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Article

Dermot Alan Tredget

This paper aims to examine the meaning, use and practical application to management education and leadership development of the terms wisdom, practical wisdom, prudence…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the meaning, use and practical application to management education and leadership development of the terms wisdom, practical wisdom, prudence, discretion and discernment as used in the Rule of Benedict.

Design/methodology/approach

After a detailed examination of the historical texts, the author draws on his personal experience of facilitating workshops with a number of senior executives. He applies this learning to current trends and issues in contemporary organisations in particular as they apply to the spiritual qualities of leadership.

Findings

The paper comes to a number of conclusions: spiritual discernment is an integral and indispensable part of practical wisdom; the acquisition, development of practical wisdom cannot be divorced from the individual's core spiritual and religious beliefs and practice; practical wisdom is not an end in itself but a means to discerning how to live a morally good life in relationship to other individuals and stakeholders.

Practical implications

Any workplace, irrespective of size and activity, must be a community of practice where practical wisdom can develop and flourish. In the frenetic workplace the exercise of practical wisdom needs protected time and contemplative leisure.

Originality/value

The ancient texts of the Rule of Benedict are translated into modern times; consequences for management practice and education are drawn.

Details

Journal of Management Development, vol. 29 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0262-1711

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Article

Miftachul Huda, Nasrul Hisyam Nor Muhamad, Puji Isyanto, Razaleigh Muhamat, Nurazmallail Marni, Mohamed Ahmad Kilani and Jimaain Safar

Increasing diversity leads to local, national and transnational challenges requiring a novel and explicit problem-solving approach. Practical wisdom, which emerges from an…

Abstract

Purpose

Increasing diversity leads to local, national and transnational challenges requiring a novel and explicit problem-solving approach. Practical wisdom, which emerges from an integration knowledge and ability through religious awareness, can promote peaceful coexistence in diverse societies with adequate theological and educational infrastructures. This paper aims to critically examine practical wisdom as the religious awareness to underlying building harmony in the diverse society.

Design/methodology/approach

Literature from refereed and peer-reviewed journals and articles was reviewed using thematic topic analysis to propose a model of the practical wisdom as a foundation for building harmony in a diverse society.

Findings

This result shows that there are several discussions with specific objectives of practical wisdom as the result of core understanding of religious awareness underlying the potential solutions in the diverse society; the significant essence of practical wisdom as the core element for building harmony; exploring how practical wisdom should be a wide particular element in building integrity and harmony in the diverse society.

Originality/value

Practical wisdom can establish peaceful and respectful relations amongst diverse segments of the population. It is, therefore, crucial for scholars and practitioners to explore practical wisdom in depth and devise ways of promoting this important characteristic at a social level through the exchange of common ideas and goals.

Details

International Journal of Ethics and Systems, vol. 36 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2514-9369

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Article

Thomas M. Jeannot

Book VI of Aristotle′s Nicomachean Ethics is commented on,aimed at showing its relevance to some themes in contemporary moralphilosophy. It is argued that the classical…

Abstract

Book VI of Aristotle′s Nicomachean Ethics is commented on, aimed at showing its relevance to some themes in contemporary moral philosophy. It is argued that the classical approach to morality (Aristotle) and the Enlightened approach (Kant) need not compose antinomy. Instead, the Aristotelian emphases on the development of virtuous character and the nature of practical wisdom coalesce with the Kantian emphasis on autonomy – what Falk calls “responsible self‐direction” – in the person of the moral leader. In particular, great moralists have recognised that moral wisdom is not mainly a matter of strict obedience to rules. While rules have their place, the subject matter of ethics cannot be determined by a quasi‐mathematical formalism. Over‐emphasis on the formalism of the categorical imperative obscures Kant′s more fundamental emphasis on autonomy. The autonomous person, able to exercise moral leadership, cultivates the Aristotelian virtue of phronēsis.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 16 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

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Book part

Claudius Bachmann

Dealing with the issue of “Can practical wisdom be taught in business schools?,” in this chapter, I argue for an inquiry-based learning approach as a way of improving…

Abstract

Dealing with the issue of “Can practical wisdom be taught in business schools?,” in this chapter, I argue for an inquiry-based learning approach as a way of improving today’s management education. Following along these lines, I initially focus on the current criticism of today’s management education in business schools. Then, I provide an introduction into the recent interest in the topic of practical wisdom by management scholars that emerged as part of an effort to overcome these failures of business schools. These attempts, however, remain on a rather vague or theoretical level and are lacking helpful guidance on how universities might implement this concept into their educational offerings. In order to remedy these shortcomings, I introduce a competency-based three-pillar model of practical wisdom and combine it with an inquiry-based learning approach. A comprehensive scheme highlights how the particular competencies of practical wisdom can be fostered over the successive stages of the inquiry process. Most importantly, by describing a MA-thesis program as a successful example of these ideas in application, I provide concrete suggestions of how to facilitate the growth of practically wise competencies by means of an inquiry-based learning approach.

Details

Inquiry-Based Learning for the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences: A Conceptual and Practical Resource for Educators
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-236-4

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Article

Gilbert Lenssen

In turbulent times like these, practical wisdom from the religious and spiritual traditions can provide new grounding. In the Christian tradition, practical wisdom can be…

Abstract

Purpose

In turbulent times like these, practical wisdom from the religious and spiritual traditions can provide new grounding. In the Christian tradition, practical wisdom can be derived from exegesis of New Testament texts. Text exegesis can be integrated in executive education/formation, even in secular settings. This paper aims to discuss the issues.

Design/methodology/approach

A symbolic narrative method is applied to demonstrate how practical wisdom can be discerned from religious texts. Transposed to an interfaith or secular environment, the use of exegesis in executive formation is explained based on Winnicott's theory of transitional objects.

Findings

Christian social ethics could be enriched by a renewed interest in wisdom that sources itself in biblical exegesis. This interdisciplinary paper explores the nature of practical wisdom as inspired by biblical exegesis applying a symbolic‐narrative method. This method is applied within the context of a humanistic Christology that reveals the wisdom of Jesus in his human capacity. This is illustrated by the exegesis of the New Testament text “The feeding of the five thousand”. In a conclusion and outlook the value of interfaith text exegesis in management education in a secular context is explored based on the personal experience of the author in executive formation.

Originality/value

Interdisciplinarity combined with methodological rigor in a biblical approach to practical wisdom is highlighted in the paper.

Details

Journal of Management Development, vol. 29 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0262-1711

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Article

Jennifer Rowley and Paul Gibbs

Although the notion of wisdom confronts the economic rationale of business organizations, this paper aims to argue that organizations are coming under increasing pressure…

Abstract

Purpose

Although the notion of wisdom confronts the economic rationale of business organizations, this paper aims to argue that organizations are coming under increasing pressure not only to learn, change and adapt, but also to take actions that are ethically acceptable and respond to the expectations of multiple stakeholders, or in other words to act wisely. Accordingly this article seeks to progress the debate on the relationship between organizational learning, learning organizations and wisdom, in pursuit of a new version of the model of the learning organization, the practically wise organization.

Design/methodology/approach

First, the literature on the learning organization and organizational learning is reviewed with a view to the identification of useful models and concepts. The paucity of reference to wisdom in that literature is noted. The following sections develop the theme of practical wisdom and, the essence of the practically wise organization, respectively. Finally a model for the practically wise organization that is both a virtuous and a learning organization is proposed.

Findings

The paper finds that a practically wise organization is a learning organization whose learning architecture is based on the principles of practical wisdom. Such an organization manages the processes associated with the seven pillars of wisdom: understanding dynamic complexity; developing personal wisdom competency; deliberating towards ethical models; refreshing shared sustainable vision; group wisdom dynamics; deliberated praxis; and embodied learning.

Originality/value

The article is a first step towards extending the theory and practice associated with the learning organization and organizational learning to embrace the multi‐stakeholder, ethically and morally informed perspectives embedded in the notion of practical wisdom.

Details

The Learning Organization, vol. 15 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-6474

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Article

Paul S. Gibson

This paper aims to propose and explain a procedure for developing practical wisdom in novice managers.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to propose and explain a procedure for developing practical wisdom in novice managers.

Design/methodology/approach

A heuristic model of practical management wisdom which articulates and displays its dynamic nature was constructed from the literature. The model was then applied to two recently published narrative accounts of effective management, and to an empirical case study that was conducted by the author, to test the heuristic value of the model for novice managers.

Findings

The literature review revealed that practical wisdom relies on a dynamic interaction between perception, experience, character, and an insightful vision of what is proximately and ultimately good for people, organizations, and business. The applications of the model demonstrated its capacity to illuminate the thinking and actions of senior managers for novices.

Research limitations/implications

Further empirical evaluation of the model is required to confirm its heuristic value.

Practical implications

The model and the applications reported in this paper should be of use to academics and human resources practitioners interested in the professional development of managers within classroom settings and organizational settings.

Originality/value

The heuristic model is an advance in that it brings together and integrates a wide range of views about the factors that constitute and enable the operation of practical management wisdom. The applications commence the task of enriching the abstract model with illustrative examples, and provide a practical means of assisting novice managers to understand what has often been considered ineffable and inaccessible.

Details

Journal of Management Development, vol. 27 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0262-1711

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Article

Anselmo Ferreira Vasconcelos

Anecdotal evidence suggests the growing need for wise people and organizations, which are fully dedicated to building up the greater good more than ever before. The…

Abstract

Purpose

Anecdotal evidence suggests the growing need for wise people and organizations, which are fully dedicated to building up the greater good more than ever before. The purpose of this study is to broaden the role of wisdom by triggering an aware and genuine concern toward building wisdom capital (WC) within organizations.

Design/methodology/approach

First, this endeavor draws upon key issues of wisdom theory literature, namely, the nuances of its general aspects, basic components, other relevant issues and practical wisdom construct. Second, it suggests a conceptual model through which both workers and organizations may help to build up a solid WC. In addition, some research propositions are also suggested. Finally, it proposes some avenues of research and presents the conclusions.

Findings

The notion of WC may help individuals and organizations to keep the right path. To some degree, it reminds us that individuals exist to contribute to something greater than themselves through their potentialities, skills and capabilities. The theoretical background of WC urges the individuals to engage in meaningful projects and challenges to improve the human condition.

Practical implications

Seemingly, managers and CEOs still have a narrow view about what wisdom embraces. Accordingly, it is important to keep in mind that to enhance individual wisdom capital (IWC), concerted efforts are required toward human training and development to improve the organizations and their decision-making systems. Overall, this frame suggests that it is vital to accumulate a WC for the survival and thriving of individuals and organizations. As theorized, WC is a very useful, rich and sense-making form of capital to gather.

Originality/value

Overall, this article attempts to broaden wisdom theory within organizations by presenting the definition, meaning and scope of WC and its by-products, i.e. IWC and organizational wisdom capital. Hence, it focuses on two levels and describes specific means and ends related to each stance. At last, the proposed variables may be carefully managed and monitored to engender a new business paradigm, that is, the general well-being.

Details

International Journal of Organizational Analysis, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1934-8835

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Article

Domènec Melé

The aim of this paper is to present the necessity for practical wisdom in the managerial decision making process and its role in such a process. The paper seeks to…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to present the necessity for practical wisdom in the managerial decision making process and its role in such a process. The paper seeks to contrast the position with two conventional approaches based on maximizing and satisficing behaviors respectively.

Design/methodology/approach

Following Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas it is argued that a correct decision should consider an “integral rationality” which includes not only “instrumental rationality” but also “practical rationality”. The latter permits the evaluation of both means and ends from the perspective of human good. Practical wisdom helps the decision maker to determine how a decision will contribute to the human good in each particular situation.

Findings

Maximizing and satisficing behaviors are based on the facts‐values dichotomy, which separates business and ethics and presents a rationalistic and incomplete view of the reality. The alternative presented here sees the decision as a whole, and this is a more comprehensive understanding of the reality. Ethics is better integrated into the decision making process, since it is an intrinsic part of such a process, not an extrinsic addition.

Practical implications

Every decision has an ethical dimension, which should be considered by managers for making good decisions. Practical wisdom is essential in perceiving such a dimension and in making sound moral judgments in the making of decisions. Managers do not need only skills for making correct decisions, but practical wisdom and moral virtues, too.

Originality/value

The approach presented in the paper defeats the conventional but narrow views of managerial decision making based on maximizing behavior or on satisficing behavior and introduces the categories of good and evil as the main driver for managerial decision making.

Details

Journal of Management Development, vol. 29 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0262-1711

Keywords

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Book part

Mitsuru Kodama

This chapter goes into deeper discussion and consideration of holistic leadership through the concept of holistic leadership presented in Part 1 and analysis of a number…

Abstract

This chapter goes into deeper discussion and consideration of holistic leadership through the concept of holistic leadership presented in Part 1 and analysis of a number of case studies presented in Part 2. The chapter first analyzes and considers the concept of dialectical leadership, which is an element for achieving a balance between centralized leadership and distributed leadership at the psychological boundary layer located at the boundary layer between the formal organizational layer and the informal organizational layer from the perspective of four dimensions: the time axis, spatial axis, strategic axis, and management axis. This is because there is new knowledge gained from multiple case analyses and because dialectical leadership has an impact on management elements in these four dimensions when companies execute strategic knowledge creation processes to achieve business innovation. Second, the chapter discusses the concept of leadership interaction which occurs among leaders at the individual boundaries of the three-layered structure (practice layers) of the informal organization layer located in the business community, the psychological boundary layer located in the boundary layer of the business community, and the formal organization layer located in the formal organization, and the three management layers. Third, as demonstrated in the cases of Apple, Cisco Systems, Dyson, SoftBank, and Sony, strategic collaboration with other companies including customers is extremely important for those practitioners who are promoting business ecosystem strategies across different companies. To achieve this, synchronization of leadership at the three practice layers and three management layers in holistic leadership through boundary negotiations among individual leaderships across different companies is important. These concepts are discussed in this chapter. Fourth, this chapter indicates that excellent holistic leadership is necessary for practitioners to achieve strategic knowledge creation high in quality, but this requires leadership for value creation for the formation of new business communities that originate in the formation of “Ba.” The chapter also indicates that “practical wisdom” is an important element for practitioners in such value creation, and the presence of this element is a necessary condition for generating excellent holistic leadership.

Details

Developing Holistic Leadership
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-421-7

Keywords

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