Describe the meaning and utility of critical management studies and show how it may affect business practices.
We live in a fast-paced society, and change is inevitable. The society continuous to evolve according to the demands of time and change is our way of coping up. Changes do not only apply to people, things, and material trends. It can also be seen in how people behave and react towards a situation. The changes that we experience can either be good or bad for our development. In the major changes that occur in our surroundings, the business sector, management and organization also need to adapt to it and take vital measures to stay on top of the game. There are different theories that we usually apply which serve as our guiding principle. Sometimes, we apply more than one theory with a common concept. There is a group of theories which is being utilized to deeply understand the cause and effect of a particular situation and how one should respond to it accordingly. One of the most used and controversial group of theories is the critical management studies.
Critical management studies, or also known as CMS, are defined as an extensive approach composed of theoretically informed critiques of management business and organization, grounded originally within the perspective of critical theory (Critical Management, p.1). It has a wide range of perspectives that criticize conventional theories of management and the schools which these theories were generated from. It is the new method used to carefully evaluate the processes in management, business, and organizations. It tries to modify the loopholes and shortcomings of the traditional practices and theories used that were not effective and efficient. It proposes a platform of alternatives as an intervention to the rising problem in the stabilizing management, control, and power in a particular business, management or organization.
It does not necessarily mean that they criticize the traditional theories they will already disregard the importance of some theories that helped them in their research. They also use the different theoretical traditions such as anarchism, critical theory, feminism, Marxism, post-structuralism, postmodernism, post-colonialism and psychoanalysis (Academy of Management, par. 4). With this, it goes to show that it does not solely focus on a particular field but it is multidisciplinary. CMS is usually being mistaken to have been putting emphasis on management and business schools. It is diverse and tries to apply the method in all discipline. CMS is an approach present all over the world addressing concerns to what could be improved and reconstructed. Furthermore, CMS does not particularly suggest that there is a right and proper way of managing. Principles in management can change and CMS can do is to evaluate whether the approach is still suitable to the situation and flexible for any given circumstance. It exists because each action should be criticized not for intimidation it but for improvement and quality purposes.
CMS has key features including denaturalization, non-performativity, and reflexivity. Some researchers would question and argue critical performativity if it is essential to be included as one of the key features (Fournier and Smith, par. 4). These key features help make the approach effective for the criticism will be guided accordingly. There is a crucial burden on the CMS scholars to be qualified and keen in doing their tasks and responsibilities as they perform critical management activities. It is one challenging role to play for they will be dealing with power structures in academic premises, workplaces and even involve interpreting the politics within the university. Furthermore, they will be assessing the rise of activism in universities which are being channeled out through journalism and small-group discussions. This goes to show that CMS also cover the behavior inside the school that will soon comprise the next generation of the workforce of our society. From this, we will be able to gauge what kind of leaders our society will have in the future.
CMS has a vital impact on the business today. Different leaders of big business companies would use the approach to evaluating the performance of its operational processes. It is also their way of assessing their own practices and has an awareness of what could be the possible consequences they would be facing if they would change or continue to practice what they have started. The formulation of critiques is a healthy way to also study what the competitors to weigh out options and what could improve to outnumber potential losses in the future. It a clinical analysis of the predisposing factors that have been affecting the quality of performance and behavior of the processes. CMS is one bold move wherein there is a fearless evaluation and criticisms with no inhibitions and this might either challenge or intimidate the person or the set of standards being criticized (Fournier and Smith, par. 7).
On the other hand, CMS is being accused of failing to foresee what could be the effect of the approach to it political and social aspects. One worse outcome of the method is to produce patterns of inequalities and could be discriminating some factors such as considering the culture, profile or even race of the person or the background of the company. CMS itself had a fair share of criticisms for the past few years but what is good with it that it remains firm with its objectives to provide honest and unbiased critiques. Business companies can maximize the utilization of CMS and could use it to their advantage. It is more looking at the processes from a wider perspective to what could be lacking and what needs to be improved. With the demands our time, it is essential that we always go back to the core and evaluate. CMS is engaged to address ethical issues as a call for more responsible forms of management and educate the people involved that there should always be room for innovation, careful assessment, and quality improvement. This process is a way of taking part of corporate social responsibility and reaching out to the people outside the business. It will not be an easy transformation but has a long-term effect that will establish a positive reputation for the business.
Academy of Management (2016) Critical Management Studies, Academy of Management. Retrieved from http://aom.org/Divisions-and-Interest-Groups/Critical-Management-Studies/Critical-Management-Studies.aspx
Critical Management (2016) About Critical Management Studies Web. Retrieved from http://www.criticalmanagement.org/content/about-cms
Fournier, Valerie and Smith, Warren (2016) Making Choice, taking risk: On the coming out of Critical Management Studies, Ephemera. Retrieved from http://www.ephemerajournal.org/contribution/making-choice-taking-risk-coming-out-critical-management-studies