critical management studies
This Special Issue’s call for papers reprises critical management studies’ (CMS) ongoing concern about its perceived inability to change the status quo or to improve the world in any meaningful way. That concern is manifest elsewhere, such as in Parker’s (2018a, 2018b) radical suggestion that the business school (b-school) should be shut down and bulldozed.
‘Affirmative critique’ is a text-product of a roundtable that took place at Copenhagen Business School, in prolongation of an on-going annual series of PhD courses entitled ‘Critique beyond criticism’ at Aarhus University.
Let America be America again.
Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the pioneer on the plain
Seeking a home where he himself is free.
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).
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).
We approach this topic from two quite different places. We share a passion for the critique of management and organization but we pursue different strategies in practising this critique. One of us represents a CMS ‘insider’, whose efforts have, in some small way, helped to strengthen the institutional foundations of CMS – by writing research articles, organising conferences activities and introducing critical management education in his classroom.