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Philosophy of Management

Volume 2, Issue 2, 2002
Crossing Frontiers

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1. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 2 > Issue: 2
Editorial: Crossing Frontiers
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2. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 2 > Issue: 2
Juan Fontrodona, Domènec Melé Philosophy as a Base for Management: An Aristotelian Integrative Proposal
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Current theories of management have difficulty overcoming certain problems and limitations related to some features of the field itself: multiplicity, multidisciplinarity, fragmentation, presence or lack of paradigms, self-referentiality, and ethnocentrism. This paper first reviews these issues broadly. Then, itemphasises the preponderance of the scientific method and the exclusion of philosophy as theoretical foundations for management. It proposes taking philosophy as the science to provide the foundations of management. It explains how philosophy - especially philosophy that has its roots in Aristotelian thought -can be of help to management through four different functions: admirative, globalising, political, and critical. In this way, Aristotelian philosophy is shown to be a superior basis for solving the present problems in management theory and a fruitful option for integrating ethics in organisational and management theories.
3. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 2 > Issue: 2
Johannes M. Lehner Metaphors, Stories, Models: A Unified Account of Decisions
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Part 1 of this paper1 used the notions of equivocality and uncertainty to distinguish the situations in which managers make judgements and decisions and described in general how managers use models in these different contexts. This final second part describes in detail the three types of models managers use: formal models, stories and metaphors. It offers five propositions about how managers use the three types of model, propositions which can usefully form the basis of future empirical research.
4. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 2 > Issue: 2
Phil Johnson, Ken Smith Constituting Business Ethics: A Metatheoretical Exploration
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Reviews of business ethics usually differentiate the field in terms of prescription as opposed to description: the application of normative ethical theory verses empirical analysis. Despite recent departures from this dualism, through the elaboration of what has been called postmodern business ethics, the metatheoretical basis of this (increasing) pluralism of business ethics remains opaque. This paper attempts to provide some reflexive clarification and, using codes of ethics as an example, to show that the diversity of business ethics is neither chaotic nor haphazard. It explores how variable metatheoretical assumptions about the epistemic status of ethical and social scientific knowledge systematically lead to the constitution of four distinct modes of engagement in business ethics: prescriptive ethics; descriptive ethics; postmodern ethics; and critical ethics. This diversity is illustrated, with examples from the relevant literatures, in terms of variation in: the aims of business ethics; its organisational focus; the role of the business ethicist; how corporate codes of ethics are construed; the internal contradictions and tensions that arise. We conclude by examining the pre-paradigmatic status of these four modes of engagement and speculating about their future.
5. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 2 > Issue: 2
Cara Nine The Moral Ambiguity of Job Qualifications
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When people seek to overcome discrimination in employment they often appeal to the principle that ‘one should be hired on the basis of qualifications alone’. But do we know what the principle means? And would applying it solve the problems of discrimination in employment? We may take the claim to mean that certain aspects of a person such as her race, religion and attractiveness that are thought to be irrelevant to almost all jobs should not be considered in employment decisions. But in this we would be mistaken. This paper argues that the concept of ‘qualification’, far from being purely descriptive, is morally loaded and a function of an employer’s choices and purposes. As a result, appealing to the principle alone cannot prevent discrimination for issues of discrimination in employment are embedded in the ethical issues of ownership, management and the social responsibilities of a business.
6. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 2 > Issue: 2
Ron Beadle The Misappropriation of MacIntyre
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This paper considers discussions of the work of Alasdair MacIntyre in management literature. It argues that management scholars who have attempted to appropriate his After Virtue as a supportive text for conventional business ethics do so only by misreading or by ignoring his other work. It shows that MacIntyre does not argue for a reformed capitalism in which individual virtue overcomes institutional vice. Rather he argues that capitalist businesses are inherently vicious and that therefore individual virtue cannot be realised within them. The job of the virtuous is to resist them.The paper first presents an account of MacIntyre’s position on management and introduces some of the critical and supportive uses of his work in management scholarship. It focuses on two papers typical of the approach taken by conventional business ethicists to his work. These have attempted to deploy concepts developed by MacIntyre while denying the account of management and organisation of which they form a part.The paper provides some tentative hypotheses as to why management scholars have approached MacIntyre in this way. It argues that these attempted appropriations not only have failed but also must fail as conceptual coherence is sacrificed when the account within which those concepts make sense is denied.
7. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 2 > Issue: 2
Terence Collins, Greg Latemore Philosophising at Work: An Agenda for Discussion
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In this paper we argue the need to introduce the philosophical tradition of the examined life into the workplace in a systematic way and show how it can be done. We set out seven key philosophical areas and selected questions for managers to pose about their organisations. We conclude with a case study, whichexamines one of our key questions ‘What is real?’. We also provide some recommended reading for managers seeking an introduction to philosophy and to explore the seven areas.
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8. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 2 > Issue: 2
Keith Grint Complexity and Management: Fad or Radical Challenge to Systems Thinking? By Ralph D. Stacey, Douglas Griffin, and Patricia Shaw
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9. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 2 > Issue: 2
Martin Parker Management Knowledge: A Critical View By Paul Griseri
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