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This chapter addresses growing concerns that, despite being a radically intentioned community, Critical Management Studies (CMS) lacks an orientation to achieve pragmatic…
This chapter addresses growing concerns that, despite being a radically intentioned community, Critical Management Studies (CMS) lacks an orientation to achieve pragmatic change. In response I argue that the failure to address the continuing marginalisation of the subaltern is key to CMS being negatively represented as an elitist self-preoccupied endeavour. This state of affairs is linked to a legacy of the ‘postmodern’ turn, which emerged in the 1980s and 1990s, as evidenced by the nature of contemporary debates continuing to reflect the stylistic fetishes of that time. I contend that the ghost of postmodernism is evident in the continuing predilection to produce signification discourses marked by symbolic absences, which politically confine such texts to the level of epistemology. The lack of integration of ontological concerns means that corporeal aspects of daily life are neglected, resulting in an abstracted ‘subjectless’ mode of representation. To address these limitations, a feminist activist version of post-structuralism (PSF) of the time is revisited, which through its distinctive attention to community concerns, enabled the linking of epistemological and ontological representations; thereby facilitating the creation of a framework for pragmatic change. As the chapter demonstrates, by drawing attention to the integral relationship between the modes of representation, power relations and subsequent social effects, poststructuralist feminists were able to achieve praxis outcomes. Accordingly, I argue this treasure house of ideas needs to be reclaimed and provides illustrations of the design principles proffered to support my contentions.
Both postmodernism and corporate culturalism, each in distinctly different ways, have had the effect of suppressing links between diverse populations and identity politics…
Both postmodernism and corporate culturalism, each in distinctly different ways, have had the effect of suppressing links between diverse populations and identity politics in regards to the work environment. For example, the “politics of difference” debates of the 1980s began to take on ominous developments in the 1990s with the dispersal of multiple identity characteristics into a fragmented morass. In turn, personal diversity attributes have been collapsed into the agenda of corporate cultural cloning such that an individual's presentation of self is expected to conform to malestream managerial characterisations. However, there is evidence of contradictory impulses associated with these events, which provides space to envisage a contemporary form of community‐orientated activism that avoids the dilemmas of overly disparate difference approaches and narrowly prescribed models of subjectivity. This article describes how such a committed social movement politic might be operationalised in organisational/teaching contexts. The objective is to demonstrate the relevance of poststructural feminist ideas of communities of practice and notions of relationalism as a substantial charter for enriching organisational life. Ironically, in the current “new economy” environment, the discourse of management itself provides a means for such an endeavour to be legitimated. The article addresses the crucial factors required to achieve this substantive change process via expanded notions of difference, diversity and hybridity.