History of the ICMS Board: A Timeline

The International Critical Management Studies Board is the expression of the communities/groups of CMS academics participating in the international critical management conference held every two years since 1999. The conference was born out of the critical ferment felt in many academic management circles in the 80s and 90s (e.g. San Diego symposium at the American Academy of Management, the Labour Process Conference, EGOS) and the need for new arenas where to discuss/confront issues of inequality, oppression, systematic subordination in management and organization theories and practices.

The International Critical Management Conference has usually about 500 participants from over 30 countries. It is organized in streams where management & organizational functions and issues are addressed through critical lenses inspired by different theoretical approaches. The aim is to tackle power relations, inequalities and the role managing and organizing play in perpetuating repression and domination and/or preventing the development of a sustainable and fairer world.

Critical work by those associated with CMS has also been dedicated to active engagement with the struggles for justice and progressive social change in educational and scholarly practices but also lately by working with NGOs, CSOs and social movements and though such means as interventions in the media, new research avenues/streams, and blogs.

The conference has been organized since its inception by an informal network of scholars who had close ties with UMIST (the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology, UK – lately The University of Manchester – Business School) where the first two conferences were held. The funds of the 2005 conference held in Cambridge, UK were utilized for the creation of and continuing maintenance of the website criticalmangement.org. The site was firstly supported by the labour of Kate Kenny and Todd Bridgman and lately by Ozan Nadir Alakavuklar and Ekaterina Chertkovskaya.

After years of running the conference informal discussions brought to the fore a number of impellent needs: the need to democratize the processes for the organization of the CMS conference; to have more transparent structures of the CMS activities; to broaden the articulations with global critical work. At the CMS 2009, held at the University of Warwick, Alessia Contu and Andre Spicer presented a proposal at the last plenary, which was voted unanimously. The proposal was to create an organizing committee/board responsible for the conference and for fostering relations and activities with organizing universities and other groups. The board was to be composed of elected representatives from different world regions, a PhD representative and a number of “old timers”, who would be ex officio members as they had organized the conference and could act as ‘organizational memory’.

In 2012 an online election was held and the board was voted in. The administration of the online election (with calls for candidates through the major lists/sites and subsequent online voting) was funded with the funds of CMS 2009.

Click here to meet the Board of International CMS.