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1. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 13 > Issue: 3
Paul Griseri Loyal Talents, Distorted Knowledge?
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2. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 13 > Issue: 3
Billy Adamsen Do We Really Know What the Term “Talent” in Talent Management Means? – And What Could Be the Consequences of Not Knowing?
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Over the centuries the term “talent” has changed semantically and slowly transformed itself into a floating signifier or become an accidental designator. The term “talent” no longer has one single meaning and a “referent” in real life, but instead a multiplicity of meaning and references to something beyond real life, something indefinite and indefinable. In other words, today we do not know specifically what the term “talent” in talent management really means or refers to. Indeed, this is problematical, because in late modernity the term “talent” has become a popular and frequently used key term among business consultants and, within the science of human resource management, a cornerstone in the discipline of “talent management”, and not knowing what the term really means will turn any talent discussion, talent identification and talent recruitment into a question of subjectivity and belief in talent rather than objectivity and knowledge of talent.
3. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 13 > Issue: 3
Kemi Ogunyemi Employer Loyalty: The Need for Reciprocity
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Responsibilities towards employees constitute a recognised general subject area in the field of business ethics. Thus, research has been done regarding respecting employees’ rights to fairness in dismissal procedures, to their privacy, to a fair wage, etc. Employee loyalty has also been shown to be very important both in management literature and in legal debate but much less attention has been given to employer loyalty which could be one of the responsibilities of an employer to his or her employee. Rather, some confusion regarding the nature of loyalty has at times led to suggestions that loyalty should be replaced by self-interest. However, scholars who favour this view usually do so in reaction to the one-sidedness of loyalty expectations. This paper proposes that loyalty is a duty that employers also owe their employees, based on the reciprocal nature of certain rights and duties within human relationships and an understanding of psychological contracts. Thus the paper argues that loyalty should be a mutual expectation between the parties rather than unidirectional. In fact, employer loyalty enriches the employers themselves in terms of their human fulfilment, since it is a human virtue, and leads to employee loyalty response, which then impacts the bottom-line.The paper’s content is also important insofar as it could contribute to building ethical duty foundations for employers in developing countries where weak regulatory environments combine with the harshness of the economy to make it an employers’ world and make instances of unfairness towards employees common.
4. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 13 > Issue: 3
Lars Frølund, Morten Ziethen The Hermeneutics of Knowledge Creation in Organisations
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This paper argues that it is possible (and recommendable) to develop a new conceptual framework based on the tradition of philosophical hermeneutics to address what one could call “the human factor” within knowledge creation in organisations. This is done firstly through a review of the epistemological roots of three main theories of knowledge creation in organisations (systemic theory, complexity theory, and social constructionism). We examine these theories along two axes: a) their understanding of the relation between person and language, and b) the controllability of knowledge creation. Secondly, we restate the question of knowledge creation in organisations from the perspective of philosophical hermeneutics, arguing that knowledge creation takes place as an event in language, that is as an uncontrollable process which nonetheless requires courage, trust, and persistence and thereby requires that certain “ethical actions” should happen. This, finally, leads us to develop a model for knowledge creation called LUGS, which insists on the intrinsic relation between epistemology and practice, i.e. between what people come to know and how they decide to be – and it is this intrinsic relation between knowledge and being that we take as the “message” of this article.
5. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 13 > Issue: 3
Damian Grace, Michael Jackson Reflections on the Misrepresentation of Machiavelli in Management: The Mysterious case of the MACH IV Personality Construct
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Niccolò Machiavelli is credited with inspiring the MACH IV personality assessment instrument, which has been adopted widely in management, both public and private. The personality this instrument maps is manipulative, deceitful, immoral, and self-centred. The instrument emerged in 1970 and created a minor industry. There are at least eighty empirical studies in management that involved more than 14,000 subjects. Richard Christie, who created the scale, has said that it is derived from the works of Machiavelli. In a standard debriefing after completing this scale, respondents would be told it concerns the Machiavellian personality. We argue that the Machiavellian personality in MACH IV has little, if anything, to do with Machiavelli, either the man or his works. If Machiavelli is alleged to be relevant to management, we argue that this personality assessment instrument does not demonstrate such relevance. To advance this case we first describe the development of the instrument, identifying some of the assumptions upon which it rests; then we assess each of its twenty items against Machiavelli’s texts. Wefind fewer than half of the items have even a tenuous connection with Machiavelli’s works, yet the instrument bears his name. Against this spurious Machiavelli we juxtapose another twenty passages from The Prince, showing a much more complex and subtle thinker than the one-dimensional cipher in the MACH IV scale. Machiavelli studies have done much to dispel the cloud of mythology around the man and his reputation, and we hope to do the same to MACHIV. In the name of intellectual honesty and sound scholarship, we urge management scholars to take note of this distortion of Machiavelli, and where possible address it, and that users of the MACH IV scale distinguish the man, Machiavelli, and his works from this instrument.
book reviews
6. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 13 > Issue: 3
Anouschka Klestadt, Suzan Langenberg Coaching for Change by John L. Bennett & Mary Wayne Bush; Creating a Coaching Culture for Managers in Your Organisation, Dawn Forman, Mary Joyce and Gladeana McMahon (eds.); Coaching as a Leadership Style by Robert F. Hicks
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7. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 13 > Issue: 3
Miriam Green Frontiers of Management: Research and Practice, Roger Mansfield (ed.)
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8. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 13 > Issue: 3
Willard F. Enteman An Introduction to the Philosophy of Management by Paul Griseri
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9. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 13 > Issue: 3
Thomas Lennefors Managerialism: A Critique of an Ideology by Thomas Klikauer
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10. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
Paul Griseri Concrete Abstractions
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11. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
Karen George, Petia Sice The Emergence of Wellbeing in Community Participation
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This paper explores and reflects upon the literature and several mini case studies to recommend a change of focus for the linking management and development of community participants and community organisations. This change of focus looks at complexity and patterns that arise from the multitude of social interactions; the support and development of individuals and the effect this can have on an organisation’s wellbeing; and the effect a community organisation can have on that of the individual. To gain insight into wellbeing, people need to be aware of their mind, body and energy and how they affect others. There is evidence that terminally ill people who have found new beliefs have experienced a spontaneous remission of disease. Humanity evolves in the same way as we control our destiny. We can learn to love, respect, trust, and commit to each other and work in harmony, or we can foster disharmony resulting in failure and negative feelings. As the economy changes, community organisations are under threat of extinction. Just as species and humanity evolve, we suggest that community organisations need to evolve to ensure wellbeing.
12. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
Ulla Thøgersen The Embodied Emotionality of Everyday Work Life: Merleau-Ponty and the Emotional Atmosphere of Our Existence
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The main argument in this paper is that the philosophical tradition of phenomenology can provide a source for reflections on emotionality which points to a primordial emotional atmosphere in everyday work life. Within the phenomenological tradition, the paper mainly turns to the philosophy of Merleau-Ponty and his studies of an emotional atmosphere which “is there” as an essential part of our very way of being situated in the world, but Heidegger’s notion of Stimmung is also discussed.
13. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
Claudia Gillberg, Linh Chi Vo Contributions from Pragmatist Perspectives towards an Understanding of Knowledge and Learning in Organisations
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The purpose of this article is to present an understanding of knowledge and learning in organisations from pragmatist perspectives. Relying on the work of early pragmatists as well as contemporary pragmatists, we introduce a conceptualisation of knowledge as the outcome of inquiry. Knowledge, in this article, is presented as provisional, multi-perspective, both particular and general. Our point of departure here is that the chief value of knowledge is its usefulness insolving problems. Pragmatist views of knowledge are further explicated in our discussion of four pragmatist themes, which we have identified as particularly viable on the basis of Jane Addams’ pragmatist view and the practice of democracy in organised life: 1) Knowledge as transactional in organisations, 2) Reciprocity and learning in organisations, 3) Experience-based knowledge and meaning-making in organisations, and 4) Sustainability as an ongoing, democratic process in organisations. In the pragmatist school of thought we draw upon, a predominant issue is always also the very purpose of knowledge, or what we refer to as ‘usefulness’. Under discussion, we argue that a pragmatist understanding of knowledge and learning in organisations allows us to move beyond the polarisation of cognitive-possession – social-process and instead work from an alternative framework, with a focus on processes of learning and knowledge in organisations that aim at integrative, democratic problem solving.
14. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
Vincent Blok The Metaphysics of Collaboration: Identity, Unity and Difference in Cross-sector Partnerships for Sustainable Development
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In this article, we critically discuss the ideal of alignment, unity and harmony in cross-sector partnerships (CSP) for wicked problems like sustainable development. We explore four characteristics of the concepts of identity, unity and difference which are presupposed in the partnership and collaboration literature, and point at their metaphysical origin. Based on our analysis of these four characteristics, we show the limitations of the metaphysical concepts of identity and difference in the case of CSPs for wicked problems like sustainable development.
15. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
Halvor Nordby Management Communication in Leadership Relations: A Philosophical Model of Understanding and Contextual Agreement
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It has been a fundamental assumption in management theory that communication is a key condition for successful management. This assumption has been linked to Habermas’ model of communicative rationality, but it is very difficult for managers to implement this model in real-life leadership relations. The reason is that practical obstacles, resource limitations and knowledge gaps make it impossible to achieve Habermas’ ideal aim of ‘shared horizons’. The article argues that it is possible for managers to meet fundamental communication conditions in employee interaction and other forms of leadership relations if the holistic concept of a shared horizon is replaced with an idea of contextual agreement. Within this alternative conceptual framework, a key strategic aim for managers is to communicate as well as realistically possible how organisational strategies and action-guiding principles are justified. This presupposes that managers are able to uncover ‘hidden’ language meaning and transcend contextual power relations. Within a speech act theory of meaning, the article articulates three basic communication conditions that can function as conceptual tools for achieving these communicative aims.
16. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 13 > Issue: 1
Paul Griseri Editorial: Care, Mufti, and the Instrumental Turn
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17. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 13 > Issue: 1
Michela Betta, Robert Jones, James Latham Being and Care in Organisation and Management – A Heideggerian Interpretation of the Global Financial Crisis of 2008
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We propose to understand the global financial crisis of 2008 as an historical event marked by public decisions, economic evaluations and ratings, and business practices driven by a sense of subjugation to powerful others, uncritical conformity to serendipitous rules, and a levelling down of all meaningful differences. The crisis has also revealed two important things: that the free-market economy has inherent problems highlighting the limits of (financial) business, and, consequently, that the business organisation is not as strong as is usually assumed. We reconstruct some of the most dramatic events of that time by using the narratives of two former Lehman Brothers insiders. We then provide an interpretation of that world by using Heidegger’s notions of being and care. Our investigation uncovers persistent inauthentic relationships nourished by the public structure of the financial market, which, drawing on Heidegger, we call the they. In the financial market the what of the world becomes more important than authentic being and self. But a hitch-free switch to authenticity becomes possible through anxiety and the call of conscience.
18. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 13 > Issue: 1
Xavier Pavie The Importance of Responsible Innovation and the Necessity of ‘Innovation-Care’
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This study deals with responsibility as part of innovation. By nature, innovation gives birth to development for the organization and can only be at the core of any strategy within an ever-increasingly global economic context. However it also raises new questions stemming mostly from the impossibility to forecast the success of the innovations. More precisely, the questions raised by innovation also concern its consequences on society as a whole. Today, the innovator should understand his responsibility, the consequence of each innovation. Moreover, common acceptance of the word ‘responsibility’ raises some questions about its use and how it should be understood. What does ‘responsibility’ mean? Who is responsible and for what? Through the notion of ‘care’, we aim at providing an evolution of responsible-innovation. The concept of ‘innovation-care’ is centered on people and more precisely focuses on taking care of them. The purpose of innovation-care is indeed to innovate and keep up with the level of productivity necessary to any organization while taking into account the essential interdependence between the status of the innovator and that of the citizen.
19. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 13 > Issue: 1
Rod Thomas Against the So-called ‘Standard Account of Method’
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Explains why the debate initiated by Stephen Lloyd Smith’s plea to jettison the so-called ‘Standard Account of Method’ (SAM)––the conventional wisdom of how research philosophy and methodology ought to be taught to management students––is of the utmost importance to the teaching of management studies in British universities. Identifies a fully-developed presentation of the SAM framework in a well-considered and widely-used text-book–– ‘Research Methods for Managers’ by John Gill and Phil Johnson––and demonstrates that the book’s argument is both logically and scholarly defective. Identifies the SAM as a form of dogmatic rationalism; one that is oblivious to the possibility of applying deductive inference in the service of a critical rationalism. Outlines the logical role of deductive testing in empirical research and demonstrates that there need be no great divide between nomothetic and ideographic research problems once appropriate distinctions are drawn between different forms of explanation. Nonetheless, questions the relevance of these research problems to the concerns of practising managers by highlighting the contrast, as made by philosophers, between social science and social technology. Concludes that the continued presentation and defence of the SAM, as the conventional wisdom of how research philosophy and methodology ought to be taught to management students, is thoroughly lamentable.
20. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 13 > Issue: 1
Thomas Klikauer Human Resource Management and Kohlberg’s Scale of Moral Development
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Human Resource Management is in a contentious relationship with moral philosophy. To understand this relationship, one can approach it from the standpoint of Human Resource Management (HRM) or philosophy. This article presents the latter. One of the most important 20th century discussions on the development of moral behaviour came from Laurence Kohlberg. His model of universal moral stages provides a framework inside which virtually all forms of morality take place. These stages are used to characterise the morality of HRM. In order to avoid portraying them as moral philosophy the paper assesses HRM’s morality by using these seven stages as an ordering framework. To achieve this, a normative and a supportive empirical study have been conducted: the normative study found that HRM appears to be located at stages two and four; this is supported by empirical data because most respondents (76%, n=204) saw HRM’s morality as a reflection of these three stages. These stages represent: seeking personal benefits, corporate conformity, and supporting corporate policies.