Management history has in the past 15 years witnessed growing enthusiasm for “critical” research methodologies associated with the so-called “historic turn”. This paper…
Management history has in the past 15 years witnessed growing enthusiasm for “critical” research methodologies associated with the so-called “historic turn”. This paper aims to argue, however, that the “historic turn” has proved to an “historic wrong turn”, typically associated with confused and contradictory positions. In consequence, Foucault’s belief that knowledge is rooted in discourse, and that both are rooted in external structures of power, is used while simultaneously professing advocacy of White’s understanding that history is fictive, the product of the historian’s imagination.
This paper explores the intellectual roots of the historic (wrong) turn in the idealist philosophies of Nietzsche, Croce, Foucault, White and Latour as well as the critiques that have been made of those theories from within “critical” or “Left” theoretical frameworks.
Failing to properly acknowledge the historical origin of their ideas and/or the critiques of those ideas – and misrepresenting all contrary opinion as “positivist” – those associated with the historic (wrong) turn replicate the errors of their theoretical champions. The author thus witnesses a confusion of ontology (the nature of being) and epistemology (the nature of knowledge) and, consequently, of “facts” (things that exist independently of our fancy), “evidence” (how ascertain knowledge of a fact) and “interpretation” (how I connect evidence to explain an historical outcome).
Directed toward an examination of the conceptual errors that mark the so-called “historic turn” in management studies, this article argues that the holding contradictory positions is not an accidental by-product of the “historic turn”. Rather, it is a defining characteristic of the genre.
A species of moral malaise afflicts the professions today, a malaise that may prove fatal to their moral identities and perilous to our whole society. It is manifest in a…
A species of moral malaise afflicts the professions today, a malaise that may prove fatal to their moral identities and perilous to our whole society. It is manifest in a growing conviction even among conscientious doctors, lawyers, and ministers that it is no longer possible to practice their professions within traditional ethical constraints. More specifically, the belief is taking hold that unless professionals look out for their own self‐interest, they will be crushed by commercialization, competition, government regulation, malpractice actions, advertising, public and media hostility, and a host of other inimical socio‐economic forces. This line of reasoning leads the professional to infer that self‐interest justifies compromises in, and even rejection of, obligations that standards of professional ethics have traditionally imposed.
It is impossible to provide anything other than a glimpse of such a complex figure as Nietzsche in the span of a review of a book on his influence (if any) on economics…
It is impossible to provide anything other than a glimpse of such a complex figure as Nietzsche in the span of a review of a book on his influence (if any) on economics. Here I provide a summary of his life and major works. I have had to omit some works from the discussion, and also suppress a good deal of biographical detail. Some Nietzsche scholarship, especially that outside the analytical philosophical tradition, consider events in Nietzsche's life as important to understanding his philosophy, and look for explanations of his philosophy in his life, such as the lack of a father figure and the search for male role models in Wagner and Schopenhauer, and the effect of his chronic illness on his philosophy. If I consider these interpretive issues, I do so only tangentially.
This chapter offers a critical evaluation of the narrative of the entrepreneur-adventurer common in business schools today. It suggests that this narrative stands in the…
This chapter offers a critical evaluation of the narrative of the entrepreneur-adventurer common in business schools today. It suggests that this narrative stands in the way of meaningful ethics integration in business education in part because it fails to encourage or even acknowledge insights that are “felt” rather than merely intellectually registered. Philosopher-writers like Henri Bergson, William James, and Friedrich Nietzsche agree that a large part of experience escapes purely theoretical frameworks. We need nontheoretical, evocative narratives to make visible those parts of reality that are easily overlooked when we are focused on the practical and utilitarian side of existence. These philosophical theories, combined with the concept of “felt knowledge,” help determine where the current business narrative falls short and serve as a foundation for a few suggestions about how this narrative might be changed from within.
Nietzsche’s texts contain diverse and sometimes contradictory themes that defy singular summations and are open to divergent interpretations. He also often deployed puzzling and contradictory statements to provoke readers’ thoughts. Although not claiming to illuminate the one true Nietzsche, I contend that his sociocultural and social psychological arguments about German antisemitism and nationalism not only contradict alt right views but also theorize conditions that give rise to this distinctive type of demagoguery. Conflictive appropriations of Nietzsche have been part of the battle over capitalist crises and reactionary populist revivals for over a century, and unregulated growth and massive expansion of the global economy relative to the biosphere greatly increased material throughput and production of waste and generated a host of severe global environmental problems, including especially climate change. In this situation, the alt right contends that cosmopolitan people are deracinated, emptied of their cultural particularity, and spiritually lost. Progressives contend that cosmopolitans potentially benefit from more diverse people and perspectives, enhanced ability to empathetically play the role of the other, and consequent wider communicative capacities and refined powers of cooperation. Nietzsche too exhorted humans to “remain true to the earth” and its “garden joy,” and implied a naturalist esthetics and pacification of nature, and he should be rescued from alt right by reaching beyond his legacy to envision and forge new political-economic alternatives and collective actions capable of sustaining life on the planet and creating and perpetuating a more just democracy that favors cosmopolitan human flourishing.
Nobody concerned with political economy can neglect the history of economic doctrines. Structural changes in the economy and society influence economic thinking and…
Nobody concerned with political economy can neglect the history of economic doctrines. Structural changes in the economy and society influence economic thinking and, conversely, innovative thought structures and attitudes have almost always forced economic institutions and modes of behaviour to adjust. We learn from the history of economic doctrines how a particular theory emerged and whether, and in which environment, it could take root. We can see how a school evolves out of a common methodological perception and similar techniques of analysis, and how it has to establish itself. The interaction between unresolved problems on the one hand, and the search for better solutions or explanations on the other, leads to a change in paradigma and to the formation of new lines of reasoning. As long as the real world is subject to progress and change scientific search for explanation must out of necessity continue.
The purpose of this paper is to challenge Matthew Lorenzon’s contention that the late 1890s outcry demanding Melbourne University music professor G.W.L. Marshall-Hall’s…
The purpose of this paper is to challenge Matthew Lorenzon’s contention that the late 1890s outcry demanding Melbourne University music professor G.W.L. Marshall-Hall’s removal from office was precipitated by his praise of war in an 1898 public address. It also disputes Lorenzon’s view that the belligerent, anti-philanthropic content of the address was inspired by Alexander Tille’s Social Darwinist introduction to four works of Friedrich Nietzsche which, Lorenzon says, Marshall-Hall had misread.
The paper analyses the speech and responses to it, comparing its content with that of the book and taking into account Marshall-Hall’s annotations and other relevant remarks. It also considers the broader situational context in which the speech was delivered with a view to identifying additional influences.
Despite superficial resemblances, Tille’s concern is with the physiological capabilities that determine the outcome of a universal struggle for physical survival, other qualities being important insofar as they contribute to such physiological power, whereas Marshall-Hall, driven by situational circumstances, focuses on contests for occupational pre-eminence in which physiology plays little part. While both men denigrate altruism they mean quite different things by it. Moreover, the speech had little to do with the ensuing furore, which stemmed primarily from offence caused by Marshall-Hall’s book of verse, Hymns Ancient and Modern. There is no reason to believe that he had misread Nietzsche.
The paper contributes to Marshall-Hall scholarship by arguing that the controversy was driven by purely local circumstances, not international debates about evolution.