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A Very Short, Fairly Interesting and Reasonably Cheap Book about Management Theory

A Very Short, Fairly Interesting and Reasonably Cheap Book about Management Theory

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November 2020 | 160 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
Conceived by Chris Grey, the Very Short, Fairly Interesting and Reasonably Cheap series offers an antidote to conventional textbooks. Each book takes a core area of the curriculum and turns it on its head by providing a critical and sophisticated overview of the key issues and debates in an informal, conversational and often humorous way.

In Management Theory, Todd Bridgman and Stephen Cummings uncover enduring myths about famous theorists, from Adam Smith and Max Weber to Frederick Taylor, Mary Parker Follett, Abraham Maslow and Kurt Lewin. By exploring how these myths became cast as the foundations of management, this accessible and engaging book generates new ways of thinking about what management could be today and in the future.

Students can head to YouTube to watch a selection of specially-curated, bitesize videos - 20 Insights on Management Theory - which explain key topics relating to management theory. Lecturers can visit to access a range of PowerPoint slides that can be used in their teaching. 
Chapter 1 Why another book on management theory?
Chapter 2 The Classical School: Looking again at the foundations of management theory
Chapter 3 Management theory discovers the human worker
Chapter 4 Fitting the worker to the organization: Personality, groups, teams and culture
Chapter 5 Heroic leaders and the glorification of change
Chapter 6 The rise of ethics and corporate social responsibility
Chapter 7 Conclusion: The past, present and future of management theory

Relentlessly probing the field's foundations, the authors fully overturn the conventional wisdom of management. Their gift is a vast space for imagining new futures. For the first time since the field began, limitless possibility is a realistic framework for moving forward.

Ellen O’Connor
Dominican University of California

Todd Bridgman and Stephen Cummings make studying management theory very different to what you might expect. Instead of going through the same tired old clichés, they breathe new life into the subject by taking an excitingly critical approach. What’s more, they write with a light touch that makes reading their book straightforward but at the same time both refreshing and invigorating.

Mark Learmonth
Durham University Business School, UK

If our goal for students is memorizing indubitable facts and seeing the world from a managerialist perspective, then any of the existing long, boring, and expensive texts on management will do just fine. But if educating our students about management involves critical thinking, questioning basic assumptions, and looking at things from different perspectives, then Bridgman and Cummings’ “short, interesting, and cheap” book is mandatory reading.

Thomas G. Cummings
Marshall School of Business, University of Southern California

Bridgman and Cummings do it again – produce a user-friendly, entertaining and profoundly informative book on management. The book is tailor-made for faculty and students alike who want to understand the relationship between historical context, management theory and the application of management practice. Yet, do we need “another book on management?” Yes, if it informs through critique of standard works on management and yes if its written by Todd Bridgman and Steve Cummings.

Albert J. Mills
Professor of Management, Saint Mary’s University (Canada) and Professor of Innovation Management, University of Eastern Finland

I recommend this textbook for teachers and students alike and will be using it as an aid to learning to thinking differently on my own module. I was engaged by the authors’ conversational style and stimulated to reflect on my assumptions, which is the hallmark of critical reflection. This small book is replete with an unusually large number of incisive and important ideas, which is a testament to authors’ knowledge, identity work and sociological imagination.

Guy Huber
Oxford Brookes University Business School
Academy of Management Learning and Education

I've always been a fan of the 'A very short, fairly interesting and reasonably cheap book' series since they provide a great introduction to a topic with a more critical twist. This book is no exception. It is currently part of the module list, but I am thinking about upgrading it to an essential text next year.

Dr Wojciech Kwiatkowski
School of Business and Creative Industries, University of the West of Scotland
February 22, 2022

Critical and taylored content for undergrads.

Dr Daniel S Lacerda
Management, Montpellier Business School
February 2, 2023