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Reading the TED talk genre: Contradictions and pedagogical pleasures in spreading ideas about management

Bell, Emma; Panayiotou, Alexia and Sayers, Janet (2019). Reading the TED talk genre: Contradictions and pedagogical pleasures in spreading ideas about management. Academy of Management Learning and Education (Early Access).

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Technology, Entertainment, Design (TED) talks have become a powerful way of communicating management ideas to global audiences. This raises questions about how management educators should engage with TED talks. This paper uses literary theory to understand TED talks as a distinct genre in order to explore how students ‘read’ TED talks and the pleasures that they gain from this. Based on an analysis of TED talks, books about TED talks, focus groups and interviews with management students, we identify three contradictions in the genre: (i) freedom to learn (ii) authenticity of speakers and texts, and (iii) emotional connection as a source of pleasure. The kind of reading pleasure that TED talks encourage is characterized by plaisir, an easygoing enjoyment which does not challenge readers’ assumptions and supports surface learning. This is contrasted with jouissance, a pleasure that produces disturbance and leaves the subject altered. We suggest that management educators can work to enable students to become critical, reflexive readers who understand the importance of these new genres in producing meaning. By exposing the contradictory nature of reading TED talks, we contribute to understanding the storied nature of scientific knowledge and the role of power in communicating ideas about management.

Item Type: Journal Item
ISSN: 1944-9585
Keywords: On-line learning; Pedagogy; Politics of knowledge; Management education; Use of film in teaching; Undergraduate business education; Critical management studies
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Business and Law (FBL) > Business > Department for People and Organisations
Faculty of Business and Law (FBL) > Business
Faculty of Business and Law (FBL)
Item ID: 61983
Depositing User: Emma Bell
Date Deposited: 19 Jun 2019 10:54
Last Modified: 12 Nov 2019 05:36
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