Academic journal article Journal of Australian Political Economy

Thomas Klikauer: Managerialism: A Critique of an Ideology

Academic journal article Journal of Australian Political Economy

Thomas Klikauer: Managerialism: A Critique of an Ideology

Article excerpt

Thomas Klikauer

Managerialism: a Critique of an Ideology

Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, 2013, 353 pp., 107.80.

Managing how tasks are undertaken is always necessary in some form. Attractive possibilities include self-management or collective and cooperative management. Capitalist, militarist and bureaucratic structures, however, almost invariably have a more hierachial form. Thomas Klikauer argues that this centralisation of power and top-down managerialism has developed particularly pronounced authoritarian and anti-democratic characteristics in the modern era. Managerialism has shifted from its practical capitalist origins in factory administration to its current form as an ideology and a package of authoritarian practices. It shapes our working lives--whether in public or private sectors--and many aspects of our private lives.

The impact of managerialism, both as ideology and practice, is evident in universities, for example. Klikauer also contends that management schools in the universities are crucial in establishing the key features of modern managerialist ideology: he suggests that they systematically operate to inculcate values that are antithetical to Socrates' famous dictum than 'an unexamined life is not worth living for a human being' (quoted on p. …

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