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date: 07 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Who benefits from management ideas and practices? Whose authority do they promote? What kind of truths do they produce and to what effect? Such are the fundamental questions of a critical study of management ideas. In this chapter the authors offer a brief introduction to four of the main traditions (Marxism, post-modernism, feminism, and postcolonialism) that make up this complex field and then, drawing on Lacan’s four discourses framework, they question such critical knowledge itself. In particular they highlight how the conditions that have produced this form of management research have led to a number of unintended consequences, particularly a loss of relevance to praxis. In response, they suggest a new opening for the critique of management ideas by illustrating an activist-scholar project.

Keywords: critical management studies, activist scholarship, universities, psychoanalysis, management ideas

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