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Management Studies in Crisis
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Table of Contents

Introduction: the crisis in management studies; 1. Flawed from the get go: the early misadventures of management research; 2. How audit damages research and academic freedom; 3. 'When the levee breaks': academic life on the brink; 4. The corruption of academic integrity; 5. Paradise lost but not yet regained: retractions and management studies; 6. The triumph of nonsense in management studies; 7. Flawed theorising, dodgy statistics and (in) authentic leadership theory; 8. The promises, problems and paradoxes of evidence based management; 9. Reclaiming meaningful research in management studies; 10. Putting zest and purpose back into academic life.

Promotional Information

Management research is criticised for poor research practices and not addressing important problems. Tourish proposes fundamental changes to rescue it from crisis.

About the Author

Dennis Tourish is Professor of Leadership and Organization Studies at the University of Sussex. He is editor of the journal Leadership, and widely regarded as one of the leading figures in the emerging area of 'Critical Leadership Studies'. His most recent authored book was The Dark Side of Transformational Leadership: A Critical Perspective (2013).

Reviews

'Recent studies have revealed good reasons to view social and management studies very skeptically. Many researchers use dishonest practices in pursuit of promotions and salaries, and false reports are corrupting research and teaching. Recognition of this sorry situation has created a crisis of legitimacy for management scholars and social scientists more generally. Universities must change; training of faculty must change. Dennis Tourish points to key forces that foster corruption, and he proposes practical changes that can make research and teaching more honest and more useful to humanity. Every management scholar should read his analysis and heed his advice.' William Starbuck, University of Oregon and New York University
'An excoriating assessment of the present state of management research, and a rallying call to do better. Tourish provides an uncomfortable challenge to management researchers to start doing 'work that matters', and to the business school establishment to reform before it is too late.' Christopher Grey, Royal Holloway, University of London
'Many have sought to puncture the balloon of management studies in today's universities, but the balloon has proven remarkably resilient. If anyone is going to succeed, it is Dennis Tourish. His devastating book is not another jeremiad on the failures of management scholarship but a systematic critique of a field built on corrupt practices and vacuous theorizing since its beginnings and of the cynicism, disenchantment and burnout of those who inhabit it. This book should be mandatory reading for anyone thinking of entering this field as student, academic, administrator or policy-maker. It should also serve as a rallying point for those of us who seek to reform it.' Yiannis Gabriel, University of Bath
'Professor Tourish offers a sobering message of how we succeeded in making our research inaccessible to practitioners and ourselves irrelevant to the world. He shows that our problems go beyond the two crises of rigor and relevance. We treat faculty as commodity to satisfy metrics for school or university rankings and faculty has bought into the system by chasing publications as the only goal in their professional life, losing their souls along the way. This insular and self-referent system stymies creativity and destroys humanity in the ivory tower. Is this the best we can do with our talents and with society's resources and trust? Professor Tourish does not stop with complaining. He suggests solutions and provides examples of how we can stop this self-destructive trend. As Professor Tourish repeatedly appeals, 'We can do better'. To echo with optimism, I add, 'We can do it'.' Anne S. Tsui, Co-founder of Responsible Research in Business and Management
'This is a well argued, bold, important and very interesting text. It is also entertaining. The book should be read by anyone who feels either comfortable or bothered about contemporary management theory and research and who is open to provocation and insight.' Mats Alvesson, Lund University, Sweden
'Many have sought to puncture the balloon of management studies in today's universities, but the balloon has proven remarkably resilient. If anyone is going to succeed, it is Dennis Tourish. This devastating book is not another jeremiad on the failure of management scholarship but a systematic critique of a field built on corrupt practices and vacuous theorizing since its very beginnings; and of the cynicism, disenchantment and burnout of those who inhabit it.' Yiannis Gabriel, Organization
'This book will be of interest to many academic researchers, for its contribution to established debates on not only rigour and relevance, but also the accessibility of research for managers and wider society. It's also relevant for applied researchers, consultants or managers who make use of academic research insights. Many working in the world of people management practice want to engage with research (I would say, make evidence-based decisions). But getting hold of, digesting and making use of scientific management research can be a tough endeavour. In exploring these challenges, this book gives some useful pointers to what can be done.' Jonny Gifford, In a Nutshell Newsletter
'Recent studies have revealed good reasons to view social and management studies very skeptically. Many researchers use dishonest practices in pursuit of promotions and salaries, and false reports are corrupting research and teaching. Recognition of this sorry situation has created a crisis of legitimacy for management scholars and social scientists more generally. Universities must change; training of faculty must change. Dennis Tourish points to key forces that foster corruption, and he proposes practical changes that can make research and teaching more honest and more useful to humanity. Every management scholar should read his analysis and heed his advice.' William Starbuck, University of Oregon and New York University
'An excoriating assessment of the present state of management research, and a rallying call to do better. Tourish provides an uncomfortable challenge to management researchers to start doing 'work that matters', and to the business school establishment to reform before it is too late.' Christopher Grey, Royal Holloway, University of London
'Many have sought to puncture the balloon of management studies in today's universities, but the balloon has proven remarkably resilient. If anyone is going to succeed, it is Dennis Tourish. His devastating book is not another jeremiad on the failures of management scholarship but a systematic critique of a field built on corrupt practices and vacuous theorizing since its beginnings and of the cynicism, disenchantment and burnout of those who inhabit it. This book should be mandatory reading for anyone thinking of entering this field as student, academic, administrator or policy-maker. It should also serve as a rallying point for those of us who seek to reform it.' Yiannis Gabriel, University of Bath
'Professor Tourish offers a sobering message of how we succeeded in making our research inaccessible to practitioners and ourselves irrelevant to the world. He shows that our problems go beyond the two crises of rigor and relevance. We treat faculty as commodity to satisfy metrics for school or university rankings and faculty has bought into the system by chasing publications as the only goal in their professional life, losing their souls along the way. This insular and self-referent system stymies creativity and destroys humanity in the ivory tower. Is this the best we can do with our talents and with society's resources and trust? Professor Tourish does not stop with complaining. He suggests solutions and provides examples of how we can stop this self-destructive trend. As Professor Tourish repeatedly appeals, 'We can do better'. To echo with optimism, I add, 'We can do it'.' Anne S. Tsui, Co-founder of Responsible Research in Business and Management
'This is a well argued, bold, important and very interesting text. It is also entertaining. The book should be read by anyone who feels either comfortable or bothered about contemporary management theory and research and who is open to provocation and insight.' Mats Alvesson, Lund University, Sweden
'Many have sought to puncture the balloon of management studies in today's universities, but the balloon has proven remarkably resilient. If anyone is going to succeed, it is Dennis Tourish. This devastating book is not another jeremiad on the failure of management scholarship but a systematic critique of a field built on corrupt practices and vacuous theorizing since its very beginnings; and of the cynicism, disenchantment and burnout of those who inhabit it.' Yiannis Gabriel, Organization
'This book will be of interest to many academic researchers, for its contribution to established debates on not only rigour and relevance, but also the accessibility of research for managers and wider society. It's also relevant for applied researchers, consultants or managers who make use of academic research insights. Many working in the world of people management practice want to engage with research (I would say, make evidence-based decisions). But getting hold of, digesting and making use of scientific management research can be a tough endeavour. In exploring these challenges, this book gives some useful pointers to what can be done.' Jonny Gifford, In a Nutshell Newsletter

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