DO MANAGERIAL PRACTICES NEED PHILOSOPHY?
Call for Papers - Special issue for Philosophy of Management
Corresponding Guest Editors:
Marian Eabrasu, European Business School, INSEEC U. (Paris, France)
Erwan Lamy, ESCP Europe (Paris, France)
Among the various disciplines adjacent to management theory and having a word to say on managerial practice, philosophy is at the forefront since it can offer a wide theoretical angle and a set of encompassing concepts that can account for various business practices. Philosophy continuously and increasingly fuels management discussions with concepts and theories (Donaldson & Walsh, 2015), which blend in various degrees with management's own corpus of research (Cornelissen & Durand, 2012; Oswick, Fleming, & Hanlon, 2011). Instead of focusing on management theories blending and influences, this special issue intends to draw the attention on the managerial practices. While numerous studies deal with the philosophical, especially ethical, approach of managerial practice, very few inquire into its very usefulness. Do managerial practices need philosophy? If yes, then why and how? Some scholars following up the discussion of Aristotle in Protrepticus might say that philosophy is not meant to be useful, that it is a "disinterested contemplation of truth" (Walker, 2010). Yet these are interesting questions to ask, especially considering the reflexivity of the philosophical inquiry.
While this special issue aims to understand "if," "how" and "why" philosophy can shed light on managerial practices, contributions from all philosophical schools, traditions, methodologies, subdisciplines will be considered as there is a high interest in including in this special issue a large variety of perspectives. It would be a plus to be able to publish opposite philosophical perspectives underlying fundamental philosophical disagreements on interpreting business practices (Eabrasu, 2018). Also, the proposals can be submitted in a large variety of forms: case studies, illustrations, comparisons, explanations, analysis, or critiques.
For demonstrating what philosophy has to tell to management practitioners, the authors might want to propose a conceptual discussion on the role that philosophy is expected to play in management but also to identify specific managerial practices and further show how they can be better analyzed through the lenses of philosophical methods than otherwise (Donaldson, 2018).
Amongst the managerial practices that philosophy can illuminate, the contributors may want to pay a special attention to the new managerial practices related to technological changes such as the artificial intelligence networks that certain scholars consider to be a new industrial revolution epitomized by the increasing number of self-driving cars and robots that increasingly populate nearly all spheres of our daily life. It is noteworthy that the current transformations are not only and merely technical but also, they come with new business models, such as sharing and collaborative economy, that profoundly transform the labor and commercial relations.
That being said, new managerial practices do not necessarily come with new technologies, but also with social and cultural changes. Hence, contributors might want to take into account new managerial practices generated by the evolution of public expectations regarding discrimination (gender or sexual orientation for instance) or power and hierarchical asymmetries within the corporation. The contributors might also want to anticipate future managerial practices to face the already announced challenges that firms are expected to deal with in the near future: spanning from climate change and pollution to welfare (Jones et al., 2016), inequalities and demographic growth also intensifying water and food stress. Besides a focus on the business practices on such social and environmental grand challenges, the contributors to this SI can nonetheless focus more specifically on business practices with a smaller scale impact, but that can nonetheless be equally illumined from a philosophical standpoint.
We invite submissions of proposals including, but not limited, to:
- ontology and metaphysics of concepts defining managerial practices and tools (What is a strategy? What are competencies or skills? What is a resource?...)
- the normative assessment of business practice (Is managerial practice a thick concept, including both evaluative and descriptive features? Are there specific ethical principles or norms that are more appropriate for assessing managerial practices?...)
- the epistemological approach of organization (How can we manage the epistemic production of organizational practices? Can we build a social epistemology for organizational practices? Is reliabilism a relevant approach for understanding the managerial epistemic practices? Which epistemic virtues within organizational practice?...)
- relativism, post-modernism and other forms of skepticism in management (Is the manager the measure of all things in the organizations? Can we escape moral or epistemic relativism in management? What are the effects of post-modernism on managerial practices? Can we think about the power relationships in organizations without Foucault?...)
- metaphilosophy and management (Are there specific philosophical methods that could be used for the understanding of managerial practices? Can we mobilize conceptual analysis for clarifying managerial concepts? Is the a priori approach relevant for organizational phenomena?...).
Submission Process and Deadlines
Papers will be reviewed following the PoM double-blind review process. Papers should be submitted by December 31, 2020, via http://www.springer.com/philosophy/journal/40926, with a clear reference to the special issue 'Do managerial practices need philosophy?' Papers should be prepared using the PoM Guidelines. As soon as the papers are accepted for publication, they will be published and accessible online. The publication of the complete special volume is scheduled for fall 2021. The editors welcome informal inquiries related to proposed topics. For this, please contact Marian Eabrasu and Erwan Lamy.
Special Issue Track at the 8th Conference of the Société de Philosophie de Sciences de Gestion (SPSG)
To help authors advance their manuscripts, a Special Issue Track will be held during the 8th Conference of the Société de Philosophie de Sciences de Gestion (SPSG), ESSEC (Paris, France), June 11-13, 2019. Authors of manuscripts are invited to submit their working papers. Interested authors are invited to send their abstracts (at least 500 words) before February 16th, 2020 to Marian Eabrasu or Erwan Lamy, with a clear reference to the special track on 'Do managerial practices need philosophy?' The editorial team will assign a referee among the guest editors for each paper presented, to strengthen the papers before official submission for peer review for potential inclusion in the special issue. Participation in the track is encouraged, but not a precondition for submissions to the special issue.
Cornelissen, J. P., & Durand, R. 2012. More than just novelty: Conceptual blending and causality. Academy of Management Review, 37(1): 152-154.
Donaldson, T. 2018. How Methods of Moral Philosophy Inform Business. In C. Neesham, & S. Segal (Eds.), Handbook of Philosophy of Management: 1-15. Cham: Springer International Publishing.
Donaldson, T., & Walsh, J. P. 2015. Toward a theory of business. Research in Organizational Behavior, 35: 181-207.
Eabrasu, M. 2018. Moral disagreements in business. An exploratory introduction. Cham: Springer.
Jones, T. M., Donaldson, T., Freeman, R. E., Harrison, J. S., Leana, C. R., Mahoney, J. T., & Pearce, J. L. 2016. Management theory and social welfare: Contributions and challenges. Academy of Management Review, 41(2): 216-228.
Oswick, C., Fleming, P., & Hanlon, G. 2011. From borrowing to blending: Rethinking the processes of organizational theory building. Academy of Management Review, 36(2): 318-337.
Walker, M. 2010. The Utility of Contemplation in Aristotle's Protrepticus. Ancient Philosophy, 30(1): 135-153.