Monday, October 5, 2009

Collective Action

I have read a really good and interesting article about collective action. The name of the article is "Managing Without Managers: Crisis and Resolution in a Collective Bakery" by Ann Arnett Ferguson.

The article is about a organization named "Wholly Grains." Wholly grains is a bakery the sells different goods, such as cookies and bread, and they use whole grains to make their products. They do not use white flour because it is not as healthy. When one baker tried to experience with using white flour in their bread one of the other bakers said the following: "This is a whole-grain bakery, we're part of the Whole Grain Association. If we start using white flour and it sells, I'm afraid we'll be drawn more and more to white flour. If we decide to add white flour, I'll have to resign." When this baker delivered this to the "collective", it came out with a lot of passion and it emphasized again what their organization was about. They are not about maximizing their profits and expanding their business, they are about selling good bread within the community. The baker that proposed to use the white flour later quit.

This organization works collectively to achieve their goals. They are all equal within the group and they make decisions collectively. "...the process at Wholly Grains affirms the ideal that power is distributed equally to all members."

If you are interested to read more about it here is the website:


  1. Thanks for the great post and interesting link!

  2. ...Are you in my Soc 430 class? Hopefully not...I would feel so bad for not recognizing you.

  3. I think this article on the "whole grains" article is interesting in relation to topics we have discussed in class. Maximizing is normally the route we would initially think to take, to progress on a mass level, and of course make more money.

    However this article demonstrated a clear niche group in the cooking/baking industry. Selling wheat products is what separates them from other bakeries, which could help them in the long run.

  4. yes...I am in the class, I am a grad student

  5. Oh wow. I should try maybe looking around from time to time. =)