The Philosophical Foundations of Management Thought
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The Philosophical Foundations of Management Thought

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This book proposes a review of important Western philosophies and their significance for managers, management academics, and management consultants. Management theories taught in management schools that managers and consultants are supposed to apply are built upon different perspectives of the world, man, and society that are important not so much for what they lead to, but for what they assume. Although rarely made explicit, these assumptions cannot be reconciled and are at the source of many incompatibilities that management academia has been busy ignoring or obfuscating. The ability to evaluate critically these perspectives is essential to managers if they are to make sense of what experts profess, however. Moreover, since management is primarily an exercise in communication, managing is impossible in the darkness of an imprecise language, in the absence of moral references or in the senseless outline of a world without intellectual bases. Managing is an applied philosophical activity; any attempt at repairing management academia and the practices it has produced must accept this conclusion as its premise.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 362 pages
  • 162 x 235 x 27mm | 658g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 0739186027
  • 9780739186022
  • 728,971

About Jean-etienne Joullié

Jean-Etienne Joullie is assistant professor at the Gulf University for Sciences and Technology. Robert Spillane is professor at the Macquarie Graduate School of Management.show more

Review quote

The Philosophical Foundations of Management Thought is a unique book... [T]his is a treatise that achieves much for its reader and for the practice of management. It is a heavyhitter. When enough people get to know it exists (and this is a shout-out to make it compulsory reading for graduate management courses), it will be on its way to greatness. The authors of this work not only do their (tough) job well, but they accomplish a lot that I am not sure even they are aware of. The first, and perhaps most obvious, thing that the book does is provide a comprehensive and critical primer on key influential philosophies of Western civilisation. The authors reveal themselves to be expert communicators about this material... When I finished the last page I was convinced that we as teachers and theoreticians must drag our students (and ourselves) kicking and screaming back to the classics. These are some of the messages I got out of this book-alongside a wonderful, albeit at times challenging, revision of the basics... Colleagues, read it! Make your students read it! If you do, you will reinvent our discipline- and make it better. Relations Industrielles/Industrial Relations The Philosophical Foundations of Management Thought is an important resource for anyone in management, teaching management, or who wants to understand the relationship between philosophy and business. -- Mark Griffith, University of West Alabama Jean-Etienne Joullie and Robert Spillane provide a much needed underpinning for management theory and thought. By uncovering the philosophical roots of management, assumptions about human nature and work can be examined more closely and measured against the social values that they represent. This volume is a must-read for graduate students and researchers in public and business management. -- William L. Waugh Jr., Georgia State University At a time when science is seen-wrongly-as a universal panacea, the lingua franca of both management studies and evidence-based managerial action, this book makes a tremendous contribution. Basing its analysis largely in European philosophy in a very accessible narrative, the book explores management thought in terms of the historical development of philosophical ideas. As such it makes a perfect reader for those interested in appreciating how philosophical ideas have influenced management, and just exactly what that means. -- Mark R. Dibben, University of Tasmaniashow more

Table of contents

1 Ancient Heroism: Managing Heroically 2 Greek Rationalism: Managing Truthfully 3 Italian Renaissance: Managing For and By Power 4 French Rationalism: Managing Rationally 5 British Empiricism: Managing Empirically 6 Positivism: Managing Scientifically I 7 Critical Rationalism: Managing Scientifically II 8 German Romanticism: Managing as an Artist 9 Heroic Individualism: Managing as an Aristocrat 10 Psychoanalysis and Psychiatry: Managing Mind 11 French Existentialism: Managing, Freedom, and Responsibility 12 Postmodernism: Managing Without Foundationsshow more

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