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41. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Robert Halsall The End of ‘Cosmopolitan’ Capitalism? Reflections on Nations, Models and Brands in the Global Economic Crisis
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This article reflects on the philosophical implications of the crisis for the nation-state and culture in relation to business and management. The global triumph of the neo-liberal economic model in the 1990s and early 2000s brought with it an ontological re-conception of the nation-state in its relationship to business, the market and regulation: the nation was viewed as a ‘brand-state’ analogous to a company. Much of the successful appeal of the ‘brand-state’ was based on its annexation of the Enlightenment discourse of ‘cosmopolitanism’: it appeared that a world consisting of interlinked economies represented a fulfilment of the Kantian utopian project of detachment and perpetual peace. The economic crisis has brought this discourse into question. The article assesses whetherlessons learnt from the crisis contain prospects for a post-teleological re-conceptualisation of the nation-state beyond the ‘brand-state’ towards a ‘cosmopolitan solidarity’ in which nation-states co-operate to ameliorate its worst effects.
42. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Michael Schefczyk The Financial Crisis, the Exemption View and the Problem of the Harmless Torturer
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Richard Posner avers in his A Failure of Capitalism that managers bear no moral responsibility for the financial crisis. This view has numerous supporters in economics and philosophy, and I shall call it the ‘exemption view’. In this paper, I criticise four arguments for the exemption view and propose a superior alternative, the ‘participation view’. The participation view claims that managers can be co-responsible for harm, even if their actions were not necessary or sufficient conditions for its occurrence. The paper spells out three conditions for moral responsibility according to the participation view.
43. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Steven J. Gold Teaching Business Ethics during the Global Economic Crisis: A Post-Foundational Approach
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Facing a near-death experience naturally pushes people to re-examine their basic moral values. During the recent global economic melt-down, calls to solve the concomitant ‘moral’ crisis come in from all fronts. The presumption is that we need business ethics courses to teach our business students to learn to take the moral high-road; we need ethics pledges and codes of ethics to teach business students to do the right thing. But in reality, what impact can a business ethics class have on business people in the real world of tough choices and intense competition? It is my contention that if we look at the teaching of business ethics from the traditional Foundational Platonic perspective, we over-promise and under-deliver. By contrast, a Post-Foundational perspective gives us a pragmatic and viable picture of business ethics pedagogy that can make a real difference.
44. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Martin Mullins, Finbarr Murphy CDOs – The Zenith of Monetarisation: Some Ideas from Simmel’s Philosophy of Money
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The financial crisis of 2007–2008 had its origins in the manner by which complex financial instruments allowed qualitative phenomena to become a tradable commodity. This process is part of a profound tendency in modern economic life to convert the qualitative, specific and non-commensurable into quantitative data. Simmel, in his Philosophy of Money, identified this transformative quality as an inherent characteristic of money. This paper argues that Simmel’s work continues to provide important insights. Modern financial instruments, in particular collateralised debt obligations, possess this same transformative power thus showing the enduring relevance of Simmel’s work.
45. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Kevin Christ Organisational Economics and the Evolution of a New Management Science
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This paper reviews the origins of organisational economics and critically examines its influence on business-school scholarship and pedagogy in the eighties and nineties and argues three points. First, it is useful to analyse the infiltration of economic ideas about internal organisation of firms into organisational science within the context of the methodology of scientific research programmes. Second, the adoption by management theorists of organisational economics as part of a new science of organisations represented a significant change in research style within business schools and may have contributed to practices that came under heavy criticism in the last decade. Third, the influence of economic ideas on management science represented not only an infusion of methods and models, but an infusion of ideology as well, raising important philosophical questions concerning the development of management science.
46. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
J. J. Boehnert Epistemological Error: A Whole Systems View of Converging Crises
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Gregory Bateson said that we are “governed by epistemologies that we know to be wrong” back in 1972. In the same book Bateson wrote: “the organism that destroys its environment destroys itself.” Almost forty years later, global ecological systems are in steep decline and converging crises make a deep evaluation of the underlying premises of our philosophical traditions an urgent imperative. This paper will suggest that the roots of the economic crisis are epistemological and that, to correct this error, whole systems thinking and ecological literacy will become increasingly important in business management as well as in other disciplines. It will also suggest that the economic crisis opened new political space and has provided an opportunity for intervention. If we are brave enough to examine the roots of our problems there is possibility for renewal.
47. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Rod Thomas The ‘Credit Crunch’ from a Critical Rationalist Perspective
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Uses Sir Karl Popper’s philosophy of critical rationalism to examine the discussion of the UK ‘credit crunch’ as presented by the public record of the UK House of Commons Treasury Select Committee’s investigation. Identifies various philosophical doctrines that acted to shape that investigation and the testimony presented before it. Presents those doctrines as prejudicial to the advancement of knowledge, learning and rationality. Concludes that the philosophy of critical rationalism is relevant to the problems of modern society.
48. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Martin Kelly, Arnis Vilks Philosophical Lessons from the Global Financial Crisis
49. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Peter Pelzer The Im-possible – A Different Way of Thinking Risk
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The global financial crisis of 2008 brought the risk involved in the international banking business to everybody’s attention. It made clear that risk, despite the claims of banks, cannot be hedged away. The risk inherent in the banking business has been realised. It was realised to a larger extent and in different dimensions than assumed by risk management, quantitatively and qualitatively, and it had more severe effects than imagined before. This paper takes this event as an opportunity to reconsider the term ‘risk’ itself from an unusual perspective. Aspects from the philosophy of Jacques Derrida, his considerations of the event, the im-possible or the horizon are used to interrogate the term ‘risk’ and to propose a ‘risk to come’.
50. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 11 > Issue: 2
Miriam Green Can Deconstructing Paradigms Be Used as a Method For Deconstructing Texts?
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Problems surrounding representations of texts have previously been raised and discussed, as has the difficulty, in the light of hermeneutic, critical and post-structuralist writers, of arriving at definitive meanings of texts. This paper is part of ongoing research into the problem of evaluating the representation of original texts in the organisation/management area. The texts in question are Burns and Stalker’s The Management of Innovation 1961, 1966, and to alesser degree Lawrence and Lorsch’s Organization and Environment 1967. The representations are those in three widely used textbooks typical of many, and applications in management accounting research. A way round this apparent impasse may be to see whether there are any ‘objective’ or commonly accepted standards and criteria within a particular system of thought, assuming that the texts in question are all located within the same system. These texts will beexplored in terms of the paradigmatic boundaries they encompass to see whether the same kinds of problems and solutions are presented, and whether they ultimately lie within the same boundaries. Finally, having argued that they are largely located in different paradigms, the underlying question is raised as to whether one paradigm can be an adequate vehicle for the transmission of a text substantially in another.