Critical Performativity: The Happy End of Critical Management Studies?

Sverre Spoelstra, Peter Svensson

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The aim of this chapter is to engage in the perennial debate concerning the relevance (or lack thereof ) of Critical Management Studies (CMS) (see e.g. Parker, 2002; Spicer, Alvesson & Kärreman, 2009). There seems to be a growing – and perhaps well deserved – anxiety among researchers labeled or labeling themselves critical management scholars. In the early days of CMS, much of its legitimacy stemmed from its negation of established, or so-called mainstream, management research. Being something else-presenting a provocative alternative to the hegemony of positivist and realist management research and management guru discourse-rendered CMS fresh, interesting and relevant. But time passed, and CMS soon started to experience the academic equivalent of a midlife crisis. The field got more and more established, special journals were launched, professors were assigned and professors became rich and famous. Lurking beneath this success, however, was the doubt that CMS perhaps was not very useful for social change. What if people didn’t care? What if nobody listened? What if our writings are not even worthy of being read?
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Companion to Critical Management Studies
EditorsAnshuman Prasad, Pushkala Prasad, Albert Mills, Jean Helms Mills
Number of pages11
Place of PublicationAbingdon
Publication date2015
ISBN (Print)9780415501880
ISBN (Electronic)9781315886818
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

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