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critical management studies

Designers of competition at work: A neoliberal consensus-machine caught in the act

A third species: Designers of competition

A warning from Josefa, a faculty manager, is only one example of the deep doubts of those whose job it is to install a more ‘rational’ distribution of budgets:

We have to be very careful, that the history of communist regimes is not repeated in the current management. We simply tolerate a system too much although, quite frankly, nobody believes in it. (Josefa, interview clipping from a study presented below) 

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.

Improvisation as anarchist organization

Introduction

A frequent lament among those on the left is that there is no political music anymore. Quite apart from the inaccurate nostalgism and narrow, mainstream bias of such a claim, the substance of this complaint is called into question by its focus on the lyrical content of music. According to this logic, a ‘political’ piece of music is one that explicitly engages with politics in its lyrics and which impacts on the political consciousness of the listening subject (given contemporary listening habits this is usually, though not always, an individual).

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.

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.

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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