#cms7 PhD language and B2B , "critical performativity" may need a different format

I am still trying to follow #CMS7 . this weekend is all about PhD research and publication. Nothing new on Twitter.

But you can find spicer.pdf on www.mngt.waikato.ac.nz/ejrot/cmsconference/2007

search on unfinished business crital performativity

The Unfinished Business of Critical Management Studies

sorry the actual link is too long to display/copy

This is one of the texts to discuss, as well as another session on where to get published

The first problem with closely identifying CMS with anti-performativity
is that most CMS research is actually produced with performative intent. That is, most
CMS research is often produced partially with an eye to gaining a publication which can
be recorded on ones CV which can help to further ones career (Thompson, 2004). This
drive to publish has become even more pressing with the introduction of various research
auditing exercises in many higher education systems (Shore and Wright, 1999). These
auditing exercises certify a good scholar in terms of their efficient throughput of ideas (or
otherwise) into academic papers.

That sounds about right. The UK move to "impact" may change this slightly.

There is recognition of some issues for CMS

By defining CMS as being against performativity, one defines management as essentially being about performativity . Thus
critical management scholars have to dwell in a negative space. They are only defined by what they are not and what they are against.

Like a bloated tick, the fatter management gets, the fatter CMS gets. And like the bloated tick, CMS does not have a life of its own to celebrate, to affirm, to live. All it has to offer is a life which is constantly against management

I can't see much about why Business Schools tolerate CMS. Publications could be the attraction. there seems to be more critique in Business Schools than in other disciplines. not sure how this works or if there are any stats on this sort of thing.

But there seeems to be some hope that quality may be a subject to consider

Hochschild (1997), for example points out that life in organizations has become
comfortable and employee-friendly, largely through initiatives such as TQM, while
societal and organizational change has made family life more difficult (two career gender
patterns, the ideal of the dedicated employee), thus making everyday organizational life
more attractive than everyday family life. One should expect that this idea have had some
impact on CMS, if only to be challenged. CMS, however, is stuck discussing whether
TQM is an example of the exercise of disciplinary or hegemonic power by managers, or
possibly both. This relegates the whole question of life-work balance to feminists. It also
ignores the many tensions, struggles and potentialities which actually exist within the
practice of TQM. Rather than engaging with a practice in all its contradictory glory, CMS
seems to be content with rejecting it out of hand.
By the way, TQM is not now widely used as a term as far as I come across quality discussions. I think Hugh Wilmott and Making Quality Critical put an absolute stop on any flow of new information for the last ten years or so.

But there appears to be a readiness to look again as part of "critcal performativity"

 This means that instead of establishing distance towards a managerial practice, we seek to work as closely with it as
possible. By doing this, it becomes possible to locate point of potential within that
practice that might be drawn out or create libratory potentials. Instead of simply rejecting
a managerial practice like total quality or talent management out of hand, this approach
would seek to find the potentialities in it.

I will be looking out for any new info about this. Reports from #cms7 may well appear later.

there is also a section discussing how research results may be presented. This could include a mix of language and metaphor.

 Some of the metaphors which are routinely used in CMS include
organizations as psychic prisons, as discursive traps, as monuments of human stupidity
and irrationality, as instruments for domination, as patriarchy writ small. These ‘dark’
metaphors are certainly useful in drawing the reader’s eye towards the dismal corners of
organizational life as well as giving voice to the pain and anguish that many in
organizations suffer. But doing so often leads to the confirmation of established views of
what an organization might be. This leaves little space for the productive experimentation
with new metaphors which open up spaces of hope and exploration. 

This seems to me to be especially a problem with elearning and social media. My impression is that critique has supported a negative view of web technology that has been welcomed by conservative elements within education. there has been little revision of positions on dialogue as technology has improved and been widely adopted. I realise this is a bit sweeping but i could try to expand on this if it seems out of proportion to someone.

Being a bit more specific, i think there was a California hotel meeting about social media. Since then the website for such is not going very far. It needs some care and attention then probably a redesign. there is very little buzz, tweets. blogsearch results around #cms7.

If there is support for more engagement through "critical performativity" there could be a different language to reach managers and a wider public. Online this takes other forms as well.


Rambling a bit from speculation as to what the current issues may be. Still reading the papers so more later. Any link suggestions welcome.