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1. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 2 > Issue: 3
Editorial: Knowing How to Manage
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2. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 2 > Issue: 3
Michael Luntley Knowing How to Manage: Expertise and Embedded Knowledge
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The expertise of managers, as with other professionals, consists in what they know and their particular knowledge base is knowledge that is embedded in practice. In spite of what some practice assumes, management expertise is situated, experiential and cannot be codified. We lack, however, a clear philosophical model of what it means to say of knowledge that it is embedded in practice. This paper seeks to address this need, presents a theory of expertise and explores a key element of the theory concerning the role of judgement in perception. The theory articulates a number of key concepts and gives explanatory power to talk of situated knowledge. It also provides sufficient theoretical structure to bear upon practical policy issues such as how to teach, develop and assess expertise and how to deploy knowledge in setting management goals.
3. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 2 > Issue: 3
Juan Luis Martinez Doing Justice to Solidarity: How NGOs Should Communicate
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Much NGO (Non-Governmental Organisation) fund-raising and publicity concern disasters, emergencies and the immediate relief of suffering. Donations and support may follow but they are prompted all too often by a superficially informed compassion or guilt with donors having little understanding of the results of their action. For all their impact, such campaigns can amount to demagogic sentimentalism leading to ‘compassion fatigue’ and lack of sustained support once media attention moves elsewhere. They thus undermine the unique mission of NGOs themselves. This paper urges a different and more strategic approach to communication by NGOs, one which takes account of their unique status and their mission to promote solidarity. It argues that as well as solving problems of underdevelopment, NGOs need to remain independent and to shape public opinion if they are to flourish. And for this they need stable funding from informeddonors giving in a spirit of solidarity to support development carried out explicitly in the name of human solidarity. The paper sets out guidelines for NGOs to communicate in ways likely to gain the support of such donors. And it describes the la Florida project in Columbia as an example of how the beneficiary can - in the spirit of solidarity - be brought to the centre of NGO action and communication.
4. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 2 > Issue: 3
Duncan Pritchard Are Economic Decisions Rational? Path Dependence, Lock-In and ‘Hinge’ Propositions
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According to neo-classical economic theory, free markets should eventually settle at the most efficient equilibrium. Critics of the view have claimed, however, that even if the idealised conditions demanded by the theory were met (such that the markets in question were completely fee) one would still not find those markets settling at the optimally efficient equilibrium because of the path dependent' nature of economic decision-making. Essentially, the claim is that economic decision-making is always informed by the historical setting in such a way as to prevent those decisions from generally tending towards an optimally efficientequilibrium.It is argued that this debate has been hampered by the fact that the usual three-tiered way of understanding path dependence offered by Stan Liebowitz and Stephen Margolis fails to capture what proponents of the view have in mind. By examining the way in which the notion of path dependence is often described interms borrowed from the philosophy of science, this paper contends that we can gain a more accurate understanding of this notion by recasting it in the light of the Wittgensteinian conception of a 'hinge' proposition. This new account has the advantage of being clearer about the kind of empirical data that is relevant to the issue of whether path dependence is a genuine and economically significant phenomenon. Furthermore, it is argued that this modified account of path dependence may be able to resist some of the key objections that have been levelled against this notion.
5. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 2 > Issue: 3
Sheelagh O'Reilly Reason as Performance: A Manager's Philosophical Diary - Part 4
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6. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 2 > Issue: 3
John Dixon, Rhys Dogan Towards Constructive Corporate Governance: From 'Certainties' to a Plurality Principle
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This paper explores corporate governance failure by drawing upon contemporary perspectives in the philosophy of the social sciences to identify four contending perceptions of corporate governance. Each posits a set of corporate governance 'certainties that derive from incompatible contentions about what is knowable and can exist in the social world in which corporations conduct their affairs. The broad conclusion drawn is that corporate governance processes must be seen as environments where failures of governance lead to one of two possible outcomes. Either trench warfare takes place between the corporate governors and those they seek to govern and with whom they disagreey resulting inevitably in victory of one over the other; or competing governance interests and desires are confronted and integrated. The latter requires tolerance on the part of both corporate governors and the gov ernedy and a willingness to settle competing governance truth-claims with consistency and without self deception and self-delusion.
7. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 2 > Issue: 3
Paul Dearey Systems Thinking: A Philosophy of Management
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This article presents an overview of systems thinking from the mid-20th Century to the present. Systems thinking is presented as an interdisciplinary approach to managing complexity in organisations. It is characterised as holistic, dialogical and pluralistic. The philosophical interpretation of the practice of systemicintervention is increasingly important to understanding the reflexive and ethical nature of this approach to management. The article assesses the prospects of systems thinking becoming a mature philosophy of management by focusing on the quality of relationships that it facilitates. A number of outstanding philosophical questions requiring further research are identified in conclusion.
8. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 2 > Issue: 2
Editorial: Crossing Frontiers
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9. 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.
10. 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.
11. 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.
12. 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.
13. 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.
14. 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.
15. 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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16. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 2 > Issue: 2
Martin Parker Management Knowledge: A Critical View By Paul Griseri
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17. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 2 > Issue: 1
Editorial: Knowing and Deciding
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18. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 2 > Issue: 1
Sandro Limentani From Paternalism to Managerialism: A Healing Shift?
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Traditionally, medical professionals have taken a paternalistic stance towards their patients and have relied on a traditional approach to medical ethics. In recent years, in Britain, however, a new 'managerialism' has developed in the National Health Service (the NHS). This stresses consumerism and greater patient choice and is changing the relationship between doctors and patients. This paper draws out the implications for patients. It describes the ethical characteristics of the two conflicting approaches and argues the need to stress again the view of the patient as an individual person.
19. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 2 > Issue: 1
Michael Bokeno Communicating Other/Wise: A Paradigm for Empowered Practice
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For all the time and effort expended on empowerment and participation 'programmes', many fail each year. This paper argues that the cause is a faulty view of communication widespread among managers and their teachers: the conduit, transmission model. It frustrates participation and is an ideology of management control. It rests on untenable beliefs about meaning and how language relates to the world. The paper proposes a new model of communication in terms of 'communicating other/wise' and offers examples of how it can be practised in management education and by managers aiming to bring empowered and participatory workplaces into being.
20. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 2 > Issue: 1
Bevan Catley, Campbell Jones Deciding on Violence
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If we were to believe the popular press, it would seem that violence at work is an increasingly pressing concern for employees, employers and legislative bodies. In this paper we offer a set of philosophical reflections on violence, in order to clarify and destabilise some of the assumptions which run through manydiscussions of and practical interventions into, violence in the workplace. Rather than focusing on violence 'as such\ we consider various ways in which actions have been, and could be, represented as being violent. To this end, we identify a range of quite distinct representations of violence, and consider the grounds on which decisions are made about 'what violence really is. Refusing to see violence as a simple, obvious phenomenon or as indeterminate and infinitely open, we seek to deploy a deconstructive reading of decision in order to outline the broad contours of a critique of a certain common sense that sees violence only in individual acts of physical violence.