It has been fascinating reading through this thread. It seems that both Tatli's commentary and Hugh's inquiry have had about the same effect as a Rorschach test; exposing the angst and insecurities of a whole group of people.
As someone who has moved from a position somewhere on the inside to now occupying a position somewhere on the periphery, let me offer my two-cents --
First, there seems to be two strands or questions here. The first is whether CMS as a 'community of practice' (that idea is so overused, I use it with caution) is exclusionary; the second, is whether CMS as embedded in the (American) AoM is exclusionary?
As to the first question, is CMS as a CoP exclusionary? Well, let's see, this CoP is embedded in a Western and bourgeois institution known as the university. Entry into this institution requires access to resources (both cultural and economic capital [see, Bourdieu]) and the ability and will to move through its multitude of validating exercises (exams, degrees, publications...). In relative terms, CMS is probably better than some other CoP, in being welcoming to diversity, at least as a group of individuals with particular ideological commitments, the fact of the matter is that institutional practices certainly lead to exclusionary outcomes (as an analogue, see the idea of structural racism). More subtle are the practices of business school academia itself. In the US (at least), when a minority does pursue and earn a terminal degree, it is, in the vast majority of cases, in Education (either the Ed.D or the PhD). As more and more schools chase AACSB and have added the "business school doctorate only" clause to their hiring practice (either implicitly or explicitly [just read the job postings]), this just adds exclusion upon exclusion.
As to the second question, is CMS as embedded in the AoM exclusionary? Let me count the ways.... There is the obvious 'barrier to entry' -- you cannot play unless you pay; in this case dues to the AoM (or, the equivalent in non-member registration fees to the annual meeting). Not only are you excluded from the meeting by this barrier, you are excluded from the "official" CMS Division "members only" listserv (I am happy that this discussion appeared on this list and not that one). [See also the point above about business school hiring practices.]
As a CoP, and particularly as a CoP embedded in the AoM, let's be honest, we ain't no Paulo Freire....
Associate Professor of Anthropology
On Sep 3, 2011, at 10:04 AM, Hugh Willmott wrote:
In a paper that is forthcoming in British Journal of Management, Ahu Tatli raises concerns about the exclusivity and limited reflexivity within the CMS community. She writes (and I apologize in advance for picking out quotes without the contextual wrapper) that the CMS community is
- `closed and homogeneous demographically and paradigmatically'
- (has a) `near absence of minorities in the rank and file' with `underrepresentation of women, racial and ethnic minorities, non-western scholars'
- (has) `mechanisms that exclude minorities and keep the white elite firmly in their position of power and privilege'
- `has been institutionalized as a representative of postmodern and poststructuralist approaches to organizational research...(and is) `a provincial and parochial clan of scholars with strongly held theoretical, ontological and epistemological convictions that exclude different perspectives on organizational and social realities'
As this article appears in a highly prestigious, double blind refereed journal, these are comments that, I believe, merit reflection and response.
Perhaps this process could begin here by offering evidence that would substantiate (or otherwise) the above.
What other aspects of CMS activity are exclusionary/ inclusionary?
Research Professor in Organization Studies
Cardiff Business School
Cardiff CF10 3EU