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Jean M. Bartunek & Jordi Trullen

In: Handbook of Organizational and Managerial Wisdom

Chapter 5: Individual Ethics—the Virtue of Prudence

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Individual Ethics—the Virtue of Prudence
Individual ethics—the virtue of prudence

In this chapter, we focus on practical wisdom, a characteristic proper to individuals. Practical wisdom is also called phronesis (Aristotle's term) or prudence (the term introduced by Thomas Aquinas that is in most use by those focusing on virtue). We do so from social science, philosophical, and theological perspectives on virtue. Practical wisdom or prudence lies in the interstices of intellectual and moral virtues—of the theoretical and the practical domains. Hence, it is very important for both management theory and management practice.

Social science findings are often of limited use when dealing with real-life problems (Flyvbjerg, 2001), and many human decisions deal with moral dilemmas. Prudence is directly pertinent to such problems and dilemmas (Statler & Roos, ...

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