Book Review: New Power: a review essay

João Carlos Graça
2022 European Journal of Management Studies  
is partly a manual of practical procedures and partly a theorizing work. It assumes that an ongoing process of in-depth change regarding the nature of power is taking place today, and that it is possible for each and every one to somehow take advantage of the trend, by riding it through the adoption of certain techniques. The adoption of these techniques is the aspect of the book which makes it particularly prone to editorial success, but it is not the feature that I will dedicate the most
more » ... tion to in this critical review. According to Heimans and Timms we are allegedly witnessing a series of changes that are characterized generically by the decline of the importance of the so-called "Old Power"roughly corresponding to formal institutions and organizations, hierarchy, secrecy and a neat separation of public and private spheres of existencewhich is allegedly being replaced by a "New Power", flourishing under the shape of peer-to-peer coordination, informality, network social provision, publicity qua transparency and the dissolution of boundaries between public and private spheres of existence. Whereas Old Power would systematically stimulate competition and be induced by it, New Power feeds on cooperation, which it promotes in return. If the right analogy for Old Power is the idea of stock, then the perfect match for New Power is the notion of flow. Whereas the former normally operates through a logic of downloads, the inherent tendency of the latter are uploads. Instead of passive consumption, New Power represents an active attitude, and one coordinated with others, flourishing in a cultural environment that consistently foments an inclination to the "do-it-ourselves". In contrast to the prevalence of expertise, professionalism, organizational loyalty and long-term affiliation-all of which typical Old Power traits-we now witness a move toward open-sourcing and radical transparency, in addition to cooperation and self-organization. In general, the inclination is toward not a consumer culture, but instead a
doi:10.1108/ejms-03-2022-063 fatcat:rawpnmthhffk5debrokqojq6qu