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Narrative Change Management in American Studies

A Pragmatic Reading


Silke Schmidt

Management means getting things done. How can research on the theory and practice of management help American Studies move forward? This book offers a pragmatic approach to bridging the gap between the humanities and business studies. Based on a critical reading of the disciplinary cultures of American Studies and Business School education, the book analyses narratives of U.S. management theorists and practitioners, including Peter F. Drucker, Mary Cunningham, and John P. Kotter. The stories help readers acquire effective management and leadership tools for application-oriented humanities in the digital age.

"With her outsider perspective on the discourse in management research and application, Schmidt proposes interesting questions that can turn into fruitful research issues in Business Studies and its interdisciplinary exchange with American Studies. I hope this book falls on open ears." – Evelyn Korn

"Schmidt did pioneering work by taking the risk of entering novel terrain to show new paths for the further development of American Studies." – Carmen Birkle

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. I am writing both. Why? The simple reason for me writing a preface was that it gave me the freedom to tell the reader the personal story behind the intellectual story that he/she was going to discover. Usually, this story answers the reason “why” behind the “what” and the “how” which academic content is all about. In my case, this “why” was my transdisciplinary interest in business-related research topics, including management and leadership. This, you have read about in the preface.

The motivation for writing an epilogue came by chance. And it came at the right time while I was preparing the book for publication. This was when the preface was already more than two years old. In academic publication cycles, this might not sound like much. To me, this is a long time because, as should be the case for anyone working and writing in the academy, my thoughts keep changing and expanding at rapid speed. This also means that retrospectively, many things that one thought in the past might not be as relevant anymore, but still relevant enough to be shared. So, I decided to keep the original preface because it shows the reader where I was when I started the book.

Unfortunately, not much has changed in the academic landscape since then. Business Studies still has not been discovered by the humanities as a field of research and collaboration. This was the major motivation behind the book – to raise awareness of this matter...

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