How we learn whiteness: Disciplining and resisting management knowledge

Helena Liu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


In management studies, whiteness is learnt through the discipline’s epistemic norms and conventions, received intellectual history, conceptual canon, driving logics and institutional frameworks. The foundational white epistemology of management produces and secures racial inequality while insisting that race is irrelevant and racism is obsolete in a post-racial imaginary. In this conceptual piece, I explore how scholars of colour and our knowledge experience a phenomenon of seen invisibility. This dialectical condition is reproduced through mechanisms and practices by which our discipline is disciplined within the prevailing racial order. After analysing examples of these normalised mechanisms and practices through the testimonies of scholars of colour who research, review, teach and edit management theorising in the Global North, I discuss how we might unlearn whiteness in our discipline through epistemic resistance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)776-796
Number of pages21
JournalManagement Learning
Issue number5
Early online date9 Dec 2021
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022
Externally publishedYes


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