En erhvervsfilosofisk indstilling: I spændingsfeltet mellem det problemorienterede og det handlingsorienterede

Agnete Schimmell Raakjær & Julie Lorentzen

Student thesis: Master thesis


In this master's thesis we examine the aspect of business philosophy, which deals with the relationship between the problem-oriented approach and the action-oriented approach. We explore how we, through a reciprocal integration, can accommodate on one side the need to examine, problematize, analyze and reflect and on the other the need to act, make decisions and create change. We do this first and foremost through an examination of the problem-oriented and the action-oriented approaches and of how they each possess strengths and weaknesses, why they must be integrated reciprocally. Thus, the approaches must be continuously connected and continuously affecting each other rather than remaining two independent, parallel tracks. Furthermore, we examine the challenge of bringing philosophy into play in and in relation to other purposes, disciplines and contexts, and here we highlight to different modes of integration, an instrumentalizing and a radical, which are not reciprocal. These modes of integration are illustrated through the theme of business ethics in the shape of the traditional approach and the radical approach. In continuation hereof, we present three alternative approaches to business ethics. The approaches are developed from an account of Bruno Latour's concepts of matters of fact and matters of concern, Robert Pippin's concept of the irreducibly first-personal perspective, and Jonathan Lear's concepts of polis, idiopolis and idiolect. Furthermore, these alternative approaches are analyzed according to the theme of business ethics in an attempt to maintain the strengths and work against the weaknesses of the traditional and the radical approach. On the basis hereof, we develop a business-philosophical stance, which accommodates the relationship between the problem-oriented approach and the action-oriented approach through a reciprocal integration. A stance which moves from matters of fact to matters of concern to open and enlightened matters of fact. A stance which does not reject the experience of the complexity of the world but makes this an enlightened and qualified basis for reducing, yet nuanced and reflexive interpretations, which again and again must be regarded as matters of concern. A stance which is sensitive to the context in which it is brought into as well as the generations of meaning, practices and languages of that context, and thus creates opportunity for action, decision, legitimate reasons and change. Finally, the business-philosophical stance is a stance that never closes in on itself, but is constantly kept open for debate, revision, and reflection. Concludingly, it is shown how this business-philosophical stance creates a reciprocal integration between the problem-oriented and the action-oriented approaches, and how it responds to objections originating in the traditional and radical approaches.

EducationsMSc in Philosophy, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2013
Number of pages98