• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Contemporary thinking about management is still frequently presented as a set of universal, eternal verities. In this fascinating book Roy Jacques presents a discursive history of industrial work relationships in the United States which powerfully demonstrates that they are not. A central concern is to show that current `common-sense' in management forms an historically and culturally specific way of thinking about work and society which is often inappropriate for `managing for the twenty-first century'. The author is equally interested in revealing the cultural basis for American management ideas, currently exported round the world as an objective science, disconnected from its cultural and historical roots.

The Struggle of Memory against Forgetting: Managerialist Thought as a Conceptual Prison
The struggle of memory against forgetting: Managerialist thought as a conceptual prison

‘The struggle of humanity against power,’ says a character in a Milan Kundera novel, ‘is the struggle of memory against forgetting.’1 History has not been treated as a major reference discipline for understanding present-day management problems. Where historical perspective is not ignored completely, it is most often used to explain the supposedly steady ‘evolution’ of a nearly perfected body of thought. If not, it is likely to be used to show the constancy through time of currently accepted belief or the repetitive cyclically of the order of things.2 This chapter will reflect a different perspective. It begins from the premise that knowledge ...

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