Conclusion: Management Theory in Crisis

Living reference work entry


The quest for management theory started in earnest at the dawn of the twentieth century. Its goal is to make management a reliable undertaking, leading to predictable results. Disagreement exists about the research framework best suited to this pursuit. However, except for postmodern authors, management researchers assume the existence of stable and causally effective structures underpinning organizational life. Such an existence implies a deterministic picture of human agency. Equivocations, ambiguities, tautologies, and imprecise language obfuscate this implication, hollowing out management theory of its performative quality. A century after its inception, the quest for management theory has failed. Other avenues for management scholarship exist.


Management theory Research paradigm Positivism Postmodernism Determinism 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Gulf University for Science and TechnologyHawallyKuwait
  2. 2.Université LavalQuébecCanada

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