Global corporations and the senior executives who oversee them have been subject to great criticism in recent times: not only do such corporations hold extreme concentrations of wealth, but they continue to sanction staggering pay inequalities between the haves and the have-nots. At the same time, university-based business schools are conducting programmes of executive education seemingly customised to sanction these same inequalities. Heidegger and Executive Education is a piece of critical philosophy that has been written from within the business school in order to examine how this sheltered process of educating in-role corporate executives operates.
Thompson claims that executive education is based on a very simple premise: that an executive executes an order, and that executive education is an amelioration of that process. Thompson argues that the easiest way to conceive of executive education is to treat order and execution as cognates, as a single conceptual entity. Thus, he asks, if educating executives in line with the order-execution cognate involves swapping the boardroom for the classroom, and in keeping with the ‘critical’ tag, shouldn’t executive education be about questioning not only the execution, but also the dominant order? The author uses ‘time’ as the philosophical method by which one can undo the order-execution cognate, question the sanctity of the cognate and thereby halt the seemingly inexorable temporal sequence from order through to those orders becoming executed.
This book uses Martin Heidegger’s exotic philosophy of time in order to mount a philosophical challenge to the temporal sequentiality of executive education. It will therefore be of great interest to academics, researchers and postgraduates who are interested in Heidegger, the philosophy of education and executive education. It should also be essential reading for those involved in training, developing, and educating corporate executives.
Table of Contents
2. The False Necessity of Executive Orders
3. Death and the Executionless-Execution
4. Anxiety is Nothing
5. No Time for Boredom
6. The Gods of Technology
7. Being Mindful of History
8. The Event of Appropriation
9. Ideal Romantic Remainders
Toby Thompson is the Networked Learning Director at the Centre for Customised Executive Development, Cranfield University School of Management.