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.

Actor–Network Theory (ANT)

Actor–network theory (ANT)
Steven D.Brown

Definition: ANT is an approach to the study of mediated relationships between people and things. Its central proposition is that there is nothing outside of what it terms ‘heterogeneous’ or ‘hybrid’ networks of human and non-human materials.


According to ANT theorists, the distinctions that we routinely make between subjects and objects, humans and non-humans, and ultimately society and nature, are effects which are produced as networks trace relations within themselves. This levelling of a priori dualisms is sometimes referred to as ‘generalized symmetry’ (Callon, 1986). For instance, the distinction between the human and the technical side of an organisation is not a fundamental ontological given since human interactions are mediated by techniques, and relations between technical components are shaped and ...

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