The Critical Management Studies division serves as a forum within the
Academy for the expression of views critical of established management
practices and the established social order. Our premise is that
structural features of contemporary society, such as the profit
imperative, patriarchy, racial inequality, and ecological
irresponsibility often turn organizations into instruments of domination
and exploitation. Driven by a shared desire to change this situation, we
aim in our research, teaching, and practice to develop critical
interpretations of management and society and to generate radical
alternatives. Our critique seeks to connect the practical shortcomings
in management and individual managers to the demands of a socially
divisive and ecologically destructive system within which managers work.
Sample topics include:
We bring together people from a broad range of Academy divisions with the goals of promoting: (a) critical scholarship as an essential component of the life of the Academy, (b) teaching that encourages broader, deeper, and more critical understanding, (c) links to progressive social movements.
We observe that management of the modern firm (and often of other
types of organizations) is guided primarily by the interests of
shareholders and other elites. We are critical of the notion that the
pursuit of profitability will automatically satisfy society's broader
interests. Such a system extracts unacceptably high social and
environmental costs for whatever progress it offers. We believe that
other priorities, such as justice, community, human development, and
ecological balance, should be brought to bear on the governance of
economic and other human activity.
The overall goal of our research, teaching, and extra-curricula activities is to contribute to the creation of better organizations, more humane societies, and a viable world system. Our specific objectives within the Academy of Management are to serve existing members' needs well so that growth in the Interest Group occurs, to generate high-quality dialogue in our meetings, to encourage the diffusion of our ideas and values in research and teaching, and to build bridges to progressive social movements to contribute to positive change for social and environmental welfare.