News from Jul 01, 2019
James Dorson coedited with Jasper Verlinden a volume titled Fictions of Management: Efficiency and Control in American Literature and Culture (Winter, 2019). The collection of essays addresses the intersection of management theory and cultural practices through the lens of US literature and culture.
From the organization of private businesses and public services to the optimization of everyday life, management is a ubiquitous term today. Denoting efficiency and control, management has become a catchall term for successful living in neoliberal times. The term is so ubiquitous that it often avoids scrutiny outside of business schools and organizational theory. As the essays collected in ‘Fictions of Management’ show, however, management has a history closely bound up with cultural practices. While the meaning of management has been critically negotiated in literature since the industrial revolution, management theory in turn draws on cultural resources for animating technical rationality with engaging stories and corporate visions. Tracing the relationship between management and fiction in the United States, where the mutual influence between the two has been the greatest and shaped management culture globally, the contributors to this volume provide a unique perspective on changing forms of management through the lens of American literature and culture.