Humility and the challenge to decolonize the “critical” in Critical Management Studies

Authored by: Janet L. Borgerson

The Routledge Companion to Critical Management Studies

Print publication date:  September  2015
Online publication date:  August  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415501880
eBook ISBN: 9781315889818
Adobe ISBN: 9781134511235


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In an essay written for Al Jazeera entitled, “Can Non-Europeans Think?,” U.S.-based Iranian scholar Hamid Dabashi explored the possibility that, even as popular lists of important contemporary philosophers continue to include only European and U.S. names, the so-called West is slowly being forced to surrender the parochial view that the resources of Western versions of reason and the interpretative depth of the related vision are enough to make sense of the entire world (Dabashi, 2013). In other words, Dabashi’s discussion exposes a geography of reason. As those who are attempting to “shift” this geography have shown, attributed and apparent distinctions between global hemispheres grant legitimacies to some societies, rather than others, as well as within societies (e.g., Comaroff, 2011; Gordon, 2006; Henry, 2005; Mignolo, 2013). Mapping geographies of reason offers insight into the particularities, potentialities and limitations of – as well as bias against – epistemic and logical forms that emerge from specific locations, eras and groups of people. Franz Fanon’s observation that “when a black man enters the room it is as though reason walks out” provides a devastating example (Gordon, 1995a).

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