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Using Critical Management Approaches in Managing People and OrganizationsChapter 3: Using Critical Management Approaches in Managing People and Organizations Peter Stokes Objectives • Providing an outline and understanding of the approaches to organization and management which have emerged and been developed during the last century and presenting a number of ongoing theoretical developments; • Providing introductions to philosophical stances such as postmodernism, post-structuralism, critical realism and related approaches such as discourse analysis and social constructionism; • Providing a counterpoint and alternative perspective on managing and organizing to the predominant modernistic casting and view of these areas; • Offering ideas and techniques to facilitate better understanding of issues such as organizational relationships, interpersonal and team dynamics, identity and power and their impact on work and practice. Introduction Chapter 2 outlined modernistic and positivistic outlooks which have represented the dominant manner of approaching and understanding organizational and managerial situations in many contexts during the twentieth century and into the twenty-first century. The discussion also indicated the limitations that may exist with such approaches and, in particular, how they might not always reflect or respond to the complexities of the human conditions and situations in which human beings often create and find themselves in work and other contexts. Critical management studies and critical perspectives are approaches which have developed over recent decades and, in many ways, have challenged and provided a response to modernistic constructions and representations of the workplace. Knowledge of critical perspectives provides people in work situations, with alternative and deeper insights and understandings of the complex dynamics and operation of work settings. It may even be postulated that such knowledge assists in enabling people to become more rounded managers.