English   Danish

2014/2015  KAN-CFILU3006U  Organizational Philosophy and Practice

English Title
Organizational Philosophy and Practice

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 15 ECTS
Type Mandatory
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Semester
Course period Autumn
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Study board
Study Board for BSc/MSc in Business Administration and Philosophy, MSc
Course coordinator
  • Bent Meier Sørensen - MPP
  • Christian Garmann Johnsen - MPP
Main academic disciplines
  • Philosophy and philosophy of science
  • Organization
Last updated on 15-08-2014
Learning objectives
  • Formulate problems within an organizational context
  • Relate problems to the concepts that are 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 problems through the use of case-material
Organizational Philosophy and Practice:
Exam ECTS 15
Examination form Oral exam based on written product

In order to participate in the oral exam, the written product must be handed in before the oral exam; by the set deadline. The grade is based on an overall assessment of the written product and the individual oral performance.
Individual or group exam Individual
Size of written product Max. 10 pages
Assignment type Essay
Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
30 min. per student, including examiners' discussion of grade, and informing plus explaining the grade
Preparation time No preparation
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) Internal examiner and external examiner
Exam period December/January
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Course content and structure
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 tools that may become the student’s later professional profile. The predominantly contemporary curriculum mirrors the ambition of enabling the student to identify problems, 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 practices 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.
Aim of the course:
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.
The course’s development of personal competences:
Students that have participated in this course will be able to understand and analyze organizations and management phenomena as matter of concern and problems in relation to philosophical concepts that are suited in a time of change and flux. Students will also become acquainted with what a critical approach to organizations entails, and how that strengthens one’s analysis of contemporary conditions of work.
Teaching methods
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.
Expected literature
Agamben, G. (2007): “In Praise of Profanation”, Profanation, New York: Zone Books.
Bauman, Zygmunt (1989) ‘Chapter 4: The uniqueness and normality of the Holocaust’, in Modernity and the Holocaust. Cambridge: Polity Press.
Bergson, Henri (2008 / 1900) ‘Chapter 1: The comic in general’, in Laughter: An essay on the meaning of the comic, trans. C.B Brereton and F. Rothwell. Rockville: Arc Manor.
Coupe, Laurence: Myth, London: Routledge, 1997; introduction & chapter 5: Psyche.
Critchley, Simon (2002) On humour. London: Routledge.
Deleuze, G. & Guattari, F. (1994): “What is a concept?”, in: What is Philosophy?, London: Verso.
Derrida, J. (1981): “Plato’s Pharmacy”, in Dissemination, tr. B. Johnson, London: The Athlone Press, p. 63-75
du Gay, Paul (2000) ‘Chapter 3: Bauman’s bureau’, in In praise of bureaucracy: Weber, organization and ethics. London: Sage.
Fogh Jensen, Anders: The Project Society, Aarhus: University Press, 2012.
Freud, S. (2002 / 1905) ‘Chapter 3: The tendencies of the joke’, in The joke and its relation to the unconscious, trans. J. Crick. London: Penguin.
Hamel, G., (2006): “The Why, What, and How of Management Innovation”, Harvard Business Review, 84, 72–84.
Jones C. & Spicer A. (2005): “The Sublime Object of Entrepreneurship”, Organization, 12(2): 223–46.
Latour B. (2004): “Why Has Critique Run out of Steam? From Matters of Fact to Matters of Concern”, Critical Inquiry, 30(2): 225–48.
Mintzberg, H. (1990): “The Manager’s Job – Folklore and Facts”, Harvard Business Review (March).
Plato, 1997. “Phaedrus”, in: Cooper, J.M., Hutchinson, D.S. (Eds.), Nehamas, A., Woodruff, P. (Trans.), Complete Works. Hackett Publishing.
Schumpeter, J. A. (1989): “The Creative Response in Economic History”, in: Essays on Entrepreneurs, Innovation, Business Cycles and the Evolution of Capitalism, Transaction Publishers.
Sørensen, B. M. & Spoelstra, S. (2012): “Play at work: continuation, intervention and usurpation”, Organization, 19(1): 81-97.
Spoelstra, S. (2007): “Philosophy”, in: What is organization?, Lund: Lund Business.
ten Bos, R. (1997) ‘Essai: Business Ethics and Bauman Ethics’, Organization Studies, 18(6): 997-1014
Zizek, S. (1989): The Sublime Object of Ideology, Verso, p. 24-55
Last updated on 15-08-2014