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Philosophy of Management

Volume 11
A Unique Role for a ‘Philosophy of Management’

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Displaying: 1-20 of 20 documents


1. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 11 > Issue: 3
Mark R. Dibben, Stephen Sheard Reason in Practice: A Unique Role for a ‘Philosophy of Management’
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2. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 11 > Issue: 3
Laurent Ledoux Philosophy: Today’s Manager’s Best Friend?
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The purpose of this paper is to rationalise why and how philosophy can help today’s managers in their daily practices.I will first explain why today’s managers particularly should engage themselves in profound and enduring dialogue with philosophers. To this end, I will present the close links between the major managerial activities and the major philosophical domains.In the second section, I will sketch out how such a dialogue can be facilitated. To this end, I will present some of the methods and conditions used to ensure the success of the practice of philosophy in organisations.
3. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 11 > Issue: 3
Scott MacMillan, Anthony R. Yue, Albert J. Mills Both How and Why: Considering Existentialism as a Philosophy of Work and Management
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In this paper, we examine the intersection of existentialism and management, in particular to illustrate how existential thought offers three key insights to the pragmatic world of work and applied act of management: (1) Existentialism places a primacy upon the individual and the existential self that is continually being formed within the workplace. (2) Existentialism allows for a coherent examination of individual and organisational-level decision making and ethics as an integral part of the philosophy. (3) Existentialism is inherently ‘applied’ and focused on ‘process’ in that it allows for an understanding of the meaning of work.
4. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 11 > Issue: 3
G. Loek J. Schönbeck Is Pathology Dysfunctional?
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An enterprising odyssey might be one way to investigate whether a unique role is afforded to ‘a’ philosophy of management. The question is, first, which philosophy is at stake and what finery such a philosophy might bear. Second, three cardinal questions arise: (1) “What can we say about it?“; (2) “How do we know we can or cannot say something about it?“; and (3) “What is its relation to rationality?” Third, by an old scepticist tradition one may choose tantalising innersubjects to punctuate these questions. In this case, the inner subject will run: “Is pathology dysfunctional?“ A survey of related problems and possible solutions mingled with suspension follows on from this. Supported by appropriate non-philosophical disciplines, it will serve as a crowbar to reappraise the relation between critical management studies and organisational studies on the one hand and philosophy of management on the other.
5. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 11 > Issue: 3
Steven E. Wallis The Right Tool for the Job: Philosophy’s Evolving Role in Advancing Management Theory
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In this paper, I build on Wittgenstein’s metaphor of a toolbox to introduce the metaphor of ‘tool confusion’ – how differing conceptual constructs may be applied, or misapplied, to one another and the effect that such applications have on the advancement of management theory. Moving beyond metaphor, I investigate a theory of management through two specific philosophical lenses (Popper and Lyotard). This analysis tests both the theory and the philosophies with regard to how each philosophy may be applied as a tool to advance theory towards more effective application. Preliminary conclusions confirm that the application of partial philosophies is not as useful as the application of complete philosophies. Deeper contemplation, however, suggests that there is no upper limit to the completeness of philosophies. Thus, the problem of completeness is inescapable. In place of completeness, I explore the use of perceptual tools that are more specific, foundational and concise. Engaging in a second investigation, I use structures of logic (circular, linear, branching and co-causal) to investigate the subject theory. This investigation suggests at least two important insights relating to the structure of theory and the fuzziness of theory. Combined, these investigations and related conversations suggest rigorous methods for advancing theories and a more normative role for the philosophy of management that will support the accelerated advancement of management theory and practice.
6. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 11 > Issue: 2
Paul Griseri Editorial
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7. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 11 > Issue: 2
David Ardagh Presuppositions of Collective Moral Agency: Analogy, Architectonics, Justice, and Casuistry
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This is the second of three papers with the overall title: “A Quasi-Personal Alternative to Some Anglo-American Pluralist Models of Organisations: Towards an Analysis of Corporate Self-Governance for Virtuous Organisations”.1 In the first paper, entitled: “Organisations as quasi-personal entities: from ‘governing’ of the self to organisational ‘self ’-governance: a Neo-Aristotelian quasi-personal model of organisations”, the artificial corporate analogue of a natural person sketched there, was said to have quasi-directive, quasi-operational and quasi-enabling/resource-provision capacities. Its use of these capacities following joint deliberation in ethically permissible and just joint acts, their effect on end-users and other parties, and conformity with or challenge to State law, arguably settles its moral status as an ethical or unethical organisational agent. This paper identifies and defends the presuppositions of this conception, and applies the results to business.
8. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 11 > Issue: 2
Hugh Bowden The Ethics of Management: a Stoic Perspective
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The purpose of this article is to explore the notion that certain aspects of Stoic thinking can give useful insights into some salient issues in current management theories. The Stoics, as represented in this paper chiefly by Epictetus, concerned themselves with: management of self, management processes and information. The main focus is on ethics – how the individual and the organisation ought to behave. Pierre Hadot, in ‘Philosophy as a Way of Life’ notes ‘a degree of resonance between Stoic prescriptions and recent theories of leadership and governance’. This article attempts to explain the resonance by identifying a convergence between some management theories and certain aspects of Stoic thought. Certain key terms of Stoicism can find direct correlates in modern managerial terminology. It is suggested that the convergence can occur in terms of the topic – the reference point or issue, the reference group of thinkers concerned with the issues and the cultural and social context.
9. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 11 > Issue: 2
Regina Queiroz The Importance of Phronesis as Communal Business Ethics Reasoning Principle
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In this article I maintain the importance of the Aristotelian concept of prudence or phronesis applied to business ethics, distinguishing its meaning from Solomon and Hartman’s approaches to Aristotelian business ethics. Whereas Solomon stresses the value of perception of particulars and Hartman criticizes the incapacity of Aristotelian phronesis to dwell with the interests of others, I advocate that Aristotelian virtue ethics is important because the concept of phronesisdoes three things: (a) stresses the rational calculation and general principles or rules in virtue ethics, in general, and business ethics, in particular; (b) provides a communal-based ethics principle; and c) offers us a clear comprehension about what calculation or reasoning is in ethics.
10. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 11 > Issue: 2
Christine Noel-Lemaitre, Séverine Le Loarne-Lemaire Human Resource Management and Distress at Work: What Managers Could Learn from the Spirituality of Work in Simone Weil’s Philosophy
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Workplace spirituality deals with paradoxes. This concept has been taken on board since the late 1980s, but very few human resource managers have realised that workplace spirituality could make an essential contribution to a better understanding of workplace and corporate reality. Increasing numbers of academic papers are being published on this subject but mere remain many grey areas for researchers. The aim of this paper is to use Simone Weil’s philosophy as a reading grid to get an insight into workplace spirituality as a new paradigm of management. Initial studies attempting to apply Weil’s philosophy to management highlight the necessity for all the actors within the organisation to define their job tasks and contents according to their own way of thinking. Our interpretation of Weil’s philosophy also sheds light on the impossibility of dissociating thinking and acting and reminds us that work is done to nourish both the body and the soul. By concentrating on the spirituality of work, we can establish new links between ethics and human resource management.
11. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 11 > Issue: 2
Miriam Green Can Deconstructing Paradigms Be Used as a Method For Deconstructing Texts?
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Problems surrounding representations of texts have previously been raised and discussed, as has the difficulty, in the light of hermeneutic, critical and post-structuralist writers, of arriving at definitive meanings of texts. This paper is part of ongoing research into the problem of evaluating the representation of original texts in the organisation/management area. The texts in question are Burns and Stalker’s The Management of Innovation 1961, 1966, and to alesser degree Lawrence and Lorsch’s Organization and Environment 1967. The representations are those in three widely used textbooks typical of many, and applications in management accounting research. A way round this apparent impasse may be to see whether there are any ‘objective’ or commonly accepted standards and criteria within a particular system of thought, assuming that the texts in question are all located within the same system. These texts will beexplored in terms of the paradigmatic boundaries they encompass to see whether the same kinds of problems and solutions are presented, and whether they ultimately lie within the same boundaries. Finally, having argued that they are largely located in different paradigms, the underlying question is raised as to whether one paradigm can be an adequate vehicle for the transmission of a text substantially in another.
12. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Martin Kelly, Arnis Vilks Philosophical Lessons from the Global Financial Crisis
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13. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Rod Thomas The ‘Credit Crunch’ from a Critical Rationalist Perspective
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Uses Sir Karl Popper’s philosophy of critical rationalism to examine the discussion of the UK ‘credit crunch’ as presented by the public record of the UK House of Commons Treasury Select Committee’s investigation. Identifies various philosophical doctrines that acted to shape that investigation and the testimony presented before it. Presents those doctrines as prejudicial to the advancement of knowledge, learning and rationality. Concludes that the philosophy of critical rationalism is relevant to the problems of modern society.
14. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Michael Schefczyk The Financial Crisis, the Exemption View and the Problem of the Harmless Torturer
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Richard Posner avers in his A Failure of Capitalism that managers bear no moral responsibility for the financial crisis. This view has numerous supporters in economics and philosophy, and I shall call it the ‘exemption view’. In this paper, I criticise four arguments for the exemption view and propose a superior alternative, the ‘participation view’. The participation view claims that managers can be co-responsible for harm, even if their actions were not necessary or sufficient conditions for its occurrence. The paper spells out three conditions for moral responsibility according to the participation view.
15. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Martin Mullins, Finbarr Murphy CDOs – The Zenith of Monetarisation: Some Ideas from Simmel’s Philosophy of Money
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The financial crisis of 2007–2008 had its origins in the manner by which complex financial instruments allowed qualitative phenomena to become a tradable commodity. This process is part of a profound tendency in modern economic life to convert the qualitative, specific and non-commensurable into quantitative data. Simmel, in his Philosophy of Money, identified this transformative quality as an inherent characteristic of money. This paper argues that Simmel’s work continues to provide important insights. Modern financial instruments, in particular collateralised debt obligations, possess this same transformative power thus showing the enduring relevance of Simmel’s work.
16. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Peter Pelzer The Im-possible – A Different Way of Thinking Risk
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The global financial crisis of 2008 brought the risk involved in the international banking business to everybody’s attention. It made clear that risk, despite the claims of banks, cannot be hedged away. The risk inherent in the banking business has been realised. It was realised to a larger extent and in different dimensions than assumed by risk management, quantitatively and qualitatively, and it had more severe effects than imagined before. This paper takes this event as an opportunity to reconsider the term ‘risk’ itself from an unusual perspective. Aspects from the philosophy of Jacques Derrida, his considerations of the event, the im-possible or the horizon are used to interrogate the term ‘risk’ and to propose a ‘risk to come’.
17. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Robert Halsall The End of ‘Cosmopolitan’ Capitalism? Reflections on Nations, Models and Brands in the Global Economic Crisis
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This article reflects on the philosophical implications of the crisis for the nation-state and culture in relation to business and management. The global triumph of the neo-liberal economic model in the 1990s and early 2000s brought with it an ontological re-conception of the nation-state in its relationship to business, the market and regulation: the nation was viewed as a ‘brand-state’ analogous to a company. Much of the successful appeal of the ‘brand-state’ was based on its annexation of the Enlightenment discourse of ‘cosmopolitanism’: it appeared that a world consisting of interlinked economies represented a fulfilment of the Kantian utopian project of detachment and perpetual peace. The economic crisis has brought this discourse into question. The article assesses whetherlessons learnt from the crisis contain prospects for a post-teleological re-conceptualisation of the nation-state beyond the ‘brand-state’ towards a ‘cosmopolitan solidarity’ in which nation-states co-operate to ameliorate its worst effects.
18. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Kevin Christ Organisational Economics and the Evolution of a New Management Science
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This paper reviews the origins of organisational economics and critically examines its influence on business-school scholarship and pedagogy in the eighties and nineties and argues three points. First, it is useful to analyse the infiltration of economic ideas about internal organisation of firms into organisational science within the context of the methodology of scientific research programmes. Second, the adoption by management theorists of organisational economics as part of a new science of organisations represented a significant change in research style within business schools and may have contributed to practices that came under heavy criticism in the last decade. Third, the influence of economic ideas on management science represented not only an infusion of methods and models, but an infusion of ideology as well, raising important philosophical questions concerning the development of management science.
19. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
J. J. Boehnert Epistemological Error: A Whole Systems View of Converging Crises
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Gregory Bateson said that we are “governed by epistemologies that we know to be wrong” back in 1972. In the same book Bateson wrote: “the organism that destroys its environment destroys itself.” Almost forty years later, global ecological systems are in steep decline and converging crises make a deep evaluation of the underlying premises of our philosophical traditions an urgent imperative. This paper will suggest that the roots of the economic crisis are epistemological and that, to correct this error, whole systems thinking and ecological literacy will become increasingly important in business management as well as in other disciplines. It will also suggest that the economic crisis opened new political space and has provided an opportunity for intervention. If we are brave enough to examine the roots of our problems there is possibility for renewal.
20. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Steven J. Gold Teaching Business Ethics during the Global Economic Crisis: A Post-Foundational Approach
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Facing a near-death experience naturally pushes people to re-examine their basic moral values. During the recent global economic melt-down, calls to solve the concomitant ‘moral’ crisis come in from all fronts. The presumption is that we need business ethics courses to teach our business students to learn to take the moral high-road; we need ethics pledges and codes of ethics to teach business students to do the right thing. But in reality, what impact can a business ethics class have on business people in the real world of tough choices and intense competition? It is my contention that if we look at the teaching of business ethics from the traditional Foundational Platonic perspective, we over-promise and under-deliver. By contrast, a Post-Foundational perspective gives us a pragmatic and viable picture of business ethics pedagogy that can make a real difference.