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2011/2012  KAN-CMF_F33  Organizational Philosophy

English Title
Organizational Philosophy

Course Information

Language English
Point 7,5 ECTS (225 SAT)
Type Mandatory
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Semester
Course Period Autumn
Time Table Please see course schedule at e-Campus
Study Board
Study Board for BSc/MSc in Business Administration and Philosophy
Course Coordinator
  • Bent Meier Sørensen - Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy
Main Category of the Course
  • Philosophy and philosophy of science
  • Management
  • Political Science
Last updated on 29 maj 2012
Learning Objectives
At the end of the course, the student must be able to:
  • Identify the dominant paradigms in organizational analysis
  • Formulate a problem which relates to the concepts discussed in the course
  • Describe, classify, structure, and combine the concepts, theories, methods, and models of the course
  • Relate the texts of the course to their theoretical context
  • Exemplify the chosen problem through the use of case-material
Organizational Philosophy:
Assessment Oral with Written Assignment
Marking Scale 7-step scale
Censorship Internal examiners
Exam Period December/January
Aids Open Book, Written Aid is permitted
Duration 30 Minutes
Regular exam: Oral examination on the basis of an individual written synopsis of the maximum of 3 pages. Duration of oral examination:30 minutes.The synopsis is not included in the assessment. Re-examination: Students who did not pass the regular exam attend a new individual oral examination on the basis of the synopsis handed in at the regular examination. If the student due to illness was not able to hand in a synopsis, the student will hand in an individually written synopsis for the re-examination.
Course Content

Organizational Philosophy introduces to the student a specific philosophical practice in regards to the analysis of organizations, and maps out what differentiates this from both classical philosophy on the one hand, and classical organizational analysis on the other hand.

The goal is to introduce the basic concepts and analytical logic that may become the student’s later professional profile. The predominantly contemporary curriculum mirrors the ambition of enabling the student to identify conflicts, challenges and potentials within organizations of various kinds. This happens as the organization construes its images of itself in a culturally predicated context and delimits itself from its environment.

It is also and at the same time the intention of the course to enable the student to give a philosophical answer to the question which practises and social activities such problematic self-images and delimitations give rise to, and how these may be transgressed.

The course is constructed so that it first introduces to the specific methods and concepts of organizational philosophy, and later offers cases, through which these methods are applied.

The course will give an introduction to organizational philosophy and demonstrate how philosophy provides fundamentally new and different ways of conceptualizing and analyzing organizations and organizational phenomena. The course will consist of lectures and cases, but the active participation of the students is a prerequisite for its success.

Teaching Methods
Students that have partaken in this course will be able to understand and analyze organizations and management by identifying the relevant dominant paradigm constituting the case, and analyze it with relevant, philosophical concepts that are suited in a time of change and flux. Students will also become acquainted with what a critical approach to organizations mean, and how that strengthens one’s analysis of contemporary conditions of work.

Adorno, T.W., M. Horkheimer. 1997. ‘Excursus 1: Odysseus or Myth and Enlightenment’ in Dialectic of Enlightenment. Verso, London, 43-80.

Agamben: “What is a Paradigm?” Lecture at European Graduate School. August 2002.

Castel, R. (1994). ‘"Problematization" as a mode of reading history.’

Cooper, R. 1986. ‘Organization/Disorganization’, Social Science Information 2(25) 299-335.

Costea, B., N. Crump, J. Holm. 2006. ‘Conceptual history and the interpretation of managerial ideologies.’ Management and Organizational History 1(2) 159-175.

Deleuze, G. 1990. ‘Plato and the Simulacrum’ in The Logic of Sense. Columbia University Press, New York.

Deleuze, G. 1995. ‘Postscript on control societies’, in G. Deleuze, ed. Negotiations 1972-1990. Columbia University Press, New York.

Hassard, J. 2001. ‘Commodification, construction and compression: A review of time metaphors in organizational analysis’. International Journal of Management Reviews 3(2) 131.

Jones, C. 2002. ‘Foucault's Inheritance/Inheriting Foucault’. Culture and Organization 8(3) 225-238.

Jones, C. 2004. ‘Jacques Derrida’. Organization Theory and Postmodern Thought. Sage, London, 34-63.

Latour, B. 2004. ‘Why has critique run out of steam? From matters of fact to matters of concern.’ Critical Inquiry 30(2) 225-248.

Munro, I. (2005) 'The Mythic Foundations of Organization', in S. Linstead and A. Linstead (eds.) Thinking Organization, London: Routledge.

Spoelstra, S. 2007. ‘What is philosophy of organization?’ in Bos, R.t., C. Jones (eds) Philosophy and Organization. London: Routledge.

Spoelstra, S. (forthcoming). ‘Leadership and the Hitler problem’.

Serres, M. 1982. ‘Theory of the Quasi-Object’ in The Parasite. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore.

Townley, B. 1999. ‘Nietzsche, competencies and übermensch: Reflections on human and inhuman resource management.’ Organization 6(2) 285-305.

Deleuze, G. 1992. ‘'Pourparlers' - postscript on the societies of control.’ October (59) 3-7.

Deleuze, G., F. Guattari. 1987. ‘What is a Rhizome?’ in A Thousand Plateaus. University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis.

Luhmann, N. 1995. Social Systems. Stanford University Press, Stanford, Calif.

Sloterdijk, P. 2008. ’Foam city’.

Sørensen, Bent M. & Sverre Spoelstra (forthcoming) ‘The spinning prayer wheel of science: 'theological niceties' in organization studies’

Parker, M. 2009. Angelic organization: Hierarchy and the tyranny of heaven. Organization Studies 30(11) 1281-1299.