Posted by Dave on

New Labour and Party Management

New Labour and Party Management

An unfinished white Paper by Emmanuelle Avril of the Université Sorbonne Nouvelle. The paper is called, The (Unintended) Consequences of New Labour: Party Leadership vs Party Management in the British Labour Party. and was presented to the Political Studies Association 2015 conference, in March so before the election. The abstract states, 

The Labour Party illustrates the paradox of highly efficient management tools and techniques leading to systemic failure. Since the mid-90s, in the pursuit of electoral success, leadership of the Labour Party has been subsumed in management of the party. Despite rhetorical emphasis on consensus-building and transparency, the party structure has evolved towards increased centralization and control, with strategic planning limited to delivery of the leadership’s dictates. Such emphasis on results rather than on behaviour in the management of change in the party has had a damaging impact on the organisation, leading, first, to loss of trust and demoralization among members, and, second, to the erosion of party loyalty and civic pride among voters. This paper draws from the fields of political science as well as organisational studies to explore the impact of recent Labour Leaders on the quality of party processes as well as on party reputation. It is based on the long-term participant observation of the Labour Party at local and regional levels, as well as national events such as annual conferences. This paper starts by identifying the distinctive features of New Labour’s party management. It then examines the “unintended consequences” of this brand of party management, showing this model to be mainly self-defeating. The final section provides a general assessment of the impact of this brand of management on organisational learning and innovation. The conclusion points to some of the main weaknesses of the New Labour leadership model and identifies the potential to re-engage with members – and, therefore, with voters – through more transparent, open and responsive structures.

Comments ( 5 )

  1. The innovators dilemma in political parties –
    […] my way to writing the article “Servants, not Masters”, I needed to check my material and links about Emanuelle Avril’s unfinished white paper called, “The (Unintended) Consequences […]
  2. The Death Agony of Social Democracy –
    […] conclude with a review of a white paper which argues that Labour has killed its democracy and that will inhibit it’s renewal. The way […]
  3. An amazing coincidence –
    […] beside me and when we exchanged names, I discovered that she was Emmanuelle Avril, whose paper, “The (Unintended) Consequences of New Labour: Party Leadership vs Party Management in the Brit…had caught my eye several years ago. (See below/overleaf for cross references to the paper and to my […]
  4. Icy determination to control –
    […] might look at New Labour and Party Management, on my wiki, where I host and comment on Emmanuelle Avril’s […]
  5. A note on Emanuelle Averil’s “The (Unintended) Consequences of New Labour …” –
    […] originally used diigo to make note of these quotes and posted the abstract to my wiki. My article Blair’s Shadow (or on medium) talks about how New […]

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