Religious Studies Faculty Publications
Humanistic Management Journal
As with other fields of applied ethics, philosophers engaged in business ethics struggle to carry out substantive philosophical reflection in a way that mirrors the practical reasoning that goes on within business management itself. One manifestation of the philosopher’s struggle is the field’s division into approaches that emphasize moral philosophy and those grounded in the methods of social science. I claim here that the task, at least for those with philosophical training, is to avoid unintentionally widening the gap between philosophical theory and those engaged in business management by emphasizing the centrality of practical wisdom (phronesis) to the moral life. Distinguishing my own approach from recent emphases on phronesis in management literature, I draw on the concepts of social practice and of narrative to tie practical reasoning to the story of a company. Practical reason, social practices and narrative are employed together to give an account of the art of management at Patagonia. The essay hopes to both provide a way for philosophers to harmonize their practice with that of management and a narrative contribution to the literature of Humanistic Management.
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Ryan, Mark, "Business Ethics as a Form of Practical Reasoning: What Philosophers Can Learn from Patagonia" (2020). Religious Studies Faculty Publications. 139.
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