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Affective and Effective Truths: Rhetoric, Normativity and Critical Management Studies

Parker, S. & Racz, M. ORCID: 0000-0002-3540-7957 (2019). Affective and Effective Truths: Rhetoric, Normativity and Critical Management Studies. Organization, 27(3), pp. 454-465. doi: 10.1177/1350508419855717


In an era of Brexit, Trump and the detritus of post-truth politics, this paper calls upon critical management scholars to reflect upon the efficacy of their critique. We examine the post-truth critiques of PR firms working for tobacco corporations in the 1960s, before discussing contemporary examples of the Flat Earth Society and the growing community of climate change deniers. In doing so, we note similarities to the intellectual tactics and strategies of the critical management community in terms of problematizing truth(s), broader aims to counter mainstream discourses of science and the various attempts to provide alternative perspectives on the world. In learning from these post-truth communities, we argue that the critical community should be wary of falling back onto a rational, logical and potentially elitist platform of Socratic critiqueand conversely should not refuse dialogue as in cynical critique. Instead, we argue for more agonistic forms of critique that use salient exemplars to develop affective relationships within communities alongside the discussion of facts, ethics and politics.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in 'Organization', published by SAGE.
Publisher Keywords: Post-truth, affect, rhetoric, critical management studies, agonism
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Departments: Bayes Business School > Management
SWORD Depositor:
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