Management as a (self) confidence trick: Management ideas, education and identity work
Sturdy, Andrew, Brocklehurst, Michael, Winstanley, Diana and Littlejohns, Margaret. (2006) Management as a (self) confidence trick: Management ideas, education and identity work. Organization, 13 (6). pp. 841-860. ISSN 1350-5084Full text not available from this repository.
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1350508406068501
Debates on the impact of management ideas tend to assume a mechanistic view of knowledge with its value or threat conceived of in terms of the extent to which it is directly applied in practice. This is echoed in policies and practices of management education in terms of an emphasis on practical relevance. Such debates typically neglect processual views of knowledge and, in particular, the existential and associated emotional aspects of 'acquiring' knowledge-learning as becoming. This article explores managers' reflections on the consequences of studying a range of explicit management ideas within the context of the MBA. Some direct translation combination and application of ideas is evident, along with the more indirect discursive construction of an identity as 'strategic' or managerial in content. However, the reverse is more evident, where opportunities for application to organizational practices are seen as inappropriate or impeded within the organization. Instead the principal outcome of ideas acquisition and the process of 'acquiring' them is an (albeit necessarily precarious) sense of 'self-confidence', which is reinforced through discourse. The MBA thus becomes a means for acquiring appropriate language fluency in management and the self-confidence to gain legitimacy and social privilege in senior management. The article points to the analytical value of exploring the translation of knowledge beyond that of the transformation of ideas and of the discursive content of identity towards the existential-emotional transitions associated with 'identity work'. It also has significant implications for our understanding of management, management education and the centrality and boundaries of knowledge as an organizing concept.
|Item Type:||Journal Article|
|Subjects:||H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management|
|Divisions:||Faculty of Social Sciences > Warwick Business School|
|Journal or Publication Title:||Organization|
|Publisher:||Sage Publications Ltd.|
|Official Date:||November 2006|
|Number of Pages:||20|
|Page Range:||pp. 841-860|
|Access rights to Published version:||Restricted or Subscription Access|
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