The study of women business founders provides an opportunity to determine their unique leadership characteristics. Starting a business may be a way for women business…
The study of women business founders provides an opportunity to determine their unique leadership characteristics. Starting a business may be a way for women business owners to be authentic and create more people-centered businesses. Servant leadership’s gender integrative attributes where both agentic and communal behaviors are valued may be more congruent and reflective of the leadership behaviors of women entrepreneurs. Recently, the motivation of compassionate love was theorized to be an antecedent to servant leadership and, it is argued, exists in conjunction with authenticity. Thus, the purpose of this study is to investigate compassionate love, authenticity and servant leadership and determine whether they exist in the behaviors of founding female business owners.
This qualitative research study used summative content analysis of telephone interviews conducted with 12 women business owners of professional service firms in four US states to determine whether these women’s motivations, traits and behaviors were consistent with the compassionate love servant leadership model and whether authenticity was the cornerstone of servant leadership.
The analyses found that these women revealed a strong authenticity orientation as they enacted a compassionate love servant leadership style within their businesses. Themes that emerged from the study were agency, calling, humility, trust and respect, self-development, stewardship, authenticity and providing direction. The study revealed support for some of the characteristics associated with compassionate love servant leadership and two characteristics which were unique to this study.
As a qualitative study of 12 individuals, these findings may not be generalizable beyond the four US states of professional service enterprises of women business founders. Future research should test the full servant leadership model of women business owners on a larger group of business founders and the sub-themes where little support exists.
The more gender integrative style of compassionate love servant leadership may be beneficial for women owners to employ as business leaders.
This research revealed support for a variation of compassionate love servant leadership model. The resulting servant leadership model herein was a mixture of agentic and communal leadership motivations, traits and behaviors useful to women business founders. Behaviors of authenticity were found to complement compassionate love. These women were able to extend the boundaries of what it means to be a leader and incorporate behaviors associated with both their gender and leadership roles, thus expanding their ability to successfully empower and equip themselves to navigate barriers unique to women leaders.
Athens’ Radical Interactionism and Rorty’s neopragmatism represent two differing interpretations of pragmatist philosophy that are used to inform contemporary approaches…
Athens’ Radical Interactionism and Rorty’s neopragmatism represent two differing interpretations of pragmatist philosophy that are used to inform contemporary approaches to social inquiry. Athens’ and Rorty’s views differ greatly in their positions on the implications of a Darwinian worldview, leading to different perspectives on the value and role of truth, scientific method, and rationality in engaging in social inquiry and political reform. By tracing out the differences between Radical Interactionism and neopragmatism with respect to epistemology, social science, and political reform, I show that Athens’ Radical Interactionism accomplishes more to inform concrete social inquiry and political change. While Rorty’s neopragmatism helps readers to situate pragmatist-inspired inquiry in its evolutionary context, his work provided little guidance for social science. Conversely, Athens’ Radical Interactionism expands upon the value of a pragmatist version of rationality and scientific method, directing researchers’ attention to domination and dominance orders in contemporary social life. Furthermore, the Darwinian underpinnings of both Athens’ and Rorty’s pragmatist-inspired philosophies suggests that concepts in social inquiry are to be understood as sensitizing as opposed to definitive. As such, Athens’ Radical Interactionism remains true to the pluralistic thrust of pragmatist philosophy by conveying domination as a sensitizing concept in contrast to a more neo-positivist definitive concept.
In this chapter, the approach of radical interactionism is juxtaposed against symbolic interactionism, its older conservative turned rival cousin, to highlight primarily…
In this chapter, the approach of radical interactionism is juxtaposed against symbolic interactionism, its older conservative turned rival cousin, to highlight primarily the major differences between them. The five key differences identified are as follows: (1) the major progenitors for symbolic interactionism are Mead and Blumer, while those for radical interactionism are Park and, by default, myself; (2) although radical interactionism presumes that domination and power are always of great importance for understanding human group life, symbolic interactionism assumes that they now have only limited importance for understanding it; (3) radical interactionism makes it mandatory for researchers to examine the role of dominance and power during social interaction, whereas symbolic interactionism makes it only discretionary; (4) while radical interactionism stresses the impact of individuals’ and groups’ unstated assumptions on their interaction with one another, symbolic interactionism de-emphasizes their impact on it; and finally (5) radical interactionism discourages, while symbolic interactionism encourages researchers falling into the trap of linguistic phenomenalism. Thus, unlike radical interactionism, symbolic interactionism facilitates sociologists not only falling prey to linguistic phenomenalism, but also conservative and idealistic biases, while allegedly conducting “value-free research.”
Because, for George Herbert Mead, the “social act” is the basic unit of analysis for understanding human social existence, and thereby, his entire body of thought, it…
Because, for George Herbert Mead, the “social act” is the basic unit of analysis for understanding human social existence, and thereby, his entire body of thought, it demands much more critical attention than it thus far has received from sociologists. Here, his notion of the social act will be critically examined – in terms of his definition of social action, the underlying organizing principle he uses to explain it, the different fundamental forms of social action he identifies, and the basic operating elements that he contends comprise these forms – for the purpose of developing a better conception of social action than he provided. Mead sees social action as organized on the basis of “sociality,” expressing itself in two fundamental forms – “cooperative” and “conflictive.” He also views the cooperative form as comprised of five basic elements – attitudes, roles, significant symbols, attitudinal assumption, and common social objects – while the conflictive form is comprised of only the first four elements. After a critical examination of Mead’s social act is completed, an alternative and improved conception of social action, with domination as its organizing principle, is proffered. More importantly, it is argued that this new notion of social action, termed the “collective act,” provides the grounds for the development of a novel interactionist perspective, dubbed here “radical interactionism,” which is based on the principle of domination rather sociality. Thus, this new interactionist perspective, is dramatically different from the traditional interactionist perspective Mead and Blumer developed.
The place of G. H. Mead’s works in symbolic interactionism is both central and paradoxical. It stands at the very foundation of Hebert Blumer’s initial invention of…
The place of G. H. Mead’s works in symbolic interactionism is both central and paradoxical. It stands at the very foundation of Hebert Blumer’s initial invention of symbolic interactionism with respect to Mead’s social behaviorism and has been discussed and debated ever since because of the problems caused by such a presumed direct filiation. Returning to Mead in order to broaden the perspective offered by Blumer is a must and has to face some fundamental issues raised in this context. This article starts by examining the ontogenetic and phylogenetic processes involved in Mead’s concept of society, in order to show the multiple dimensions involved in significant symbols. An illustration of Mead’s wider perspective is given in reference to the feminist movement as analyzed first by Mead’s student, Jessie Taft, and goes back to the origin of the movement with Mary Wollstonecraft. This leads to the analysis of the debate about the place of power in symbolic interactionism, initiated by Peter M. Hall, and addresses the alternative between domination and emancipation. This alternative has been worked out by Lonnie Athen’s radical symbolic interactionism analysis of domination on the one side, and by Kathy Charmaz and Norman K. Denzin on the other side of emancipatory symbolic interactionist practices. Another solution is proposed to this alternative, with the analysis of power being intrinsically constituted by domination and emancipation, in their respective contribution to the understanding of the symbolic dispositions of autonomy – a concept that remains relatively undeveloped in Mead’s works.
Focuses on the approach to interpreting earnings equality found in the writings of a variety of economists and in particular, technological change and its effects on the…
Focuses on the approach to interpreting earnings equality found in the writings of a variety of economists and in particular, technological change and its effects on the demand skill resulting in earning inequality. Argues that the evidence in favour of the technological effect is weak and presents some alternatives for further consideration.
I have been asked by Professor Lonnie Athens to shed light upon those parts of my academic career that may be of interest to sociologists working within the tradition of…
I have been asked by Professor Lonnie Athens to shed light upon those parts of my academic career that may be of interest to sociologists working within the tradition of symbolic interactionism. With this in mind, the present essay offers an account of how I became a scholar whose main focus has for many years been the philosophy and social psychology of George Herbert Mead (1863–1931).
Dewey, through his contributions to pragmatism (America’s sole original philosophy), has long been considered relative to symbolic interactionism (SI), which emerged from…
Dewey, through his contributions to pragmatism (America’s sole original philosophy), has long been considered relative to symbolic interactionism (SI), which emerged from that philosophy. His impact on SI, while falling short of those of Mead and Cooley, has mainly come from (and has been limited to) concepts and insights developed in Human Nature and Conduct: An Introduction to Social Psychology (1922/1957) and his earlier, seminal, article, “The Reflex Arc Concept in Psychology,” published in 1896 during his tenure at the University of Chicago (1894–1904). SI, however, has wrongly ignored Dewey’s political theory, especially his concept of domination. In order to rectify this inattention, I summarize the social and historical contexts that motivated Dewey’s turn toward domination; outline the radical nature of his political theory; illustrate similarities of his political theory with Marx’s; expatiate on his concept of domination, including his argument for social practices to reduce surplus domination; and explicate the theoretical and political implications of taking his political theory seriously.
A theoretical economic model is developed to explain the disparities in flexible work scheduling observed across firms, workplaces, sectors, and time periods. Given…
A theoretical economic model is developed to explain the disparities in flexible work scheduling observed across firms, workplaces, sectors, and time periods. Given heterogeneity in firms’ costs, the supply of flextime is determined by firms’ costs of enacting versus not adopting it. The innovative practice would be adopted if it generates net unit labor cost savings. If it is cost neutral, the extent to which the supply of flextime falls short of worker demand for it depends on the extent to which employers must accommodate employee preferences for more time sovereignty and are induced by policy incentives to switch to flexible scheduling.
This chapter seeks to evaluate the charges made by a number of Herbert Blumer's critics who claim that he has in various ways misconstrued or misapplied the social psychological ideas of George Herbert Mead. My examination of these charges leads me to conclude that numerous passages in which Blumer discusses Mead's thought are in fact open to several legitimate objections: Blumer seldom documents or supports his discussions of Mead's ideas by means of specific references to relevant passages in Mead's lectures or writings; he fails to note that his own theoretical project typically begins where Mead's project ends; he often uses the concepts of meaning, interpretation, and “taking the role of the other” in ways that differ somewhat from the uses Mead makes of these notions in his theorizing. Nevertheless, these shortcomings and differences by no means support the arguments of those critics who exaggerate the significance of Mead's so-called behaviorism or of Blumer's alleged subjectivism; nor do they justify the claims of those who fail to see how Blumer's theory of experiential objects, despite its inadequate formulation and development, is a legitimate attempt to extend the account of such objects one finds in Mead's later writings. Blumer, in short, may not always have been a completely accurate interpreter of Mead, but he was in most important respects a faithful, creative, and effective champion of Mead’s social psychological ideas.