Leadership research has grown into two opposing approaches, the scientific approach and the critical approach. The first is focused on leadership, the second on the leaders. For reasons of practicality, they will be described as the leadership-centric and the leader-centric approach, respectively. Each of the two approaches is characterised by two different perspectives: leadership-centric research highlights science and process; leader-centric research deals with the leader using cognitive faculties and drawing on cultural practices. This opposition has created an unproductive gap in (...) leadership scholarship. The present article focuses on how to reduce that gap by bridging some of the differences that currently undermine scholarship. The concept of habits is used to support an argument in favour of leadership as a social phenomenon. The main idea is that a social phenomenon involves both social interactions happening in everyday shared knowledge and intentionality that influences agents’ experiences. By borrowing from the pragmatist John Dewey, leadership is conceptualised as habits embedded in social life. Habits comprise the social sharing of experience and knowledge in a meaningful world. But it seems difficult, it is further argued, to elaborate on people’s intentionality through habits. To overcome this difficulty, Edmund Husserl’s notion of doxic-theoretical experience is used. Habits, it is concluded, help make leadership-centric research less anonymous, and doxic agency the leader’s intentionality more transparent. (shrink)
An argument is made in this article that there exists a trend in today's society toward a phenomenon that can tentatively be called neocharisma and that this trend poses important challenges to organization theory and the modern organization. This phenomenon, it is suggested, is expressed in today's intense pressure for innovation, something that makes it imperative to develop a distinction between constructive and destructive innovation. Organization theory has some difficulty in handling innovations, radical change, and irrationality, as a review of (...) the literature shows. In order to better understand a phenomenon such as neocharisma, it is proposed that organizations be seen as embedded in society in a typology based on Max Weber's four types of social order (tradition, instrumental rationality, value rationality, and charisma). The article ends with a comparison between charisma and neocharisma, a discussion of what differentiates constructive from destructive innovations, and suggestions for future research related to neocharisma. (shrink)
Team-based learning (TBL) was applied within a third-year unit of study about ethics and management with the aim of enhancing students’ teamwork skills. A survey used to collect students’ opinions about their experience with TBL provided insights about how TBL helped students to develop an appreciation for teamwork and team collaboration. The team skills acquired through TBL could strengthen job readiness for business.
Ethicmentality is an innovative book. It blends ethics with mentality to capture the interdependence of ethical life and social life creatively. The book is also innovative because of the way this interdependence is explored. By focusing on practical ethical behavior in today’s economy, business, and society, Michela Betta has advanced an understanding of ethics freed from the burden of moral theory. By introducing a new type of analysis this book also contributes to methodological innovation. Familiar issues are revisited through the (...) notion of ethicmentality. Capitalist economy is presented in terms of a mentality embedded in society, culture, and politics. Government is revealed as mentality about how to govern economically through market freedom rather than human rights. The rise of the financial economy is described as challenging the traditional capitalist mentality of equal opportunities. A money mentality around debts and owing is perceived as having replaced credit and owning, and the rise of corporation managers as having destroyed the old mentality of ownership. Ethicmentality shows the potential of constructive critique from economic, business, and society perspectives. It also breaches traditional limits by developing the idea of ethical capital and entrepreneurial ethics. Ethical thinking is infused with the Aristotelian notion of virtues and moderation to reflect about modern work. Ethicmentality helps us see the complexity of social and personal life. Given the pervasive nature of mentality and ethics’ focus on individual deliberation, ethicmentality represents their productive combination, a new blend for ethical and social analysis. (shrink)
In this essay I propose a new reading of Michel Foucault’s main thesis about biopower and biopolitics. I argue that organisation represents the neglected key to Foucault’s new conceptualisation of power as something that is less political and more organisational. This unique contribution was lost even on his closest interlocutors. Foucault’s work on power had a strong influence on organisation and management theory but interestingly not for the reasons I am proposing. In fact, although theorists in management and organisation studies (...) have emphasised power in relation to discipline, control and subjectivity they have overlooked the transformative meaning of Foucault’s organisation. His work on biopolitics has attracted opposition, too, as evidenced by the controversy sparked by Giorgio Agamben about Foucault’s biopolitics. From Agamben’s critique, it appears that Foucault’s notions of politics and power do not allow a deconstruction of the violence of the concentration camp. However, a critical reading of Primo Levi’s biographical narratives reveals the camp as a place where the prisoners’ability to organise their daily lives secured survival. To make sense of Levi’s revelation, I use John Dewey’s notion of habits as forms of organisation and reconnect it to Foucault’s organisation. A shared understanding of the objective conditions of human activity and experience highlights the similarities between Dewey’s pragmatism and Foucault’s pragmatic metaphysics. In the end, however, Foucault’s metaphysical background has caught up with him, pushing him away from his own most radical proposal that organisation was the new form of power and the new substance of politics. (shrink)
We propose to understand the global financial crisis of 2008 as an historical event marked by public decisions, economic evaluations and ratings, and business practices driven by a sense of subjugation to powerful others, uncritical conformity to serendipitous rules, and a levelling down of all meaningful differences. The crisis has also revealed two important things: that the free-market economy has inherent problems highlighting the limits of (financial) business, and, consequently, that the business organisation is not as strong as is usually (...) assumed. We reconstruct some of the most dramatic events of that time by using the narratives of two former Lehman Brothers insiders. We then provide an interpretation of that world by using Heidegger’s notions of being and care. Our investigation uncovers persistent inauthentic relationships nourished by the public structure of the financial market, which, drawing on Heidegger, we call the they. In the financial market the what of the world becomes more important than authentic being and self. But a hitch-free switch to authenticity becomes possible through anxiety and the call of conscience. (shrink)