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The Work of ManagersTowards a Practice Theory of Management$
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Stefan Tengblad

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199639724

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199639724.001.0001

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Overcoming the rationalistic fallacy in management research

Overcoming the rationalistic fallacy in management research

(p.3) 1 Overcoming the rationalistic fallacy in management research
The Work of Managers

Stefan Tengblad

Oxford University Press

The editor presents the book’s origins, purpose, and structure. Taking inspiration from the work of the Swedish researcher, Sune Carlson, the chapter presents a practice perspective on management that avoids the scientists’ yardstick prescriptions of how managerial work should be competently performed. In the practice perspective, managers are viewed as competent practitioners who cope daily with intense demands, complexity, and uncertainty. Reasons are offered to explain the popularity of the theoretical–analytical perspective that predominates in contemporary management research. The researchers whose work is presented in the book’s following seventeen chapters take this perspective as they examine the realities of information and work overload, complexity, uncertainty, performance pressure, surprises, unintended consequences, and irreconcilable expectations, to say nothing of the emotional demands of work. The chapter calls for a strong research tradition based on these realities of managerial work.

Keywords:   Sune Carlson, management research, information overload, work overload, complexity, performance pressure, emotional demands

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