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Whither Marx in the Business School?

By Dirk Armin Beverungen

Abstract

In this thesis I read critical studies of management reading Marx. I explore the inheritance of Marx in the business school through a symptomatic reading of labour process theory and critical management studies. In Part I I explore the conditions of this thesis. The university-based business school is introduced as the context in which this thesis is written, and as an institution concerned with management as object of theory and its relation to capital. I outline a symptomatic reading which explores how particular theories or problematics focus on particular objects, such as management or capital. In Part II I read works in labour process theory to demonstrate how Marx is inherited in these discourses and how labour process theory seeks to constitute a study of management within a Marxist problematic, before abandoning the Marxist problematic and establishing a new problematic of management. In Part III I read works in critical management studies to demonstrate the ways in which Marx and a problematic of management is established. Here a variety of both theoretical and political positions emerge, from a Marxism to anti-Marxism in theory, and a for and against management in politics. The symptomatic reading demonstrates that overall a particular reading of Marx leads critical studies of management away from a clear position within a Marxist problematic, to moments in which Marx is no longer read and in which capital emerges as a symptom that is not accounted for theoretically. This is followed by a return to a reading of Marx in the business school, which seeks to account once again for capital. This thesis contributes to the work of inheritance in the business school, and the conclusion points to current moments in this work, which leave the question "whither Marx in the business school?" contested

Publisher: University of Leicester
Year: 2010
OAI identifier: oai:lra.le.ac.uk:2381/8202
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