The book's premise is that the theories taught in management schools are based on unacknowledged philosophical perspectives that are significant not so much for what they explain, but for what they assume. Rarely made explicit, these perspectives cannot be reconciled, with the result that the study of management has been dominated by contradictions and internecine intellectual warfare. However, the ability critically to analyze these diverse perspectives is essential to practicing and aspiring managers if they are to evaluate expert opinion. Moreover, since management is primarily an exercise in communication, managing is impossible in the darkness of an imprecise language, in the absence of moral references, or in the senseless outline of a world without intellectual foundations. Managing is a prime example of applied philosophy.
Jean-Etienne Joullié is associate professor at Gulf University for Science and Technology.
Robert Spillane is professor of management at the Macquarie Business School.
1. Ancient Heroism: Managing Heroically
2. Greek Rationalism: Managing Argumentatively
3. Italian Renaissance: Managing by and for Power
4. French Rationalism: Managing Rationally
5. British Empiricism: Managing Without Nonsense
6. Positivism: Managing Scientifically
7. Critical Rationalism: Managing by Trial and Error
8. German Romanticism: Managing Artistically
9. Heroic Individualism: Managing Aristocratically
10. Psychoanalysis and Psychiatry: Managing Mind
11.French Existentialism: Managing for Freedom and Responsibility
12. American Pragmatism: Making Management Work
13. Postmodernism: Managing Without Foundations
Epilogue: Philosophy as Remedy