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Article
Publication date: 26 June 2007

Eric Faÿ and Philippe Riot

This paper serves two purposes. It is an introduction to the theme of this issue of Society and Business Review which is devoted to “Phenomenological approaches to work…

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper serves two purposes. It is an introduction to the theme of this issue of Society and Business Review which is devoted to “Phenomenological approaches to work, life and responsibility” as well as a presentation of the authors' various contributions. The authors of this paper share the sentiment that management sciences and practices may drive us in a way such that the sense of life has been altered and people, contrary to Kant's definition of moral behavior, are treated as means instead of ends. Moreover, starting from a widely‐spread malaise in modern organizations, they argue how phenomenology can provide us with an approach that can be helpful in assessing our present situation as well as getting a renewed perception concerning work and life.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors demonstrate the relevance of Husserl's phenomenology in criticizing management techniques for they direct us to objectives that are abstract, calculable, not one's own, and distant. They single out Husserl's concept of epoche for its high relevance with the theme of this issue and its different papers.

Findings

The findings suggest Husserl's concept of epoche (suspension) can be considered as the starting point of a process allowing us to firstly take distance with our usual taken for granted assumptions regarding life and work (bracketing) and then to re‐establish a genuine connection with Husserl's “world of life”. In addition, they establish how epoche can be perceived as a hub linking and introducing the work of other researchers comprising this special issue and their various inspiring authors (Koselleck, Levinas, Henry).

Originality/value

By using a phenomenological perspective, this paper brings an original contribution to critical‐management approaches. It can contribute to a social responsibility renewal in the business arena by providing reflexive practitioners with clues that can trigger new and more human practices. Overall, this paper provides one as a human being an opportunity to analyze the causes of one's malaise and identify better ways to live one's life.

Details

Society and Business Review, vol. 2 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5680

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Article
Publication date: 26 June 2007

Eric Faÿ

This paper aims to answer the following question: where does our capacity for epoche, for decentration, for suspending representations come from? This question is an…

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292

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to answer the following question: where does our capacity for epoche, for decentration, for suspending representations come from? This question is an important one if we accept, as phenomenology does, that this is how we can find the meaning of our life and our actions.

Design/methodology/approach

In order to answer this question the paper undertakes a critical genealogy of what those in the Western world consider to be the real, stressing how much Western thought overestimates the reality of what can be seen, measured, and calculated, and underestimates the experience of interiority by silencing the real dynamic of development of each person's lives.

Findings

Following on from Michel Henry's phenomenology the paper shows how epoche, decentring is precisely about paying attention to this very real dynamic of development of life with others. Suspending for a while the representations and calculations and allowing people to be guided by such dynamic is therefore totally justified. Moreover, because it is fully embodied, this dynamic gives us the power and strength to engage in reasonable and responsible action. Two experiences recounted by managers illustrate this point.

Originality/value

The paper shows that phenomenological epoche is not about speculation, it is not idealism, but a totally realistic, practicable choice.

Details

Society and Business Review, vol. 2 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5680

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Article
Publication date: 26 June 2007

Bogdan Costea, Norman Crump and John Holm

This conceptual paper analyses cultural changes in the use of the concept of “play” in managerial ideologies and practices since the 1980s.

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792

Abstract

Purpose

This conceptual paper analyses cultural changes in the use of the concept of “play” in managerial ideologies and practices since the 1980s.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper uses Koselleck's approach to conceptual history in order to map how play is used in new ways by contemporary organisations. Organisational cultures characterised by “playfulness” and “fun” are used as technologies of self‐governance. It explores a variety of sources which show how this metamorphosis of play into a management tool has occurred.

Findings

The appropriation of play by management indicates a significant propensity in the contemporary culture of work. A more complex cultural process is unfolding in the ways in which play and work are recombined and intertwined: work organisations are increasingly places where people work more on themselves than they do on work. Work has become a central therapeutic stage set for engineering and managing souls, well‐being and even “happiness”. In an increasing number of cases, highly managed play settings make corporations resemble frenetic Dionysiac machines in which the Narcissistic modern self seeks an utopia of perpetual fun.

Originality/value

The paper proposes a novel approach to critiques of managerialism. Equally, it offers a new conceptual avenue for the historical analysis of managerial ideas. The result is an original interpretation of the way in which management practices function in their wider cultural contexts.

Details

Society and Business Review, vol. 2 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5680

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Article
Publication date: 26 June 2007

Malcolm Lewis and John Farnsworth

The paper seeks to examine the tension between a Levinasian ethics and routine corporate activity in multinational business worlds. It investigates the calculative regimes…

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663

Abstract

Purpose

The paper seeks to examine the tension between a Levinasian ethics and routine corporate activity in multinational business worlds. It investigates the calculative regimes around financialisation and places these against the absolute ethical responsibility to the other and the third, and the issues of justice and politics this produces.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper draws on the notion of the deconstructive moment and uses this to investigate the ethics of key decision making by a medium‐sized international telco, Telecom New Zealand, in the construction of a submarine cable.

Findings

The paper details the irreconcilable ethical conflict between the acutely human responsibility of corporations and the sophisticated, dehumanising regimes of calculation which they both mobilise and in which they are embedded.

Originality/value

The authors utilise the notion of the deconstructive moment to investigate the ethics of corporate practice. They also show how this can be related not just to the other but to other others and to wider issues of justice.

Details

Society and Business Review, vol. 2 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5680

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Article
Publication date: 26 June 2007

Etsuo Yoneyama

The purpose of this paper consists in rethinking today's management systems in order to look for ways of management which are better adapted to human life. It is assumed…

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928

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper consists in rethinking today's management systems in order to look for ways of management which are better adapted to human life. It is assumed that a management practice which takes into consideration the characteristics of human life must be accepted by a large number of people and would be effective and sustainable. Today, the overdevelopment of science and capitalism forget individuals and condemn them to alienation. To cope with this problem, the paper tries to identify ways of management which respect human life more.

Design/methodology/approach

To do this, the paper studies the phenomenology of life of Michel Henry and Zen Buddhism in order to understand the profound sense of life, knowledge and community developed by their philosophy. It then examines Toyotism and Fordism under the two dimensions of knowledge and community to illustrate how their management system considers human life.

Findings

The phenomenology of life and Zen share some common ground as both consider the importance of experienced life which constitutes the individual's subjectivity. Living experience generates embodied and tacit knowledge for men. The system of Kaizen which enables Toyota to develop significantly is based on its workers' tacit knowledge. In this dimension, Toyotism is a management system which recognizes better than Fordism the importance of living experiences and as such is better suited to human nature. The paper then discusses Toyotism, Fordism and post‐Fordism in the light of the concept of community. Toyotism appears as a constraining “total community,” whereas attempts to reintroduce a sense of community into the post‐Fordist model reveal its limits due to the fact that such a sense of community does not exist at a company level.

Originality/value

The originality of this paper lies in its comparison of the phenomenology of life with Zen in order to understand the importance of life and also in the introduction of the consideration of living workers in managerial performance.

Details

Society and Business Review, vol. 2 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5680

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Article
Publication date: 26 June 2007

Lucas D. Introna and Martin Brigham

This question of community has always been a preoccupation for the human sciences and, indeed, is a practical concern for us everyday humans in our variety ways of being…

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634

Abstract

Purpose

This question of community has always been a preoccupation for the human sciences and, indeed, is a practical concern for us everyday humans in our variety ways of being. As such a preoccupation with community traverses vast territories of intellectual discourse in philosophy, sociology, anthropology, psychology, and so forth. Recent developments in continental philosophy, innovations in information and communication technology and the emergence of “virtual” communities afford an opportunity to reconsider the meaning of community in what is believed to be a rather fundamental way. Virtual communities are often critiqued for being “thin” and “shallow” lacking the depth that local proximity in face‐to‐face communities brings. It is suggested that such a critique privileges a certain view of community premised upon shared values, or shared concerns, embedded in local situated face‐to‐face interaction and practices. The paper agues that such a view of community, based on categorical and physical proximity or sameness, can be problematised by a notion of community that is based on the ethical proximity of the stranger, the otherness of the Other.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper draws upon Martin Heidegger, Emmanuel Levinas and Jacques Derrida.

Findings

The paper demonstrates that community premised upon a categorical and physical proximity can be problematised by a conception of community based upon the ethical proximity of the stranger – the otherness of the Other. In developing this notion of community, the paper argues that communities always face an insider/outsider problematic that mirrors Levinas' tension between ethics and justice. Furthermore, the paper suggests that the continual working out of this problem, our ethical concern, is differently constituted in virtual communities and face‐to‐face communities. In particular, the paper draws attention to the importance of the encounter with the stranger in virtual environments.

Originality/value

Contributes to debates on community by developing an ethical and political philosophy through which a shared sense of community can be rethought through the primacy of the Other.

Details

Society and Business Review, vol. 2 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5680

Keywords

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Executive summary
Publication date: 25 January 2016

HAITI: Security situation could rapidly deteriorate

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1982

J.R.J. Jammes

I. The Gendarmerie: Historical Background The Gendarmerie is the senior unit of the French Armed Forces. It is, however, difficult to give a precise date to its creation…

Abstract

I. The Gendarmerie: Historical Background The Gendarmerie is the senior unit of the French Armed Forces. It is, however, difficult to give a precise date to its creation. What can be asserted is that as early as the Eleventh Century special units existed under the sénéchal (seneschal), an official of the King's household who was entrusted with the administration of military justice and the command of the army. The seneschal's assistants were armed men known as sergents d'armes (sergeants at arms). In time, the office of the seneschal was replaced by that of the connétable (constable) who was originally the head groom of the King's stables, but who became the principal officer of the early French kings before rising to become commander‐in‐chief of the army in 1218. The connétable's second in command was the maréchal (marshal). Eventually, the number of marshals grew and they were empowered to administer justice among the soldiery and the camp followers in wartime, a task which fully absorbed them throughout the Hundred Years War (1337–1453). The corps of marshals was then known as the maréchaussée (marshalcy) and its members as sergeants and provosts. One of the provosts, Le Gallois de Fougières, was killed at Agincourt in 1415; his ashes were transferred to the national memorial to the Gendarmerie, which was erected at Versailles in 1946.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 20 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

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Book part
Publication date: 8 November 2010

Grégoire Croidieu and Philippe Monin

We define diffusion as the spread of something within a social system. Diffusion is the most general and abstract term, and it embraces such processes as contagion…

Abstract

We define diffusion as the spread of something within a social system. Diffusion is the most general and abstract term, and it embraces such processes as contagion, mimicry, social learning, organized dissemination, etc. (Strang & Soule, 1998). While the home territory of diffusion is innovation (see Rogers, 2003 for an authoritative review), more recent macro-diffusion research has developed, based on social movement and institutionalization arguments (Ansari, Fiss, & Zajac, 2010; Wejnert, 2002).

Details

Institutions and Entrepreneurship
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-240-2

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Article
Publication date: 31 July 2009

Sumohon Matilal and Heather Höpfl

The aim of this paper is to find the relationship between the purely representational aspects of the statements of account and the everyday lived experiences of those who…

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3308

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to find the relationship between the purely representational aspects of the statements of account and the everyday lived experiences of those who were directly affected by the Bhopal Gas Tragedy in India in 1984. The paper seeks to consider the rhetorical force of photography in capturing the tragic and to compare this with the position adopted by Union Carbide in accounting for the catastrophe.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper reviews the Bhopal Gas Tragedy and draws on the works of Philippe Lacoue‐Labarthe and Julia Kristeva to examine the relationship between photographic representation and statements of account.

Findings

The rhetorical character of the ways in which the tragedy has been represented and the impact of the photographic image when set against the statement of account is considered. The photographic image is an attempt to restore the body to the text, to bear in mind that, in the face of inevitable abstract, it is important to remember the body, albeit with the caveat that the image too succumbs to the force of rhetoric. Nonetheless, the image reminds one that one is dealing not only with figures and statements but also with life and death.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to discussions about the need for a dialogic approach to accounting. Frequently, in disaster analysis, the co‐existence of multiple perspectives and fragmented stories i.e. a dialogic approach, is paramount to gaining an insight into the complexity of the system which has failed. The paper demonstrates how images can complement cosy, coherent, monologic statements of accounts and help to retain the human character of disaster.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 22 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

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