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Philosophy of Management

Volume 9, Issue 2, 2010
Humbug, Ba and Human Experience

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Displaying: 1-7 of 7 documents

1. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 9 > Issue: 2
Mark R. Dibben Editorial: Humbug, Ba and Human Experience
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2. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 9 > Issue: 2
Silja Graupe, Ikujiro Nonaka Ba: Introducing Processual Spatial Thinking into the Theory of the Firm and Management
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Over the last two decades, the Japanese notion of ba, introduced by Ikujiro Nonaka and his associates to the West, has come to play an important role in management theory. This notion, which has been roughly translated as ‘place’ or ‘topos,’ stresses the importance of processual spatial thinking for economics and management alike. As such, it echoes and amplifies recent voices in the business world, which argue that we must understand business strategy in terms ofspace, that is to say, as an expression of the dynamics of social interaction which involves such factors as connectivity, information flow, external versus tacit knowledge, etc. Despite many efforts, the barriers for fully integrating ba into the body of Western management literature will remain for as long as its underlying assumptions are defined by ontologically static categories. This article is an attempt to overcome this theoretical bottleneck, first by critiquing the sub optimal approach to processual problems generated by conventional Western business theories, which can neither recognise their hidden background assumptions about space nor transcend them, and second, by explaining, within the framework of comparative analysis, how ba leads to a new processual and dynamic account of business life. Our overall aim is to demonstrate how a new processual notion of space enables a deeper, more integrated understanding not only ofthe nature of the firm, but also of the role managers play within firms.
3. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 9 > Issue: 2
Mary Brown Revisiting Organisational Personality: Organisations as Functional and Metaphysical Entities
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This article reflects aspects of the debate between constructivism and rationalism by suggesting that rationalist accounts of the nature of organization may be limited, and that recent events around the crisis in world financial systems demonstrate the failure of the latter to provide adequate explanatory theory. The paradigms of mythos and logos reflect the dichotomy, where the former represents meaning and sense making as opposed to the rational pragmatic scienceof logos thinking. In the context of organization theory it is proposed that people create their worlds through language and that to propose an organization possesses a type of personhood in the metaphysical sense, a trope familiar to the literary scholars but not always appreciated by management writers. However, some scholars are now attempting to link the two worlds: an example is the use of the organic metaphors favoured by the Romantic poets to understandthe nature of economic turbulence. The paper argues that such attempts to employ mythos-type thinking are a helpful counterweight to rational attempts to explain apparently non-rational organizational actions.
4. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 9 > Issue: 2
Surendra Arjoon An Aristotelian–Thomistic Approach to Management Practice
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Every academic endeavour rests ultimately on a particular assumption of human nature. Two views of human nature are compared and contrasted: (1) a utilitarian naturalistic humanism which holds essentially the view that human nature is materialistic, and (2) an Aristotelian–Thomistic natural law/virtue ethics humanism which holds the view that human nature is both materialistic and spiritualistic. This paper argues that the latter view better captures and explains the metaphysical realities of human nature. In addition, the role of virtues and its applications in management practice are presented. Organisational policy mechanisms and managerial implications will depend on which view of human nature one adopts. The failure to integrate the virtues and natural law ethical principles into management practice threatens the stability and survival of the firm since they are required to correct the dysfunctional aspects and ethical deficits of the current business philosophy.
5. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 9 > Issue: 2
Eugene Schlossberger Supervision and the Logic of Resentment
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Because resentment features prominently in work relations, supervisors should understand the nature of such emotions and how to address them. Popular wisdom’s insistence that emotions cannot be rationally assessed is mistaken. Emotions are judgments embodied in perceptions, dispositions, and “raw feels,” that reflect one’s worldview. At the core of paradigmatic resentment is the moral judgment that someone has betrayed one by unfairly rejecting one in a waythat shows ill-will. Non-paradigmatic resentment is an extension of the paradigm. This paper examines (part I) the logic of resentment and (part II) how supervisors can avoid and assist subordinates in processing resentment. Part III suggests that emotional change requires reconciling inconsistencies in a person’s worldview, which may require deep and widespread changes in outlook. Emotions are as logical or illogical as the people who have them. People are immune neither from criticism for their emotions nor from demands that their emotions be changed.
6. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 9 > Issue: 2
Philip A. Woods, Glenys J. Woods The Geography of Reflective Leadership: The Inner Life of Democratic Learning Communities
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This paper is underpinned by an epistemological question: What are the types and ways of knowing that can be entailed in reflective leadership in its fullest sense? The question is explored through a mapping exercise which outlines a geography of reflective leadership in terms of three variables: type of knowledge, problem focus, and mode of learning (incorporating the notion of embodied learning). Particular attention is given to recognising within the terrain of reflective leadership the epistemic credentials of spiritual learning and experiential awareness of spirituality.
7. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 9 > Issue: 2
Daniel R. Gilbert Living in a Managed World
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The folklore of Groundhog Day is an invitation to reflect on continuity, choice, and reinvention in our daily lives. Groundhog Day is an annual opportunity to imagine how the future could unfold as a straightforward extension of what we are doing today in one another’s company, or as a departure from the typical course of our joined endeavors. The joined endeavor at issue in this paper is the act of justifying inclusion of the study of managerial practice, commonly calledManagement, in the undergraduate college curriculum in the United States. Management is routinely shielded from a process of intellectual justification. There is a fruitful alternative to this de facto exemption. I argue that there is a place in the undergraduate curriculum for systematic attention to managerial practice, but that place need not be filled with a Management major per se. This new curricular place is anchored in the experience of living our everyday lives in a world managed by others. The inspiration for imagining this different place came one Groundhog Day, as I was sorting mail delivered to me by the US Postal Service.