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Postmodernism and Critical Management Research

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Question #1

How has the concept of postmodernism, as proposed by Kilduff and Mehra (1997), Alvesson (1995) and Chia (1995), affected your view of the knowledge creation process?

Postmodernism has affected my view of knowledge creation since it has encouraged me to stop adhering to crude mechanical method of studying human behaviour. According to Kidluff and Mehra (1997), postmodernists try to encourage diversity why conducting research and this has helped in encouraging creativity while doing research. Due to this, knowledge creation process should encourage diversity for creativity to be achieved. Alvesson (1995) argued that postmodernism has changed the study of organization theory. He claimed that it brought the importance of de-differentiation while creating knowledge for solving organization problems. If this concept were adopted, then organizations would stop adopting bureaucracy and consider concentrating on decidability and non-rationality. According to Chia (1995), postmodernism brought a new style of thinking since it abandoned the use of social entities and problematic while defining research methodologies. This encouraged me to refrain from relying on past theories and data while conducting research. Postmodernists also argue that reality about theories change continuously in flux and transformation and thus they cannot be explained in a static sense. This encourages constant rethinking while generating knowledge and thus the researcher should not adopt old methods while doing research.

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Question #2

How has the concept of critical management studies, as proposed by Fournier and Grey (2000) and Alvesson and Deetz (1996), shaped your view of the knowledge creation process?

Fountier and Grey argued that critical management studies contains three distinguishing characteristics. These characteristics include non-performative intent, denaturalization and reflexivity. Non-performative intent means that critical management studies should not be concerned with generating knowledge that only increases the performance of an organization. Instead, the managers should consider generating knowledge that will help in improving the way workers live with each other in an organization. Denaturalization attempts to expose things that are inevitable and natural. It aims at revising and shifting traditions and theorization of management practice and knowledge. Due to this, the process of knowledge creation should be dynamic. In reflexivity, critical management studies aim at ensuring reflexivity in philosophical and methodological perspectives. The process of knowledge creation should be flexible to ensure optimum data is collected. Alvesson and Deetz (1996) argued that critical management studies should concentrate in generating of management rather than knowledge for creation. Due to this, researchers should try generating knowledge that will help the general public and try involving the public while generating this knowledge.

Question #3

Apply one of the four theoretical tendencies identified by Calàs and Smircich (1999) to your own workplace-based problem and show how this could enhance your understanding of the issues involved.

Calas and Smircich (1999) wrote an article on the theory of past postmodernism. One of the four theoretical tendencies that they suggested was feminist poststructuralist theorizing. Feminist theories mainly concentrate on the political aspects of their claims. Researchers have discovered that these theories mainly concentrate on why or how exclusion or oppression of human rights happens. They also aim at developing solution to the problems of oppression. Researchers have discovered that forming gender relations by strengthening men and women relationship brings equality in the society. Using this concept, I will try to create equality and understanding between both men and female members of my investment team. This will help in ensuring that positive relationship, cohesion is maintained within our group, and thus each member would be willing to share knowledge in order to create gender equality and teamwork. This will help in reducing knowledge hoarding and all the members of our team will be motivated to share innovative ideas for the growth of our investment team to be achieved.

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