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Philosophy of Management

Volume 12
Philosophy of Management as Moving Beyond Critical Axiologies

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1. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 12 > Issue: 3
Paul Griseri Ontology and the Good in Organisations
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2. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 12 > Issue: 3
David Ardagh A Critique of Some Anglo-American Models of Collective Moral Agency in Business
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The paper completes a trilogy of papers, under the title: “A Quasi-Personal Alternative to Some Anglo-American Pluralist Models of Organisations: Towards an Analysis of Corporate Self-Governance for Virtuous Organisations”. The first two papers of the three are published in Philosophy of Management, Volumes 10,3 and 11,2. This last paper argues that three dominant Anglo-American organisational theories which see themselves as “business ethics-friendly,” are less so than they seem. It will be argued they present obstacles to collective corporate moral agency. They are: 1) the dominant “soft pluralist” organisational theory of Bolman and Deal, published in 1984 and more recently expressed in Reframing Organisations: Artistry, Choice, and Leadership, 5th edition, 2013, which is based on “reframing,” and which we will call reframing theory (RT); 2) the Business Ethics deployment of Stakeholder Management Theory (SMT) associated with R. Edward Freeman, and several colleagues, dominant in the same period (1984-); and 3) to a much lesser degree, an adapted version of SMT in the IntegratedSocial Contract Theory (ISCT) of Donaldson and Dunfee (Ties That Bind, Harvard Business School Press (1999)).This paper suggests a return, from RT, SMT, and ISCT, to an older “participative-structuralist” Neo-Aristotelian virtue-ethics based account, based on an analogy between “natural” persons, and organisations as “artificial” persons, with natural persons seen as “flat” architectonically related sets of capacity in complementary relation, and organisations as even flatter architectonic hierarchies of groups of incumbents in roles. This quasi-personal model preserves the possibility of corporate moral agency and some hierarchical and lateral order between leadership groups and other functional roles in the ethical governance of the whole corporation, as a collective moral agent. The quasi-person model would make possible assigning degrees of responsibility and a more coherent interface of Ethics, Organisational Ethics, and Management Theory; the reconfiguring of the place of business in society; an alternate ethico-political basis for Corporate Social Responsibility; and a rethinking of the design of the business corporate form, within the practice and institutions of business, but embedded in a state as representing the community.
3. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 12 > Issue: 3
Amanda Loumansky, David Lewis A Levinasian Approach to Whistleblowing
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This article draws on the work of the philosopher Emmanuel Levinas to offer a fresh insight into the law’s response to the issue of whistleblowing. In order to achieve this we briefly outline the main themes of his philosophy of otherness which insists that the very essence of ethics springs from the subjection (a succumbing) of the Subject to the ethical call of the Other. We provide a short description of the UK law on whistleblowing before undertaking a Levinasian reading of a particular case in order to consider the dilemma that confronts the judge in framing an ethical response to the whistleblower as Other.
4. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 12 > Issue: 3
Martin Mullins, Philip O’Regan, Stephen Kinsella, Kathleen Regan Accounting for Intangibles, the Knowledge Economy and the Issue of Memory; Some insights from Philosophy of Bergson
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Value is increasingly found in human subjects and in particular within their minds. This places the individual at the centre of economic life and therefore the inner life of individual merits more attention. A key element of humanity is memory and it drives such phenomena as trust and goodwill, essential in modern business. Bergson’s philosophy examines the interaction of mind and matter and in this reflects the dualism of the knowledge economy. His work on memoryoffers important insights for those seeking to account for and manage intangible assets. Our paper examines, through the prism of Bergsonian philosophy, the implications for accounting practice of the increased importance of intangible assets in modern corporations.
5. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 12 > Issue: 3
Mark Amadeus Notturno, Rod Thomas A Dialogue on Banking and the Open Society
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This paper notes that a dialogue is both a form of writing and a means by which thought and the process of thinking may be explored. It relates the latter notion to the Socratic method of inquiry and two of its philosophical legatees: Sir Karl Popper’s philosophy of critical rationalism and his idea of ‘Open Society’. It uses the former notion to present a dialogue that examines the so-called banking “credit crunch” from a perspective that is informed by critical rationalism. The dialogue explores the philosophical, methodological and practical difficulties in formulating and testing an explanation of an event of this kind. The paper notes that these difficulties are relevant to the investigation that is currently being conducted by the United Kingdom’s Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards.
critical review
6. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 12 > Issue: 3
Naud van de Ven Heil, D. (2011) Ontological Fundamentals for Ethical Management: Heidegger and the Corporate World
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7. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 12 > Issue: 3
Thomas Klikauer Ethics for Managers – Avoiding Philosophy & Managerial Reality by Joseph Gilbert
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8. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 12 > Issue: 2
David W. Lutz, Isaac Hailemariam Desta African Philosophy of Management
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9. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 12 > Issue: 2
Gido Mapunda African Philosophy of Management in the Context of African Traditional Cultures and Organisational Culture: The Case of Kenya and Tanzania
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Despite the fact that management programmes provided by African universities are based on Western ontology, there exists a philosophy of management that is uniquely African. It is necessary to discover, understand and nurture this philosophy in order to explain why African managers behave in the ways they do. The African philosophy of management is premised on African traditional cultures, which have a strong influence on the organisational culture of African organisations. For example, despite many Africans undertaking university degrees based on Western ontology at home and overseas, they inadvertently revert to African management philosophy in their (African) organisations. Consequently, the African philosophy of management significantly affects how African managers manage African organisations. The location of the author’s research for this paper is the neighbouring East African nations of Kenya and Tanzania. Although the limitation of the research to these two countries means that the research findings cannot be generalised to other African economies, it may nevertheless point to possible patterns of African management philosophy to be found in other economies of sub-Saharan Africa. Arguably, African management philosophy plays a key role at different levels in African organisations, with both positive and negative consequences. This paper explores such a role and its consequences. It also examines its implications for socio-economic development and social advancement for African peoples. It is widely accepted, for example, that African institutionsand organisations are very corrupt. Africans do not have a monopoly on corruption, but a question of interest for this paper is whether the African philosophy of management contributes to corruption in the two countries on which this paper focuses, and what inferences may be drawn for other economies in sub-Saharan Africa. This paper includes both conceptual and field research in its exploration of the African philosophy of management. It is premised on the view that, while the Western world may not recognise or even think about an African philosophy of management, such a philosophy does exist. The effective management of African private and public organisations is not possible, if the African philosophy of management is not understood and accommodated in the management of African organisations. An understanding is critical for socio-economic development and social advancement, especially for Africans in Kenya and Tanzania, and also for the rest of sub-Saharan Africa.
10. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 12 > Issue: 2
Colin Chasi The Beautyful
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The study of corporate governance is importantly concerned with individuals and institutions and how individuals and institutions relate with/in society in such a manner that the good obtains. This paper begins with an analysis of Ayi Kwei Armah’s The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born (1968) in order to introduce the post-colonial African condition of corruption and abject suffering as one that begs recognition of the place of corporate governance in advancing the good life. The question raised is of where the things are that would prepare the way to the good or ‘beautyful’ life. This question is raised in the understanding that situations inform how individuals behave. Two case studies of business organisations acting against HIV and AIDS are then looked at to suggest how business has a key role in turning individuals and thereby societies of Africa towards the good. The observation is that work being done to combat the harmful effects of HIV and AIDS is instructive of ways in which corruption and abject suffering may be arrested in post-colonial Africa by advancing a culture of recognition and granting of human dignity that is reflective of and supportive of good corporate governance practices and principles.
11. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 12 > Issue: 2
Henk J. van Rinsum, Jan Boessenkool Decolonising African Management: Okot p’Bitek and the Paradoxes of African Management
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In this article we argue that ideas about management are led by cognitive frameworks rooted in cultural, including intellectual, traditions. African management is part of ambiguous mental concepts. African management results from a quest for an essentialist authenticity in the framework of decolonisation. Through analysing the life and work of the Ugandan African nationalist, poet and anthropologist Okot p’Bitek (1931–1982), we argue that the concept of double consciousness as defined by W. E. B. Du Bois (1868–1963) can be used as a strategy to analyse the ambiguous nature of management in Africa. Generally speaking, double or, even better, multiple consciousness could serve as an instrument of any manager (and scholar), both in Africa and outside Africa, avoiding the danger of essentialism. If truth be told, Okot p’Bitek was the true pioneer of conceptual decolonization in African philosophy. -- Kwasi WireduIt is a peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one’s self through the eyes of others, of measuring one’s soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity. One ever feels his two-ness, – an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings…. This, then, is the end of his striving: to be a co-worker in the kingdom of culture… -- W. E. B. Du Bois
12. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 12 > Issue: 2
Shana Cohen Rediscovering the Social Imperative in Managing Public and Non-Profit Services in Morocco
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This paper analyses social practices within public health services in Morocco, suggesting that current management orientations toward models like New Public Management (NPM) obscure the social relations that often make under-resourced healthcare effective. Health policy in Morocco has increasingly adopted principles that reflect neoliberal influence in international development. Citing the work of Moroccan philosopher Mohammed Abed al-Jabri and American philosopher John Searle, the paper calls for policymakers to recognise the capacity of institutions to frame social relations. Likewise, policy administration and management should be guided by reflection on the social role of institutions and related social practices at the level of service delivery.
13. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 12 > Issue: 2
Joseph Amon Kimeme, Shiv K. Tripathi The Influence of Sponsors’ Management Philosophy on Project Management in Tanzania: An Analysis of Critical Issues in Internationally Funded Projects
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Projects may exist in many forms, depending on the purpose and organisational context. Irrespective of the type and nature, however, the effective management of any project requires a high degree of commitment by the project members to the accomplishment of project objectives. The high degree of reliance on external international funding makes project management in non-profit organisations of developing societies a challenging task. The marriage of two entirely different sets of values and philosophical orientations creates an invisible tensile force, impacting the different stages of the project life cycle. The present paper, which is exploratory in nature, broadly aims to study the impact of sponsors’ values on the different project-management activities, including both the planning and the implementation stages of the project. The research involves conceptualisation of the different significant issues in effective project management. The analysis of the identified issues is first made on the basis of the experience of the selected stakeholders in Tanzanian non-profit organisations. The analysis is further linked to the selected context-specific contemporary philosophical thoughts affecting the socio-cultural values in the region. The analysis shows that the variation in the values of project owners and stakeholders is one of the major challenges in the effective implementation of a project in the given context. The study is novel in its approach and raises some fundamental issues arising due to the different philosophical orientations and value-sets of the different partner-project organisations. It is expected that the study will stimulate further academic debate on the broader theme of ‘values, philosophy and project management’. The study is also likely to contribute to knowledge development in the subject area of management in general and practical management philosophy in particular.
14. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 12 > Issue: 2
Carol Dalglish Management Issues in Developing a Sustainable Model for Supporting Entrepreneurs in Africa
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Small and micro-enterprises play a significant part in economic growth and poverty alleviation in developing African countries. There are, however, a range of management issues that arise when looking at the support required for local enterprise development, the role and management style of the local support agency and the role and style of the, usually Western, funding body. This paper explores the management philosophy required to establish and resource micro-enterprise development and compares the local management processes with those expected by a Western funding body. The purpose of this paper is to identify the strategies used by a mixed urban community association in Beira, Mozambique and the adaptations that are required by the Western sponsor to reflect local philosophical, cultural, traditional and environmental considerations. The paper goes on to propose a philosophical ‘pro-forma’ to improve the relationship between local community organisations and foreign donors to support enterprise development.
15. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 12 > Issue: 1
Stephen Sheard, Mark Dibben Editorial: Philosophy of Management as Moving Beyond Critical Axiologies?
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16. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 12 > Issue: 1
Stratos Ramoglou Philosophy as Undogmatic Procedure: Is Perfect Knowledge Good Enough?
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In the effort to defend and demonstrate the (prime) role of philosophy as an activity aiming at uncovering and questioning dogmas underlying our cognitive practices, the present article places under critical scrutiny the epistemic axiology informing organisation/management studies. That is, the plausibility of the largely unquestioned presumption that it is only the quest for truth that matters. This critical endeavour is effected by juxtaposing the conditions under which this would be the case, and in the prism of present conditions concludes that this is not unquestionably the case. Throughout the line of analysis developed, important implications for the present role of philosophical discourses are drawn.
17. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 12 > Issue: 1
Stephen Sheard Realism’s Castle of Crossed Destinies: Evaluating Bhaskar’s Transcendental Realism Relative to its Philosophical Significance in Contemporary Organisational Studies
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In this article I look at CR (critical realism)1 as chiefly exhibited in the seminal theory of Ron Bhaskar – in particular, his early theory of transcendental realism. I examine its mechanisms of thought and pick out some difficulties with the theorisation relative to its deployment by OS theorists and relative to recent attempts to deploy CR as a theory which can bridge the fork in the constructivist and realist areas known as a form of ‘divide’ in the discipline (fault line). I also try and attempt a more in-depth philosophical analysis of the ideas of CR to gain an insight into its nature and what it can offer both as an apodictic system of philosophical insights with aspects of a belief system – but also relative to its realist-related claims towards veridical knowledge of kinds. I make comparisons with other theorists and philosophers including Kant, Derrida, Hume and Aristotle. I close with insights into how a closer scrutiny of CR thought as it is entering OS is necessary to understand the evolving nature of the inter-relationship of ontology and the ontic, in relation to the fault line described.
18. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 12 > Issue: 1
Kenneth Jorgensen, Anete Strand, David Boje Towards a Postcolonial-storytelling Theory of Management and Organisation
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A contribution to management philosophy is made here by the development of a postcolonial-storytelling theory, created by drawing together parallel developments in quantum physics and tribal peoples’ storytelling. We argue that these developments resituate the hegemonic relationship of discursive representationalism over material storytelling practices. Implications are two-fold. First, this dissolves inherent dualisms presumed in the concept of interactionamong entities like actor–structure, subject–object and discursive–nondiscursive in favour of a profound ontology of entanglement and intra-action of materiality and discourse, where storytelling is a domain of this discourse. Second, postcolonial phenomena are understood as results of entangled genealogies in which plural voices are present. This implies an understanding and awareness of the intra-action of imperial narratives and material storytelling and antenarrative resistance, and thus the resistance and contestation to imperial and colonising monologic narratives of spatial and temporal alignment.
book reviews
19. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 12 > Issue: 1
Paul Griseri Critical Discussion: Philosophy and Organization, edited by Campbell Jones and René Ten Bos
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20. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 12 > Issue: 1
Jeffrey Nicholas Book Review: Organization, Society, and Politics: An Aristotelian Perspective by Kevin Morrell
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