Reconstituting relevance: exploring possibilities for management educators' critical engagement with the public
journal contributionposted on 2020-07-30, 00:32 authored by Todd BridgmanTodd Bridgman
This article considers the possibilities of, and threats to, the performance of a critical public role by business school faculty, based on an empirical study of UK research-led business schools. Its reference point is a recent debate about the 'relevance' of management education to management practice-a debate which has become polarized around nodal points of 'critical' and 'engaged' with the implication that engagement with external constituencies requires the suspension of critique and conversely, that critique of received wisdom is of little relevance to stakeholders. The notion of a critical engagement with the public asserts that business schools can serve a valuable democratic function as scrutinizers of organizational activity. This role is largely marginalized in prevailing conceptions of an increasingly commercialized business school, but the empirical study suggests there is some cause for optimism. The demonstration of 'relevance' does not have to involve the pursuit of a narrow commercialization agenda where the business school propagates a strictly managerialist view of the world. Copyright © 2007 Sage Publications.