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Philosophy of Management

Volume 4
Fakes, Copies and Originals

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Displaying: 1-20 of 23 documents


1. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 4 > Issue: 3
Ashly Pinnington Guest Editor Introduction: Fakes, Copies and Originals
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2. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 4 > Issue: 3
Ashly Pinnington, George Lafferty The Bush Myth: Internationalisation, Tradition and Community in the Australian Context
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The Australian bush has many meanings. Notably, the bush is an environment of both nostalgic loss and regeneration, and is a contradictory place capable of signifying homeliness and otherness. This article examines the durability of the myth of the Australian bush as a locale for the internationalisation of capital, employment and environmental management and as a resource for traditional concepts of Australian identity.
3. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 4 > Issue: 3
André Spicer The Philosophy of the Copy and the Art of Colonial Organisation
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In this paper I work through an Antipodean phenomenon; the prevalence of copying or mimesis in processes of organising. Rejecting claims for a more authentically Antipodean way of organising, I argue that we need to properly understand the weight of the copy through philosophical inquiry into mimesis. I begin this inquiry with neo-institutional theoretical insights into mimesis. I then sketch out a short history of the emergence of the original and the copy. This Platonic distinction is then elaborated upon to open up the copy with reference to Nietzsche’s concept of the eternal return, Benjamin’s analysis of the work of art in the age of mechanical reproduction, and Taussig’s analysis of mimesis. I draw these together to argue that processes of copying are singular and in fact central to the continual coming into being of organisation
4. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 4 > Issue: 3
Maree V. Boyle, Amanda Roan From Working Man’s Paradise to Women in Business: The Contribution of Australian Feminism to the Understanding of Women’s Economic Position within Australian Society
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In this paper we discuss how Australian feminism has contributed to a better understanding of women’s economic position within Australian society. Through this analysis we seek to shed some light on the current implementation of the ‘women in business’ policy in Australia. We trace the development of this position from the early beginnings of unionism and wage centralisation through to the social change movements of the 1960s and 1970s. We then examine how the neo-liberal turn of the 1990s manifested itself in a move from a focus on numerical representation of women, through Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action policies and initiatives, to one that concentrated on an individualist approach to women in business. We conclude that feminism has had its most significant impact at the level of public policy. However, recent epistemological turns in Australian feminism appear to have resulted in less attention being paid to materialist concerns, and furthermore have not been able to resolve the sameness/difference divide that continues to haunt feminist philosophy.
5. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 4 > Issue: 3
Lucas Skoufa Industry Reform in Australia: Privatisation/Corporatisation of the Electricity Supply Industry
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The neo-classical economics paradigm postulates a hypothetical model of perfect competition as the ideal environment for business success. Yet the model has great difficulty in apprehending the day-to-day operations of actual business organisations. This paper explores some of the apparent inadequacies of theneo-classical paradigm, drawing on business strategy theory to suggest a potentially more fruitful mode of analysis. It is argued that conventional business strategy theory not only can provide a better framework than neo-classical economics for explaining and informing public policy on utilities, but that it also canprovide an additional dimension to critical management theory. The process of public sector ‘reform’ that gained momentum in the late 1970s was driven largely by neo-classical economic assumptions. While there has been a plethora of literature published on the need to ‘reform’ various public enterprises, there has been little analysis of the strategic behaviour of enterprises and industries that have been privatised or targeted for this change. Whereas neo-classical economics has been chiefly concerned with the performance of markets in the allocation and coordination of resources, business strategy is primarily about coordination and resource allocation within the firm. In contrast to neo-classical economics, business strategy theory is inherently interdisciplinary, integrating the social sciences: it is not applied microeconomics.
6. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 4 > Issue: 3
Elizabeth Prior Jonson, Chris Nyland Paternalism and the Governance of Managers: The Australian Stock Exchange Approach to Improving Corporate Governance
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Good corporate governance requires that managers promote shareholder interests but it cannot be assumed they will act in this manner. Though this is an observation most managers would acknowledge, many argue they should be free of external regulatory intervention because regulations designed to protectshareholders are necessarily a form of paternalism that take from shareholders decisions that are rightly theirs to make. We question this perspective by showing that regulations founded on paternalist principles are compatible with a liberal economy and social relations. We identify when a paternal approach to decision making is justified and add substance to our argument by responding to claims that the Principles of Good Governance promulgated by the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) are an unacceptable infringement on managers’ right to govern their enterprises because they are supposedly paternalist. We reject this argument and suggest that while the current ASX principles are not paternalistic there is a case for ensuring shareholder protection is informed by paternalist principles.
7. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 4 > Issue: 3
Jeremy Aitken Interdependency Within the Business Corporation: The Three Musketeers or a Prisoner’s Dilemma?
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What are the opportunities for the maximum happiness, greatest satisfaction, and fulfilment of all in the business organisation? What quality of life can we have at work?
8. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 4 > Issue: 3
Adrian Carr Management as a Moral Art: Emerging from the Paradigm Debate
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In recent years organisational and management discourse has been akin to a battle-ground. Open challenges to the foundations of these fields and competing truth claims have arisen from the plurality of interpretation that is possible from the variety of new paradigms that has emerged. This proliferation of paradigms seems to undermine the possibility of a single unambiguous voice to guide management practice. The variety of competing voices that has produced this discordant chorus is described. The work of Thomas Barr Greenfield offers a useful circuit breaker. What emerges is a discourse not anchored in rationality, as it has in the past, but anchored in values and a morally concerned scepticism.
9. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
Editorial: Professionalism, Passion and Doubt
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10. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
Bob Brecher Against Professional Ethics
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I argue that the current popularity of 'ethics' in general, and the extension of 'professional ethics in particular, masks an increasingly unethical culture. Furthermore, attempts to codify ethics encourage a rule-governed approach, thus misunderstanding the nature of ethical practice and - whether or not inadvertently - serving to protect the professions from ethical considerations rather than the opposite.
11. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
Alexander Styhre Thinking Driven by Doubt and Passion: Kierkegaard and Reflexivity in Organisation Studies
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Organisation studies based on qualitative methodologies continually seek legitimacy in relation to positivist research formulating nomological knowledge on administrative practices. One of the key features regularly praised in qualitative research is the idea of reflexivity, the ability of the qualitative researcher to critically examine his or her own analysis. This paper argues that the notion of reflexivity is an uncontested area of qualitative organisation research which merits critical study. In contrast to the reflexivity model which assumes an autopoietic double hermeneutic of the examined empirical material, it draws on Kierkegaard's notion of subjective thinking. For Kierkegaard it is not reflexivity that serves as the primus motor for subjective thinking but doubt, paradox and passion. A critique of the notion of reflexivity opens up alternative accounts of qualitative research which need not assume self correcting and self directed analysis.
12. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
Derek M. Eriksson Making a Useful 'Model' for Managers: A Projective Constructivist Account
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Models and modelling are central not only to management but to all human affairs. Models provide grounds for decision making and action-taking. This paper investigates the concept of model', showing that the conventional notion of a model as understood in management science, a notion founded on positivism and realism, is insufficient for the complex practical needs of management models. To remedy this situation, an alternative notion founded on Projective Constructivist Epistemology (PCE) is proposed. Some of the implications of the new notion for modelling practice and model validation are also discussed. The new notion results from theoretical investigations and empirical experience gleaned over the last five years in public-sector, military and business contexts. The paper concludes with a brief discussion of areas that might merit investigation in the future.
13. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
Michael Loughlin Management, Science and Reality: A Commentary on 'Practically Useless? Why Management Theory Needs Popper'
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Moss is right to state that management theory needs to address its epistemological foundations by considering questions in epistemology and the philosophy of science. Whether management theory needs Popper is a more tricky question. It is not clear that all theories should be falsifiable in Poppers terms. His proposed methodology for social scientific research is inherently conservative and threatens to inhibit intellectual and social progress. But Poppers philosophical realism and rationalism need to be preserved. Coherentism and associated forms of anti-rationalism (including postmodernism and relativism) threaten to provide a rationale for the worst excesses of management theory. Indeed, the poverty of contemporary management theory is a symptom of a broader intellectual malaise: debate is increasingly characterised by the exchange of persuasive rhetoric, making it difficult to hold those in positions ofpower accountable for rationally justifying the positions they espouse.
14. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
Sheelagh O'Reilly Global Management Integrity - A Missing Link in the Development Industry? A Manager's Philosophical Diary-Part 6
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'Take care of the means and the ends will take care of themselves'By the time you are reading this instalment I will have been in my new position as Team Leader for a Community Conservation Project for more than one year. Why I left my previous position will perhaps become clear in this instalment. I may be unsuited to working in institutions that in theory value knowledge and analysis, but in practice become increasingly uncomfortable when the critical analysis is turned inwards. I find I am not alone; witness the prominent case of the response of the World Bank to criticisms from their own former Chief Economist, the Nobel Economics laureate Joseph Stiglitz. His criticism of the International Financial Institutions after years of working with them could not be dismissed as the work of an uninformed outsider and were therefore treated with the disdain due to some one who had 'jumped ship'.
15. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
Tim LeBon, David Arnaud Progress Towards Wise Decision Making
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The management literature is not short of tools for helping people to make wiser decisions. This paper outlines another tool so it must be asked how can it justify itself given the substantial work that is already done. We suggest that many tools either fail to properly integrate, or simply lack an analysis of (i) showinghow emotions help or hinder solving the problem, (ii) the role of creative and critical thinking and (Hi), working out what values are at issue in the problem. These three categories can be integrated into a decision-making procedure through an analysis of the stages of decision making While the emphasis that is laid on these stages will differ depending upon the problem, we suggest that wise decision making requires (i) gaining an adequate understanding of the situation, (ii) working out what matters, (Hi) generating options, (iv) selecting an option on the basis of what matters and (v) carrying out the option. As practical philosophers we must ask how each of these stages can be adequately carried out, and here we seek to show how philosophy, and other disciplines, can help for the three areas we identify above as lacunae. In looking at the role of emotions we base our analysis on the Aristotelian and Stoic notion that the core of emotions is that they are judgements. This analysis allows us to make sense of both the rationalist view that emotions are a hindrance, and the romantic notion that emotions are a help. Wise decision making involves unpacking emotions to see what they can reliably tell us about the situation, our values, potential options and how they can motivate us. We suggest ways this task can be achieved. Critical thinking needs to be employed throughout the decision-making procedure so that we fairly andadequately understand the situation and assess potential values and options. We outline some key skills and interventions that can be employed. Critical thinking needs material to work on so we suggest how creative thinking can be used to reframe the situation, and generate potential values and options. The driving force of making a decision is, or at least should be, the values we wish to realise with our decision; what we think matters. Some decisions are purely prudential and here we draw upon ideas of Nozick, Griffin, Aristotle and Epicurus to suggest ways the decision maker can evaluate their prudential values. For ethical decisions ideas from Mill, Kant and others can help us think through what we wish to achieve. We end with a case study to illustrate how the procedure works in practice.
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16. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
Marja-Liisa Kakkuri-Knuuttila, Edward Kingsley Trezise A Workshop that Worked
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17. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Leonard Minkes, Tony Gear Guest Editors’ Introduction: Organisation and Decision Processes
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18. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Howard Harris, Saadia Carapiet, Chris Provis ‘Adaptive and Agile Organisations’: Do They Actually Exist?
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Management are increasingly using adaptive and agile organisations as a means to competitive advantage. In these organisations there is a flux in membership of work groups and organisation in response to external environment. The theory of complex adaptive systems suggests that the application of a few simple rules can lead to complex structures. But is there a relationship between the members of the organisation? Do they constitute a group, or an organisation? The paper advances a number of reasons why adaptive and agile enterprises may not be organisations in the accepted sense of the word. Implications are drawn with respect to the current demands for accountability and for the application of management processes and management development techniques which are based on groups.The paper draws on the work of Amelie Rorty on identity, Margaret Gilbert on groups and Chris Provis on trust. It is also informed by activity in the multi-national SYMPHONY project, which is developing management tools for networked enterprises which have a high knowledge component in the value stream and operate in rapidly changing and uncertain environments.
19. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Bernd Carsten Stahl Reflective Responsibility: Using IS to Ascribe Collective Responsibility
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While work in modern corporations tends to take place in groups or teams it is not quite clear which status these groups have. Are they genuine agents or are they simply collections of individuals? The question is important because the answer is often held to determine whether collectives can be viewed as subjects ofresponsibility. This paper raises the question of collective responsibility and focuses on the impact the use of information systems (IS) has on it. Starting with an analysis of the concept of responsibility it argues that the ascription of responsibility is admissible if it achieves certain social goals and it reviews the argumentsconcerning responsibility and collective subjects. Turning to information systems, it argues that their use can affect the process of ascribing responsibility both negatively and positively. It proposes the idea of ‘reflective responsibility’ and employs the reflective approach as a basis for using IS to support and enablethe ascription of collective responsibility.
20. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Mark R. Dibben Exploring the Processual Nature of Trust and Cooperation in Organisations: A Whiteheadian Analysis
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Process philosophy was on the periphery of academic thinking for much of the twentieth century. Whereas the focus of intellectual development was for the most part on scientific analysis, process philosophy argued for a more encompassing synthesis as well. Although the drive – the corpus delecti of formal researchassessment funding exercises – for separate, discrete and latterly measurable bodies of knowledge arrived at from within increasingly autonomous academic disciplines has undoubtedly led to significant advance in many areas it has, at the same time, rendered opaque the interconnectedness of all things and therebydiminished the perceived value of ideas developed in one field, in terms of their relevance to others. At its heart, this trend has arisen from a reliance upon a metaphysics of stasis; things are constant and can thus be analysed and re-analysed into ever finite and thoroughly separate elements. In contrast, a metaphysicsof process suggests that change and interconnectedness are the predominant characteristics of nature. As such, it provides new directions for contemporary thought by enabling the development of ideas via an otherwise unavailable framework of coherence and comprehensiveness.One area in which process thought has proved helpful is organisation studies. This paper examines the role of interpersonal trust in organisations from a Whiteheadian perspective. As such, it aims to show how Whitehead’s thinking can be applied to complex human experiences in such a way as to reveal the nature of the processes that go toward their development. The paper begins with a theoretical explication of trust derived from the contemporary social scientific literature. The development of trust, a key component of human society, is argued to be a subjective and processual phenomenon. In the light of this discussion the paper uses appropriate elements of Whitehead’s Philosophy of Organism to provide a description of trust’s development in an individual for another individual, and its consequent impact on their cooperative behaviour. It thereby attempts to uncover the hitherto inaccessible micro-processes that go towards thedevelopment and continuation of interpersonal trust in organisational settings. In so doing, the paper seeks to demonstrate the explanatory power of an aspect of Whitehead’s work, his elucidation of human ‘emotional experience’, that is perhaps too often overlooked as a comparatively minor and non-technicaluse of his categoreal scheme.