The Limits of Workplace Community: Jean-Luc Nancy and the Possibility of Teambuilding [Book Review]

Journal of Business Ethics 99 (S1):1-8 (2011)

Alexander U. Bertland
Niagara University
Jean-Luc Nancy is a contemporary continental philosopher who argues that the hope of fully unifying a community through work is problematic. This is because people cannot be reduced to their function as workers. Thus, community is, at best, inoperative. This article takes Nancy’s ideas of community and applies them to the notion of teamwork in business. It shows how in some literature on business teamwork, there is a desire to build a team through shared work experiences. It then explains Nancy’s view as to why this cannot work, and it enters into Nancy’s positive account of how a community should be seen as a web of people communicating and sharing with each other in a variety of ways. The practical conclusion the study draws is that team members need to be careful about allowing goal orientation to obfuscate the richness of the relationships that occur among team members. People need to explore all of the ways in which people share with each other rather than just those ways that advance a narrow set of goals. If the richness of those relationships is recognized, many new directions for business and for general human development may appear
Keywords Jean-Luc Nancy  Teambuilding  Teamwork  Business ethics  Ethics in business communication  Continental philosophy
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DOI 10.1007/s10551-011-1156-7
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Being Singular Plural.Jean-Luc Nancy - 2000 - Stanford University Press.
The Inoperative Community.Jean-Luc Nancy - 1991 - University of Minnesota Press.

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