Between sociology and the business school: Critical studies of work, employment and organization in the UK

Martin Parker*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This is a paper about what happens when a form of knowledge moves to another part of the university. The author, identifying himself as an 'ex-sociologist', investigates the relationship between the sociology of work, employment and organization and various 'critical' traditions within the business school. I argue that the contemporary divide between sociologies of work and employment, and Critical Management Studies (CMS) within the business school rests in part on developments in UK sociology in the 1960s and 70s. This means that divergent understandings of the role of sociology and its relevant theoretical resources provided the deep structure for the current tension between CMS on the one hand and research on work and employment on the other. The movement of sociologists and industrial relations academics to the business school provided the preconditions for two very different critical traditions. The paper concludes with thoughts on what it means to be an outsider inside an institution, and on the future prospects for Burawoy's 'critical' or 'public' sociologies in UK business schools.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)162-180
Number of pages19
JournalSociological Review
Volume63
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2015

Keywords

  • Burawoy
  • Business school
  • Critique
  • Industrial relations
  • Sociology

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