What is management and how do the people who become managers take on a managerial identity?
How does text inform the manager's identity?
From cultural studies we understand that the relationship between text and reader is not passive but that each one works upon the other, and that text is active in forming the identity of the reader. This books is the first to analyse how many management textbooks construct their readers. It analyses management textbooks published since the 1950s and shows they construct a world in which chaos is kept at bay only by strong management, and in which strong management is based upon the rationality of modernity. This book exposes and analyses such claims-to-truths, and theorizes their arguments using the work of Butler and Foucault, the sociology of scientific knowledge, critical legal studies, art history and queer theory.
By revealing a postmodern turn in management textbooks, The Social Construction of Management is both a critical and empirical study that explores the constitution of managerial identities in the age of mass education in management. An exciting contribution to the growing body of knowledge within critical management studies, this book challenges the way we think about organizations and their management, and about management education as a whole. This is thought provoking reading for anyone studying management, or working in the managerial organization.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction - Management and the Manager as Social Construction Part 1: Construction 2. Management as Text Part 2: Deconstruction 3. Management as Science 4. Management as Legal Authority 5. Management as Art 6. Management as Modernity Part 3: Reconstruction 7. The Managerial Self 8. The Social Construction of Management
Nancy Harding is Senior Lecturer in Management at the Nuffield Institute at the University of Leeds. She has written widely on the subject of critical management, social construction and health-related topics.