This book examines the role that the traditional understanding of science plays in how we understand the capitalistic system and how it informs business and business school education. Science serves many purposes in business organizations; it is much more than just a method to gain knowledge about business problems. It acculturates students to a certain way of thinking about the world and provides a rationale for the things business does and a justification for its purposes in society. It then utilizes the philosophy of Classical American Pragmatism to view science in a different manner, reconceptualizing the multiple environments in which business functions. Author Rogene Buchholz traces the implications of this view for our understanding of the corporation, how science is used in business organizations, the recent financial crisis, and finally what it means for management and management education. No other book examines capitalism and the business system from this unique and timely perspective.
"Against the backdrop of seemingly unending business scandals, this book is a must read for all who are interested in the potential of capitalism to serve community needs. Professor Buchholz, a distinguished and prolific business scholar, offers a rare view of how American Pragmatism can inform our understanding of the relationship between science and capitalism and, in turn, business and society. This provocative view has compelling implications for business practice, public policy, and management education." – Diane Swanson, Kansas State University, USA
"Rogene Buchholz’s new book is an important and unique contribution to a growing body of literature suggesting that recent economic crises have stemmed not so much from managerial ineptness but from the faulty philosophical assumptions--ethical, epistemological, and metaphysical--that underlie conventional economic thinking. Buchholz focuses upon the faulty notion of ‘science’ that governs modern economic thought and proposes, with the aid of American pragmatism, an alternative conception of science that includes service and democratic social engagement. If implemented, Buchholz’s profound and clearly articulated vision would go a long way in putting the American economy on a better road to the future." – Ken Stikkers, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, USA
Introduction Part 1: The Traditional Scientific Worldview 1. The Rise of Modern Science and Its Characteristics 2. Values and Ethics 3. Economics 4. Politics 5. Culture 6. Nature Part 2: Toward A New Understanding of Science 7. The Pragmatic View of Science and Its Characteristics 8. Pragmatism and Values 9. Pragmatism and Economics 10. Pragmatism and Politics 11. Pragmatism and Culture 12. Pragmatism and Nature Part Three: Implications for Business 13. The Corporation and Community 14. Business and Science 15. Financial Armageddon 16. Management and an Ethic of Service. Selected Bibliography. Notes. Index
Business ethics is a site of contestation, both in theory and practice. For some it serves as a salve for the worst effects of capitalism, giving businesses the means self-regulate away from entrenched tendencies of malfeasance and exploitation. For others business ethics is a more personal matter, concerning the way that individuals can effectively wade through the moral quagmires that characterise so many dimensions of business life. Business ethics has also been conceived of as a fig leaf designed to allow business-as-usual to continue while covering over the less savoury practices so as to create an appearance of righteousness.
Across these and other approaches, what remains critical is to ensure that the ethics of business is the subject of incisive questioning, critical research, and diverse theoretical development. It is through such scholarly inquiry that the increasingly powerful purview of corporations and business activity can be interrogated, understood and, ultimately, reformulated. This series contributes to that goal by publishing the latest research and thinking across the broad terrain that characterised business ethics.
The series welcomes contributions in areas including: corporate social responsibility; critical approaches to business ethics; ethics and corporate governance; ethics and diversity; feminist ethics; globalization and business ethics; philosophical traditions of business ethics; postcolonialism and the ethics of business; production and supply chain ethics; resistance, political activism and ethics; sustainability, environmentalism and climate change; the ethics of corporate misconduct; the politics of business ethics; and worker’s rights.