Contemporary Issues in Management

Human Resource Management International Digest

ISSN: 0967-0734

Article publication date: 9 March 2015



Writer, F. (2015), "Contemporary Issues in Management", Human Resource Management International Digest, Vol. 23 No. 2.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Contemporary Issues in Management

Article Type: Suggested reading From: Human Resource Management International Digest, Volume 23, Issue 2

Lindsay Hamilton, Anita Mangan and Laura Mitchell, (Eds), 2014, Edward Elgar, ISBN: 9781783470006

Lindsay Hamilton, Anita Mangan and Laura Mitchell’s edited book Contemporary Issues in Management is a collection of research papers. It outlines original, in-depth cases with various examples of management practice. It focuses on understanding and interpreting complex situations and discusses management issues in a wider philosophical and political context.

This book is for upper-level students, managers and academics who are interested in exploring the messy reality of the contemporary workplace and considering how things might be done differently. In particular, it offers a critical perspective on organizational behavior and the sociology of work. By challenging common-sense ideas about management, the book offers an up-to-date view of the complex problems and dilemmas facing managers and workers in the contemporary world.

The chapters focus on applied ethics, social issues, diversity, continuity and change. Theoretical reflections are combined with detailed ethnographic studies to offer both breadth and depth.

Contemporary Issues in Management discusses how the late professor Sumantra Ghoshal, of London Business School, suggested that the economic theory that now underpins much of management has been a major cause of business corruption. He believed that business schools should stop teaching the neoclassical dogma, agency theory, economic man and the rest. He argued that they had done, and continued to do, great damage. Business schools could play a decisive role in changing the status quo by altering the curriculum and, through this, organizational culture. Management could be taught as a professional endeavor, with a technical curriculum based on existing knowledge and rich understanding of business and human behavior. Students so educated might then play their part in reducing business corruption.

Two dimensions of dignity are dignity in work and dignity at work. Dignity can be identified through the presence or absence of subjectively experienced and objectively comparable criteria. Autonomy, job satisfaction, meaningful work, respect, learning and development comprise the components of dignity in work, while well-being, just reward, voice, security and equal opportunity comprise dignity at work.

The book shows that the UK government policy focuses on the development of skills and learning through the transition period from school to work. Increasingly, young people are being monitored and controlled during this time, with legislation ensuring that young people are contained within the education system as long as possible.

Contemporary Issues in Management claims that while the word telework covers a wide range of experiences, it always involves working at a distance from the people who pay you.

Yahoo! banned employees from remote working. In a memo leaked to the media by disgruntled employees, chief executive Marissa Mayer stated: “We need to be one Yahoo! That starts with physically being together.” This sentiment is echoed in the comments of Google’s chief financial officer, Patrick Pichette, who is reported as saying: “There is something magical about sharing meals, there is something magical about noodling on ideas.”

In a story that appeared on the BBC website, a software developer employed by a company in the USA outsourced his own job to a company in China. He paid them a fifth of his salary and reportedly spent his time surfing the web and watching YouTube. The technology that enabled him to work remotely also enabled the outsourcing of his job. The employee subsequently lost his job. In this case, the interaction between the social and the technological led to new practices and radical interpretations, but these were not approved of by the employing organization.

Contemporary Issues in Management is an edited collection of research papers. It is useful for scholars, researchers and educators in the area of management, especially those concerned with organizational behavior.

Reviewed by Professor M.S. Rao, available at:,

Related articles