Academic Organization Theory WULBA


Introducing withdrawn university library book appreciations (WULBA).

The good people at have agreed to host an archive of withdrawn university library book appreciations (WULBA) for the foreseeable future. These are mainly management and organization studies (MOS) books which once resided on the shelves of a university library, but for unknown reasons were withdrawn.  

I share an example of one of these books from the LSE Library. As you see in the featured image, they tend to be rubber stamped as withdrawn, ironically this example was Imagining Tomorrow, but things change and this book was no longer required in the LSE Library.

In feeding my book habit, I often buy second hand books which in the case of monographs can be a tenth of the price of new editions, with even ebooks equally prohibitively priced. These books are often hardbacks and they are often in good condition, retailers tend to label them ‘like new’, ‘very good’.  Sometimes these books tell a sad story of never being issued since they were purchased.  The librarians have a challenge maintaining space for all the books students and academics require and so I guess every so often a little  ‘weeding’ is required.

What interests me is that an academic must have recommended a library purchase with the expectation that the purchased book would be read.  I regard this as a form of intelligent endorsement, if the book didn’t capture the imagination of library users, it doesn’t mean that it is a bad book.  

I am intrigued by the enduring influence of orthodoxy. The MOS books that I tend to purchase tend to challenge orthodox views of management and organization. So what I witness are little rages against the dying of the light. In this spirit I have decided to celebrate these books through publicizing short appreciations of such books I have acquired over the years.  I will publicize these and hopefully other appreciations may follow.

Postscript (February 2023)

In the good old days books used to be rubber stamped with the date when you took them out of the library. As I reflect back, this was one of my creative ideas, that I never fully realized. I used to be troubled by university library shelves laden with copies of Kotter’s Leading Change. That book would have been top of my list for being withdrawn.

The titles of the three books which I read and reviewed and featured in WULBA tell a story. I do hope this post might inspire somebody else, in the meantime check out these WULBA reviews.

Fashion and Utopia in Management Thinking

The Social Construction of Management

Pandemonium: Towards a Retro Organization Theory

WULBA Archivist

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