New Inaugural Lecture Series at Keele - “Cults and Cultures of Management”

Posted on 11 October 2012

Professor Emma Bell, Keele Management School, will give the opening lecture in the University's programme of Inaugural Professorial Lectures for 2012/13, on Tuesday, 23 October, 2012, in the Westminster Theatre on the Keele University campus. The title of the lecture is “Cults and Cultures of Management”.

She says Management’s love affair with culture began in the early 1980s.  However, little more than a decade later, managers and management scholars had fallen out of love with culture and moved on to newer management fashions.

This tendency to continually repackage organizational ideas tells us something about the way in which managerial, and scholarly, careers are constructed.  And yet culture did not go away quietly.  Instead it shifted from what was on the surface (symbols, rituals and practices), to what lay beneath (values and beliefs).

In her lecture she will trace the resurgent interest in religious and spiritual beliefs in organisations and consider what this post-secular turn reveals about cultures of management and the ethical systems that they promote.  Drawing on her research into companies, including Walmart and Apple, she will suggest that the power of organizational culture lies beneath the surface, and while some of these belief systems may be considered disciplinary, belief can also provide an ethical frame for challenging the excesses of modern management.

Keele's programme of Inaugural Lectures are given by newly established professors within the University and aim to give an illuminating account of the speaker's own subject specialism. The lectures, which start at 6 pm in the Westminster Theatre, are chaired by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Nick Foskett. Admission is free; no ticket is required.

For more information or to confirm attendance please  email: