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 12: Experiences of Living and Doing Critical Management Education in Canadian Business Schools

Gina Grandy and Jane Gibbon


Gina Grandy and Jane Gibbon INTRODUCTION ‘So much management theory and practice is tunnel-visioned and dangerous – practically as well as intellectually, ecologically as well as culturally’ (Alvesson and Willmott 2003, p. 11). The need to create space for a ‘critical’ approach in management studies to unsettle this ‘tunnel vision’ has received considerable attention over the last decade (Alvesson and Willmott 2003; Reynolds 1999). Recently, attention has been drawn to the pedagogical side of critical management education (CME) through exploring the difficulties of infusing it into teaching and practice in business schools (see further, Currie and Knights 2003; Grey 2004). Challenging the institutionalization of a North American, more specifically US, model of management education premised on objectivity, reason and universality, is daunting and problematic (Clegg and RossSmith 2003). Undoubtedly, there has been more room to develop a critical agenda in Europe than in North American management education systems (Fournier and Grey 2000), yet the hegemonic nature of the North American model globally is unmistakable. Grey (2004) contends that we need to make connections across the Atlantic and find a voice for critical management education in business schools. Grey (2004, pp. 178, 180) defines CME as ‘a body of educational practice arising from a research tradition known as critical management studies’ where management is ‘taught in ways that explicitly acknowledge the political, ethical, and philosophical nature of its practice’. We respond to his work and explore the process, content and context of CME in Canadian business schools. We explore the meanings of...

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