Mead and Merleau-Ponty each portray the perceptual field as a field of spatially and temporally located, ontologically "thick" or resisting objects which are essentially related to the horizon of world, which allow for the very structure of the sensing which gives access to them, and whose manner of emergence undercuts the problematics of the subject-object split. This essay surveys this perceptual field as a focus for eliciting their more fundamental shared understanding of the dimensions of human activity which underlie its (...) emergence. (shrink)
The uprootedness of experience from its ontological embeddedness in a natural world is at the core of much contemporary philosophy which, like pragmatism, aims to reject foundationalism in all its forms. All hold positions that, in varying ways, there is a bedrock basis on which to build an edifice of knowledge, something objective that justifies rational arguments concerning what is the single best position for making available or picturing the structure of reality as it exists independently of our various contextually (...) set inquiries. There can be no non-perspectival framework within which differences—social, moral, scientific, etc.—can be evaluated and resolved. These positions may, like pragmatism, focus on the .. (shrink)
This paper will build on a recent article appearing in the Harvard Business Review that blamed the alleged crisis in management education on the scientific model that has been adopted as the sole means of gaining knowledge about human behavior and organizations. The solution, they argue, is for business schools to realize that business management is not a scientific discipline but a profession, and deal with the things a professional education requires. We will expand on this article and discuss its (...) implications by looking at the scientific model from a philosophical perspective and dealing with the issue of whether management is a profession. Our discussion of these issues has implications for our understanding of business in society and the design of the business school curriculum. (shrink)
Dewey's understanding of growth is inseparably intertwined with his distinctively pragmatic understanding of the self-community relation and of knowledge as experimental. Within this framework, growth emerges as a process by which individual communities achieves fuller, richer, more inclusive, and more complex interactions with their environment by incorporating the perspective of "the other". Growth involves reintegration of problematic situations in ways which lead to expansion of self, of community, and of the relation between the two. In this way growth and workability (...) go hand in hand, for growth involves the resolution of conflict through reconstructive expansion of contexts which work in bringing about the desired resolution. And in this way growth and workability properly understood in their concrete fullness are inherently moral, and the ethical dimension of business decisions involves consideration of both. In this sense, pragmatism can hold that the ultimate goal in the nurturing of moral maturity, whether for individuals, communities, or corporations, is the development of the ability for ongoing self-directed growth. (shrink)
Integrating "ethics all the way through" an organization suggests that the issue of moral agency and the corporation be reconsidered. Is the corporation a moral agent in some sense or is it no more than the people who are a part of the organization? Views which stress the role of the individual lose sight of the whole corporate entity, and views which think of the corporation as a collective lose sight of the individual. A view which rejects both these alternatives (...) sees the corporation as a type of community where there is a dynamic tension between the corporation as a whole and the individuals who are part of the organization. This view has implications relative to the focus of efforts to integrate ethics throughout an organization. (shrink)
William James and John Dewey hold the view that all knowledge and experience are experimental. Within this common pragmatic context, James's theism and Dewey's atheism offer contrasting - indeed, contradictory - interpretations of the object of religious experience. This essay explores the intertwining of their common pragmatic context and differing objects of religious belief to show the way in which this intertwining gives rise to a unique position which can appeal to theists and atheists alike.
. Atomic individualism is embedded in most definitions of stakeholder theory, and as a result, stakeholders are not integral to the basic identity of the corporation which is considered to be independent of, and separate from, its stakeholders. Feminist theory has been suggested as a way of developing a more relational view of the corporation and its stakeholders, but it lacks a systematically developed conceptual framework for undergirding its own insights. Pragmatic philosophy is offered as a way of providing this (...) theoretical undergirding for . a relational understanding of the firm and its stakeholders. (shrink)
At the heart of entrepreneurship are imagination, creativity, novelty, and sensitivity. It takes these qualities to develop a new product or service and bring it to market, to envision the possible impacts a new product may make and come up with novel and creative solutions to problems that may arise. These qualities go to make up what could be called the spirit of entrepreneurship, a spirit that involves the ability to handle the experimental nature of entrepreunerial activity. These same qualities (...) are crucial for moral decision making, and an ethical approach which emphasizes imagination, creativity, and has an experimental thrust is much better adapted to the entrepreneurial activity and much more relevant to the unique situations that entrepreneurs face. In this sense, the process approach to ethics developed in this article is a unifying framework that brings together the activity of entrepreneurship and moral decision making. (shrink)
The Social Issues in Management Division has had a long history of research into various aspects of governmental influences on business. Recent years, however, have seen stakeholder theory sort of sweep the field, and under a stakeholder theory of capitalism, governments will matter less then they have in the past as stakeholder principles are implemented throughout the corporate world. This article will examine the nature of this claim by discussing problems with the implementation of stakeholder theory and examining the role (...) of public policy in our society. (shrink)
This paper is based on a case study involving construction of a new petrochemical plant near Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and the controversy surrounding its location. The paper will explore ethical issues raised by this plant, utilizing a pragmatic perspective that differs from traditional ethical frameworks. In developing and exploring the implications of this case, the complexities of its moral dimensions will be discussed, as well as the way the insights of classical American pragmatism provide a useful orientation for trying to (...) come to grips with these complexities. (shrink)
In a market economy, the corporation is the primary institution through which new technologies are introduced. And the corporation, being primarily interested in economic goals, may ask very limited questions about the safety and workability of a particular technology. This viewpoint causes problems which manifest themselves in many cases where the concerns of engineers and technicians in corporations about decisions relating to a particular technology clash with managers prone to overlooking these concerns in favor of organizational interests. The problem can (...) be seen as a structural one that is inherent in the capitalistic system. It can also be seen as an organizational or policy problem that requires changes in the organization to give engineers more authority in decision-making or to facilitate whistle-blowing on the part of engineers or technicians. In this paper, we take the view that problems surrounding the misuse of technology lie in a lack of understanding of technology's inherently social and moral dimensions. Technology creates a moral situation, and this situation should provide the context for decision-making. Technology is also experimental, and everyone involved with introducing a particular technology needs to ask the question as to whether a real life experiment is warranted. Finally, technology demands a moral sensibility which recognizes that business interests and technological interests alike need to be understood in the network of concrete relational contexts in which they are embedded. (shrink)
People who teach business ethics seem locked between two general approaches: an applied philosophy approach that emphasizes the application of abstract ethical theories and principles to specific cases, and the case method approach that leaves the students without any more general theoretical framework with which to approach ethical issues. Classical American Pragmatism, understood as a school of philosophical thought, links these two approaches by providing a new grounding for moral theory in which moral rules are understood as working hypotheses abstracted (...) from concrete situations and moralreasoning demands the return to concrete situations as the foundation for moral decision making that is inherently contextual. Thus moral decision making is bottom up rather than top down, and a sense of moral rightness comes not from the indoctrination of abstract principles but from attunement to the way in which moral beliefs and practices must be rooted naturally in the very conditions of human existence. (shrink)
Pragmatism is a philosophy still in the making, one that has taken (and will take) novel twists and turns as the general spirit of its paradigmatic novelty moves forward. However, when creative appropriation of pragmatic themes begins to destroy this philosophic spirit and paradigmatic vision, such novelty is no longer a further development of pragmatism but, rather, a move to a different position, one that must be clearly distinguished from the pragmatic movement in American philosophy.
Using classical American pragmatism, the authors provide a philosophical framework for rethinking the nature of the corporation--how it is embedded in its natural, technological, cultural, and international environments, emphasizing throughout its pervasive relational and moral dimensions. They explore the relationship of this framework to other contemporary business ethics perspectives, as well as its implications for moral leadership in business and business education.
The empirical-normative split in business ethics is another manifestation of the fact-value problem that has existed betweenscience and philosophy for several centuries. This paper explores classical American pragmatism’s understanding of the fact-valuedistinction, showing how it offers a different way of understanding the empirical business ethics–normative business ethics issue.Unfolding the pragmatic perspective on this issue involves a focus on its understanding of both the nature of empirical inquiry and thenature of normative inquiry.
In the last few years, some attempts have been made to overcome the disparity between environmental ethics and business ethics. However, as the situation now stands the various positions in business ethics have not incorporated any well-developed theoretical foundation for environmental issues, and conversely, environmental ethics is failing to capture an audience that could profit greatly from utilizing its theoretical insights and research. In this paper, we attempt to provide a unified conceptual framework for business ethics and environmental ethics that (...) can further the dialogue that has recently begun, perhaps bringing it to a deeper theoretical level. (shrink)
The current literature in business ethics is tending toward an unacknowledged\nmoral pluralism, with all the problems this position entails. An\nadequate moral pluralism cannot be achieved by a synthesis of existing\ntheoretical alternatives for moral action. Rather, what is needed\nis a radical reconstruction of the understanding of the moral situation\nthat undercuts some of the traditional dichotomies, provides a solid\nphilosophical grounding which is inherently pluralistic, and offers\na new understanding of what it is to think morally. The philosophical\nposition of American pragmatism, as briefly sketched (...) in this paper,\noffers one such possible reconstruction. (shrink)