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Moral Foundations of Management Knowledge

Edited by Marie-Laure Djelic, Professor, Department of Management, ESSEC Business School, Cergy, France and Radu Vranceanu, Professor, Department of Economics, ESSEC Business School, Cergy, France
This book sheds light on ‘hidden’ aspects of management theory by questioning its moral foundations: ethical and moral principles tend to become over time, deeply embedded, if not buried, in the intellectual and disciplinary subfields of management, particularly when the latter vie for scientific status. In the process, they often become invisible or indecipherable both to those who advance and diffuse knowledge as well as to those who receive, interpret and apply it.
Extent: 304 pp
Hardback Price: $140.00 Web: $126.00
Publication Date: 2007
ISBN: 978 1 84720 477 6
Availability: In Stock
Paperback Price: $74.00 Web: $59.20
Publication Date: 2009
ISBN: 978 1 84844 705 9
Availability: In Stock
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  • Business and Management
  • Critical Management Studies
  • Management and Universities
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  • Management and Universities
  • Management Education
This book sheds light on ‘hidden’ aspects of management theory by questioning its moral foundations: ethical and moral principles tend to become over time, deeply embedded, if not buried, in the intellectual and disciplinary subfields of management, particularly when the latter vie for scientific status. In the process, they often become invisible or indecipherable both to those who advance and diffuse knowledge as well as to those who receive, interpret and apply it.
 
The contributors to this book explore in various subfields of management thought a number of important moral and ethical issues. What is the definition of ‘good behaviour’ – and hence of ‘bad behaviour’ – implicit behind the theories we use and produce? Can we find, historically, a trace of moral and ethical dilemmas and debates in those intellectual subfields that tend to posture today as morally neutral? What is the conception of human nature and social reality embedded in modern management thought and theories? How do those implicit and hidden cognitive schemes influence the development of research and knowledge in those various subfields? How do they prevent certain issues from emerging? How do they shape debates, practices and beliefs – leaving little room to approach the world differently and to depart from mainstream perspectives?
 
This unique treatment of the moral foundations of knowledge management will provide a stimulating read for academics, students and professionals focusing on business and management, business administration, sociology, organizational behaviour and moral philosophy.
‘Djelic and Vranceanu have put together a valuable collection of studies on the normative justifications underlying modern managerialism, as well as on its roots in economic and organizational theories. Students of the rise of business schools, and business education in particular, will find the book’s analyses of current normative frames most useful. But so will those interested in the prospects for future changes in management doctrines.’
– John W. Meyer, Stanford University, US

‘This book offers an eloquent critical analysis of the moral foundations of management and economics. The essays in it are well-grounded in a variety of disciplines and philosophic traditions. Together the contributors offer provocative insights into how and why morality nourishes and sustains businesses and the people who work in them.’
– Joanne B. Ciulla, University of Richmond, US

‘Exploring the ethical foundations of the different subfields of managerial thought, this book brings a thoroughly new light on the issue of sustainability and responsibility in management theory and practice. Departing from the traditional scientific neutrality viewpoint, its contributors start from the bold premise that management is not ethically or morally neutral. They investigate the validity of various perspectives on business ethics and their implications for economics, theories of leadership and team management as well as the study of complex management systems. Between them, these contributions bring the reflection on management and ethics to a new frontier. This pathbreaking book is compelling reading for all those who want to go beyond a technocratic vision of management.’
– Michel De Vroey, Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium
Contributors: A. Argandoña, L. Bibard, M. Boari, E. Bocatto, A. Bourguignon, L. Crevani, R. Déry, M.-L. Djelic, K. Gordon, M. Lindgren, C. Mailhot, M. Miller, S.L. Muhr, J. Packendorff, E. Perez de Toledo, V. Schaeffer, R.-A. Thietart, G. van Wijk, R. Vranceanu
Contents:

Foreword

PART I: MANAGEMENT KNOWLEDGE AND ETHICAL ISSUES: A DIFFICULT ENCOUNTER
1. Towards a Phenomenology of Management: From Modelling to Day-to-day Moral Sensemaking Cognition
Laurent Bibard

2. Reverse Engineering of Moral Discussion: From Symptoms to Moral Foundations
Evandro Bocatto and Eloisa Perez de Toledo

3. From Hunter-gatherer to Organisational Man: A Morality Tale
Kathryn Gordon and Raymond-Alain Thietart

PART II: ECONOMICS AND THE QUESTION OF MORAL FOUNDATIONS
4. Economics, Ethics and Anthropology
Antonio Argandoña

5. The ‘Ethics of Competition’ or the Moral Foundations of Contemporary Capitalism
Marie-Laure Djelic

6. The Ethics of Rationality. Elucidations in the Theoretical Foundations of Economics by Relation to Ethics
Mircea Boari

7. The Moral Layer of Contemporary Economics: A Virtue-ethics Perspective
Radu Vranceanu

PART III: LEADERSHIP AND TEAM MANAGEMENT: EXPLORING MORAL FOUNDATIONS
8. Leadership Virtues and Management Knowledge: Questioning the Unitary Command Perspective in Leadership Research
Lucia Crevani, Monica Lindgren and Johann Packendorff

9. The Psychological Dimension of Love as Foundational for Transformational Leadership Theory
Mary Miller

10. An Ethical Encounter with the Other: Language Introducing the New into Thought
Sara Louise Muhr

PART IV: MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS AND ETHICS: CAN WE GO BEYOND HYPOCRIZY?
11. Are Management Systems Ethical? The Reification Perspective
Annick Bouguignon

12. The Paradoxical Situation of Ethics in Business
Gilles Van Wijk

13. Ethics and Management Education: The MBA under Attack
Richard Déry, Chantale Mailhot and Véronique Schaeffer

Index