Management and the Dominance of Managers

By Thomas Diefenbach

© 2010 – Routledge

272 pages | 2 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415888684
pub: 2010-10-20
US Dollars$54.95
Hardback: 9780415443357
pub: 2009-04-24
US Dollars$180.00

About the Book

Managers are powerful. The organizations of our time are in essence managerial organizations, even our societies are managerial societies. This book looks behind the portrait of management as value-free ‘technicality’ and challenges the image of managers as the selfless pursuer of an organization’s survival and development. It explains that individual interests and careers of managers are only part of a wider epochal and historic picture – the picture of managers as the new ruling class using and misusing organizations for their own personal and group interests while portraying their own roles and actions as ‘increasing the efficiency of organizations’ and ‘serving the public interest’.

But why exactly are managers so powerful? Why and how do managers dominate our organizations? It will be argued that the prevailing understanding of management and managers is only at the surface about functional aspects. In its very core management has been, and is, all about the power and control, interests and ideology of managers--in short, the dominance of managers over other groups of people. In order to investigate and explain this dominance, a multi-dimensional ‘theory of social dominance of managers’, will be developed which reveals the personal and group interests behind such claims and is based in its core on three explanatory factors; power, interests, and ideology. These factors themselves will be analyzed as comprehensive, multi-dimensional and interdisciplinary concepts in order to address the complex nature of managers’ dominance appropriately.

Table of Contents

List of Tables and Figures. Acknowledgments. 1. Introduction. 2. Managers and Managerialism. 3. Power and Control within Organisations. 4. Managers’ Interests in Dominance. 5. The Ideology of Management. 6. A Theory of the Dominance of Managers. 7. How Managers Create, Justify, and Conduct Strategic Change in their Organisation – A Case Study. 8. Critique of Management and Orthodox Organisations. Notes. Bibliography. Index.

About the Author

Since 2007 Dr Thomas Diefenbach is a Lecturer in Management at Strathclyde Business School, Glasgow, Scotland. Before this, he had been working as a Lecturer at Oxford Brookes University, UK, and for more than five years as a Research Fellow at Open University Business School, UK, and at Chemnitz University of Technology, Germany. Before joining academia Thomas had been working for 14 years in industry and service organisations, as a self-employed consultant and freelance lecturer.

His main areas of expertise are: general management and organisation studies, international business, strategy, change management, intangible assets, Critical Management Studies - all as socio-philosophical interrogations of the relations between the individual, organisations, and society with the focus on power, interests, and ideology.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Management, Organizations and Society

Management, Organizations and Society represents innovative work grounded in new realities; addressing issues crucial to an understanding of the contemporary world. This is the world of organized societies, where boundaries between formal and informal, public and private, local and global organizations have been displaced or vanished along with other nineteenth century dichotomies and oppositions. Management, apart from becoming a specialised profession for a growing number of people, is an everyday activity for most members of modern societies. Management, Organizations and Society will address these contemporary dynamics of transformation in a manner that transcends disciplinary boundaries, with work which will appeal to researchers, students and practitioners alike.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Organizational Behavior