[CMS] Critical Management Studies
Coordinators: Stephen Dobson
University of Leeds, United Kingdom
University of York, United Kingdom
Field of Interest and Rationale
This Research Area would facilitate the participation of management scholars in a conference of economics. This would be mutually beneficial.
Economists often overlook management and organization studies, thus either neglecting to support their arguments at the micro level or failing to defend accusations that their models are oversimplifying. Similarly, organizational scholars often overlook economics. The consequence of this is that organization studies rarely address the macro level implications (efficiency, wellbeing, poverty, unemployment, growth, innovation, inequality) of what happens at the firm level. In doing so, they also fail to realize that macro-level problems are rooted in individual and organizational actions. For this reason, critical management scholars in particular should be especially interested in the connections between macro and organizational level analysis.
Economists are hardly aware of the existence of critical management studies. This permanent research area would be the perfect venue to disseminate and discuss what constitutes heterodoxy in management and organizational studies. It could also facilitate the elaboration of a common understanding of what constitutes mainstream and orthodoxy for both communities of scholar, from an academic point of view (methods, ontologies, epistemologies...) and a practitioner’s point of view (dominant economic policies, management ideas, management practices, institutional norms...).
Even outside the mainstream-critical debate, there are mutual opportunities for learning and collaboration. For instance, why in the study of Multifactor Productivity never the help of management and organizational scholars was invoked? Or, why, the scholars that animated the historical turn in organization studies have not engaged with the recent interest in long-term historical analysis in economics?
This research area would welcome quantitative, historical, qualitative, conceptual papers and would be particularly interested in works co-authored by economists, management scholars and other social scientists.