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Research has legitimised ideologies that favour cream of society

The benefits of the elite are rhetorically generalised to be benefits of all.

Sami Itani, MSc (Econ.), will defend his doctoral dissertation at the Aalto University School of Business. He shows in his empirical study how the top-level research on international corporate management has created, maintained and scientifically legitimised ideologies that favour the socio-economic elite in society.

‘Although researchers emphasise their objectivity and the objectivity of science, they systematically – and often unaware of doing this – utilise in their research five strategies that favour the elite in society and maintain the existing power relations. These strategies are the rhetorical generalisation of elite’s sectional interests, the denial of conflicts and highlighting harmony in organisations, the naturalization of social roles in organisations, the epistemologically one-sided theories used in research, and the normative idealisation of an unjust social system,’ says Itani.

According to Itani, the ideological content of research on corporate management lives and changes in cycles of about 8–12 years. Only at the beginning of the 1970s has research openly challenged the power structures of organisations and society. This was due to e.g. the large student demonstrations, the second wave of feminism and a freer intellectual atmosphere at the time.

The results of the doctoral dissertation provide important information and create critical understanding of the societal role of science particularly at a time when the state restricts with its actions the autonomy of universities in choosing their research subjects.

Public examination of a doctoral dissertation

Sami Itani, MSc (Econ.), will defend his doctoral dissertation on the subject ‘A Critical Theory approach to human resource management: Mapping out the ideological evolution of HRM in the era of multinational corporations’ at the Aalto University School of Business on Friday, 14 October at 14.00. Professor Hugh Willmott (City University London) will act as the opponent and Professor Rebecca Piekkari (Aalto University School of Business) as the custos.

Contact information for the doctoral candidate:
Sami Itani
tel. +358 40 772 3287
[email protected]

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