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Publication - Professor Martin Parker

    Between sociology and the business school

    Critical studies of work, employment and organization in the UK


    Parker, M, 2015, ‘Between sociology and the business school: Critical studies of work, employment and organization in the UK’. Sociological Review, vol 63., pp. 162-180


    This is a paper about what happens when a form of knowledge moves to another part of the university. The author, identifying himself as an 'ex-sociologist', investigates the relationship between the sociology of work, employment and organization and various 'critical' traditions within the business school. I argue that the contemporary divide between sociologies of work and employment, and Critical Management Studies (CMS) within the business school rests in part on developments in UK sociology in the 1960s and 70s. This means that divergent understandings of the role of sociology and its relevant theoretical resources provided the deep structure for the current tension between CMS on the one hand and research on work and employment on the other. The movement of sociologists and industrial relations academics to the business school provided the preconditions for two very different critical traditions. The paper concludes with thoughts on what it means to be an outsider inside an institution, and on the future prospects for Burawoy's 'critical' or 'public' sociologies in UK business schools.

    Full details in the University publications repository