Funny business

October 2, 1998

Christopher Grey's article ("Business of being allies", THES, September 25) must have appalled most business lecturers.

* Students join business courses because this is their chosen career. People do not study fascism to become "better" fascists. Grey's argument is specious.

* The contribution of Grey's "contingent" of young social science staff seems to be limited to producing "damning critiques" of management and "deconstruction" of entrepreneurship. Are there no positive messages from their research?

* His "significant journal publications" provide discussions of postmodernists to the exclusion of business practice. Discussion of Derrida and Bataille instead of business concerns is self-indulgent.

* He argues that these social science staff have made a financially punitive decision not to become business people. From what he says, they would have to be totally hypocritical.

* The owner of my corner shop is hard working, has a concern for community and a strong belief in family. Which of these "capitalist values" does Grey repudiate?

On the evidence of this article, Grey's claim for the intellectual superiority of management academics is demolished as self-regarding and ill-considered.

This is a pity as his opposition to "vocationalism, managerialism and dumbing down" is admirable.

Brian Kemp

Kingswinford, West Midlands

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