review

Weird science and datafication

In August 1910, the American philosopher and psychologist William James was lying on his deathbed in Chocorua, New Hampshire. Just before he died, he told his brother, the great novelist Henry James, to stay near his burial site in Cambridge, Massachusetts, for six weeks after his passing. William wanted his brother to stay close to his resting ground and not travel back to England immediately after the funeral because he wanted to initiate contact with him from beyond the grave (Menand, 2001: 435).

‘Why is a raven like a writing desk?’

Damian O’Doherty’s Reconstructing organization is a wild tale of bob cuts and cats and talking chairs, set within the confines of Manchester airport. Rarely has a steel and concrete waiting room (for that is what airports are to its visitors, if not its employees) seemed more vivacious and colourful. Think Alice’s Wonderland with its strange and curious creatures, the author its likeable, excitable, Mad Hatter.

Molecular Red: Wark’s Marxist-posthumanist perspective on the Anthropocene

What might an engaging Marxist take on the Anthropocene look like today? McKenzie Wark’s 2015 text Molecular Red: Theory for the Anthropocene provides one possible answer for just such a journey (for the journey, he suggests the reader pack an Australian Aboriginal dillybag!).  Before undertaking this trip, the reader should be forewarned that Wark’s writing is theoretically challenging, sometimes daunting and suggestive, so a prior knowledge of Marxist theory and posthuman thought helps with the task at hand.

The matter of objects

A return to the real?

You can do things with words: Considering the performativity of performativity of economics

‘And then I discovered, you can do things with words!’ This enthusiastic exclamation marked the turning point of an academic career as it was once narrated to me at a conference dinner. The narrator had been trained in mainstream economics, but as he moved on from his PhD (a very complex, very sophisticated piece of quantitative research, I was given to understand) a certain uneasiness with the dogmas of the dismal science began to trouble our protagonist. Accordingly, he went on a quest to broaden his disciplinary horizons and had his eureka moment when stumbling upon J. L.

Publish and perish

A few years ago, I published a paper on the ‘secrets of excellence’ in the business school (Butler and Spoelstra, 2012). It was written as an ironic guide to publishing in top-ranked management journals. Some of the tricks of the trade we identified – ‘productivity through people’, ‘close to the customer’, ‘bias for action’ – overlap with Peters and Waterman’s 1980s business-yuppie classic In search of excellence.

Immigrants, workers unions and gay/lesbian scenes: The not entire Sexual Revolution

Claim and introduction

The aim of the ‘Genders and Sexualities in History’ series is to ‘accommodate and foster new approaches to historical research in the fields of genders and sexualities’ (Springer, 2017). The following review shall give readers an idea of how the currently Denmark-based social scientist Andrew D. Shield lives up to the claim of ‘promoting world-class scholarship’ by describing and analysing straight as well as gay and lesbian immigrant stories in Denmark and the Netherlands from the 1960s to the 1980s.

Do critical management scholars take responsibility for the performative consequences of their concepts and methods?

Most critical management scholars argue that the value of their scholarship lies in its (alleged) emancipatory potential. The value of their critique, they claim, should be judged based on the extent to which it contributes to raising awareness about the silent and exploitative power dynamics permeating the management and organizational realities that they study. In this awareness-raising resides the potential for social change. It is this emancipatory ambition, this desire to speak back to power, that largely defines the field of Critical Management Studies (CMS).

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