Intro_5_b - Introduction to Management Lecture H10 12th...

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Introduction to Management Lecture H10: 12 th February 2008 Management speak, consultants and gurus Professor Steve Woolgar – Managerial discourse – Management fashion, consultancy and gurus – How to explain gurus? – Humour as social ordering Discourse • Common sense meaning: discourse = language • Technical meaning (Foucault): activities, arrangements, conventions (including language) and beliefs which act as a resource and a guide for action • Eg Foucault on discipline and punishment: discipline is a more powerful form of social control than “naked power” • Cn Max Weber: action and behaviour in organisations stems from a form of explicit authority (eg ostensive rules, “naked power”) • Foucault: action and behaviour stem from the internalisation of values through discourse • Eg Insurance as governance Managerial discourse • Discourse explains the historical transformation of the individual into a “calculable unit” (Taylorism, rise of industrial psychology, Tavistock) • Managerial discourse = the discourse specific to managers and managerial situations • Less preferred perspective: managerial language is evidence of managers’ attitudes and points of view • More preferred perspective: managerial discourse is a rich set of activities and behaviours which provide identity and discipline Management fashion • Job enrichment • Quality circles • Total quality management • Business process reengineering (BPR) • Systems paradigm • Activity based costing • Matrix management • Theory Z • Zero based budgetting • Activity Based Costing (ABC) • Knowledge management • Organisational learning • Corporate culture • Learning organisation • Lean production • Excellence • T groups • Delayering • Management by walking about
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• A constant stream of apparently highly attractive suggestions for remodelling businesses • Ideas rise and fall in popularity • Life cycle of ideas is typically a bell shaped curve – Rapid waxing and waning of ideas – Managers soon forget and forgive - Managers are insatiably keen on the next wave of fashion when they have hardly got over the last Purveyors of management fashion earn excessive amounts of money The growth of management consultancy • Success of business schools was the basis for predictions about the demise of management advice industry • In fact management consulting expanded massively • Advice presupposes deficiency of knowledge • Deficiency is constructed as part of consultancy advice (Bloomfield and Vurdubakis) – Eg Technology companies offer “solutions” not just
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This note was uploaded on 04/12/2010 for the course ECON DEAM taught by Professor Vines during the Spring '10 term at Oxford University.

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Intro_5_b - Introduction to Management Lecture H10 12th...

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