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date: 04 December 2020

Abstract and Keywords

In a paper titled ‘Design and Devotion’ published in 1992 in Administrative Science Quarterly, Barley and Kunda examined the historical evolution of managerial ideology in the United States between the late nineteenth and late twentieth century. Managerial ideology, in their view, is ‘a stream of discourse that promulgates, however unwittingly, a set of assumptions about the nature of … corporations, employees, managers, and the means by which the latter can direct the other two’. This article uses Barley and Kunda's framework to illustrate and interpret the main themes of market rationalism in the American context. Then, based on a review of the research literature, it discusses some of the actual transformations in the organization of work that appear to be related to the managerial rhetoric of the period. It concludes by offering some speculative thoughts on the nature of managerial ideology and on its future directions.

Keywords: Design and Devotion, Administrative Science Quarterly, Barley and Kunda, managerial ideology, market rationalism, managerial rhetoric

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