David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Journal of Business Ethics 7 (8):585 - 591 (1988)
Chester Barnard's classic, The Functions of the Executive, is premised on an Aristotelean conception of human nature. This reliance ramifies throughout his analysis of the cooperative basis of human organizations. Perhaps its most important manifestation appears in his definition of willing cooperation as self-abnegation. For by so removing cooperation from its utilitarian and contractarian assumptions, he avoids the well known criticisms of those assumptions while retaining his fundamental liberalism. Put positively, self-abnegation informs Barnard's liberalism with an heroic dimension. This, in turn, enables him to provide an account of organizational effectiveness which is at once realistic and optimistic and which values its unique human participants.
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