Critical Perspectives on Management

Module code: MN7097

Module co-ordinator: Professor Martin Parker

Module Outline

This module is an introduction to critical, ethical and political thinking, specifically as it applies to management, business, markets and organizing. Today, concerns over the conduct, but more importantly the basic methods and goals of business and management, have manifested themselves in a widespread and broad-based anti-capitalist movement, as well as ‘Critical Management Studies’ within the business school. Critical concerns about capitalism however, go back at least two hundred years.

This module seeks to provide an introduction to this form of thought, with a view to a deeper understanding of the practices of business and management. The goal of the module is not to provide tools for ’better management’, but to try to understand the various ways in which ‘management’, as a social practice, might be understood. This will be done by sketching an historical and theoretical framework to understand industrialism, modernity and capitalism (with particular reference to at least Weber, Marx and Durkheim); contemporary management practice, and then moving on to look at ideas about the future of work, as well as alternatives to corporate capitalism. At the end of this module students should be able to demonstrate their grasp of the historical and political context of business and management practice; as well as showing an increased ability to articulate different viewpoints on the issues raised in the module.


  • 20 one-hour lectures
  • Two one-hour seminars


  • Exam, two hours (100%)