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ISSN: 2009-2830

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Super-Management: An Examination of Organizational Images and Management Themes in Comic Books

IRM Vol 1: 2012

Author(s): Jeremy C. Short (University of Oklahoma, USA) and G. Tyge Payne (Texas Tech University, USA)

Comic books provide outlets of popular culture imagery with a unique visual narrative to depict elements representative of organizations, their management, and their place in society. The cultural nuances portrayed in comics regarding management and organizations reflect, and potentially shape, attitudes, values, and behaviors of societal participants. To explore these issues, we conduct a content analysis of comic characters from the DC Comics and Marvel Comics Universe to identify and discuss themes and images in comics over a 70-year time period. We present our findings in relation to the five largest divisions of the Academy of Management (i.e., Business Policy and Strategy, Human Resources, International Management, Organizational Behavior, and Organization and Management Theory). Suggestions for applying comics and other visual narratives into future management teaching and research with the goal of providing a more relevant Academy are discussed.

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