In Critical Condition? Challenges and possibilities for critical leadership and management scholarship in current times

This event has now passed.

Date: 22 October 2018
Venue: Rroom 6X109, Bristol Business School, Frenchay Campus, UWE Bristol
Venue Location:
Time: 14:00 - 17:00


This symposium brings together early, mid and late career leadership and management scholars to reflect on the nature, purpose and challenges of being 'critical' in the contemporary Business School environment.

At a time when the productivity, performance and impact of academics and their work is under ever-greater scrutiny, opportunities for scholarship that challenges and critiques dominant assumptions and power relations is often dismissed as irrelevant, impractical or unscientific. In a 'post-truth' world, however, where policies, practices and behaviours are shaped as much by ideology as evidence, the ability to think critically and reflexively is a fundamental priority if we are not perpetuating the mistakes and injustices of past and present.

In this symposium we suggest that for universities to maintain their contribution to intellectual debate they must positively champion critical research into management and leadership and identify effective channels for scholars to highlight and share the value of their work.

The event will include a keynote address by Professor Martin Parker, University of Bristol, and a number of research-informed presentations, followed by a provocation and invitation to debate by Professor Sandra Jones, RMIT, Australia. The session will be introduced and chaired by Professor Richard Bolden, UWE Bristol.

Keynote address

On Radicalism and the B-School - Professor Martin Parker, University of Bristol

Business schools are institutions which, a decade after the financial crash, continue to act as loudspeakers for neoliberal capitalism with all its injustices and planetary consequences. Business schools are 'cash cows' for the contemporary university and they sell ideas about management and leadership as if they were eternal truths. If we see universities as institutions with responsibilities to the societies they inhabit, then we must challenge the common notion that 'the market' should be the primary determinant of the education they provide. Instead, I propose a radical alternative in the form of a 'School for Organising'. This institution would develop and teach on different forms of organising, instead of reproducing the dominant corporate model, enabling individuals to discover alternative responses to the issues of inequality and sustainability faced by all of us today.

Stimulus presentations

1. Academic Early Careers in Critical Condition: Challenges and possibilities of doing something about it - Dr Alexandra Bristow, Open University; Dr Sarah Robinson, University of Glasgow; Dr Olivier Ratle, UWE Bristol

2. Critical Pedagogy and Leadership Studies: Exploring the limits of and alternatives to 'teaching' Critical Leadership Studies - Dr Neil Sutherland and Gareth Edwards, UWE Bristol

3. Critical (and creative) thinking pedagogy: Attempts at weaving together entrepreneurship, leadership and the 'being enterprising' agenda - Dr Pam Seanor and Dr Doris Schedlitzki, UWE Bristol

There is no charge to attend but please reserve a place by registering online.

Please arrive at at 13:45 for a 14:00 start.

Cost: Free- registration mandatory
Contact: Richard Bolden

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