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Green Templeton College | Oxford

In Defence of Management

Speaker Professor Barbara Czarniawska, Professor of Management Studies, Gothenburg Research Institute, School of Business, Economics & Law at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

It is estimated that management will continue to increase in relation to other occupations. This fact, far from producing joy or gratefulness, is met with an increasing hostility towards the occupation. This hostility is not produced by our colleagues in critical management studies - like every art, management needs its critics - but by its often thoughtless enthusiasts.

After having reviewed some most blatant examples from what Nigel Thrift called 'cultural circuit', comprising business schools, management consultants, management gurus, and business media, Professor Czarniawska suggested a way of building an old-new alliance, necessary in order to retrieve the positive meaning of management.

The lecture took place on Thursday 3 March 2011 in the E P Abraham Lecture Theatre at Green Templeton College.

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Download the lecture poster.

Professor Barbara Czarniawska

Professor Czarniawska was born on 2 December 1948 in Bialystok, Poland, where her family moved from Wilno after the World War II.She has been a Swedish citizen since 26 August 1988.

She has an MA in Social and Industrial Psychology, Warsaw University, 1970; Economic Sciences, Warsaw School of Economics, 1976; Doctor honoris causa at Stockholm School of Economics, 2005; Copenhagen Business School, 2006; Helsinki School of Economics, 2006.

She is a Member of the Swedish Royal Academy of Sciences, the Swedish Royal Engineering Academy, and the Royal Society of Art and Sciences in Gothenburg. Prizes include the Lily and Sven Thuréus Technical-Economic Award for internationally renowned research in organization theory, 2000; and the Wihuri International Prize "in recognition of creative work that has specially furthered and developed the cultural and economic progress of mankind" in 2003.

She is at present Professor of Management Studies at Gothenburg Research Institute, School of Business, Economics and Law, at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden; a Titular Professor at the European Institute for Advanced Studies in Management, Brussels; and a Visiting Professor University of Rome I "La Sapienza", Italy.

Her research applies a constructivist perspective on organizing, with the focus on action nets. Her methodological interests concern fieldwork techniques and the narrative approach in social science studies.

Publications: in Polish, English, Swedish and Italian. Recent English positions: Shadowing, and Other Techniques for Doing Fieldwork in Modern Societies (2007), A Theory of Organizing (2008) and Organizing in the Face of Risk and Threat (editor, 2009)