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Management education and the theatre of the absurd

Starkey, Ken; Tempest, Sue; Cinque, S.


Professor of Management and Organisational Learning

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Professor of Strategic Management and Learning

S. Cinque


In this paper we adopt a humanities perspective to reflect on the nature of business schools and management education (Vargish, 1991; March & Weil, 2005; Adler, 2006; McAuley & Sims, 2009). Business schools have been criticised for becoming the “hired hands” of business (Khurana, 2007) to the detriment of a higher purpose, institutions that champion a utilitarian morality, the shallowness and indeed the dangers of which are revealed in various business scandals and especially the financial crisis of 2007-8, the effects of which cast a long shadow over today’s economic and social landscape. This has led to the criticism that business schools have lost part of their essential “philosophic connection” to issues of humanity and human identities (Augier & March, 2011: 233-4). We argue that one way to encourage philosophical reconnection is to expand management education’s engagement with the humanities (Czarniawska & Gagliardi, 2006).


Starkey, K., Tempest, S., & Cinque, S. (2019). Management education and the theatre of the absurd. Management Learning, 50(5), 591-606.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 16, 2019
Online Publication Date Oct 22, 2019
Publication Date Nov 1, 2019
Deposit Date Sep 4, 2019
Publicly Available Date Sep 6, 2019
Journal Management Learning
Print ISSN 1350-5076
Electronic ISSN 1461-7307
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 50
Issue 5
Pages 591-606
Keywords Management of Technology and Innovation; Strategy and Management; General Decision Sciences
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Additional Information Copyright © 2019 by SAGE Publications


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