Critical Management Research in Eastern Europe: Managing the Transition

By Mihaela Kelemen; Monika Kostera | Go to book overview

6
Control: Accounting for the Lost
Innocence
Monika Kostera

Making sense of control

Control is one of the key terms in management; it is the foundation for accounting. With the intensive dissemination of Western management models and ideas after 1989, it is also one of the most commonly used words in management education and consulting. Most of the existing courses and textbooks in Poland can be classified as mainstream messages, where the reflexivity about the sense words carry is minimal, and the consideration of moral and emotional effects that ideas have on the Polish cultural context is not overwhelming. As I became interested in the word ‘control’ the meaning it carries, its emotional side and the context it is embedded in, I decided to collect stories people tell about ‘control’.


The narrative approach in organization studies

Having said this, I owe the reader an explanation of how I see the role of stories within contemporary science and organization studies. JeanFranÉois Lyotard (1979/1984) wrote about narrative knowledge as opposed the logo-scientific knowledge. The former is a pre- and postmodern concept, the later a modern invention. In organization studies, the narrative approach in organization studies is increasingly gaining popularity (for example, Czarniawska, 1997). The interest concerns both the academic text as a genre (Kociatkiewicz and Kostera, 1999) and the themes typically being studied by the management scientists (such as organization (Philips, 1995); institutional identity (Czarniawska, 1997); and gender (Czarniawska and Calás, 1998)).

In ‘Narration or science? Collapsing the division in organization studies’ Barbara Czarniawska-Joerges (1995) explores the links between

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