On NGOs and Development Management: What Do Critical Management Studies Have to Offer?

Emanuela Girei, Federica Angeli, Arun Kumar

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter outlines the rise and role of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in global development. It focuses on how critical management studies (CMS) can help us problematize and think about development management. Drawing on CMS, we would advocate for relentless questioning of the scientific character and neutrality attributed to development management. The chapter explores how CMS can contribute to development management approaches, practices, and policies which are more suitable to support NGOs’ engagement with social change, equality and justice. Among others, we focus on three in particular: a sceptical attitude towards abstract universal management principles and approaches; de-naturalisation of development management imperatives, and consideration of how asymmetries of power shape NGOs management fads and fashions. Even as some scholars attribute many of the NGOs’ failings to their lack of managerial capacity/experience, others point to NGOs’ uncritical embracement of technocratic and managerial approaches.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOrganizing for Sustainable Development
Subtitle of host publicationAddressing the Grand Challenges
PublisherTaylor and Francis Ltd.
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9780429512889, 9780429243165
ISBN (Print)9780367197681
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Federica Angeli, Ashley Metz and Jörg Raab.

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