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date: 26 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article aims to provide an overview of the core ideas associated with ‘critical realism’ (CR) as a distinctive philosophy of social science and their implications for critical management studies (CMS). Realizing this objective requires a focus on CMS as a broad-ranging intellectual movement and practice geared to developing a better understanding of the domination structures that characterize advanced capitalist societies and organizations. It also requires an ‘unpacking’ of the distinctive contribution that CR can make to the analysis of contemporary capitalist domination structures and its significance for the kind of political and ethical critique of the institutional status quo that CMS is potentially equipped to mount and defend. Considered in this way, the article is intended to provide an exposition and assessment of the ‘promise’ that CR offers for CMS as a heterogeneous and pluralistic intellectual movement/practice challenging the orthodox socio-political theories, analytical models, and methodological paradigms lying at the center of mainstream business and management studies.

Keywords: critical realism, management, capitalist societies, institutional status quo, intellectual movement, management studies

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