Philosophy of business

The philosophy of business considers the fundamental principles that underlie the formation and operation of a business enterprise; the nature and purpose of a business, and the moral obligations that pertain to it.

Influence

Philipp Blom summarises the development and impact of business-centric ideas in society prior to the global financial crisis of 2008:

[...] Friedrich von Hayek and Ludwig von Mises [...] were Europeans who had passed their formative years in the chaotic interwar years and whose conclusion was that state intervention and planned economies were hallmarks of dictatorship [...]. They believed that it was healthier to take ideology out of politics and base the workings of society on the objective, nonideological laws of the free market. [...] The Enlightenment cult of reason and of the common good was replaced by the concepts of rationalization and the maximization of profits, which were applied to a reevaluation of social institutions - infrastructure, schools, universities, prisons, health care, and so on - according to business-driven criteria of profitability and cost-effectiveness. Especially in the United States but also increasingly in Europe, we began to run our societies as businesses. Beginning in the late 1970s and gaining speed in the 1980s, this gospel changed and polarized our societies - but it also provided an umbrella of meaning and necessity under which we could hide from challenges from without as well as doubts from within. For many in the West, the idea of the market became their ideological home. Living in accordance with its guiding providence and iron laws created a sense of stability, of virtue even. But 2008 shattered this collective piety and made millions understand that they had been lied to [...].[1]

See also

Sources

References

  • Drucker, P. (1954) The Practice of Management, HarperBusiness, Reissue edition 1993, ISBN 0-88730-613-6
  • Fort, Timothy (2001) Ethics and Governance: Business as Mediating Institution, Oxford University Press USA, New York.
  • Friedman, M (1962) Capitalism and Freedom, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1962
  • Hutcheson, F. (1729) An Inquiry Concerning Morall Good and Evil, 1729.
  • Kalin, J. (1968) "In defence of egoism", in Morality and Rational Self-interest, edited by David Gauthier, Prentice Hall, New York, 1970.
  • Mandeville, B. (1715) The Fable of the Bees.
  • Rawls, J. (1971) A Theory of Justice, Harvard University Press, Cambridge Massachusetts 1971.
  • Lord Shaftesbury (1710) Enquiry Concerning Virtue.
  • Smith, A. (1759) The Theory of Moral Sentiments, in Adam Smith's Moral and Political Philosophy, edited by H. Schneider, Harper, New York, 1948 and 1970.
  • Strasnick, T. (1981) "Neo-utilitarian Ethics and the Ordinal Representation Assumption", in Philosophy in economics, edited by J. Pitt, Reidel Publishing, 1981.
  • Luetge C. (ed.) (2013): Handbook of the Philosophical Foundations of Business Ethics. Heidelberg/New York: Springer 2013, ISBN 978-9400714953.

External links

Footnotes

  1. ^ Blom, Philipp (2015). Fracture: Life & Culture in the West, 1918-1938. London: Atlantic Books. p. 408. ISBN 9780857892201. Retrieved 2017-01-01. [...] Friedrich von Hayek and Ludwig von Mises [...] were Europeans who had passed their formative years in the chaotic interwar years and whose conclusion was that state intervention and planned economies were hallmarks of dictatorship [...]. They believed that it was healthier to take ideology out of politics and base the workings of society on the objective, nonideological laws of the free market. [...] The Enlightenment cult of reason and of the common good was replaced by the concepts of rationalization and the maximization of profits, which were applied to a reevaluation of social institutions - infrastructure, schools, universities, prisons, health care, and so on - according to business-driven criteria of profitability and cost-effectiveness. Especially in the United States but also increasingly in Europe, we began to run our societies as businesses. Beginning in the late 1970s and gaining speed in the 1980s, this gospel changed and polarized our societies - but it also provided an unmbrella of meaning and necessity under which we could hide from challenges from without as well as doubts from within. For many in the West, the idea of the market became their ideological home. Living in accordance with its guiding providence and iron laws created a sense of stability, of virtue even. But 2008 shattered this collective piety and made millions understand that they had been lied to [...].
Alfred North Whitehead

Alfred North Whitehead (15 February 1861 – 30 December 1947) was an English mathematician and philosopher. He is best known as the defining figure of the philosophical school known as process philosophy, which today has found application to a wide variety of disciplines, including ecology, theology, education, physics, biology, economics, and psychology, among other areas.

In his early career Whitehead wrote primarily on mathematics, logic, and physics. His most notable work in these fields is the three-volume Principia Mathematica (1910–1913), which he wrote with former student Bertrand Russell. Principia Mathematica is considered one of the twentieth century's most important works in mathematical logic, and placed 23rd in a list of the top 100 English-language nonfiction books of the twentieth century by Modern Library.Beginning in the late 1910s and early 1920s, Whitehead gradually turned his attention from mathematics to philosophy of science, and finally to metaphysics. He developed a comprehensive metaphysical system which radically departed from most of western philosophy. Whitehead argued that reality consists of processes rather than material objects, and that processes are best defined by their relations with other processes, thus rejecting the theory that reality is fundamentally constructed by bits of matter that exist independently of one another. Today Whitehead's philosophical works – particularly Process and Reality – are regarded as the foundational texts of process philosophy.

Whitehead's process philosophy argues that "there is urgency in coming to see the world as a web of interrelated processes of which we are integral parts, so that all of our choices and actions have consequences for the world around us." For this reason, one of the most promising applications of Whitehead's thought in recent years has been in the area of ecological civilization and environmental ethics pioneered by John B. Cobb.

American Federation of Labor

The American Federation of Labor (AFL) was a national federation of labor unions in the United States founded in Columbus, Ohio, in December 1886 by an alliance of craft unions disaffected from the Knights of Labor, a national labor union. Samuel Gompers of the Cigar Makers' International Union was elected president at its founding convention and reelected every year, except one, until his death in 1924. The A.F. of L was the largest union grouping in the United States for the first half of the 20th century, even after the creation of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) by unions which were expelled by the AFL in 1935 over its opposition to industrial unionism. The Federation was founded and dominated by craft unions throughout its first fifty years, after which many craft union affiliates turned to organizing on an industrial union basis to meet the challenge from the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) in the 1940s.

In 1955, the AFL merged with the CIO to create the AFL-CIO, which has comprised the longest lasting and most influential labor federation in the United States to this day.

Business ethics

Business ethics (also known as corporate ethics) is a form of applied ethics or professional ethics, that examines ethical principles and moral or ethical problems that can arise in a business environment. It applies to all aspects of business conduct and is relevant to the conduct of individuals and entire organizations. These ethics originate from individuals, organizational statements or from the legal system. These norms, values, ethical, and unethical practices are the principles that guide a business. They help those businesses maintain a better connection with their stakeholders.Business ethics refers to contemporary organizational standards, principles, sets of values and norms that govern the actions and behavior of an individual in the business organization. Business ethics have two dimensions, normative business ethics or descriptive business ethics. As a corporate practice and a career specialization, the field is primarily normative. Academics attempting to understand business behavior employ descriptive methods. The range and quantity of business ethical issues reflects the interaction of profit-maximizing behavior with non-economic concerns.

Interest in business ethics accelerated dramatically during the 1980s and 1990s, both within major corporations and within academia. For example, most major corporations today promote their commitment to non-economic values under headings such as ethics codes and social responsibility charters.

Adam Smith said, "People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices." Governments use laws and regulations to point business behavior in what they perceive to be beneficial directions. Ethics implicitly regulates areas and details of behavior that lie beyond governmental control. The emergence of large corporations with limited relationships and sensitivity to the communities in which they operate accelerated the development of formal ethics regimes.

Gerald Ratner

Gerald Irving Ratner (born 1 November 1949) is a British businessman and motivational speaker. He was formerly chief executive of the major British jewellery company Ratners Group (now the Signet Group). He achieved notoriety after making a speech in which he jokingly denigrated two of the company's products. He currently speaks around the world at corporate and promotional events.

History of marketing

The study of the history of marketing, as a discipline, is meaningful because it helps to define the baselines upon which change can be recognised and understand how the discipline evolves in response to those changes. The practice of marketing has been known for millennia, but the term "marketing" used to describe commercial activities buying and selling a products or services came into popular use in the late nineteenth century. The study of the history of marketing as an academic field emerged in the early twentieth century.Marketers tend to distinguish between the history of marketing practice and the history of marketing thought:

the history of marketing practice refers to an investigation into the ways that marketing has been practiced; and how those practices have evolved over time as they respond to changing socio-economic conditions

the history of marketing thought refers to an examination of the ways that marketing has been studied and taughtAlthough the history of marketing thought and the history of marketing practice are distinct fields of study, they intersect at different junctures. Marketing practitioners engage in innovative practices that capture the attention of marketing scholars who codify and disseminate such practices. At the same time, marketing academics often develop new research methods or theories that are subsequently adopted by practitioners. Thus developments in marketing theory inform marketing practice and vice versa. The history of marketing will remain incomplete if one disassociates academia from practitioners.The publication, in 1960, of Robert Keith's article, "The Marketing Revolution", was a pioneering work in the study of the history of marketing practice. And, in 1976, the publication of Robert Bartel's book, The History of Marketing Thought, marked a turning-point in the understanding of how marketing theory evolved since it first emerged as a separate discipline around the turn of last century.

List of philosophies

Philosophical schools of thought and philosophical movements.

Management fad

Management fad is a term used to characterize a change in philosophy or operations implemented by a business or institution.

The term is subjective and tends to be used in a pejorative sense, as it implies that such a change is being implemented (often by management on its employees, with little or no input from them) solely because it is (at the time) "popular" within managerial circles, and not necessarily due to any real need for organizational change. The term further implies that once the underlying philosophy is no longer "popular", it will be replaced by the newest "popular" idea, in the same manner and for the same reason as the previous idea.

Several authors have argued that new management ideas should be subject to greater critical analysis, and for the need for greater conceptual awareness of new ideas by managers. Authors Leonard J. Ponzi and Michael Koenig believe that a key determinant of whether any management idea is a "management fad" is the number and timing of published articles on the idea. In their research, Ponzi and Koenig argue that once an idea has been discussed for around 3–5 years, if after this time the number of articles on the idea in a given year decreases significantly (similar to the right-hand side of a bell curve), then the idea is most likely a "management fad".

Marketing

Marketing is the study and management of exchange relationships. Marketing is the business process of creating relationships with and satisfying customers. With its focus on the customer, marketing is one of the premier components of business management.

Matthew Stewart (philosopher)

Matthew Stewart is an American philosopher and author currently living in the Boston, Massachusetts area. He is the author of Nature's God, The Management Myth, The Courtier and the Heretic, Monturiol's Dream, and The Truth About Everything. He graduated from Princeton University in 1985 with a concentration in political philosophy and was awarded the Sachs Scholarship from Princeton for study at Oxford University, where he earned a D.Phil. in philosophy in 1988. He worked as a management consultant prior to writing full-time.

Rupert Lodge

Rupert Clendon Lodge (1886–1961) was an Anglo-Canadian philosopher, "the most widely read of all philosophers in Canada".Lodge was born in England, but spent most of his academic career at the University of Manitoba, where he taught from 1920 to 1947. Marshall McLuhan was a student of Lodge in the early 1930s.

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