Philosophy for Managers and Philosophy of Managers: Turf, Reputation, Coalition

Philosophy of Management 14 (1):17-28 (2015)
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Abstract

This article distinguishes between philosophy for managers and philosophy of managers. Philosophy for managers is prescriptive advice concerning the content of wisdom in practical judgment and action. Managers in action rely on a self-constructed operational code – a concept borrowed here from earlier literature – that unavoidably emphasizes turf, reputation, and coalition in career advancement. The organization is a political arena for decisions, resources, and career opportunities. While elements of operational philosophy are addressed in formal management education, treatment is haphazard and fragmented in a way that leaves managers to develop a personal operational philosophy. How managers address these elements depends on whether they are idealists, realists, or social darwinists in personal philosophy. The author develops these three options as illustrative categories of operational codes for managers.

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