Domain Statement

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:

  • critical theories of the nature of managerial authority, resistance to managerial authority, identity, affectivity, rationality, and subjectivity;
  • critiques of managerialist theories of management and organization;
  • critical assessments of emerging alternative forms of organization;
  • critiques of political economy;
  • critical perspectives on business strategy, globalization, entrepreneurship, technological innovation, and computerization;
  • critical analyses of discourses of management, development, and progress;
  • critical perspectives on class, gender, and race;
  • the profit-imperative and the natural environment;
  • critical epistemologies and methodologies.

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.

Goals and objectives:

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.