Managerial and Philosophical Intuition in the Thinking of Bergson and Mintzberg

Philosophy of Management 9 (1):85-101 (2010)
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Abstract

Within the Configuration school the management author Henry Mintzberg contributed a strong criticism of a normative conception of strategic planning, arguing that this is too narrow. The philosopher Henri Bergson embraced the totality of life as a creative evolution which transcends the fullness of a preconceived idea. While Mintzberg attempts to rethink the concept of strategy and Bergson to renew philosophical thought, together they share a vision of a changing and unpredictable world that enables them to discover – above and beyond the systematic data they are able to assemble – another mode of knowledge formed by intuition. Intuition holds a central place in the work of both thinkers, invigorating Mintzberg’s work on strategy and Bergson’s thought on metaphysics through a grasp of the substantiality of change. In this paper, we explore the implications of the concept of intuition for their ideas, then discuss some of its limitations, before investigating its possible applications for management research

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