critical management studies

Labour of becoming a (critical) management scholar: Ambivalences, tensions and possibilities

Introduction

Recently there has been a discussion about the hardships of generating and maintaining the identity of ‘critical scholar’ in business schools while an alienating ‘game’ is upon us. As (particularly emerging) critical scholars argue about the difficulties of being outside of the mainstream and how the institutional mechanisms make things worse for them, they give voice in defence of the ‘critical’ work in business schools by telling personally how they confront with such challenges (Bristow, 2012; Cederström and Hoedemaekers, 2012; Prasad, 2013).

Functional stupidity: A critique

Alvesson and Spicer’s 2012 paper ‘A stupidity-based theory of organizations’, published in the Journal of Management Studies, is an audacious attempt to introduce a new concept into academic discourse and public debate – the concept of ‘functional stupidity’. To a large extent, the authors have been successful: not only has the concept been taken up by organizational researchers, it has also gained widespread coverage in the international business press.

Terrorist/anarchist/artist: Why bother?

Labels are often flashy conduits for hasty assumptions and partial truths.  At the time when I was writing Action and Existence: Anarchism for Business Administration in the late 1970s, the term anarchism served as a handy synonym for mess, chaos, and disorder. In this context the word cropped up in public debates about the Baader-Meinhof terrorism in Germany in the aftermath of Paris 68, for example. In putting my book together, I set out to explain what I had learned through my own reading and discussion about this often short-changed term.

Anarchism and critical management studies: A reflection from an anarchist studies perspective

Riding the wave of nearly twenty years of global activism, anarchism has established a niche hold in a diverse range of research fields.  It would be a wild exaggeration to say that anarchism research has entered the mainstream, but hardly an embellishment to argue that the possibilities of the anarchist turn have been recognised by significant groups of scholars.  Richard J. White and Colin C.

Making choice, taking risk: On the coming out of Critical Management Studies

Introduction

Critical Management Studies (CMS) has been quite successful at establishing a respectable place for itself within the academic community; at least in the UK, it is associated with well-recognised journals, conferences and key figures (Grey and Willmott, 2002; Rowlinson and Hassard, 2011).

No critique

Too often critique simply works as a safety valve; too often it becomes a logo. Indeed, we have seen an explosion of this logo in recent years: there are Critical Management Studies conferences and critical journals appearing everywhere. It seems as if there is a critical bandwagon that everybody feels they need to jump onto. But how much has the ‘critical’ logo really changed; how critical has our critique really been? We feel that too often the ‘critical’ signifier simply stands in for any real critique to be practiced.

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