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Philosophy of Management

Volume 7, Issue 2, 2009
Perspectives and Domains

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Displaying: 1-8 of 8 documents

1. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 7 > Issue: 2
Editorial: Perspectives and Domains
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2. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 7 > Issue: 2
Axel Seemann Language, Mind and Social Reality: An Interview with John Searle
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3. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 7 > Issue: 2
Mark R. Dibben Organisations and Organising: Understanding and Applying Whitehead’s Processual Account
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Process physics is, like all physics, a model of reality. However, unlike traditional substance-based versions, process physics implements many process philosophical concepts, perhaps most notably, the notion of internal relations. It argues that the universe can best be understood in terms of selfreferentialsemantic information that is remarkably similar to mathematical stochastic neural networks research in biology. It argues that information patterns generate new information through causal efficacy and, ultimately, internal integration, generating self-organising patterns of relationships. These patterns or relations have an intrinsic value inherent in their self-actualisation and thereby experience a subjective unity in response to influences from the totality of their past. The result is an internally related self-organising stream of experiences that provides a defining essence objectively distinguishable in abstraction and as exhibiting all the characteristics of a quantum space and quantum matter.In process physics, therefore, quantum phenomena emerge where no prior assumption regarding their existence is made or prescribed at the start. Rather, they are internally generated as an inherent feature of an experientially becoming reality, growing in size over time and thus having an observable key feature – i.e. a ‘defining essence’ – of an expanding universe. Reality itself is now understood – and modeled – as having a primitive form of self awareness. By this we mean that it has, in the process philosopher Alfred North Whitehead’s words, prehensions of other actualities as objects in terms of their ‘provocation of some special activity within the subject’. In more biologically complex information systems these ultimately lead to experiential integration as conscious discrimination of contrasts in prior experiences. Reality is, ultimately, not about the identification of isolated individuals through externality, but related individuals through internality.The purpose of this paper is to arrive at a point whereby we might apply these ultimate principles of reality to management. To do this, we shall start by considering Whitehead’s own renderings of management issues, before turning to the use management studies has or has not made of his work. In the light of this discussion, we shall question the principle of deconstructive postmodernism that underpins this body of work. We shall then ask whether and to what extent Whiteheadian principles might help explain organisations as ‘event fields’ within which ‘persons-in-communities’ reside. This will then allow us to consider organisations in terms of a process reinterpretation of physics. In so doing, we shall uncover a final contradiction, between Whitehead’s understanding of organisation and his principles concerning the application of metaphysics, to which we shall at least indicate a solution.
4. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 7 > Issue: 2
Stephen Sheard Strategy as a Feature of Reflective Action: Edmund Husserl’s Theories as a Temporal Model of Organisational Identity
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Husserl’s theories, which systematise the role of reflection and consciousness, can be used to give an alternative view of organisational evolution as the flow of presence punctuated by absence. This perspective adopts a contrasting approach to that of the poststructuralist. A synthesis of the Identity metaphor with the theory of strategy allows us to contextualise an application of Husserl’s theory of the epoche (the intentional reduction) and link both ontological and epistemic dimensions in a theory of organisation. The firm is seen as acquiring a temporal dimension through the consciousness of strategic policy and its successive images are modelled as analogous with the epoche. This modelling process also links in with the collective belief system of the organisational paradigm, which is represented to the organisation and unfolded extrinsically as a series of images which are the discernible face of Strategic policy. This facilitates a modified social-constructivism which is better able to accommodate the actuality of organisational development than more extreme process-orientated accounts of organisation. A debate is re-opened on these themes which have influenced organisation studies from a philosophical slant.
5. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 7 > Issue: 2
Jeff Waistell The Textual Constitution of Organisational Values
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A range of stakeholders are interested in organisational values, with demands from consumers, trade unions and pressure groups. Organisations face the challenge of integrating employees from several cultures and overcoming value differences. Coupled with this emphasis on organisational values there is increasing interest in the role of discourse in constituting meaning. This research shows how texts constitute organisational values. Hermeneutics is used to analyse the texts of the Open University and UK FTSE4good companies. The research shows that organisational values are constituted through three hermeneutic circles – fragmentation/integration, conceptuality/contextuality and temporality – that provide an integrated medium for interpreting values. The three hermeneutic circles are mediated by a fourth: the tropological circle, where metaphor and homonymy fuse horizons, and synecdoche and metonymy relate parts and whole. Both texts and tropes mediate the transvaluation of organisational values across time. In recontextualising its values the organisation becomes a metaphor of itself.
6. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 7 > Issue: 2
Ralph Bathurst Enlivening Management Practice Through Aesthetic Engagement: Vico, Baumgarten and Kant
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Organisational aesthetics is a burgeoning field with a growing community of scholars engaged in arts-based and aesthetic approaches to research. Recent developments in this field can be traced back to the works of early Enlightenment writers such as Vico, Baumgarten and Kant. This paper examines the contributions of these three philosophers. In particular it focuses on Vico’s treatment of history and myth; Baumgarten’s notion of sensation and its relationship to rationality; and Kant’s investigations into form and content. An exploration of an artistic organisation in change demonstrates how the conduct of an aesthetically aware manager can be informed by qualities such as an alert imagination and intuition, comfort with the chaotic, backward thinking, and attention to inner sensations and perceptions, all working together to provide a coherent view of the organisation.
7. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 7 > Issue: 2
Mikko Koria On Innovation and Capability: A Holistic View
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While innovation is recognised as a key driver of economic growth and competitiveness, less attention has been given to the study of the underpinning capability to be innovative, which is here taken to be the ability to successfully exploit new external knowledge. This conceptual paper examines the parallels between innovation theory in the administrative context and Amartya Sen’s capability approach, a wide vision of human potential and development. It is argued that applying Sen’s approach in this fashion enables a novel perspective on the link between the innovation potential that the individual may have and the constraints that social arrangements impose. This new insight can assist the formulation, management and acceptance of organisational change processes that aim toenhance the ability to see, assimilate and apply new knowledge. These processes are especially challenging in non-western contexts. This paper begins by introducing Sen’s approach, proceeds to establish a link with concepts of public sector administrative innovation, then examines some particular aspects of the relationship between the two, and concludes with some suggestions for further research.
8. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 7 > Issue: 2
Alf Rehn, Saara Taalas On Wittgenstein and Management at Rest: Prolegomena to a Philosophy of Problems
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This essay proposes that management is too often seen as problem solving, and that the equally important art of ignoring problems has not received enough attention. With reference to the thinking of Ludwig Wittgenstein, the essay argues for letting go, and attempting to leave thoughts at rest.