Costea, Bogdan and Crump, Norman (2003) Pedagogical Objects in Management Education: A Cultural-Historical Critique. In: Critical Management Studies, 2003-07-032003-07-05.
This paper looks at the evolution of the core curriculum in business education. It examines the kinds of ideas which underpin teaching and the ways in which these ideas are woven into a narrative in pedagogical practice. We treat ideas as pedagogical knowledge objects which create the ground for a meaningful relationship between teacher and student. We argue that business education relies on a system of closed pedagogical objects which create and sustain a phantasy world in whose mirror managers see themselves as privileged experts able to understand and cope with the complexity of work organisations and to assume the role of leading social ordering processes. This position reflects business education’s own cultural history and preferences; it is held together by a world-historical narrative which reproduces the neo-liberal agenda of the latter part of the twentieth century. But reliance on ‘closed’ pedagogical objects (or phantasies of mastery) also means that business education has been and is gradually losing the ability to provide an intellectually credible account of social practices in work organisations. Is it possible to think of an alternative? In the final part of the paper, we briefly discuss an alternative perspective: an approach which uses ‘open’ pedagogical objects to design and deliver academic courses in management and organisation studies.
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