Edited by Oliver Laasch, Roy Suddaby, R. E. Freeman and Dima Jamali
Chapter 45: Critically responsible management: agonistic answers to antagonistic questions
This chapter provides a constructive critique of responsible management. It starts by arguing that responsible management does little but extend managerial power and control over employees in more sophisticated ways. Moreover, in terms of enacting change, we argue that problems of limited agency are often overlooked in responsible management research leading to a naïve optimism in the power of individuals and a dismissal of existing political, organizational and cultural contexts. Subsequently, we suggest, via a discussion of the “third wave” of critical management studies and the idea of agonism, ways in which responsible management research could become more critical and more potent. In doing so, we highlight the need for responsible management research to look more at carefully selected collectives rather than individuals, both in the ways in which researchers try to enact change and engage managers and in the way they conceptualize responsibility in the first place.
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