Book Review: Roots, Rituals, Rhetorics of Change

In the latest issue of Administrative Science Quarterly, James P. Walsh of the University of Michigan published a book review of “The Roots, Rituals, and Rhetorics of Change: North American Business Schools after the Second World War” by Mie Augier and James G. March:

So why should we care about the changes that took place in business schools fifty and sixty years ago? The answer is that business schools are once again under the microscope for their shortcomings and failings. We cannot hope to move forward with any wisdom or imagination absent an appreciation for the past that set the stage for our present. To state our troubles gently, “the ultimate purposes of management and of business schools as institutions are now up for grabs”….How are we as business academics to appreciate the experience of those who work in and for organizations? Are we to build our insights—and pedagogy and curriculum—around them directly or are we to maintain some distance and appraise managerial work with our theory and scientific method?

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