John Gray: Fast Capitalism and the End of Management Essay

September 21, 2021 by Essay Writer


Grey argues that studying organizations encompasses factors such as society, economics, politics and history. He also argues that these factors are rarely incorporated in organizational studies. Moreover, he argues that the study of organizations is a technical matter. Grey believes that modern business trends have emphasized on maximizing shareholder value.

Companies have focused on financial engineering. Additionally, companies exploit cheap labor from offshore countries to maximize on returns. This paper will explore Grey’s case on fast capital and its relation to end of management. It will also explore its effect on organization as well as managers (Grey, 2013, p. 105).

Grey’s argument about ‘Fast Capitalism and the End of Management’

According to Grey, fast capitalism achieved social connections which have been disjointed by new capitalism. In essence, capitalism practiced within the first five decades after the great depression and World War II ensured that there was connection between consumption and production. Additionally, there was connection between communities and places. Moreover, organizations followed their bureaucratic systems. Management was strengthened and business structures were followed effectively.

However, in new capitalism, bureaucratic systems have been squashed. Companies reward top managers for increase in shareholder values. However, middle level managers face serious management issues. Middle level managers have little authority in contemporary companies; they can be sacked at will. In essence, fast capitalism has led to deterioration of management values. Consequently, even though management structures are in place, organizations do not follow their bureaucratic systems (Grey, 2013, p. 120).

Nonetheless, this is not to say that management has ended. However, their structures and ways of dealing have been altered significantly. In this regard, the results of fast capitalism are unsustainable with regards to available resources. For instance, when middle level managers are sacked, they are faced with numerous problems including poverty.

In this regard, fast capitalism rewards the few people at the top while those in lower ends are exploited. This cannot be sustained for long. Fast capitalism is hence deemed for an unpredictable future. Additionally, Natural climate and resources cannot sustain fast capitalism. In essence, grey asserts that fast capitalism has greatly affected organizational systems for management (Grey, 2013, p. 114).

Its effects on organizations and managers

Fast capitalism has brought about use of unsustainable economic practices. These include exploitation of weak financial systems in poor countries, greed by top management officials, deregulation, and emphasis on maximizing shareholder value among others. Organizations, therefore, focus on financial returns rather than structures. In addition, corporate structures are focused on financialization.

Therefore, organizations are significantly transformed to focus on the tenets of fast capitalism. This has resulted in weak organizational structures which cannot sustain best economic practices. In addition, organizations have turned into agencies for exploitation as seen in offshore outsourcing (Grey, 2013, p. 125).

Additionally, managers have found it difficult to stamp their authority in an increasingly challenging business environment. Of great concern are middle level managers whose tenure is increasingly at risk due to fast capitalism. In contrast, top managers have increased command in management of companies. Moreover, their rewards are extremely high when compared to middle level managers. The roles of managers are however at the mercy of stakeholders who may have little knowledge on financial practices (Gray, 2009, p. 52).


Fast capitalism has transformed business structures throughout the world. Multinational companies have focused solely on maximizing shareholder value. This has come with its repercussions. Global economy has led to exploitation of poor countries. Moreover, Grey faults fast capitalism for the overwhelming transformation of organizations and their financial structures.

He argues that fast capitalism is unsustainable on scarce natural resources and climate. He uses many evidences such as Enron scandal, among others. Essentially, he argues that financialization of corporate culture has triggered a slow end to management.

Reference List

Gray, J 2009, False Dawn: The Delusions of Global Capitalism, Granta Books, London.

Grey, C 2013, A Very Short, Fairly Interesting and Reasonably Cheap Book About Studying Organizations: The new capitalism and the Strange Fates of Management, Sage Publishers, London.

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