How do managers and leaders know what to do when they are caught off guard or taken by surprise? How do they create when they do not know what to do next? These are challenges of an organizational world of existential uncertainty; one where the future does not conform to but challenges our expectations and assumptions. Steven Segal demonstrates that creating in a world of existential uncertainty requires a new understanding of the relationship between management inquiry and the lived experience of organizing. Using existential philosophy he demonstrates how moods of concern serve as a framework to integrate management theory and practice, thereby providing a framework for managers, management educators, and consultants to share a common framework. In a globalized free market characterized by unexpected disruptions management inquiry is not a science conducted from an objective distance. The book advocates an existentially reflexive and participant observer perspective to management inquiry. By participating in managing, a felt sense of being a manager develops. Through existential observation new ways of organizing are made possible. It is inquiry from within rather than from an objective distance. Such inquiry opens new doors and opportunities. Existential hermeneutic phenomenology and the free market phenomenon of creative destruction are linked to each other. The former provides a framework to work through the breakdown in conventions of organizing that occur in creative destruction.
’This is a terrific book that makes Heidegger relevant to management theorists.’ R. Edward Freeman, University of Virginia, USA ’Philosophy still matters for management and Steven Segal’s book makes this point clear. Philosophy provides an informed, reflective, and intelligent way to interrogate, evaluate and change one’s practices. As you read this book just let it disrupt you; let it guide you to live philosophically as a practically wise manager, let it open you to understand and welcome your own anxieties about your practice. Wise practice starts with understanding the difficult things in life rather than shying away from them. We all need help and guidance to do this and Segal has much to offer in this regard.’ David Rooney, Macquarie University, Australia
Part 1 Existential Experiences of Creative Destruction: Uncertainty in the marketplace of management. Part 2 Introduction to Martin Heidegger's Being and Time: Heidegger's existential hermeneutic phenomenology in management. The hermeneutic circle of existence; Being-in-the-world. Disruption as the existential basis of being-in-question. The existential experience of disclosing new worlds. Part 3 Existential Crisis of Management Research, Education and Development: Existential reading of the paradigm crises in management scholarship. Heidegger in organizational theory and management studies. Existential philosophical reflection. Part 4 An Existential Hermeneutic Approach to Management Research: Existential crises as the basis of research questions. Brad's PhD as a case study in the role of mood in existential questioning. Part 5 The Hermeneutic Circle of Becoming a Manager: The hermeneutic circle of professional development. Hermeneutics of habits. From the hermeneutics of practical coping to the hermeneutics of practical wisdom. The hermeneutic circle of becoming a manager.