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Philosophy of Management

Volume 9, Issue 3, 2010
Realities and Illusions

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Displaying: 1-7 of 7 documents

1. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 9 > Issue: 3
Frits Schipper Editorial: Realities and Illusions
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2. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 9 > Issue: 3
Claus Dierksmeier, Michael Pirson The Modern Corporation and the Idea of Freedom
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While the idea of freedom lies at the heart of our economic system, academic research has neglected to connect theories of the firm to freedom theory. To fill this void, the authors delineate two archetypes of freedom – quantitative and qualitative – and outline the consequences of the respective notions for organisational strategy, corporate governance, leadership and culture. Supporting the quest for reform in management theory, the authors argue for an enlarged perspective of the role of the firm within free societies.
3. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 9 > Issue: 3
Verner C. Petersen Self-Fulfilling Aspects of Unrealistic Assumptions in Management Theory
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The purpose of this paper is to take a critical look at some of the assumptions and theories found in economics and management and discuss their implications for the practices found in the management of business and in public management. Two sets of assumptions are of interest here. First and foremost, the assumption that economic agents are only actuated by self-interest, accompanied by assumptions about the motivating effect of pecuniary incentives and assumptions about the regulation of behaviour through rules, controls and sanctions; secondly, assumptions about “scientificness” and objectivity, accompanied by demands for mathematical formalism, clear goals, quantifiable models and measurements. The assertion is that unrealistic assumptions of economics have become taken for granted and tacitly included into theories and models of management. Guiding management to behave in a fashion that apparently makes these assumptions become “true”. Cases and illustrative examples are used to show how this influences the practice of decision makers and managers.
4. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 9 > Issue: 3
Kit Barton An Assessment of Existentialist and Pragmatist Modes of Teaching Business Ethics
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With increasing public demand for ethical accountability, business schools are experiencing difficulty incorporating relevant training into their programmes. Rakesh Khurana, professor of organizational behaviour at Harvard Business School, has provided an historical account explaining how business schools initially promoted and then abandoned a specific professional identity for their students, which would have included a set of ethical values. It is possible to begin to revive this initial project by incorporating certain philosophical approaches to teaching ethics. The philosophies of both Martin Heidegger and John Dewey can be used to steer such professional training. In combination, Heidegger’s existential demand for responsibility and Dewey’s pragmatic concern for the social environment provide pedagogical techniques and guidelines for successful instruction.
5. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 9 > Issue: 3
Saidatt Senapaty Towards Sustainable CSR: Analyzing Macro level HRD Issues
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Companies view corporate social responsibility as either compliance to legal obligations or “corporate giving”, in the form of donations for charitable causes. This mode of corporate giving will be unsustainable unless integrating strategic responsibility with social responsibility and ensuring individual “rights” and “responsibilities” is possible. This paper makes an attempt to conceptualize a sustainable framework for CSR, analyzing and discussing some macro level HRD issues. Four kinds of justification for CSR are identified: philanthropic, social responsiveness, pure normative and normative strategic. A stakeholder model that fulfills normative assertions and instrumental claims is offered as an alternative framework for sustainable CSR.
6. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 9 > Issue: 3
Kazem Chaharbaghi, Jim Barry Paradoxing Relevance in the Research Quality Debate: Reflections of the “Irrelevance” of “Relevance”
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This study examines the contestability of “relevance” as an abstract construction with no fixed meaning when applied, and questions its usage in the research quality debate. It finds that different research agendas and approaches have their own idiosyncratic logic and that any logic has its own criteria for assessing quality which cannot be applied to assess the quality of others. This is illustrated by delineating practitioner-led research from academic-led research and by comparing and contrasting research perspectives as examples. The research quality debate becomes meaningless when it is limited to a singular research agenda or approach as in practice these are invariably combined. Having said this, however, every agenda and approach can be argued to be legitimate as potentially each can find what otherwise cannot be noticed. As a result, this study challenges the conventional unitarist wisdom that conceptualises knowledge as commodity, and suggests instead that heterogeneity, linked to tolerance and relative independence of means and mind, free from the control or influence of others to enable critical distance from context and status quo and facilitate judgement, is the key to those seeking a meaningful research quality debate thatacknowledges tolerance of the diversity of knowledge, difference, contestation and struggle. Although such heterogeneity may at first appear to add confusion rather than clarity, without first looking at this heterogeneity it is not possible to develop a dialogue, in the context of the present neo-liberal post-political drift that emphasises consensus, the annulment of dissensus and diverts attention from relationships of power, through which a positive contribution can be made to the research quality debate.
7. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 9 > Issue: 3
Stephen Lloyd Smith Naïve Expertise: Spacious Alternative to the Standard Account of Method
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The standard account of method (SAM) describes business and management research as a choice between “two traditions”: “qualitative “phenomenological” interpretivism” and “quantitative ‘scientific’ positivism”; each the enemy of the other. Students assemble “advantages and disadvantages” of each, pledge their allegiance, or a preference for “mixed method” (wishing for a “truce” in the “paradigm war”). In our increasingly Fordist academies, these variants attract grade-weightings of typically 20%, defined by “marking schemes” which are also standardised. Fordism is the management strategy of standardisation, deskilling, low unit-cost, simple assembly and central control. We argue that SAM “Fordises” the intellect and confounds our experience that inquiry entails the greatest customisation humanly possible. Moreover, unlike Ford’s River Rouge plant, SAM is plagued by faults: thousands of category mistakes caused by collapsing unrelated methodological dimensions into one simple-looking yet multiply mistaken dichotomy. Happily, natural language facilitates myriadmethodological distinctions which untutored inquirers articulate with more facility, pluralism and precision than SAM. By providing better labelling for their easy instincts, naïve inquirers can recognise and revel in what they did not know.