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Article

Pascal Dey and Chris Steyaert

This paper seeks to pinpoint the importance of critical research that gets to problematise social entrepreneurship's self‐evidences, myths, and political truth‐effects…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to pinpoint the importance of critical research that gets to problematise social entrepreneurship's self‐evidences, myths, and political truth‐effects, thus creating space for novel and more radical enactments.

Design/methodology/approach

A typology mapping four types of critical research gets developed. Each critique's merits and limitations are illustrated through existing research. Also, the contours of a fifth form of critique get delineated which aims at radicalising social entrepreneurship through interventionist research.

Findings

The typology presented entails myth‐busting (problematisation through empirical facts), critique of power‐effects (problematisation through denormalising discourses, ideologies, symbols), normative critique (problematisation through moral reflection), and critique of transgression (problematisation through practitioners' counter‐conducts).

Research limitations/implications

The paper makes it clear that the critique of social entrepreneurship must not be judged according to what it says but to whether it creates the conditions for novel articulations and enactments of social entrepreneurship.

Practical implications

It is argued that practitioners' perspectives and viewpoints are indispensible for challenging and extending scientific doxa. It is further suggested that prospective critical research must render practitioners' perspective an even stronger focus.

Originality/value

The contribution is the first of its kind which maps critical activities in the field of social entrepreneurship, and which indicates how the more radical possibilities of social entrepreneurship can be fostered through interventionist research.

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Article

Simon Teasdale

Abstract

Details

Social Enterprise Journal, vol. 8 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-8614

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Article

Bob Doherty

The purpose of this paper is to review the development and impact of the Social Enterprise Journal (SEJ) from its inception in 2005 until present day.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to review the development and impact of the Social Enterprise Journal (SEJ) from its inception in 2005 until present day.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper analyses the thematic content of SEJ and its impact data from 2005 until 2017.

Findings

SEJ has broken new ground in the study of social enterprise (SE). It was the first journal back in 2005 to commence the exploration of this field and since has been the first to publish works on defining SE, their performance management, critical perspectives plus international differences. The paper shows that in the early years, SEJ was dominated by conceptual work aiming to understand SE plus their governance and performance management, which was mainly based on UK descriptive case studies and uncritical. By 2010, SEJ became established internationally with various issues being 100 per cent dominated by international aspects of SE. Recent more critical work has also enabled a process of “myth busting” in the SE field. This paper also shows the growth of SEJ in downloads and citations.

Practical implications

The paper demonstrates the important role SEJ has played in both improving practice and informing policy.

Originality/value

The paper is the first to review the development and impact of SEJ.

Details

Social Enterprise Journal, vol. 14 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-8614

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Article

Maxim Voronov and Lyle Yorks

This paper argues that failing to grasp thoroughly the influence of power on the strategy‐making process can severely inhibit the potential of strategy making as a vehicle…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper argues that failing to grasp thoroughly the influence of power on the strategy‐making process can severely inhibit the potential of strategy making as a vehicle of organizational learning.

Design/methodology/approach

First the organizational learning perspective on strategic management is sketched and an attempt is made to show how it takes the social aspects of organizing more seriously than earlier perspectives on strategy. It is also noted how this iteration responds or at least has the potential to respond to some of the critiques directed at earlier thinking on strategy from critical management studies (CMS). Then CMS's critique of organizational learning theories is noted and the critiques to re‐conceptualize blockages to learning and knowledge creation are built on.

Findings

An attempt has been made to show that, as in earlier perspectives on strategy, there is still insufficient attention being paid to the role of power in strategic change. This places severe limitations on strategic learning that is possible.

Originality/value

Concludes by joining other writers in calling for a less managerialist research in strategy.

Details

The Learning Organization, vol. 12 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-6474

Keywords

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Article

Martin Kornberger and Chris Carter

Recent years have witnessed an increasing number of cities develop strategies. The discourse of strategic management has become an obligatory point of passage for many…

Abstract

Purpose

Recent years have witnessed an increasing number of cities develop strategies. The discourse of strategic management has become an obligatory point of passage for many city managers. This paper starts by posing an ostensibly simple question: why do cities need strategies? The commonsensical answer to the question is: because cities compete with each other. This paper aims to problematise the seemingly natural link between cities, competition and strategy. It also aims to explore the role that calculative practices play in creating city league tables that, in turn, function as the a priori condition that generates competition between cities.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is interdisciplinary and draws on the related disciplines of accounting, organization theory and strategy. The argument unfolds in four steps: first, it briefly provides some theoretical background for analysis and relates it back to strategizing and accounting as a calculative practice; second, it scrutinizes league tables as an a priori of competition; third, it discusses the implications of the argument for city management and critical accounting; finally, it concludes with a discussion of the power effects of those calculative practices that shape strategizing in cities through the production of competition.

Findings

This paper argues that city strategizing is best understood as a set of complex responses to a new competitive arena, one rendered visible through calculative practices, manifested through city rankings. The paper makes five key contributions: one, league tables reduce qualities to a quantifiable form; two, league tables create an order amongst an heterogeneous ensemble of entities; three, league tables stimulate the very competition they claim to reflect; four, once competition is accepted, individual players need a strategy to play the game; and five, league tables have important power effects that may result in unintended consequences.

Practical implications

The paper contributes to understanding how calculative practices relate to strategy; it explores the organizational environment in which city managers strategize; in addition, it discusses the problem of civic schizophrenia.

Originality/value

The paper seeks to open up an agenda for studying city management, strategy and accounting.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 23 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

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Article

Robert Westwood

This paper seeks to interrogate the international business and management studies (IBMS) discourse via postcolonial theory. It demonstrates the value of applying…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to interrogate the international business and management studies (IBMS) discourse via postcolonial theory. It demonstrates the value of applying postcolonial theory as a critical practice with respect to that substantive domain.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach is to draw on the critical and intellectual resources of postcolonial theory and apply them in an interrogation of IBMS.

Findings

The paper shows the value of applying postcolonial theory to open up the discourse of IBMS, which is revealed to deploy similar types of universalistic, essentialising and exoticising representations to colonial and neo‐colonial discourse. It is revealed to rely on functionalist orthodoxy, realist ontology and neo‐positivist epistemology. Furthermore, it masks its own power effects, fails to make explicit its research commitments, especially its political and ethical ones, and remains deeply unreflexive.

Originality/value

The use of postcolonial theory in relation to organisation studies is in its infancy with only a limited number of studies directly related to that critical practice. This paper, then, is a contribution to an important, but emergent arena of scholarship. The interrogation mounted here points to a radical reconfiguration of the field and indications as to where that might take us are made.

Details

Critical perspectives on international business, vol. 2 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1742-2043

Keywords

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Article

David Knights and Darren McCabe

This article presents a research framework that understands any management innovation, such as total quality management (TQM), as discursive knowledge that can have…

Abstract

This article presents a research framework that understands any management innovation, such as total quality management (TQM), as discursive knowledge that can have certain power effects. It may transform individuals into subjects that secure some sense of their own meaning and identity through participating either as managers or employees in the practices the knowledge embraces. But TQM can also have the opposite effect, resulting in subjects resisting or distancing themselves from, rather than embracing, the discourse. The paper reviews three interpretations of TQM, which are described as rational managerialist, critical control, and processual. It critiques each of these approaches so as to offer an alternative way of understanding TQM, which would also have application to a wide variety of other innovations. In short, it attempts to build upon earlier approaches in the anticipation that we might move beyond our present understanding of innovations such as TQM.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 15 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

Keywords

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Article

Jennifer Adelstein

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how the knowledge work discourse has been transformed from a celebration of those who create knowledge to one of leaden…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how the knowledge work discourse has been transformed from a celebration of those who create knowledge to one of leaden prescription to purposively separate the knowledge from the knower.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach takes the form of genealogical discourse analysis of the dominant and alternative knowledge work discourses.

Findings

From its earliest conceptions, knowledge work as a discourse was conceived as creating a new class of worker who was highly educated, motivated and financially aspirational. Through alignment with significant discourses from such fields of knowledge as economics, the law and technology, knowledge has become an organisational asset, to be secured by technology and protected by law even from those who created it. Discursive transformation shows that knowledge work and those who perform it – the knowledge workers – have become marginalised in the discourses until they have virtually disappeared altogether.

Research limitations/implications

As a conceptual paper, the analysis does not address an empirical research frame. However, the paper illustrates how power is implicated in all aspects of the knowledge work discourse.

Originality/value

The paper identifies how power relations are implicit in organisational discourses of knowledge work. Knowledge is seen to be central to studies of organisations, economics and globalisation, yet human beings as creators of knowledge have been marginalised in the knowledge discourses.

Details

Equal Opportunities International, vol. 26 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0261-0159

Keywords

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Article

Elena Ponzoni, Halleh Ghorashi and Sylvia van der Raad

In this study the authors show how discursive spaces both enable and constrain the inclusion of first-generation refugees. For this purpose the authors analyzed a triptych…

Abstract

Purpose

In this study the authors show how discursive spaces both enable and constrain the inclusion of first-generation refugees. For this purpose the authors analyzed a triptych of narratives from first-generation refugees, employers, and mediators (mediating between organizations and job-seeking refugees). The authors adopted a critical studies approach, paying particular attention to the ways in which meanings are embedded within the normalizing discursive processes. The purpose of this paper is to show the maneuvering capacities of three different groups concerning the inclusion of first-generation refugees.

Design/methodology/approach

The data consist of a selected number of narratives from three groups of actors (refugees, mediators and employers) with the ambition of contrasting their discursive positionings. By including multiple positionings in the process, the authors aimed to reveal “the power effects of particular discursive formations,” which Alvesson et al. (2008) refer to as “positioning practices.” To investigate these patterns, the authors used in-depth interviews and employed an interpretive approach with the focus on the narrations of inclusion and exclusion.

Findings

The major constraint the authors discovered was that, in spite of the “good will” of all parties involved, the normalizing impact of the dominant discourses on migrants and refugees (discourse of lack) often works against other approaches (added value). This creates contradictory expectations toward refugees, limiting the possibilities of inclusion within organizations. The findings of this research show that diversity and inclusion can only be successful in conjunction with critical reflection that questions the taken-for-granted position of privileged groups as a norm reproduced by dominant societal discourses.

Research limitations/implications

In the light of growing urgency for the inclusion of refugees in the European context, it is crucial to rethink the notions of inclusion and exclusion from a critical perspective. The authors believe that the findings of the study could have implications which goes beyond the particular experiences presented in this study.

Originality/value

The authors conclude that diversity talk and practice which does not include reflection on the normalizing power of discourses of otherness does not have a chance of making a long-term impact on inclusion. Although there is a growing body of literature on this topic within critical organization studies, there has been no attention so far for the position of refugees in organizations which makes this paper both unique and urgent.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 36 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

Keywords

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Book part

Dalvir Samra-Fredericks

I consider the significance of just one silence in strategy research – it revolves around the ‘I’ which brings in matters of biography, epistemology and reflexivity. While…

Abstract

I consider the significance of just one silence in strategy research – it revolves around the ‘I’ which brings in matters of biography, epistemology and reflexivity. While different epistemic communities have their investigative conventions or protocols and allied evaluative criteria which either silence or give voice to an ‘I’, developments in the philosophy of science and the sociology of knowledge suggest the need to account for two particular and intertwined aspects of reflexivity. The first rests on C. Wright Mills' assertion that ‘craftsmanship is the centre of yourself’, and in this paper I share four snippets of autobiographical reflection outlining the crystallization of my interests and the sociological ‘eye’ which I bring to the study of strategic management. Second, the ways the established or taken-for-granted socio-politico-ethical orders routinely reproduce as legitimate (or not) particular ways of seeing-researching and thus, particular I's, is also woven into this account. My own intellectual ‘home’ of ethnomethodology is one where constitutive reflexivity is central and shows that the field of research interest – strategy work/strategizing – and our own practice of trying to understand this field are both a reflexive accomplishment.

Details

The Globalization of Strategy Research
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-898-8

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