Critical management studies and “mainstream” organization science

Max Visser (Nijmegen School of Management, Institute of Management Research, Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands)

International Journal of Organizational Analysis

ISSN: 1934-8835

Publication date: 12 October 2010



The purpose of this paper is to propose a rapprochement between the field of critical management studies (CMS) and what is constructed here as the “mainstream” of organization theory and research.


The paper contains a comparative analysis of relevant literature from the fields of organization theory, political science and political psychology.


It is found, first, that at least four instances of “mainstream” theory and research more or less share CMS assumptions; second, that CMS and “mainstream” may benefit from mutual contact (using the example of the “power elite” discussion in the 1950s and 1960s); third, that CMS and “mainstream” may benefit from “mainstream” operationalization of CMS‐concepts (using the example of the development of the F‐scale in the 1930s and 1940s).


The paper ranks among the first to search for convergences between two fields that seem firmly divided in both theoretical and institutional terms.



Visser, M. (2010), "Critical management studies and “mainstream” organization science", International Journal of Organizational Analysis, Vol. 18 No. 4, pp. 466-478.

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