Critical Management Studies at Work
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Critical Management Studies at Work

Negotiating Tensions between Theory and Practice

Edited by Julie Wolfram Cox, Tony G. LeTrent-Jones, Maxim Voronov and David Weir

This book is the first of its kind to reflect on what it means to actually perform critical management studies (CMS): how consultants, researchers, teachers and managers negotiate the tensions they experience in their everyday practice.
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Chapter 11: Paradoxes of Academic Practice: Managerialist Techniques in Critical Pedagogy

Torkild Thanem and Louise Wallenberg


Torkild Thanem and Louise Wallenberg INTRODUCTION The last decade has seen an expanding literature examining the content and teaching techniques of management education (for example, Cunliffe 2002; French and Grey 1996; Hagen, Miller and Johnson 2003; Holman 2000; Reynolds 1999) and a number of contributors have, from the perspective of critical management studies, discussed the importance of introducing both critical perspectives and critical teaching techniques in management education (for example, Case and Selvester 2000; Currie and Knights 2003). Further, some of this research has acknowledged the difficulties of creating a critical dialogue in the classroom (for example, Currie and Knights 2003) and has highlighted the paradox of a critical pedagogy wherein the teacher both becomes an agent of emancipation and a figure of authority (for example, Hagen et al. 2003, p. 247; Perriton and Reynolds 2004, pp. 66, 72). Meanwhile, there is a considerable body of research on the dissemination of management theory and other forms of management knowledge beyond the academic institutions of management education and research (for example, Abrahamson 1991, 1996; Engwall and Kipping 2004; Sahlin-Andersson and Engwall 2002). Typically, this research focuses on the spread of management knowledge via management consultancy firms to management practice in private, public, and, more recently, voluntary sector organizations. However, neither of these research areas has paid much attention to the managerialist underpinnings of contemporary pedagogy and the ways in which neo-liberal management principles have diffused beyond the field of management knowledge and practice and into the field of pedagogy. Indeed, studies...

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