Re-creating the engagement in managerial learning

Human Affairs 28 (1):3-16 (2018)
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Abstract

When defending his doctoral dissertation, Umberto Eco was accused of narrative fallacy because he presented his research as if it were a detective novel. He should have presented only his conclusions. However, this criticism inspired Eco to claim that “[e]very scientific book should be... the report of a quest for some Holy Grail” (Eco, 2011, p. 7). A quest presupposes engagement on both sides of the knowledge exchange. Building upon our own research, we have produced a model-theoretic scheme for management studies in support of the practicability of Eco’s claim. The idea is to re-create the engagement when establishing problem-solving competence in managerial learning: We start with an analysis of real-life cases of successful managerial problem solving (“best practices”). Next, we attempt to find the common denominator of those successful solutions. Lastly, we instantiate the principles found in the previous step in new problem situations, and thus provide new uses for them.

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