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Critical management studies and the agélaste ethos

Alexander Styhre (Institutionen för teknikens ekonomi och organisation, Operations Management)
Journal of organizational change management (0953-4814). Vol. 21 (2008), 1, p. 92-106.
[Artikel, refereegranskad vetenskaplig]

Abstract Purpose – This paper aims to discuss the notion of carnival laughter in Bakhtin’s examination of Rabelais’s literary works. The paper suggests that what may be called, after Rabelais, the age´laste ethos, the ethos of the men and women without laughter, remains a strong influence in some domains of critical management studies (CMS) as well as mainstream organization theory. Design/methodology/approach – The literature review discusses Russian literature theorist Mikhail Bakhtin’s analysis of the writings of Franc¸ois Rabelais and related his concept of the age´laste to contemporary social and organization theory. Findings – Some proponents of CMS praise the critical thinking and the outlook on society established by its foundational writers Adorno, Horkheimer and Marcuse. As a consequence, CMS tends to exclude the sources of joy, laughter and transgression and regard such social and human gestures and events as being frivolous and ephemeral. Therefore, CMS remains trapped within its own sphere of critical thinking and fails to address and understand significant components of everyday life. Research limitations/implications – The paper suggests that the notion of “critique” needs to be explored within the community of CMS researchers. Originality/value – Discusses the concept of critique so central for both the CMS tradition of thinking and other domains of management studies in new terms.

Nyckelord: Literature, Management techniques, Change management, Critical management

Denna post skapades 2009-03-17. Senast ändrad 2012-09-24.
CPL Pubid: 91575


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Institutioner (Chalmers)

Institutionen för teknikens ekonomi och organisation, Operations Management (2006-2016)


Industriell organisation, administration och ekonomi

Chalmers infrastruktur