Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: A critical history of the origins of critical systems thinking
Author: Valero-Silva, Néstor
ISNI:       0000 0001 3541 9504
Awarding Body: University of Hull
Current Institution: University of Hull
Date of Award: 1999
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
This thesis provides a critical history of the origins of Critical Systems Thinking (CST). Its theoretical framework is based upon a detailed analysis of the work of the French philosopher Michel Foucault. It is aimed at demystifying CST's claims of pursuing some "neutral" human interests, while arguing that CST's origins are grounded on managerial interests and practices. After providing a comprehensive review of Foucault's ideas, it examines the main approaches found in the history of the management sciences. It shows how each new management approach made its contribution by producing a new type of worker according to changing historical circumstances; a worker that is increasingly supposed to freely and democratically pursue his/her own interests, which "coincidentally" follow those of the management. It also discusses how different strands of systems thinking, such as OR and soft systems, were produced to support these managerial paradigms. Finally, it examines the role that current managerial techniques, as exemplified by TQM, have played in the production of CST in the 1980s. In this context, it argues that CST's role in modern organisations is to contribute to the refinement of current managerial techniques. CST's discourse is portrayed, thus, as contributing to the masking of the micro-techniques of normalisation present in contemporary organisations.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Business