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Critical Management Studies: A Critical Review

Spicer, A. & Alvesson, M. ORCID: 0000-0001-8709-4684 (2024). Critical Management Studies: A Critical Review. Journal of Management Studies, doi: 10.1111/joms.13047


In this paper, we review the development of critical management studies, point at problems and explore possible developments. We begin by tracing out two previous waves of critical management studies. We then focus on more recent work in critical management studies and identify ten over‐arching themes (Academia, alternatives organizations, control and resistance, discourse, Foucauldian studies, gender, identity, Marxism, post‐colonialism, and psychoanalysis). We argue that CMS has largely relied on one‐dimensional critique which focused on negation. This has made the field increasingly stale, focused on the usual suspects and predictable. We identify a number of problems calling for critique and rethinking. We label these author‐itarianism, obscurantism, formulaic radicalism, usual‐suspectism and empirical light‐touchism.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2024 The Authors. Journal of Management Studies published by Society for the Advancement of Management Studies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Publisher Keywords: critical management studies, review, critique
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Departments: Bayes Business School
Bayes Business School > Management
SWORD Depositor:
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