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Philosophy of Management

Volume 8, Issue 1, 2009
Teaching Philosophy to Managers

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1. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Editorial: Teaching Philosophy to Managers
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2. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Linda Hitchin Contingent Support: Exploring Ontological Politics/Extending Management
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This paper is located within the critical management tradition of management education and development. The paper seeks to introduce the overlooked area of Actor Network Theory and Mol’s anti-foundationalist ontological politics and demonstrates their potential to developing alternative critical pedagogy and management practice. Following a discussion of problem-based learning, the paper goes on to introduce the emergent pedagogic practice termed contingent support. Through a series of vignettes drawn from fieldwork collected from a second year undergraduate decision-making module, the paper demonstrates how the practice termed contingent support is informed by Actor Network Theory and ontological politics in particular. The paper goes on to reveal the significance ofcontingent support sensibilities of materiality, situatedness and performance and shows how they can give a new vigour to educators interested in developing more responsible management. Finally, the paper considers contingent support’s transformational potential and sets out an agenda for future research.
3. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Martin Kelly, Andrea Bather Corporate Social Responsibility and the Teaching of Management Accounting
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Throughout most of the 20th century Management Accounting was developed on the premise that it should help managers to decide how best to maximise the short-term financial profits of their businesses. In the emergent Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) business environment Post, Preston and Sachs1 ask, ‘To whom and for what is the corporation responsible?’. In response to this question we examine publications describing recent changes in the corporate environment, and provide evidence of business decisions being made on the bases of: environmental, societal and other criteria, besides those relating to financial profitability. We question whether such changes in the corporate environment are being reflected in the way that Management Accounting is being taught in business schools today. We provide details of a final year course that we have developed at our university.
4. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Ashly H. Pinnington, Dennis J. Tourish Evaluating Leadership Development - A Democratic Leadership Perspective
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This paper considers the evaluation of leadership development and reflects on the psychological resistances, political obstacles and cultural impracticalities of developing democratic leadership. The focus is on the development and sustainability of democratic leadership through processes of evaluation. While the authors acknowledge that there exist formidable obstacles to the collective practice of evaluating leadership development, suggestions are made for practitioners and researchers who nonetheless remain interested in democratic leadership.
5. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Geoff A. Goldman History and Philosophy of Management at The University Of Johannesburg: A New Direction for the Department of Business Management
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Trying to introduce post-graduate management students to the world of philosophy is indeed no easy task. Not only is there a shortage of formal schooling in philosophy amongst business school or business management departmental academic staff, but there is resistance from many sides. Fellow academics question the necessity of such ‘wishy-washy’ issues for business and management students and institutional challenges make it difficult to create a syllabus that falls within the expertise area of another academic department. This paper tracks the development of a postgraduate module introducing students to philosophy and philosophical thinking, but this is not done under the auspices of a Philosophy department. Rather, it is the initiative of a Business Management department. The paper tracks the whole journey of how the module History and Philosophy of Management came to being under the auspices of the Department of Business Management at UJ and presents an argument for an increased focus on and sensitivity toward philosophy and the bearing it has on management research and practice.
6. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Edward Trezise, Gert Biesta Can Management Ethics Be Taught Ethically? A Levinasian Exploration
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Courses in business ethics are part of most Higher Education programmes in Management and Business Studies. Such courses are commonly aimed at providing students with knowledge about ethics, usually in the form of a set of ethical and meta-ethical theories which are presented as ‘tools’ for ethical decision making. This reveals an approach to the teaching of management and business ethics which is based upon a cognitive view of moral education – one which sees ethical knowledge as at least a necessary condition for moral action – and in which it is assumed that ethical practice in management and business follows from the application of ethical knowledge. In this paper we ask whether the teaching of management and business ethics can be done differently and, more importantly, whether it can be done in an ethical manner, one which focuses on possibilities for being ethical rather than knowing ethics. Our explorations are informed by the work of Emmanuel Levinas and centre on the idea that responsibility is the first reality of the (ethical) self. Through a discussion of the notions of ‘the face’ and ‘the third part’ (le tiers) we explore how ethical subjectivity might be possible. We then ask what it might mean to organise a curriculum for management and business ethics around the ‘experience’ of responsibility-for-the-Other.
7. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
David Turner, Tony Gear, Martin Read ‘Conversations’ in Education, Professional Development and Training
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The authors had been using a system for stimulating discussion and debate among professionals as part of their education and continuing professional development. Hand-held technology for gathering and reflecting upon individual judgements had been shown to work, and the participants liked it. But a theoretical foundation of why and how it worked appeared to be lacking.The authors find the work of Vygotsky extremely helpful in explaining why student-student conversations can be a positive support to the learning process. In this paper they present a description of one of the professional settings in which student-student conversations have been used in stimulating learning. They relate this to a theoretical framework of conversations in intellectual development drawn from Vygotsky, and contrast it with alternative frameworks that place greater emphasis upon the role of the tutor who knows the ‘right’ answers and ‘corrects’ the learners.
8. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Tom Claes, David Preston Why Bother Teaching Philosophy to Managers?
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This paper questions whether managers truly need philosophy and for what end. It highlights the achievements of management before examining its deficiencies. Once some basic foundation to support a case for the teaching of philosophy to managers has been made, the paper considers two main issues:what types of managers are there; and what type of philosophy do each of these types need. Using primary experiential data and some management questionnaires analysed using pattern recognition Artificial Intelligence the paper identifies a typology of five well-defined clusters: Disaffected (Whiners); Converts (Shoppers); Tacticians (Cynics); Believers (Commanders); and Workers (Jobbers). For each in turn we identify the type of philosophy most suited to each cluster. The paper argues that in teaching philosophy to managers you must consider who you are teaching as the dangers include counter-productivity.