Confronting Managerialism

How the Business Elite and Their Schools Threw Our Lives Out of Balance

Robert R. Locke and J.-C. Spender


Confronting Managerialism offers a scathing critique of the influence of neoclassical economics and modern finance on business school teaching and management practice. Locke and Spender show that responsible management has given way to ‘managerialism’, whereby an elite caste of businessmen disconnected from any ethical considerations call the shots.

The book traces the loss of managers’ earlier social concerns, amply encouraged by management education’s transformation since the 1960's, especially in the US. It also questions not only the social ethics of the US management caste but its management efficacy compared to systems of management that are highly employee participatory and dependent, such as in Germany and Japan.

A unique, topical and controversial look at a subject that impacts us all.

Author Bio

Robert R. Locke is Emeritus Professor at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He is the author of numerous books and articles, including The End of the Practical Man (2006), The Collapse of the American Management Mystique (1996), and The Entrepreneurial Shift (2004).

J.-C. Spender is the author of Industry Recipes (1989) and, with Burton-Jones, the editor of The Oxford Handbook of Human Capital (2011).

Table of Contents

  • Foreword 
  • Introduction: Managerialism and Business School Education (1920-1970) 
  • 1. The Failure of Management Science and the US Business School Model 
  • 2. US Managerialsm and Business Schools Fail to Find Their Moral Compass 
  • 3. Managerialism and the Decline of the US Automobile Industry 
  • 4. Managerialism, Business Schools, and our Financial Crisis 
  • Conclusion: Back to Balance 
  • References


'Everyone should read this book to see what is so wrong with finance capitalism U.S.-style.' 
Michael Hudson, author of Super Imperialism

'Timely... Incisive... and right on target.'
Louis Galambos, The Institute for Applied Economics, Global Health, and the Study of Business Enterprise, Johns Hopkins University

'In this fascinating book Locke and Spender show us what is wrong with managerialism.'
Martin Parker, Warwick University Business School, and author of Against Management

'Written by acknowledged experts in the area, this is an important book for those who work in business schools; but an even more important book for those who don't and will be informed, astounded or perhaps appalled to discover what goes on within them.'
Christopher Grey, Professor of Organizational Behaviour, Warwick Business School, University of Warwick 

'This is a truly important book . . . definitely a must read.'
H. Thomas Johnson, Professor of Sustainability Management, Portland State University


Publication Date: 8 September 2011
240 pages

Product ISBNs: Paperback: 9781780320717
Hardback: 9781780320724
eBook ePub: 9781780320748
eBook PDF: 9781780320731
eBook Kindle: 9781780322902

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