concern and requirement for reform, the various stakeholders continue to believe that their positions are diametrically opposed and mutually exclusive. Yet the case need not be so, and understanding must be had that ultimately in the long run, reform will benefit all groups. Our empirical analysis, for example, has revealed that firms which proceed upon a high level of MetaCapitalisation, including large and indiscriminate staff layoffs and de-capitalisation, risk becoming corporately anorexic, and actually suffer long-term, particularly in terms of their share price and financial performance. Conversely, firms that display a strong commitment to its staff as evidenced in its human resource policies, and are socially responsible corporate citizens, are in fact rewarded in the long-term through improved financial performance. The market on the other hand has shown that its self-correcting mechanism is incapable of producing efficient outcomes, or to be more precise outcomes efficient to groups other than the wealthy, privileged and powerful. Primarily this is because the market, and its powerful actors, possess a vested interest in maintaining the status quo as a means of preserving its power and wealth. Markets are also not always capable of relying on themselves to stabilise conditions, and risk overreacting or protracting such conditions further. Hence, there must be a degree of State intervention to alleviate market deficiencies, stabilise the market and prevent undue concentration of power in the hands of the elite few. Additionally, the State has an onus to represent all its citizens equally. Therefore, once recognition is made that certain groups in society face inherent struggles, such as the poor or uneducated, it must develop policies to empower these groups by bridging such gaps, ensuring equality of opportunity, access to resources, enforce fair labour practices and sufficient provision of social welfare. The government must also not risk overemphasising efficiency at the expense of human well-being, happiness and sacrifice of quality. Lastly, individuals as a whole must alter their attitude. Emphasis must be placed on collective well-being not selfishness; socially responsible capitalism not fundamentalist capitalism; inclusiveness not exclusion; sufficient balance between both macro- and microeconomic implications; bridging not widening gaps of inequality; cooperation not just competition; and a moral imperative not just monetary. The realisation must be made that all the above stakeholders – markets, governments, communities and individuals – are interdependent on the well-being of each other for their long-term success and sustainability. To conclude with the words of George Soros, such an ‘Open Society,’ and indeed the global capitalist system, can only be sustained by: “deliberate and persistent efforts to correct and contain the system's deficiencies … Allowing the free market to have absolute say on the kind of society we want, will undermine the very values on which open and democratic societies depend.”21