The Politics of Management Knowledge

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The notion that management knowledge is universal, culture-neutral, readily transferable to any country or situation, has come under mounting challenge. The Politics of Management Knowledge goes beyond such 'broad-brush' assertions to explore in detail the relations between management knowledge, power and practice in a world where globalization highlights, rather than obscures, the locally specific character of many management recipes. The book recognizes the political nature of management knowledge as a discourse produced from, and reproducing, power processes within and between organizations. This theme underpins discussion of the ways in which management ideas and practices 'produce' managers of a particular kind - person of enterprise, bureaucrat, heroic leader and so on. Critical examinations of certain current management theories - lean production, excellence, entrepreneurship - illuminate the myriad modes in which relations of power intermingle with relations of knowledge. Eminent authors from a variety of countries address the social and political processes involved in cross-cultural transference of management ideas across the world. They also look to the future, stressing the need for a substantial new understanding that is less attuned to the corporate worlds of today and more appropriate for the increasingly diverse organizations likely to emerge in the twenty-first century.