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.
How is it that ratings activity and trading operations carried out in the plush offices of banks and investment institutions have an effect on unemployed, precarious, seasonal, occasional and temporary workers?
On May 3rd, 2013, Keguro Macharia wrote a piece for The New Inquiry called ‘On quitting’. It was a courageous, painfully beautiful piece that started with a diagnosis: ‘bipolar disorder, an oscillation between periods of frenetic activity and periods of profound depression’ (Macharia, 2013). This is a condition perfectly compatible with the academic calendar, he added, chronicled by an alternation of almost drug-induced bursts of mental productivity followed by a near-catatonic state of exhaustion and prolonged delays.
Consuming higher education provides a much needed socio-historical diagnosis of how Higher Education (HE) has become a consumerised sector. Through the systematic analysis and critique of government policy and university history, which are interwoven with a set of of interviews and anecdotes from the sector, Williams tells the story of how HE has reached a widespread institutional ethos of consumerism, and charts the impact this has had on all facets of academic life.