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Social Sciences - Applied Ethics & Social Responsibility | The Shame of Reason in Organizational Change - A Levinassian Perspective

The Shame of Reason in Organizational Change

A Levinassian Perspective

Series: Issues in Business Ethics, Vol. 32

van der Ven, Naud

Translated by Bevan, D.

2011, XX, 192 p.

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  • Emphasizes the value of Levinas' philosophy in the field of Business Ethics
  • Presents Levinas as a pragmatist rather than a moralist
  • Introduces experience (viz: that of shame, distress and anxiety) into organizational discourse
  • Connects to people’s concerns about the roots of the financial crisis

Many problems associated with change in organizations can be traced back to the human factor. In the past, the worker was considered merely to be ‘a pair of hands’ (Henry Ford). Today, people wish to be taken seriously, if they are, they generally perform better. However, if organizations’ only motivation to focus on the workers’ sense of fulfilment is increased achievement, the question arises whether these organizations do in fact take their workers seriously or whether the latter merely become enlisted into the organization’s targets or schemes.

This book examines this question from the perspective of Emmanuel Levinas’ treatment of rationality. There are close similarities between the Levinassian description of rational thinking and the role of managers in organizations. Rationality makes the world controllable yet is totalitarian in character. Likewise, managers make their businesses controllable, yet their planning and schemes create a totalitarian straitjacket.

Content Level » Research

Keywords » Business Ethics - Derrida - Emmanuel Levinas - Financial Crisis - Foucault - Glass Ceiling - Heidegger - Human Resource Management - Levinas - Levinas and Organizations - Management - Management Theory - Organisation - Organisational Cynicism - Organizational Change - Organizational Science - Rationality - Rationality Shame - Representation - Representationalism - Wittgenstein - `

Related subjects » Applied Ethics & Social Responsibility - Business & Management - Epistemology & Philosophy of Science

Table of contents 

Contents.- Editing translator’s introduction.- Preface; T he Shame of Reason in Organizational Change: a Levinasian Perspective.- Chapter 1.- : Introduction.- Chapter 2   Rationality: A Problem?.- Section 1: Problematic Rationality in Organization Studies.- Section 2: Problematic Rationality In Philosophy.- Chapter 3: Two Alternatives to  Representationalism.- Chapter 4  Levinas on Rationality and Representation.- Section 1: Levinas on Representational Thought Handed Down to Him.-  Section 2: The Position of Representation in Levinas’ own Philosophy.- Chapter 5  Levinas Translated to Organizations.- Section I: The Organisation Studies Literature.- Section 2: Cases.- Chapter 6 Conclusion.-Afterword.- Index.- Abbreviations used for the Works of Levinas.- Consulted Works.

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