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Critically Responsible Management: Agonistic answers to antagonistic questions

Racz, M. ORCID: 0000-0002-3540-7957 & Parker, S. (2019). Critically Responsible Management: Agonistic answers to antagonistic questions. In: Laasch, O., Jamali, D., Freeman, E. & Suddaby, R. (Eds.), The Research Handbook of Responsible Management. (pp. 686-699). Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar.


This chapter provides a constructive critique of responsible management. It starts by arguing that responsible management does little but extend managerial power and control over employees in more sophisticated ways. Moreover, in terms of enacting change, we argue that problems of limited agency are often overlooked in responsible management research leading to a naïve optimism in the power of individuals and a dismissal of existing political, organizational and cultural contexts. Subsequently, we suggest, via a discussion of the “third wave” of critical management studies and the idea of agonism, ways in which responsible management research could become more critical and more potent. In doing so, we highlight the need for responsible management research to look more at carefully selected collectives rather than individuals, both in the ways in which researchers try to enact change and engage managers and in the way they conceptualize responsibility in the first place.

Publication Type: Book Section
Additional Information: This is a draft chapter. The final version is available in The Research Handbook of Responsible Management edited by Laasch, O., Jamali, D., Freeman, E. and Suddaby, R., to be published in 2019, Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd The material cannot be used for any other purpose without further permission of the publisher, and is for private use only.
Publisher Keywords: Agonism, antagonistic critique, critical management studies, critical performativity, critically responsible management
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Departments: Bayes Business School > Management
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