Treating ideology seriously in international business and management research: a textual analysis of the global self-management fad

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Colleges, School and Institutes


This chapter advocates greater engagement of IB scholarship with the business ideologies that surround firms, workplaces and professionals in a globalized, knowledge-driven economy. We provide a critical analysis of one example of business ideology by exploring the turn to ‘self-management’ in recent management literature, as reflected in the development of ‘Holacracy’ (Robertson, 2015) and ‘Evolutionary-Teal Organizations’ (Laloux, 2014, 2015). These ideas are widely portrayed as innovative and newly competitive strategies, and are projected globally as international best practice radiating from the ‘sender’ nations (North America and Europe) to ‘receiver’ nations (the rest of the world) (see Boussebaa et al 2012; Cooke and Alcadipani, 2015). We argue that the nature and international diffusion of business ideology are crucial, but somewhat under-explored, elements of IB. Hypermediated ‘faddish’ products such as Holacracy and Teal represent part of an international management body of knowledge – globalized in nature - which sits above and beyond the internal mechanisms of multinational firms involved in the diffusion of practice. We conclude by outlining a speculative agenda for the kind of research approach we propose, one that is sensitive to the ideological agendas and textual practices deployed in the promotion of ‘cutting edge’ concepts of global business.


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationA research agenda for international business and management
EditorsÖdül Bozkurt, Mike Geppert
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jun 2021

Publication series

NameElgar Research Agendas
PublisherEdward Elgar