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Looking beyond and to the past to change the future? A uses of the past and practice approach to explore business school reform and individual change

Pendrey, A.Y. (2023). Looking beyond and to the past to change the future? A uses of the past and practice approach to explore business school reform and individual change. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City, University of London)


Prior responsible management learning (RML) and meaningful work scholarship suggests that business school reforms and individual changes are feasible, especially if associated with the Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) and conducted in liminal spaces. Paper 1 adopts a uses of the past lens, to analyse 13 business school historical monographs. Papers 2 and 3 use a practice lens to analyse 99 interviews, conducted in three waves with 41 MBA students over 21 months at four UK business schools. Paper 1 showed how business education providers have used four narrative practices for legitimation and that the narratives shifted to suit different audiences at different times. This contributes to scholarship first by suggesting that business education providers have had less influence than has previously been assumed. Second, my work opens up conversations about why a non-US centric approach is important. Paper 2 identified a two-way, (mis)matching relationship between students and RML hidden curriculum (HC) messages. I also identified a novel post-curriculum phase. My work first provides an original operationalization of the HC concept. Second, I expand the HC literature’s boundary conditions to the under-researched post-curriculum phase - which explains why responsible management learning reforms have been less effective than expected. Paper 3 found three distinct meaningful work habitus that had been imparted by people’s childhood caregivers. Second, despite the liminal space, I found remarkable stability in most meaningful work accounts. I contribute to scholarship, first by uncovering an underexplored causal mechanism for divergence in meaningful work, namely the meaningful work habitus. Second, I identify a core boundary condition in which liminal spaces facilitate change. Overall, my thesis draws attention to looking beyond the business school and to the past, to facilitate business school reform and individual change.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
L Education > L Education (General)
Departments: Bayes Business School > Bayes Business School Doctoral Theses
Bayes Business School > Management
Doctoral Theses
[thumbnail of Pendrey thesis 2023 PDF-A.pdf] Text - Accepted Version
This document is not freely accessible until 31 January 2027 due to copyright restrictions.


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