Critical performativity in practice: the chronicle as a vehicle for achieving social impact

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The concept of critical performativity–efforts to make critical research more relevant for groups outside academia and develop and communicate action-relevant critical insights with some potential effect–has received considerable interest. Much of this has focused on debates about the core concept and principles. This paper argues for the need to “do”–more than talk about–critical performativity and reports an intervention: a chronicle in a major newspaper about anxiety-driven, rule-bound public organizations and follow-up work in the form of a series of lectures to groups signalling responsiveness to the message. Some lessons and reflections are offered. Arguably critical studies can have a beneficial impact on the practices of managers and other employees, but this calls for researchers being more straightforward, deviating from academics’ inclinations of being cautious, mainly addressing colleagues and remote from experiences and concerns of organizational practitioners. Developing and effectively communicating relevant key insights is here crucial.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)355-362
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 20 Mar 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Critical
  • management
  • performativity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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