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Scientific and Critical Management Theories - Article Example

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The slaves were simply organic tools fed just like cows or horses in order to create more tools or goods. Through coercive compulsion, subjugation is attained; through cultural conditioning, subjugation is maintained. These few examples show that while the Homo Sapiens create and command tools, they also possess the uncanny instinct to exchange and thereby evaluate their own kind as tools.
That notion of human beings considered as tools and valued more for his or her productivity than anything else is the compelling force behind Critical Management Studies (CMS). Its is hinged on the overarching framework of Critical Studies, which seeks to dismantle hegemonic structures in society by first stripping them of their seemingly-benign coverings. Critical legal studies (CLS), for instance, a branch of Critical Studies, does away with the all-too-convenient givens of a legal system - that there is but one set of "correct" rules and that legal decisions are but logical outcomes of tested principles that are empirically-replicable (Altman, 1986). It aspires to expose the ideological content of the law obscured by layers upon layers of social conditioning by demonstrating how the large areas of legal indeterminacy provide fertile ground for the cooptation of the legal system to reinforce existing power arrangements.
In like manner, Critical Management Studies attempts to unmask and expose the ideological agenda behind traditional management structures, obscured and sterilized by such terms such as "scientific" and "objective". Such school of thought in the words of Grey and Willmott is nothing more than "a recycled version of the thinking of elite groups institutionalized as received wisdom." (2005)
The crux of Scientific Management Theory (SMT) is that the interests of labor and capital are one and the same, and that any antagonism between the two could only result in detriment for production. To quote Frederick W. Taylor (1911), "No one can be found who will deny that in the case of any single individual the greatest prosperity can exist only when that individual has reached his highest state of efficiency; that is, when he is turning out his largest daily output."
This paper will analyze these two divergent schools of thought - Critical Management Theory and Scientific Management Theory - in terms of how it affects the hegemonic structures of organizations and society with an end in view of determining which school of thought can provide the better lens by which society at large can be viewed, analyzed and, it is hoped, reformed.
Ontology and Epistemology of Scientific Management Theory
"Scientific Management Theory" was coined in a social milieu wherein the benchmark of success of a business organization was the size of its assembly line. Work was ...Show more


In one tribe in Southeast Asia, a man can get a wife in exchange of tools and other goods. The female's clan demands a certain number and amount of spears, baskets, and pigs. The male's clan evaluates the ability of the wife-to-be in terms of tending the pigs and the plot, and in making baskets and sorts of implements…
Author : gerdman
Scientific and Critical Management Theories
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