Making Archives: Shaping History
International Workshop sponsored by IDPN

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ESRC Seminar Series: Historicising the theory and practice of organizational analysis

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Seminar 4: Ethnography and Phenomenological Approaches

17 February 2016, Alliance Manchester Business School, Oxford Road, Manchester

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The AMBS Critical Management Studies Group Presents: New Models for Higher Education

Guest Speaker: Mike Neary, Professor of Sociology, University of Lincoln

Wednesday 18 November 2015, 12:00pm – 4.00 pm, Manchester Business School East, Room F20


The provision of a ‘higher education’ informed by critical social science, the humanities and liberal arts is now in crisis, one manifestation of which is the increasing difficulty experienced by scholars in retaining control over their syllabi and teaching. A complex and over-determined set of reasons explain this crisis but one important contributing factor seems to be that students now pay up front for the degree, a situation brought about in part by the rise to power of ‘business interests’ in universities and higher education. It is argued that in alliance with new managerial ‘expertise’ this reconstitutes students as consumers who adopt a narrow and instrumental view of their education and thereby become ill-equipped to face the challenges of living and working in contemporary society.

The business school is arguably at the forefront of many of these changes and in response to an increasing discourse of ‘catastrophe’ and ‘crisis’ circulating in the popular and specialist press the critical management studies group has declared an ‘emergency meeting’ in which to debate these issues. Professor Mike Neary will address the meeting during which he will talk about critical education and his role as co-founder of the free co-operative centre for the social sciences in Lincoln. The meeting will take the form of an open debate in which we will try to explore the possibilities for reform, revision, supplement or even replacement of the dominant model of Higher Education provision in the UK. In addition to establishing the precise intellectual problems at stake in this crisis, the workshop will explore how one might go about developing alternatives. We also seek to pose a number of critical questions including: Who are currently at work establishing this alternatives? How does one resource’ these developments? What are the logistical and practical difficulties involved in establishing a co-operative university?

This is a free event and open to all who are interested in getting involved. Places are however limited. To register your attendance please email

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