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From marginalization to phronetic science: Toward a new role for critical management studies

Maxim Voronov (Faculty of Business, Brock University, St Catharines, Canada)

Journal of Organizational Change Management

ISSN: 0953-4814

Article publication date: 28 August 2009




The purpose of this paper is to explore how critical management studies' (CMS) awkward relationship with the world of practice may have allowed it to become a dominated field in academia, which features a nearly exclusive focus on research for theory's sake, a lack of interest or discomfort with practical applications, and a devaluing of non‐academic pursuits. Despite research on oppression, resistance, and emancipation, CMS scholars do not tend to focus on the field's own domination or to ensure that its emancipatory agenda offers any practical impact.


The paper loosely draws on Bourdieu's notions of habitus and symbolic violence to make sense of his experience of attempting to fit in the CMS community as a scholar interested in practical applications of CMS insights.


The paper argues that CMS is uniquely positioned to help organization studies become a phronetic science, both practical and capable of addressing questions of power and values, essential to management practice.

Practical implications

The estrangement between theory and practice in CMS is symptomatic of the same phenomenon in the broader organization studies community.


The paper addresses not only how CMS can become a more phronetic science but also the benefits of phronetic research for the broader organization studies.



Voronov, M. (2009), "From marginalization to phronetic science: Toward a new role for critical management studies", Journal of Organizational Change Management, Vol. 22 No. 5, pp. 549-566.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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