CMP Postmodern Management 2014 For Moodle

Topics: Postmodernism, Management, Modernism Pages: 31 (1264 words) Published: May 7, 2015
Joint Degrees-Management pathway
Critical Management Perspectives

Modernism and

Researching your topic
 General

indicative reading sources
within the Module specification on

 Your focus will influence your reading
 Utilise Summon, Emerald and ABI
 Link

to CMS articles

A few questions…
What is management theory?
Where does it come from?
Why do we accept it?

Challenging assumptions
Developing the rationale for the module...
Close your eyes and imagine the following scene….
A manager is sitting at a desk…
It is late Friday afternoon.

What was the manager wearing?
What gender was the manager?
What race was the manager?
Adapted from McGivern and Thompson, in Reynolds and Vince.
Organizing Reflection, 2004

 What are assumptions?
 Assumptions as the basis

“…the unexamined or unconscious
theories that allow us to structure,
interpret, and make sense of our
world…Implicit theories become the
lens and filter for everyday
experience, dictating what one sees
and how one interprets it.”
(Yinger, 1980 cited in Brookfield,1987)

Do you see what I see?
 http://

Significance of lenses
 What

determines our “lenses and
 Are these fixed?
 What influences our views of
organisations and organisational
 Why

is it important to understand this?

Critical thinking?
…the analyses offered by the
(management) ‘gurus’ are attractive to
managers and achieve a market presence,
because they promise to give shape to the
processes of management while
diminishing the ambiguities inherent in
management decision making.
(Collins, 2000)

Challenge? What do you think? Based on
What are the implications of not challenging?

Which perspective?
Many perspectives out of which we
can view management and
organisations for example:
 Modernist
 Postmodernist
 Critical Management Theory
 Feminist

Setting out the

Society controlled largely by superstition,
the church or sovereign power.
Craftsmen, artisans
Labour intensive
Male dominated

 Modernism emerged from
the Enlightenment
 Science, logic and
rationality becomes paramount
 Can be applied to all disciplines

Sir Isaac Newton

 Grand Narratives – large overarching ‘one
size fits all’ theories

“Take even the trifling manufacture of pin
making, for example.
Most of us would be hard pressed to
make even one pin in a day, even
if the metal were already mined and smelted for us.
We could certainly not make twenty.
And yet ten people in a pin factory can make 48,000 pins
a day.
That is because they each specialise in different parts of
the operation.
One draws out the wire, another straightens it, a third
cuts it, a fourth points it, a fifth grinds the top to receive the head.
Making and applying the head require further specialist

 Taylorism,

 Management is privileged
Division of



What about…..

Modernist management
“Modernist management thinking is a belief
in the idea that there is, and can be, ‘one
best way’ of managing people in
organisations in that a unified set of
professional values and principles for
guiding human judgement and social
conduct can be discovered and harnessed
for the greater benefit of society.”
(Hancock and Tyler, 2000 in Knights and Willmott, 2007)

The argument
The Argument…
 Modernism has a significant
influence on how we think and
behave and is at the heart of much
current management thinking
 But

is there another viewpoint?

 Fragmentation
 Localisation
 A reluctance to rely on science
 Rejection of grand narratives

acknowledging many competing...
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