The possibilities and perils of critical performativity: learning from four case studies

King, D. ORCID: 0000-0002-0277-8444, 2015. The possibilities and perils of critical performativity: learning from four case studies. Scandinavian Journal of Management, 31 (2), pp. 255-265. ISSN 0956-5221


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The relevance of academic research to organizational practice is increasingly a concern for management scholars (Currie, Knights, & Starkey, 2010; Starkey & Madan, 2001), and wider social scientists (Chatterton, Hodkinson, & Pickerill, 2010). In particular there have been calls for "engaged scholarship" (Van de Ven, 2007) to "bridge the relevance gap" (Rynes, Bartunek, & Daft, 2001) and create meaningful knowledge that is relevant and useful for practice (for a debate see Boyer, 1997; Deetz, 2008; Learmonth, Lockett, & Dowd, 2012; Van de Ven, 2007; Zundel & Kokkalis, 2010). Such concerns about relevance have also become prevalent within critical management studies (CMS), with regular calls for critical academics to intervene in organizational practice (see for instance Alvesson & Spicer, 2012; Clegg, Kornberger, Carter, & Rhodes, 2006; Koss Hartmann, 2014; Voronov, 2008; Walsh & Weber, 2002; Willmott, 2008; Wolfram Cox, Voronov, LeTrent-Jones, & Weir, 2009). Recently this has been labelled the "performative turn" (Spicer, Alvesson, & Kärreman, 2009) in which critical scholars seek make their work more relevant to organizations (Wickert & Schaefer, 2014, p. 19). Yet, despite the regularity of these calls for intervention, there have been few actual examples of engagement by critical scholars directly into management practice. Without such examples, our understanding of the possibilities of engagement by critical scholars into practice is thus limited, and CMS is left susceptible to the criticism that it is more comfortable discussing radicalism than actually intervening (Koss Hartmann, 2014).

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Scandinavian Journal of Management
Creators: King, D.
Publisher: Pergamon Press
Place of Publication: Oxford
Date: 2015
Volume: 31
Number: 2
ISSN: 0956-5221
Divisions: Schools > Nottingham Business School
Record created by: EPrints Services
Date Added: 09 Oct 2015 09:47
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2017 13:10

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