Ideal as an introduction and as a quick reference, Key Concepts in Critical Management Studies explores the essential concepts used within the field today. Specially edited and written by a range of international experts, key ideas are succinctly explained and illustrated beyond a simple definition. Further reading suggestions and cross-referencing provide the reader with means to develop their knowledge further.

With over 50 entries, from Actor Network Theory to Utopianism, readers have instant access and explanation of the most influential concepts in CMS literature. Clear and engaging, this will provide strong support for all courses involving critical management and is a perfect resource for anyone with an interest in this field.

Critical Realism

Critical Realism

Critical realism

Definition: Critical realism is a philosophical position which combines a realist ontology with an interpretivist epistemology.


Ontology is what we believe exists in the world that we inhabit. Epistemology is our theory of knowledge of that world. Critical realists believe that there is a real world and that epistemologically it is possible to know it, but only with difficulty and in part. A philosophical position is basically a set of beliefs about the world. In practice we all take such positions since we have to act in our everyday lives according to those beliefs although, as non-philosophers, our philosophical position may be somewhat inconsistent and inchoate.

Philosophers spend a great deal of their time thinking and writing about beliefs and particular combinations or systems ...

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