Cfp_The Break-Up Of Management

Deadline Extended until 31 August 2014. The Break-Up Of Management. Workshop at Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy, Copenhagen Business School, 20-21 November 2014. Co-hosted by The Critical Management Studies Research Group, Manchester Business School. Dr Damian O’Doherty, University of Manchester & Dr Helene Gad Ratner Copenhagen Business School.

Management has become an on-going matter of public controversy. Trust in management, for example, is now widely questioned in the wake of a number of recent crises and scandals taking place in both public organizations (health, education, social services) and private industries – the banking and financial services, energy, advertising, etc. The butt of comedy from Monty Python to David Brent’s ‘The Office’, management is pictured as more or less absurd and for many it will be difficult to imagine that students in higher education actively want a career in ‘management’. Does this suggest that management as a discipline or profession is currently in crisis and that we are witness to the break-up of management as we have come to understand it? At the same time, belief in the necessity of management has not disappeared and indeed appears to be unscathed: more management is typically the proposed solution to any ‘crisis’. Despite a widespread recognition that management entails unintended and unanticipated effects, it continues to marshal hope and belief in creating better and more rational organizations. In this workshop, we seek to explore these dynamics through science and technology studies (STS), actor-network theory (ANT), or critical management studies (CMS).

We are interested to understand how management responds to such criticism. In other words, what is happening in the practical, lived experiences of ‘management in action’? To respond best to this we are keen to promote an ethnographic approach to the study of such questions and in this we take courage from Barbara Czarniawska’s recent observation that ‘ethnography is the dominant method in organization studies at present’.

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