Getting Things Done: Volume 2

Cover of Getting Things Done
Subject:

Table of contents

(24 chapters)
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Purpose

The intention of this chapter is to evaluate the likelihood that the Critical Management Division (CMS) of the Academy of Management can accomplish anything beyond helping to promote the careers of its members.

Approach

This chapter examines the likelihood of getting anything done from a personalized historical approach, as the author was a witness to many of the events covered in the chapter. It also compares the experience of the CMS Division with that of critical management as an academic specialty in other nations.

Findings

After examining the evolution of the social role of the US-based Academy of Management along with the origins of the CMS Division, the author concludes that the division’s emergence was tolerated precisely because it was so unlikely to accomplish anything that might challenge the institutional privileges of academic management, let alone seriously threaten the hegemony of American-led global capitalism.

Practical implications

The chapter intends to discourage critical scholars from wasting their time and energy trying to make CMS into something it is not structurally capable of being, and instead focus on building organizations outside of the academy that might stand a chance of promoting the goals of critical management.

Originality

While several histories and critiques of UK-based critical management have been published, this chapter may be the first critical history of CMS.

Purpose

This chapter aims to outline some reasons for the lack of impact of CMS with the intention of provoking debate and inciting action.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach is that of an essay, in which argument verges on the polemic.

Findings

Refers to public domain knowledge and evidence is adduced rather than cited precisely.

Research limitations/implications

No original field research is introduced, though anecdotal evidence is cited.

Practical implications

The practical implications if the argument in this chapter is accepted could involve a wholesale revision of syllabi and content in business education.

Social implications

The central argument is that scholarship exists not only in its own right but as a basis for credentialising social action and establishing societal priorities in pursuit of the Good Society.

Originality/value

Very little is new that has not been said before and not listened to.

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Purpose

The purpose of this chapter is to make the case for significant change in the content and structure of undergraduate business education in the United States. The premise is that business education is generally effective at Getting Things Done – but that generally what it Gets Done is the Wrong Things – advancing destructive tendencies in capitalism – rather than the Right Things – fostering sustainable and democratic alternatives.

Design/methodology/approach

The chapter advances a viewpoint about the current weaknesses and potential strengths of undergraduate business education, relative to the goal of creating more sustainable, community-based economic and social organization. It is structured as a reflection on the history of business education in the United States and on the author’s experience as a professor at a public university.

Findings

The analysis suggests that while undergraduate business education in the United States serves largely to buttress unsustainable and fundamentally destructive tendencies in capitalism the social characteristics of the students and the fundamental nature of the material also makes it – in an apparent paradox – potentially a very rich process, system and venue for fostering more sustainable, community-based economic and social organization.

Originality/value

The value of the chapter lies in the author’s relatively rare perspective as an activist-oriented critical management professor in a U.S. business school. The combination of theoretical and political perspective and experience in the classroom and the larger University offers the possibility of stimulating new avenues of discussion, especially among academics and administrators dissatisfied with the current state of educational practice.

Purpose

The purpose of the chapter is to elaborate the theory of academic capitalism by focusing on rarely examined forerunners of academic capitalism: namely, business schools.

Design/methodology/approach

A research-based essay.

Findings

The findings emphasize that there are different forms of academic capitalism. Our example from Dubai context shows how more extreme form of academic capitalism, which we label Acamanic Capitalism, developed as a result of free educational markets.

Originality/value

The chapter provides scholarly value through novel conceptualization. The phenomenon of acamanic capitalism should also be acknowledged in academia and in critical management education.

Purpose

To consider Critical Management Studies as a social movement.

Design/methodology/approach

The purpose is fulfilled by reflecting upon the history of Critical Management Studies by reference to social movement theory, institutional theory and the social theory of hegemony.

Findings

Critical Management Studies is plausibly understood as a social movement.

Originality/value

The chapter offers a fresh perspective on Critical Management Studies by representing it as a movement rather than as a specialist field of knowledge.

Purpose

To consider the differences between Critical Management Studies (CMS) and political party politics.

Design/methodology/approach

Reading Lenin and Hitler, as well as CMS.

Findings

That they aren’t very similar, and can’t be, unless CMS becomes a disciplined movement.

Practical implications

That academics are not good at getting things done, and perhaps we shouldn’t really be expecting that they should be. What they do outside the academic context is another matter.

Originality/value

That is for others to judge.

Purpose

We engage in a particular way the Anglo-American claim that a more performative Critical Management Studies (CMS) is needed to foster transformations in the “world out there” by putting into practice our learnings from a case study at Galpão Aplauso (GA), an NGO located in Brazil, which main role is to (re)socialize dispossessed youngsters through a critical methodology informed by anthropophagy.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing upon an engaged investigation informed by both performative CMS and decoloniality from Latin America we embody a performative CMS “otherwise.” Through the engagement with GA, and corresponding disengagement with our institutions, we propose decolonial anthropophagy as a way to move beyond Eurocentric critiques of Eurocentrism and decolonial work monopolized by full-time academics.

Findings

From a decolonial perspective it is shown that the performative turn within CMS could be used as a way of bringing “critical development” and “critical knowledge” to “subalterns” and the “rest of the world” from a perspective of coloniality. An anthropofagic perspective on decoloniality and critique shows that “subalterns” have much to teach us and our institutions and represents a way to decolonize theory-practice and academic-nonacademic divides.

Originality/value

The critical-decolonial anthropophagic perspective put forward in this chapter may represent an opportunity for CMS to move beyond much of its Eurocentric traditions, thus enlarging its geographic and cultural references. It may offer CMS an alternative critical performativity concept from the South which enables CMS to become a “re/disconnector,” instead of a connector, between the Euro-American traditions and the “rest of the world,” and making things happen “otherwise.”

Purpose

This chapter engages with the performativity discourse in CMS that seeks to impact practice for social transformation. It seeks to draw attention to the implicit assumption of ‘scale’ as a causal mechanism in social transformation.

Approach

This essay is primarily conceptual and theoretical. However it uses two real life social organizations from India as an illustration for the basic assumptions and the argument. It draws upon institutional theory and William Wimsatt’s work on ontology of complex systems, causation and robustness to make its arguments.

Findings

The essay argues that large size and scale does not necessarily mean greater social transformation for the good. Drawing upon Wimsatt’s work, it argues that system level causal mechanisms are not necessarily limited to aggregative, additive effects the way a scale-based argument would have us believe. In fact such systemic interactions would be unpredictable. Therefore when CMS as a community of scholars looks at difficulty in scaling up of successful endeavours as a weakness it might hamper egalitarian social transformation in more ways than one. It delays and/or closes opportunities for new ways, risks reproducing ills of existing large scale systems and creating oppressive universals. It suggests that for a pluriversal world a more phenomenological understanding of local transformative efforts is needed for the CMS community.

Value

This chapter provides a novel and sound theoretical basis for eschewing size and scale as indispensible for fostering social transformation.

Purpose

To explore how Critical Management Studies can be used to frame a strategy to effect change and promote diversity and inclusion in organizations.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing on the experience gained from a large multi-sector action research project aimed at promoting equality, diversity and inclusion in organizations, this chapter proposes a multilayer [Critical] Ecological Model.

Findings

While early critical theorists were committed to effecting change, the rise of post-modern critical theory eroded the ground on which to stand, widening the gap between theory and practice. Secondly, the chapter asserts the importance of linking empirical research and critical theory in order to advance equality seeking projects. Thirdly, the chapter provides a [Critical] Ecological model that bridges theory and action in Critical Management Studies, based partly on experience from a large community-based research project. The need for a multifaceted approach to advance equality and inclusion emerged as a way to bridge ideological differences among actors and academics committed to effecting social change.

Practical implications

By addressing directly the challenges of theoretical rifts as well as differences in research focused on micro, meso and macro levels, the chapter builds a framework to allow different stakeholders – scholars, practitioners, activists and change agents across sectors – to take action in advancing inclusion and equality as well as an understanding of interactions between levels.

Originality/value

While sharing similar goals, many approaches to change are fragmented on the level of analysis and by underlying paradigms. This chapter is unique in its focus on ways to bridge theory and practice and to develop a framework for action that accommodates equality seeking theorists and activists working on several levels.

Purpose

Drawing upon the concepts of transmodernity, pluriversality and border thinking the author stands in a more practical fashion for the co-creation of an-other performative CMS which fosters the decolonization of (critical) management studies – as a way to contribute “to concretely changing the world(s) for the better” (as claimed by the organizers of the symposium “should critical management studies get anything done?” held at the Academy of Management Meeting in 2012 in Boston).

Methodology/approach

From a more practical and less opaque perspective on border thinking it is shown how and why border thinking can both enable and constrain critical scholars and people to move across the borders of the colonial difference and from Eurocentric modernity toward transmodern pluriversality.

Findings

The current performative turn of CMS fails to address the agency of critical knowledge as a potential reworking of Occidentalism which can be mobilized to “manage” the rise of alternatives and knowledges from the rest of the world in general and from emerging economies in particular.

Originality/value of chapter

Border thinking as a crucial concept from the coloniality/modernity research program from Latin America is taken as an important contribution from the colonial difference to the co-creation of decolonial management studies (DMS), an-other performative CMS which fosters the construction of a world in which many worlds and knowledges can coexist as a way to change it for the better.

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About the Authors

Pages 311-314
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Author Index

Pages 315-323
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Cover of Getting Things Done
DOI
10.1108/S2046-6072(2013)2
Publication date
2013-09-05
Book series
Dialogues in Critical Management Studies
Editors
Series copyright holder
Emerald Publishing Limited
ISBN
978-1-78190-954-6
eISBN
978-1-78190-955-3
Book series ISSN
2046-6072