Handbook of Organizational and Managerial Wisdom
Publication Year: 2007
“A brilliant and comprehensive introduction to the most seminal component of leadership: wisdom. The diversity of the readings and wisdom of the authors make this a most original and valuable addition to the management canon.”—Warren Bennis, Distinguished Professor of Management, University of Southern California and author of On Becoming a Leader“This wonderful compilation proves that management is as much art as science, and that deep thinking can inform and inspire practice to be more humane, ethical, and, yes, wise.”—Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Harvard Business School Professor and best-selling author of Confidence: How Winning Streaks and Losing Streaks Begin and End“If you'll forgive a pun, this is a wise book about organizational and managerial wisdom. It shows what's possible when some of our best thinkers turn their ...
- Front Matter
- Back Matter
- Subject Index
Part I: Logic
- Chapter 1: Individual Logic—Wisdom in Organizations: A Balance Theory Analysis
- Chapter 2: Interpersonal Logic—Team Wisdom: Definition, Dynamics, and Applications
- Chapter 3: Organizational Logic—Institutionalizing Wisdom in Organizations
- Chapter 4: Strategic Logic—Toward a Wisdom-Based Approach to Strategic Management
Part II: Ethics
- Chapter 5: Individual Ethics—the Virtue of Prudence
- Chapter 6: Interpersonal Ethics—the Wise Negotiator
- Chapter 7: Organizational Ethics—Acting Wisely While Facing Ethical Dilemmas in Leadership
- Chapter 8: Strategic Ethics—Strategy, Wisdom, and Stakeholder Theory: A Pragmatic and Entrepreneurial View of Stakeholder Strategy
Part III: Aesthetics
- Chapter 9: Individual Aesthetics—Self-Interest
- Chapter 10: Interpersonal Aesthetics—Emotional and Social Intelligence Competencies are Wisdom in Practice
- Chapter 11: Organizational Aesthetics—Aesthetics and Wisdom in the Practice of Organization Development
- Chapter 12: Strategic Aesthetics—Wisdom and Human Resource Management
Part IV: Epistemology
- Chapter 13: Individual Epistemology—Interpretive Wisdom
- Chapter 14: Interpersonal Epistemology—Wisdom, Culture, and Organizations
- Chapter 15: Organizational Epistemology—Interpersonal Relations in Organizations and the Emergence of Wisdom
- Chapter 16: Strategic Epistemology—Innovation and Organizational Wisdom
Part V: Metaphysics
- Chapter 17: Individual Metaphysics—the Getting of Wisdom: Self-Conduct, Personal Identity, and Wisdom Across the Life Span
- Chapter 18: Interpersonal Metaphysics—“We Live in a Political World”: The Paradox of Managerial Wisdom
- Chapter 19: Organizational Metaphysics—Global Wisdom and the Audacity of Hope
- Chapter 20: Strategic Metaphysics—Can Wisdom Be Taught?
Part VI: Synthesizing Commentary
To Kim, Jake, and Danny, who inspire me with their love and lives, as well as the countless others who have contributed to my ongoing search for wisdom.
To my father, Francis E. “Buck” Bailey, who was always my hero, in his life and in his death, and who every single day I understand as more wise that I ever grasped.
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Handbook of organizational and managerial wisdom / editors, Eric H. Kessler, James R. Bailey.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 978-1-4129-1561-8 (cloth)
1. Decision making. 2. Wisdom. 3. Management. 4. Organizational sociology. I. Kessler,
Eric H. II. Bailey, James Russell, 1963-
This book is printed on acid-free paper.
07 08 09 10 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
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In November 2002, a renowned organizational consultant made the following comment to me: “I refuse to play the expert role. Playing the expert role leads to arguments and people pitting facts against facts. I play the sage role. When they ask a question, I tell a story.”
If one examines the word sage in a synonym dictionary (Merriam-Webster Dictionary of Synonyms, 1984), here is what the entry says: Sage characterizes a person “who is eminently wise, being a philosopher by temperament and experience. The term commonly suggests a habit of profound reflection upon men and events and an ability to reach conclusions of universal as well as immediate value, and has been applied chiefly to persons and utterances that are venerated for their wisdom and good counsel” (p. 889). Is that what organizations are looking for when they hire this consultant? Why does it seem like there are no sages internal to the organization?
And if an organization feels that it has few individuals or teams who are “eminently wise,” then what kinds of people does it think it has? More important, what kinds of relationships does it make possible? Here is where it gets interesting because the antonym for the word wise is not the word foolish, as one might expect (Sternberg, 2005), but rather the word simple (Merriam-Webster Dictionary of Synonyms, 1984, p. 889). Simple, simplify, and simplification are the essence of organizing, suggesting that wisdom might well undermine organizing. The intention to simplify shows up in discussions of mindlessness, routines, normalizing, maxims for action (e.g., “keep it simple, stupid”), requisite variety, organizing principles (Turner, 1978), and generalizing as the cornerstone of organizing (Tsoukas, 2005). If simplifying is an imperative in organizational life, then wisdom should be both rare and difficult to implement. By this line of thinking, organizations that exhibit a “reluctance to simplify” (e.g., high-reliability organizations as described by Weick, Sutcliffe, & Obstfeld, 1999) would be the surprising sites of wise action as well as the sites of nonsimple organizational forms. Furthermore, reliability may be the site for wisdom in organizing, just as efficiency may be the site for its antithesis.[Page x]
It is possibilities such as these that surface when one reflects on wisdom using this handbook as the pretext for reflection. People who study managing and organizing are already working with notions of wisdom, albeit usually without awareness that this is the case. Wisdom is wrapped around many of the durable themes in organizational theory. For example, uncertainty reduction is a hallmark of organizational studies, and Brugman (2000) described wisdom as expertise in, and acceptance of, uncertainty. Judgment is a prominent theme in organizational theory (e.g., Bazerman, 2005) as well as in discussions of wisdom. The richness of this juxtaposition was suggested by Cooperrider and Srivastva (1998) when they argued, “Wisdom is not a permanent trait but [rather] a dynamic process of subtle judging and knowing that must always be readjusted, restructured, and rebuilt” (p. 5, italics added). Gioia's definition of wisdom in this volume (Chapter 13) places judgment in a central position when he treats wisdom as “the acquired ability to create viable realities from equivocal circumstances and to use informed judgment to negotiate prudent courses of action through the realities created.” As Gioia goes on to say, judgment is expressed in informed sensemaking and learned sensegiving.
Further points of provocative contact between wisdom and organizing were apparent when Taranto (1989) argued that wisdom “involves a recognition of and response to human limitations” (p. 15). This contact is exemplified by a view of wisdom that has already had a significant impact on organizational studies (e.g., Pfeffer & Sutton, 2006; Weick, 1998, 2000), namely, Meacham's (1990) proposal that wisdom is an attitude that balances knowledge and ignorance:
The essence of wisdom … lies not in what is known but rather in the manner in which that knowledge is held and in how that knowledge is put to use. To be wise is not to know particular facts but [rather] to know without excessive confidence or excessive cautiousness … to both accumulate knowledge while remaining suspicious of it, and recognizing that much remains unknown, is to be wise…. The essence of wisdom is in knowing that one does not know, in the appreciation that knowledge is fallible, in the balance between knowing and doubting. (pp. 185, 187, 210)
Students of organization already know something about Meacham's version of wisdom because they have used a parallel idea called “bounded rationality.” The interesting thing about bounded rationality is that some organizational members recognize and respond to these limitations on rationality, but most do not. Again, high-reliability organizations become an intriguing site for organizational studies because they are notable for their preoccupation with small failures that are signs of potentially larger system problems. As Reason (1997) noted, failures are inevitable, so the question is whether organizational forms allow people to spot and contain them. The implied answer is yes if wisdom is cultivated or no if wisdom is discouraged.[Page xi]
Several other juxtapositions of wisdom and organizing resonate, but in a more challenging manner. For example, in organizations in the Western world, wisdom and knowledge are treated as synonymous (Takahashi & Overton, 2005, p. 36). This means that wise action involves an extensive knowledge database, analysis, cognition, and sufficient information processing skill to use the database. Thus, studies of knowledge management, in this context, should serve as gateways to wisdom, and the findings should suggest organizational substitutes for wisdom. But that is true only if one adopts a very narrow view of wisdom. The narrowness becomes clear in the context of Birren and Fisher's (1990) definition of wisdom:
Wisdom is the integration of the affective, conative, and cognitive aspects of human abilities in response to life's tasks and problems. Wisdom is a balance between opposing valences of intense emotion and detachment, action and inaction, and knowledge and doubts. It tends to increase with experience and therefore age, but it is not exclusively found in old age. (p. 326, italics in original)
In the Birren and Fisher description, wisdom involves more than cognition, more than analysis, more than organizational tasks, more than resolved oppositions, and more than stable forms. The crucial question now becomes the following: What properties of organizing and organizations in the West preclude affective and conative influence, synthesis, work on life tasks, balancing of oppositions, and the necessity to reaccomplish dynamic balancing?
A further challenge lies in the reliance of organizations on texts, language, and representations rather than on direct undistracted attention (Weick & Sutcliffe, 2006). In the words of artist Robert Irwin, “Seeing is forgetting the name of the thing one sees” (Weschler, 1982). The complexities of organizing can be knowable but unnameable, although this possibility is missed by those who focus on representations (for an elaboration of this point, see Chia & Holt [Chapter 22] in this volume). English words in particular can be troublesome in the pursuit of wisdom because, as Paget (1988) made clear, “English is an adjectival language, and for this reason, a difficult language in which to portray action happening…. English is also an abstract language and often far removed from the subtle details of human communication, the details that make it possible to understand what is being said” (p. 146). What all of this suggests is that a closer look at wisdom may improve the clarity with which we think about organizing. As an example of thinking differently, consider Taylor and Van Every's (2000) argument that when people communicate,
they arrive at a situation in which both subjects and their objects are constituted and thus turned into a site of organization. As they construct their situation, they also give it discursive form and a kind of [Page xii]cognitive as well as lived reality, in that they now can talk about what they are living. We see the role of language in this realization as providing the surface on which organization can be read. (pp. 38–39)
Conversations provide the site and texts provide the surface of what will have become an instance of organizing. Multiple conversations, with
their distributed-segmented partial-images of a complex environment, can, through interaction, synthetically construct a representation of it that works, one which, in its interactive complexity, outstrips the capacity of any single individual in the network to represent and discriminate events…. Out of the interconnections, there emerges a representation of the world that none of those involved individually possessed or could possess. (p. 207)
The distributed representation is subsymbolic. Efforts to formulate it
in a conventional language of symbols is the motivation for the emergence of organizational macro-actors. These actors speak in the name of the group as a whole and thus represent it, both by giving it a voice and by interpreting back to it in symbolic form what it collectively knows, at the subsymbolic level of cognition. (pp. 140–141)
To intuit these operations, to value the development of integrated sensory modalities that grasp these operations, to avoid overt intellectualizing that masks these operations, to see synthesis as reality, and to see shortcomings in synthesis as inevitable is to interweave organizing and wisdom.
To wade into the topic of wisdom is to see organizing differently. To wade into this volume is to see wisdom differently. Both forms of effort embody a wonderful moment of wisdom itself, as Lao Tzu saw clearly (cited in Muller, 1999, p. 134):
In pursuit of knowledge, every day something is acquired;
In pursuit of wisdom, every day something is dropped.
To acquire the messages of this volume is to know. To then drop the messages of this volume and move on is to live.References[Page xiv](2005).Judgment in managerial decision making. New York: John Wiley.(1990).Conceptualizing wisdom: The primacy of affect-cognition relations. In R. J. Sternberg (Ed.), Wisdom: Its nature, origins, and development (pp. 317–332). New York: Cambridge University Press, & [Page xiii](2000).Wisdom: Source of narrative coherence and eudaimonia. Delft, Netherlands: Uitgeverij Eberon.(1998).An invitation to organizational wisdom and executive change. In S. Srivastva & D. L. Cooperrider (Eds.), Organizational wisdom and executive courage (pp. 1–22). San Francisco: New Lexington Press., &(1990).The loss of wisdom. In R. J. Sternberg (Ed.), Wisdom: Its nature, origins, and development (pp. 181–211). New York: Cambridge University Press.Merriam-Webster dictionary of synonyms: A dictionary of discriminated synonyms with antonyms and analogous and contrasted words. (1984).New York: Merriam-Webster.(1999).Sabbath: Restoring the sacred rhythm of rest. New York: Bantam Books.(1988).The unity of mistakes: A phenomenological interpretation of medical work. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.(2006).Hard facts, dangerous half-truths, and total nonsense. Boston: Harvard Business School Press., &(1997).Managing the risks of organizational accidents. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate.(2005).Foolishness. In R. J. Sternberg & J. Jordan (Eds.), A handbook of wisdom: Psychological perspectives (pp. 331–352). New York: Cambridge University Press.(2005).Cultural foundations of wisdom: An integrated developmental approach. In R. J. Sternberg & J. Jordan (Eds.), A handbook of wisdom: Psychological perspectives (pp. 32–60). New York: Cambridge University Press., &Facets of wisdom: A theoretical analysis. International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 291–21. (1989).http://dx.doi.org/10.2190/N76X-9E3V-P1FN-H8D8(2000).The emergent organization: Communication as its site and surface. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum., &(2005).Complex knowledge: Studies in organizational epistemology. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.(1978).Man-made disasters. London: Wykeham.(1998).The attitude of wisdom: Ambivalence as the optimal compromise. In S. Srivastva & D. Cooperrider (Eds.), Organizational wisdom and executive courage (pp. 40–64). San Francisco: New Lexington Press.(2000).Quality improvement: A sensemaking perspective. In R. E. Cole & W. R. Scott (Eds.), The quality movement and organization theory (pp. 155–172). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Mindfulness and the quality of organizational attention. Organization Science, 17514–524. (2006).http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/orsc.1060.0196(1999).Organizing for high reliability: Processes of collective mindfulness. In B. Staw & R. Sutton (Eds.), Research in organizational behavior(Vol. 21, pp. 81–123). Greenwich, CT: JAI., , &(1982).Seeing is forgetting the name of the thing one sees: A life of contemporary artist Robert Irwin. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Introduction: Understanding, Applying, and Developing Organizational and Managerial Wisdom[Page xv]
The daily lives of most of us are full of things that keep us very busy and preoccupied. But every now and then we find ourselves drawing back and wondering what it's all about. And then, perhaps, we may start asking fundamental questions that normally we do not stop to ask. … This can happen with regard to any aspect of life. … People can subject any field of human activity to fundamental questioning like this … which is a way of saying that there can be a philosophy of anything.—Bryan MaGee, 1998
Philosophy is essentially the completion of science in the synthesis of wisdom.—Will Durant, 1961
Wisdom is among the most complex and profound concepts in our vernacular. It represents the epitome of human development and conduct yet remains stubbornly enigmatic. Notwithstanding this duality—or perhaps as a result of it—wisdom has been the subject of constant inquiry across every age of our history and every culture of our construction. It characterizes the most enlightened and successful people and collectives. Philosophers and religious thinkers, scientists and scholars, and authors and artists alike have attempted to crystallize its character. Yet wisdom defies a universally accepted definition [Page xvi]or comprehensively applicable model. Thus, one might rightly conclude that there is nothing as simultaneously important and mysterious as wisdom.
In this handbook, we examine wisdom as applied to the ubiquitous social structure of the organization and its management. This is no small undertaking given that one would be hard-pressed to conceive of human life untouched by formal organizations, the proper stewardship of which forms the academic and professional fields of management and where rigorous treatment of wisdom is just beginning to emerge. Whereas wisdom is frequently alluded to, indirectly referenced, or casually conceived in this growing area, our charge here is to progress meaningfully toward a systematic and deep consideration of its application to professional pursuits. Toward this end, we have commissioned some of the brightest minds in the field to confront the problem of defining what organizational and managerial wisdom (OMW) is, how to best apply it, and how to develop it. The contributions herein are profound and well intentioned, but our objective is not to put the issue to rest. To the contrary, the content of this handbook represents less a conclusion than an introduction, less a final word than an opening argument, and less a comprehensive model than a structured exploration. None of us would be so bold (or unwise) as to claim an exclusive channel into the ideal of OMW, but together we seek to construct what it might look like.
In this introductory chapter of the Handbook of Organizational and Managerial Wisdom, we sketch the rationale for this inquiry, construct objectives and structure, preview the book's contributions, and suggest a common ground for understanding, applying, and developing wisdom in the practice of organization management. The introductory chapter is organized as follows: (a) Wisdom, (b) Organizational and Managerial Wisdom, (c) Handbook of Organizational and Managerial Wisdom, and (d) Insights From the Handbook of Organizational and Managerial Wisdom.Wisdom
Until … political greatness and wisdom meet in one, and those commoner natures who pursue either to the exclusion of the other are compelled to stand aside, cities will never have rest from their evils—no, nor the human race, as I believe—and then only will this our State have a possibility of life and behold the light of day.—Plato, The Republic (Book V)[Page xvii]
Totally ignored in mainstream scientific inquiry for decades, wisdom is beginning to return to the place of reverence that it held in ancient schools of intellectual study.—Robert Sternberg and Jennifer Jordan, 2005
Volumes upon volumes have been written about wisdom. Indeed, considerations of its nature can be traced back more than 5,000 years (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2006). Although we do not pretend to resolve the question, it is necessary to delineate some essential characteristics so that we might go about this exploration of wisdom's organizational and managerial manifestations.Wisdom is Important
There is perhaps nothing more important for orienting and conducting human affairs than wisdom. It is an ideal to be emulated because it yields immeasurable returns, as conveyed through memorable adages such as that wisdom “outweighs any wealth” (Sophocles), is “organized life” (Immanuel Kant), “is the principal thing” (Proverbs 4:7), and is “sacred communication” (Victor Hugo). That wisdom is absolutely critical in the conceptualization and execution of one's life and work is self-evident. Therefore, the first principle we adopt here is that wisdom is an important—some might even say critical—subject of inquiry.
The wisdom ideal has been represented in myriad ways (see the following section) and has been equated with sages, scholars, and deity. Yet one thing remains constant throughout the ages: Wisdom represents the highest stages of development attainable by humans and their most desirable patterns of behavior (Baltes & Staudinger, 2000; Rice, 1958). Birren and Fisher (1990) explained wisdom's placement at the pinnacle of existence by tracing the evolution of the term. The concept is generally used to represent the best of a context or an age. Its etymology even suggests a place on the top of a hierarchy of attributes, an amalgam of superior human qualities to enable esteemed action. Thus, wisdom facilitates more successful cognition and volition, more penetrating understanding and affect, and more effective action and decision making.
We would also argue that life—personal or professional—is more meaningful with wisdom, partly because it allows one to extract more meaning from life. Thus, wisdom is terminally important as well as instrumentally important. Just as the folksy admonition to “stop and smell the roses” advises taking time for one to absorb and appreciate the world more completely—to take notice of the details and differences in things—so too does delaying managerial dictates allow others to assume responsibility, that is, to sense the discretion and autonomy required of professional identity. The benefits are real and considerable, and in the long run they are more effective and efficient. Wisdom, then, becomes something to pursue not just for its own sake or immediate functionality but also because it lightens the load so frequently bemoaned by making it sublimely easier to bear.[Page xviii]Wisdom is Complex and Multifaceted
To consider the meaning and fundamental nature of wisdom is no simple endeavor. It is ironic that Socrates told us that the beginning of wisdom is the definition of terms in that turning this starting point on itself begets an intriguing tautology. There have been countless conceptualizations of the construct, and one is hard-pressed to decipher which ones are true if indeed it can be said that any can be true inasmuch as the concept transcends time and location. Therefore, the second principle that we adopt in compiling this handbook is that wisdom covers an astonishingly broad and diverse collection of attributes and actions.
There are as many dictionary definitions of wisdom as there are dictionaries. The term is often vaguely defined as being wise or related to insight or judgment. Wisdom is seen both as a noun, inferring that it can be possessed to varying degrees, and as a verb, a process of understanding and acting on the world. A brief review from a plethora of sources includes the following definitions of wisdom: (a) the quality of being wise, or the body of knowledge and experience that develops within a specified society or period (Oxford English Dictionary, 2006); (b) the ability to make correct judgments and decisions (Wikipedia, 2006); (c) accumulated philosophical or scientific learning (Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, 2006); (d) the ability to make sensible decisions and judgments based on personal knowledge and experience (Encarta, 2006); (e) possessing or showing the ability to make good judgments, based on a deep understanding and experience of life (Cambridge Dictionaries Online, 2006); (f) the quality of being wise; the faculty of making the best use of knowledge, experience, understanding, etc.; good judgment, sagacity (Webster's New Twentieth Century Dictionary, 1961); and (g) the ability to discern or judge what is true, right, or lasting; insight; common sense, good judgment (American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 2006).
Turning to philosophical dictionaries, yet another genre of responses to the question of “What is wisdom?” emerges. Philosophically, the ancient Greek “ϕιλOσOϕια” (philosophia) is roughly translatable as “love of wisdom.” Thus, we are philosophers when we earnestly and passionately pursue the meaning and practice of what is wise. This love entails the most general and abstract features of the world and categories with which we think—mind, matter, reason, proof, truth, and the like, which are in turn the topic of inquiry. Perhaps “the shortest definition, and it is quite a good one, is that philosophy is thinking about thinking … reflective thought” (Honderich, 1995, p. 666). The disciplinary philosophy of (say) history, physics, or law seeks not so much to solve specific questions as to examine those elements that structure thinking about specific questions and to lay bare their foundations and presuppositions. According to the Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy (Audi, 1999), wisdom represents “an understanding of the highest principles of things that function as a guide for living a truly exemplary human life.” The HarperCollins Dictionary of Philosophy[Page xix](Angeles, 1992) defines the term in a related manner, as representing “prudent judgment as to how to use knowledge in the everyday affairs of life; the correct perception of the best ends in life, the best means to their attainment, and the practical intelligence to successfully apply those means.” These definitions rely heavily on—and indeed attempt to synthesize—Plato's concern for ideal forms and Aristotle's distinction between the intellectual sophia (theoretically deep understanding of reality) and the applied phronesis (practically skilled judgment and behavioral alacrity).
Religious traditions bring yet another framework to the wisdom concept. For example, fear of God is the beginning of wisdom in Judaism, and in Islam Allah is said to be full of wisdom. Devotion and virtue are central themes in Christian writings, where wisdom (prudence) stands with justice, fortitude, and moderation as one of the four cardinal virtues. Wisdom is seen here as an intellectual virtue of knowing truth and believing the ultimate cause. Buddhist and Hindu writings take a more multidimensional view; Buddhism differentiates good wisdom from evil wisdom and conventional wisdom from ultimate wisdom, and Hinduism accepts several wisdoms such as oneness, awareness, infinity, eternity, balance, faith, and holiness. Confucian thought sees wisdom as more in line with respect as per the idea that “to give one's self earnestly to the duties due to men, and, while respecting spiritual beings, to keep aloof from them, may be called wisdom.” Taoist doctrine tends to see wisdom as learned, particularly through introspection.
Obviously, the pursuit of wisdom has a long and varied history. A select representation of its lineage as sketched by Birren and Svensson (2005) is presented in Table I.1.
Insofar as the contributors to this handbook consider the organizational and managerial manifestations of wisdom, we focus on human, as opposed to theological, conceptions. Yet even within this sphere, the perceptive reader will notice a gap between the study of wisdom during the Enlightenment and that during our current time. Indeed, some scholars have concluded that wisdom had practically “dropped off the scholarly map” until its recent resurgence. This is corroborated by the absence of the term in philosophical, psychological, and related encyclopedias during this neglected period (Robinson, 1990).
Scientific attention to wisdom was, until fairly recently, almost nonexistent. According to Trowbridge (2005), systematic research into wisdom is scant but growing. He concluded that during the 1980s only 5 studies were conducted, whereas during the first half of the 2000s he found an increased—but still miniscule—16 studies, although few of these are seen as substantial theoretical or empirical undertakings. This notwithstanding, one can discern at least three distinct genres of rigorous inquiry that in turn yield potentially useful frameworks for understanding wisdom. We characterize these as the integrative approach of Ardelt, the developmental approach of Baltes and his colleagues, and the balance approach of Sternberg.[Page xx][Page xxi]
Ardelt (2000, 2004) proposed that wisdom is essentially an integrative dynamic resulting from the synthesis of cognitive (knowing and comprehending), reflective (perspective and introspection), and affective (compassion and empathy) dimensions. Wisdom, as compared with knowledge, ultimately involves a deeper and more fundamental understanding of the world and one's place in it.
Baltes and colleagues (Baltes & Staudinger, 2000; Baltes & Kunzmann, 2004), in what has been termed the Berlin Wisdom Paradigm, proposed that wisdom is essentially a developmental dynamic that emerges from several antecedent conditions and includes performance along a variety of criteria. Personal, domain-specific, and contextual factors form the enabling foundations for wisdom, which in turn is manifested in individual and collective progression. As such, wisdom can be enhanced through experience and structured intervention. Ultimately, Baltes and colleagues see wisdom as an evolving metaheuristic to orchestrate mind and virtue in the fundamental pragmatics of life.
Sternberg (1990, 2003a, 2003b) proposed that wisdom is essentially a balancing dynamic that involves the reconciliation of several related yet distinct cognitive factors. As per Jordan and Sternberg's description in Chapter 1 of this handbook, “wisdom is the ability to use one's successful intelligence, creativity, and knowledge, as mediated by personal values, to reach a common good by balancing intrapersonal, interpersonal, and extrapersonal interests over the short and long terms to adapt to, shape, and select environments.” Therefore, wisdom involves both individual and systemic balancing that ultimately—when combined with intelligence and creativity (i.e., the WICS model)—is oriented toward effective leadership and positive contributions to the common good.
Other efforts supplement what we see as these primary streams. For example, McKee and Barber (1999) contended that wisdom's range of conceptualizations—theoretical, practical, divine, secular, scientific, and so on—ultimately converge to indicate the ability to see truly, or through life's illusions. Seligman and Csikszentmihalyi (2000) introduced the idea of positive psychology and its promise for unlocking our understanding of the elements that make life worth living—including wisdom. Srivastava and Cooperrider (1998) connected the concept with courage and sensemaking.
More recently, Sternberg and Jordan's (2005) edited book celebrates the revival of serious scholarly interest in wisdom, announcing its “return to the place of reverence that it held in ancient schools of intellectual study.” Indeed, their volume represents a most impressive and systematic effort to understand the concept. Incorporating psychological, historical, philosophical, and other perspectives, it is a critically important contribution to our understanding of the wisdom concept. As valuable as it is, Sternberg and Jordan's contribution differs from our handbook in significant ways. First, their contributors tend to look at the extremely complex concept of wisdom altogether—in toto. Whereas they focus on wisdom as a whole, we consider its various facets and manifestations to synthesize insights. Second, [Page xxii]they examine wisdom proper and do not explicitly address it to the context of professional pursuits. Alternatively, our handbook is centered on the practical implications of wisdom in the business of organizations and their management.
Finally, we would be remiss—in a section on the complexity of wisdom—if we did not note how differently wisdom is conceived across cultures. Cultural differences alone justify a multivolume series. Acknowledging this, Takahashi and Overton (2005) observed that “wisdom is not a unitary but a multidimensional construct and is defined differently across various populations” (p. 38). In the West wisdom is conceived more along the cognitive dimension, and in the East it is conceived more along the affective dimension (Takahashi & Bordia, 2000). For example, Mahayana Buddhism includes the concept of prajna, the ultimate wisdom, inaccessible to human experience but partially revealed through nirvana and emptiness (Flesher, 2006). This notion of contingency is well represented throughout the contributions in this handbook, particularly in focal treatments of international culture (Chapter 14) and comparative analysis of East-West perspectives (Chapter 22).Wisdom is Preeminent to Knowledge
To be wise means more than merely to be knowledgeable. Surely, we all have witnessed our share of intelligent yet foolish individuals. Knowledge might be necessary, but it is certainly not sufficient for wisdom. As famously lamented by the poet T. S. Eliot in The Rock, “Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?” (Eliot, 1934). We offer the following reconciliation. Data are raw facts. One memorizes them to impress other people or to score well on game shows. Information is meaningful and useful data. One gives form and function to numbers to make sense of them. Knowledge is clear understanding of information. One analyzes and synthesizes information to truly comprehend it. Wisdom is something more—deeper, broader, apparent, contradictory, evident, lucid and nebulous, experienced and naive, all at the same time. If one's goal is to live better—whatever way one may define that—more data, more information, or more knowledge neither unequivocally nor universally leads to personal happiness (Van Doren, 1991) or firm success (Schrage, 2001). Therefore, the third principle that we adopt in compiling this handbook is that wisdom is superordinate to just knowing; indeed, it comprises something entirely different.
Wisdom is clearly differentiated from knowledge. Philosophically, the concepts are quite distinct. Knowledge involves holding justified true belief, whereas wisdom uses this knowledge in the conduct of sound and serene judgment (Edwards, 1972). This distinction is fairly consistent with Eastern thought, where in Confucianism the wise know and walk along The Way [Page xxiii](Tao) and in Buddhism the wise live life consistent with enlightened realization (nirvana). Western thinkers lean toward a pragmatic vision of wisdom as “value added.” Aristotle (1984), in his Nicomachean Ethics, spoke of “practical” wisdom as the ability to deliberate well about what is good and expedient. In Critique of Practical Reason, Kant (1778/1997) described a state of true wisdom as the practical end of the existence of humans on the earth. James's (1909/1995) Pragmatism subjected ideas to the criterion of usefulness and spoke of their “cash value.” Even in War and Peace, Tolstoy (ca. 1865/1994) talked of wisdom being found not in science but rather through explaining humans’ place in the entirety of it all. Jonas Salk, in The Survival of the Wisest (Salk, 1973), wrote that “importance is attached to the notion that wisdom is of practical value” for human survival and for the maintenance and enhancement of the quality of life.
Again, knowledge might be necessary but certainly is not sufficient for wisdom. Scientific knowledge can tell us how to do things but not whether they ought to be done. Take, for example, the fundamental questions posed by the movie Jurassic Park—not only “can we?” but also “should we?” This harkens back to J. Robert Oppenheimer's reflection on, and Harry Truman's decision regarding, the use of the atomic bomb in World War II. Knowledge gives us the means, but wisdom provides the context and direction.
Knowledge can also be a double-edged sword that retards wisdom. Productively, it provides the raw materials from which to reflect on and derive global principles and meanings and was the foundation for the Enlightenment and all of the advances it bestowed. Destructively, knowledge can inhibit our pursuit of wisdom if it acts to obscure perspective, just as individual intelligence can make us resistant to positive change, inhibit our creativity, and close our minds. On the level of the firm or organization, knowledge can have similar effects, turning our competencies into crippling rigidities (Leonard, 1995). Moreover, Roger Shattuck, in his wonderful Forbidden Knowledge (1996), provided an amazingly lucid analysis of how knowledge can be twisted to darker, more prurient ends. Instructions for the assembly of explosive devices or graphic depictions of human depravity used to be hard to come by. But in the information-saturated environment that is enabled by modern technology, this brand of knowledge is readily acceptable. But is it good and prudent? There is darkness in the world, and because knowledge can be put to its purposes, one should never forget that knowledge, like freedom, is purchased at a cost.
This schism is also evident in efforts investigating whether and how information technology (IT) systems can model wisdom in organizations (Courtney, Haynes, & Paradice, 2005; Turban, Leidner, McLean, & Wetherbe, 2005). This begs the “art versus science” debate and the perennial issue of artificial intelligence (artificial wisdom?). Society visits here regularly, especially when ushered by technological advances. The “man versus machine” context (Deep Blue beat Kasparov at chess?!) is reflected in popular culture's musings about the rise of computers and is evidenced [Page xxiv]n science fiction literature and cinematic productions such as The Terminator and The Matrix. From a scientific perspective, it is clear that programmable systems are increasingly sophisticated entities, but there is no evidence that they are serious competition for knowledge, much less wisdom. Issues such as values, a primary basis for human decisions and actions, and emotion, a primary engine of human events and the source of all our pleasure, are hardly ever discussed in artificial intelligence contexts. As always, technology and knowledge are but tools that serve explicit or implicit masters.
A perfectly apt summation of this point comes from perhaps the greatest scientific mind of the modern era. Albert Einstein told us,
Convictions which are necessary and determinant for our conduct and judgments cannot be found solely along this solid scientific way…. The scientific method can teach us nothing else beyond how facts are related to, and conditioned by, each other…. Knowledge of what is does not open the door directly to what should be. One can have the clearest and most complete knowledge of what is, and yet not be able to deduct from that what should be the goal of our human aspirations. Objective knowledge provides us with powerful instruments for the achievement of certain ends, but the ultimate goal itself and the longing to reach it must come from another source…. The knowledge of truth as such is wonderful, but it is so little capable of acting as a guide that it cannot prove even the justification and the value of aspiration toward that very knowledge of truth. Here we face, therefore, the limits of the purely rational conception of our existence…. Intelligence makes clear to us the interrelation of means and ends, but mere thinking cannot make clear these fundamental ends and valuations. (Einstein, 1939/1954, pp. 41–42)Wisdom is Elusive
Not everyone is wise; in fact, a very select few have approximated this ideal. The same is true of organizations, both public and private, as a considerable proportion of unwise institutions line the ash can of history. Therefore, the fourth principle that we adopt in compiling this handbook is that the achievement of wisdom is difficult insofar as it is simultaneously a rare commodity and an arduous process, it represents a cumulative phenomenon, and it is lamentably yet inherently incomplete.
The phrase “common sense ain't common” is attributed to American folk wit Will Rogers. If “common” refers to a commodity and “sense” refers to good judgment, it is safe to say that Rogers was ribbing the rarity of wisdom as the exception rather than the rule. Why is wisdom so rare? So elusive? If it is a central human calling, as we have described, and the better minds of [Page xxv]ur species have devoted themselves to its study or attainment of knowledge, why is this thing so difficult to understand and acquire? If it were so integral to the human experience, why wouldn't it be, like procreation, a frequent result of pleasurable attempts? And surely, if age is the hardiest measure of adaptability, why isn't wisdom incumbent on one's advanced years? Simply stated, why would something so central be so elusive?
The answer is infinitely more prosaic than the question. The human tendency is to conjure a guru whose status, insight, or bravery in the face of a great cause we can never hope to repeat. Buddha, Gandhi, Jesus, Lincoln, King, and Mandela are just a few of the giants who became our standard. But this approach has its risks. To be sure, seeking perfection propels humanity, but in our day-to-day affairs it is an impossible comparison that, almost inevitably, invites disappointment. Just like in the leadership literature, the mystique of wisdom clouds judgment, perhaps preventing us from seeing and practicing it in the small but enormously significant ways that make a true difference in our everyday lives.
Conversely, the adjectives applied to business leaders—the erstwhile “captains of industry”—are colorfully evocative of action and confidence—decisive, assured, certain, definitive, determined, firm, forceful, imperious, intent, preemptory, resolute, and strong-minded. Flattering descriptions, to be sure, but it is curious that “wise,” or some variation thereof, is seldom attributed to businesspeople (except on occasion when, e.g., a depreciated acquisition boosts stock prices, and even then only post hoc). Were Jack Welch, Anita Roddick, Robert Johnson, or Richard Branson ever described as wise in the popular press or in an academic case study? Innovative, focused, and inspirational, maybe, but not wise. Why is this? Is the action-oriented language of business such that it simply cannot accommodate the concept of wisdom, or does it simply employ a separate, but equally expressive, vocabulary with an equally valid semantic? Who is to say that the creation of an airline when most other airlines were performing abysmally, or the creation of cosmetics composed of organic materials when that market was flooded by competitors, was not wise? Indeed, it is consistent with Plato's ideas in The Republic that those dominated by the intellectual are best fit as philosopher kings, those dominated by the emotional are best fit as soldiers, and those dominated by appetite and ambition are best fit for commerce and trade. But in international relations, troop deployment, and entrepreneurial ventures, there is nothing in Plato's categorization to prevent the king, the soldier, and the businessperson, respectively, from being wise in their cogitation or conduct.
If wisdom is elusive, certainly part of the reason is that it is arduous; that is, it is difficult to obtain. Anything that is valuable and difficult to acquire usually is rare. Diamonds do not, after all, grow on trees. And wisdom does not happen overnight. If a century of social science has taught us anything, it is that humans tend to be impulsive creatures drawn to immediate gratification. Everybody plays checkers, but the skilled chess player is unusual. [Page xxvi]Jack Kerouac can opine about the journey or collective quest, but most of us also yearn for the destination. A few quotes should illustrate the arduous nature of wisdom:
- Albert Einstein—“Wisdom is not a product of schooling but of the lifelong attempt to acquire it.”
- Socrates—“Wisdom begins in wonder.”
- Confucius—“By three methods we may learn wisdom: first, by reflection, which is noblest; second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third, by experience, which is the bitterest.”
- Lucius Annaeus Seneca—” No man was ever wise by chance.”
- Benjamin Franklin—“The doors of wisdom are never shut.”
- William James—“The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook.”
- Francis Bacon—“A prudent question is one-half of wisdom.”
- Goethe (Faust)—“The last result of wisdom stamps it true: He only earns his freedom and existence who daily conquers them anew.”
Part of the reason why wisdom is elusive and rare is that it is cumulative. Cumulative means over time, and over time means patience, and patience once again flies in the face of the human tendency—not to put too fine a point on it—to “want it now.” Delay of gratification and impulse control are in short supply despite childhood assurances that “good things come to those who wait.” Evolution is slow, whereas life is short and, if Hobbes is to be believed, nasty and brutish as well. These are not ideal conditions for wisdom to flourish.
Experience, then, becomes a key element of the wisdom equation. But there is such a thing as precociousness—those who are “wise beyond their years.” Similarly, there are those who have been everywhere and done everything but who repeat the same mistakes over and over as if they are encountering the world for the first time. Wisdom, then, is not exclusively a prisoner of the past, just as the past is no guarantee of wisdom. Experience, like knowledge, is a necessary but not sufficient condition of wisdom. Wisdom is not such experience per se but is more derivative of the attitude brought to experience (Gandhi, 1927/2006). This is nicely illustrated by the following quotes:
- Abraham Lincoln—“I do not think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.”
- George Santayana—“The wisest mind has something yet to learn.”
- Japanese proverb—“You are wise to climb Mt. Fuji, but a fool to do it twice.”
- Cato the Elder—“Wise men learn more from fools than fools [learn] from the wise.” [Page xxvii]
- Thomas Jefferson—“I hope our wisdom will grow with our power and teach us that the less we use our power the greater it will be.”
- George Bernard Shaw—“We are made wise not by the recollection of our past, but by the responsibility for our future.”
If wisdom is elusive because it is rare, and it is rare because it is difficult to obtain, and it is difficult to obtain because it is cumulative, it stands to reason that—to exacerbate matters further—wisdom is inherently incomplete. Once something is known, absorbed, and thoughtfully engaged, that something changes. Any parent who has tried to comfort a distressed child should be able to relate; what works today often fails tomorrow. Or, to illustrate in a different arena, a cosmological wisdom derived from intimate knowledge of Newtonian physics must, at the very least, be updated in light of Einstein's quantum reasoning and perhaps explorations of string and M-theories (Hawking, 2001). Similarly, in the focal domain, a wisdom of human nature extracted from decades in the food and beverage industry might benefit from reexamination when applied to the securities industry. And all rules might go out the window when an industry experiences competitive, technological, or other disruptions and undergoes radical paradigmatic transformation. If the proposition that wisdom is cumulative is accepted, by definition it is constantly maturing, transforming, and accumulating. Therefore, we should not pretend to its mastery and instead should acknowledge the imperfect art and provisional perspective—consistent with Wittgenstein's (1921/2001) ladder and the idea of disposable theories—that encapsulate the necessary humility in our search for wisdom, as suggested by the following quotations:
- Socrates—“The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.”
- Proverb—“The wisest man is he who does not believe he is wise.”
- William Shakespeare—“The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.”
- Bertrand Russell—“The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people [are] so full of doubts.”
- Mohandas Gandhi—“It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson—“Wisdom is like electricity. There is no permanently wise man, but men capable of wisdom, who, being put into certain company, or other favorable conditions, become wise for a short time, as glasses rubbed acquire electric power for a while.”
- Lord Chesterfield—” In seeking wisdom thou art wise; in imagining that thou hast attained it—thou art a fool.”
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe—“With wisdom grows doubt.”
In this section, we have put forth that wisdom is important, complex, preeminent, and elusive—qualities that are magnified when transported to the professional domain.Organizational and Managerial Wisdom
It's easy to be a holy man on top of a mountain.—W. Somerset Maugham, 1946
Precisely at a time when we sense the need for wisdom is higher than ever, it appears, paradoxically, to be less and less available…. Wisdom is the pivotal force behind organizational greatness.—Srivastava and Cooperrider, 1998
Perhaps it is relatively easier to dispense wisdom from the stark surrounds of the mountaintop or the reflective rituals of the cloister. To be removed from humanity's swell and unfettered by its investment surely aids sagacity. But few of us are so fortunate. We live instead in a bustling, bristling web of relationships, perspectives, and objectives, all of which require resolution to lead to solution, all the more so for those in the thick of the business world, where very genuine consequences attend even the smallest of decisions. Yet this is where the action is, or at least where we spend a large part of our time. As Srivastava and Cooperrider (1998) suggested, wisdom's supply and demand curve especially favors the former. In the following, we consider the characterization, application, and development of wisdom as embedded in the context of organizational and managerial dynamics.Organizations and Management are Ubiquitous
For better or worse, we live in a world of organizations. Our time is spent interacting with them, our lives are spent serving and being served by them, and our very existence depends on them. They are both pervasive and important.
From the moment of conception, we are inextricably linked with organizations. Most of us are born in hospitals—bureaucracies par excellence. From there we transfer home, where the social configuration—including hierarchy, division of labor, unity of command, seniority, and other familiar concepts—is the bedrock for nearly all organizational designs. The food and shelter, clothing and furnishings, and services and utilities on which we unconsciously rely all are products of organizations. Many of us also commonly experience some form of religious observance. Whether Catholic, Protestant, Judaic, [Page xxix]Muslim, Hindu, or any other variety, religion tends to be “organized” by codified methods of worship and endorsed paths to salvation, enlightenment, or whatever the end state might be. From home we shuffle off to school, a bureaucracy where disciplinary and status divisions abound and where the authority of the teacher and the principal are all-encompassing. From this gauntlet the majority of us emerge to take a post in a private or public, for profit or nonprofit firm and commence to repeat the cycle. As we do so, every good we consume, every road we traverse, and every relationship we form is governed by a few fundamental rules derived from ancient patterns and rebound today. There just is no escaping the ubiquity of organizations.
Given the pervasive nature of organizations, the question becomes one of whether they, or their elements, can display wisdom. Whereas in this introductory chapter we have already entertained the dilemma of the wise individual, it is yet another matter to consider whether groups can be deemed more or less wise. There is in fact much evidence that groups are on the whole more capable of wisdom than are individuals. If properly managed—and this is a big if—interacting individuals can leverage diverse competencies and perspectives to produce results superior to those of the individual. Technically, we might designate these groups as “teams,” attach labels such as “synergy,” and seek guidance about their enactment in the works of Hackman (2002, Leading Teams) and Katzenback and Smith (2003, The Wisdom of Teams). On the flip side, groups can be profoundly unwise, making poor decisions and harming their membership, as noted in the insights of Janis (1972) and others.
Although they are often large and complex, organizations are composed of interdependent individuals who have at least mildly aligned goals. Unfortunately, the headlines are replete with so many foolish and malicious cases by both bigger and smaller entities that we can also confidently assert the negative—that organizations are capable of being “unwise.” Semantics are important here because some people might interpret wisdom as profitability (e.g., Google), survival (the Catholic Church), environmental impact (The Body Shop), or a host of other criteria. Nevertheless, there are better and worse performers on any of these scales; thus, we can infer that there are relatively wiser and less wise organizations.
One could also consider whether strategies can be deemed wise. Again, notwithstanding the definition of terms, one might sort out approaches that have worked better than others. This can be done in a plethora of strategic spheres such as government (democracy), economics (capitalism), and business (empowerment). Of course, the previous examples are hotly debated depending on one's political, financial, and managerial predilections. Is profitability the ultimate metric, or is it perhaps one's larger systemic impact or one's principles of conduct? That is to say, conceptions of the wise strategy can vary by the criteria and perspective employed. Thus, judgments are not as objective as the scientist might prefer, but they are nonetheless amenable to some form of assessment.[Page xxx]Organizations and Management are in Need of Wisdom
Whereas every generation thinks that its challenges are unique, the world, particularly that of organizations and management, is as much in need of wisdom now as ever before. Examples of organizational idiocy are so legion that it is impossible to recount them here, but be they blunders of strategic, moral, or human stripe, the question remains: Why is this happening? Are organizations and their managers becoming less intelligent, or is the business context becoming more difficult? No less an astute observer than Scott Adams of Dilbert fame contends that it is a synthesis of the two, that “people are idiots,” and that “change makes us stupider, relatively speaking. Change adds new information to the universe…. Our knowledge—as a percentage of all the things that can be known—goes down a tick every time something changes” (Adams, 1996, p. 198).
We cannot speak to Adams's (1996) conjecture about human intelligence (although there is ample evidence to support it), but his remarks about change are right on the mark. This managerial and organizational “idiocy” is manifested by deep-seated prejudices and fallacies—as per Francis Bacon's idols of the tribe, cave, marketplace, and theater—that underlie human social behavior and hence are difficult to remedy (Kessler, 2001). Adaptation and intervention, if possible, take time. For individuals, groups, and organizations, responding to new conditions necessitates a “learning curve” where performance often dips below previously established baselines. The plotted progress curve would look something like an EKG, only with an overall cumulative pattern (hopefully).
If new conditions require adaptation, and adaptation requires a period of adjustment during which performance is far from peak, we could assume that wisdom would quicken the path of the learning curve. Considering the rapid changes in the nature of work—the accelerated pace of technological innovation, the growing complexity of internal and external environments, the fierce competitiveness brought on by globalization, the increasing workforce diversity, and the emergence of knowledge work and strategic human resources as core competencies—it is fair to say that modern organizations are in a constant state of adaptation. The old Chinese adage, “May you live in interesting times,” is both a curse and a blessing.
From sage to scripture, in working and in living, wisdom initiates and guides change. As such, it is the apex of intellectual and moral judgment, the reconciliation of oneself with a greater spiritual force, the ability to achieve, and the path toward true understanding and happiness. Jordan and Sternberg, in Chapter 1 of this handbook, put it as follows: “It could be argued that the most important factor in an organization's success is wisdom.” Indeed, one of the most strikingly consistent observations of this handbook's contributors is that there is a gap between where we are in terms of wise organization and management and where we could be.[Page xxxi]We are not Trained, nor Do we Train, for Wisdom
It is peculiarly ironic that the terminal degree in our field, doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.), does not generally require even cursory study of philosophy. Surely, doctoral-granting institutions, in bestowing an august title such as lover of wisdom, should incorporate the topic into the curriculum. With this deficit in mind, it is hardly surprising that the academic literature is dominated by narrowly defined constructs and elaborate statistical manipulations that unintentionally eschew cross-disciplinary and “big picture” inquiries. Moreover, there is a vocal stream lamenting the poor preparation that future managers and leaders receive through master's of business administration (MBA) programs (Ghoshal, 2005; Mintzberg, 2004; Pfeffer & Fong, 2002). In a similar vein, Small (2004) argued that management development programs are insufficiently based on wisdom-related principles. If one is not trained for wisdom, wisdom cannot be expected.
Harkening back to an earlier discussion, our professional training and socialization is grounded more in a tradition of information and knowledge than in the concepts of wisdom and truth. In our unholy determination to represent even the most nuanced forms of human social experience in mathematical terms, social science was caught unaware by many of the watershed events of the latter half of the 20th century such as the fall of the Soviet Union and the emergence of demagogic nationalism. These events were fueled by ethnic passion and religious fervor that our instrumentation was too blunt to detect. The situation is exacerbated in organization and management studies. As a practical discipline, we are obliged to follow practice, and two of the most powerfully emergent practices of the past few decades are information technology and knowledge management. The valence against a serious consideration of wisdom is fierce. To counter with productive weight, we believe that the time is right within the academic realm to reconceptualize knowledge creation and dissemination within the rubric of wisdom.
As for knowledge creation, in his seminal work, Ernest Boyer, president of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, complained that the professoriate had moved to privilege research above its other two missions, teaching and service (Boyer, 1990). He observed that research is solidly entrenched at the top of the academic hierarchy, whereas teaching is merely the communication of that research to others. Boyer argues this shift is due to a narrowing definition of scholarship among the nation's most prestigious universities. In an effort to move beyond this constricted conception, Boyer argued that universities must rethink what it means to be a scholar and must embrace a more expansive definition of the construct. Rather than viewing scholarship as merely “research,” Boyer offered four forms: discovery, integration, application, and teaching. The fundamental idea is to balance research endeavors so as to more fully represent the range of purposes for which knowledge is created and to which it is put.[Page xxxii]
The scholarship of discovery is the most easily grasped because it refers to what academics describe as research. Pursuit of this form of scholarship is generally considered to be the essence of the professional academy—researching issues from novel viewpoints; the ability to create knowledge for its own sake; and the capacity to examine questions without specific limit. The scholarship of discovery has thrust universities to the forefront of knowledge generation and insight about the human condition, both of which are preconditions to wisdom. Numerous Nobel Prize winners, literary stars, and patent holders populate the faculties of first-class institutions and contribute both to the intellectual vibrancy of academic culture and to a stream of financial support that cyclically sustains high-caliber research and holds tuition at an affordable level.
The scholarship of integration refers to research activities that “make connections across the disciplines” (Boyer, 1990, p. 18). Here, knowledge developed through discovery is extended to comparable knowledge derived from other disciplines and paradigms. This is “interdisciplinary” in that the scholarship of integration is about connecting the boundaries of a particular field or tradition to relatable ideas and theories in other traditions or putting them in a larger perspective to infuse broader meaning. Boyer (1990) reported the results of a survey across faculty at many different types of academic institutions, finding that 85% of faculty at research institutions believed that multidisciplinary work had significant value and importance in giving research streams within a discipline a larger meaning and context. As discussed previously, integration of diverse streams of inquiry is integral to any concept of wisdom.
The scholarship of application is consistent with our premise that wisdom inheres in action as much as in intent. Here researchers investigate ways in which the scholarship of discovery and integration can be applied to real-world problems. This form directs the consequences of research to specific practical issues, and conversely uses the practical issues themselves to direct research. This third form of scholarship is a genuine attempt to apply the findings from discovery and integration to significant practical or social problems and to create and sustain the agenda for future discovery and integration that is informed from this application. In this sense it facilitates the transition of knowledge to wisdom.
The last form is the scholarship of teaching, which emphasizes dissemination of knowledge derived through the other three forms, and, as such, can be thematically conceived as imparting wisdom. Teaching educates and entices future practitioners and scholars. Faculty who both understand their field and its nuances and are capable of finding creative and engaging ways of communicating that knowledge to others are true scholars of teaching, in the best of ancient Greek traditions. Effective teaching is a communicative and communal act. Good teachers must be intellectually engaged and active learners. But they also must be able to transform and extend their own learning so that they are able to stimulate others to think, understand, and explore.[Page xxxiii]
Once knowledge is created, how it is structured and delivered—that is, taught and disseminated—has profound impact on how it is cognitively integrated and behaviorally executed. This is where Boyer's scholarship of teaching is most significantly observed. As distinguished from training, effective education strives to achieve multiple high-level learning objectives. For instance, memorizing a concept or formula may be important, but it serves mainly as a platform on which to construct more complex understanding. Practically applying principles, structuring meaningful data, and evaluating alternative courses of action all require a superior level of cognitive integration. It is, then, the charter of educational institutions broadly, and business schools especially, to provide instructional experiences that develop mastery of higher order conceptualizations that approximate the wisdom concept more closely.
The most broadly developed scheme for benchmarking knowledge dissemination is Bloom's (1956) Taxonomy of Educational Objectives. This model depicts various levels of instructional sophistication that form the basis of pedagogy. The first, and most foundational, levels of educational objectives include knowledge and comprehension, which indicate, respectively, a memory for and understanding of concepts, formulas, events, and the like. Managers demonstrate knowledge, for example, by recalling performance metrics. In contrast, comprehension is the ability to grasp the meaning of material. A development professional may explain a promotion scheme to demonstrate successful comprehension of advancement opportunities. These first two levels refer to “understanding” a thing as it is, whereas the next three objectives reflect an ability to “transform” that thing through functional purpose. Application is the ability to transform knowledge to action in new and concrete situations, for example, when a manager uses goal-setting theory to motivate an alienated employee. Analysis, or the ability to deconstruct knowledge into its component parts to establish a total structure, takes place when a leader articulates and appreciates the unstated norms that govern an organizational culture. Synthesis is the ability to reconstruct elements into a new whole. This involves detailed knowledge as well as the conception of unique connections. An example would be redesigning a reporting relationship to transfer information and objectives more efficiently. Bloom's final and most sophisticated cognitive skill, evaluation, is judging the value of information for a given purpose. Evaluation integrates the first five levels while intertwining tacit knowledge and opinion. Managers use evaluation when determining a strategic course of action from several options.
We submit that, educationally, wisdom is the seamless mastery of all six of Bloom's (1956) levels. Thus, to instill and nurture wisdom, pedagogical methods of knowledge dissemination should intentionally integrate these learning objectives. Taking students—be they undergraduates or executives—through an instructional journal that connects knowledge to comprehension to application to analysis to synthesis to evaluation represents a cogent path toward wisdom. Unfortunately, most formal instruction focuses on knowledge [Page xxxiv]nd comprehension, leaving application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation to that greatest of teachers—experience. A careful treatment of the reasons for this state of affairs is beyond the scope of this introductory chapter. However, if schools of business and management become serious about imparting wisdom, a wholesale reformation will be at hand, including curricular redesign and commensurate shifts in internal reward systems that align individual incentives with institutional missions.
The premise of this section is that academics, as stewards of knowledge, are not normally trained in, nor do they train for, wisdom. For this, we offer two ameliorants. The first is to reconceptualize the scholarly endeavor in a manner that is more compatible with wisdom and the range of human purposes, and the second is to tend more carefully to the levels of mastery that are communicated by our pedagogy. These activities may be directed at a wide variety of audiences—to those who will become practitioners, those who will become purveyors of the four forms of scholarship, or those who simply seek to become wiser and more broadly educated. Engaging effectively in this scholarship requires more than effective transmission of knowledge, but as Boyer (1990) emphasized, it requires actively participating in the examination and evaluation of those knowledge dissemination activities so as to improve the very practice of the scholarship of teaching itself.We Must Consider Organizational and Managerial Wisdom
We are organizational philosophers when we apply the inquiry of the wise to the management of people, groups, structures, and strategies. By extension, organizational action at all levels and in all domains cannot be understood properly, much less investigated, disseminated, or performed properly, without considering wisdom adequately.
Let us assume for a moment that our field, organizational and managerial (OM) studies, can be conceptualized as a body of thought concerned with the function and management of social systems at both micro and macro levels of analysis (Astley & Van de Ven, 1983). It is essentially derived from social sciences such as psychology, sociology, anthropology, political science, industrial engineering, general systems theory, decision theory, economics, mathematics, and practitioner experience (Koontz, 1980). OM studies are dynamic disciplines marked by progressive evolutionary phases, the practitioners of which consider a wide variety of issues such as scientific management, bureaucracy, industrial and economic forces, neoclassical and human relations models, power and politics, decision-making models, structural contingency theory, communication and network relationships, open systems and ecological factors, and postmodern conceptions of the firm (cf. Clegg, Hardy, & Nord, 1996; Perrow, 1973; Scott, 1961). OM studies investigate these issues on various levels of analysis, [Page xxxv]including the individual, the interpersonal, the organizational, and the strategic (Scott, 1987).
It is often said that the more things change, the more they remain the same. As already described, the context-specific answers generated by OM studies are derivative of the general questions, issues, and debates raised long ago in philosophy. Consider, for example, the following lines of inquiry. How can we be internally consistent in our thoughts and actions? How should governance mechanisms be constructed? What is an appropriate code of behavior? How does one motivate and lead people? What are the sources and limits to knowledge resources? These questions are fundamentally philosophical but become managerially relevant when applied to the domain of organizations. Thus, it is incumbent on us to consider the arguments and insights of history's greatest thinkers to properly reflect on how wisdom might be applied to OM studies. Indeed, a philosophical approach to exploring organizational theory informs fundamental concepts, explains divergence of theories, and helps to formulate policies and practices.
There have been several attempts to marry philosophy with its business application. For instance, Hartman (1988) surveyed the conceptual foundations of organizational theory, attempting to ground it in an underlying logic and fundamental questions, charging that a discipline can “free itself from philosophy” only when it develops a precise vocabulary and agreed-on rules and evaluative criteria. Indeed, our field is far from such a consensus (Pfeffer, 1993). Another effort to relate OM studies to the infrastructure of philosophy was undertaken by Burrell and Morgan (1979), who observed that the enduring sociological debates could be understood dimensionally via objectivism versus subjectivism as well as regulation versus radicalism. Morgan (1986) continued this analysis in his metaphor-based attempt to categorize organizational theories into different “frames,” many of which were linked to philosophical roots. Others, such as Badaracco (1992), have attempted to develop ideas on business ethics based in philosophy and manifested in OM studies.
In our field, the opposite of OMW might be seen as simplicity or folly. To the issue of simplicity, Weick (1993) spoke of wisdom at the intersection of knowing and ignorance. Here the wise are seen as embracing the complexity of organizational life rather than obscuring it, simultaneously drawing from and ignoring lessons from the past and, as such, improving adaptability. To the issue of folly, Kerr (1975) maintained that perverse reward systems can motivate people to act in a manner diametrically opposed to what is desired and deemed strategically important. Ghoshal (2005) described the folly in which pursuing academic credibility via rigorous research has led business theory to adopt a set of assumptions about human nature that provide intellectual justification for a class of behaviors that sours the corporate ethical climate. Jones (2005) argued that ethical lapses are directly traceable to a lack of wisdom-based paradigms for business structures and practices. In the pop culture domain, we can also highlight Adams's Dilbert comic strip as a compendium of folly at work.[Page xxxvi]
In a general sense, Gandhi told us that finding a truthful way to solutions requires constant testing—that “the way a person behaves is more important than what he achieves.” Thus, individuals become wise through their cumulative experiences and reflection in an organization, industry, and career. Confucius similarly reminded us that only the wisest and the very stupidest cannot change—that “the superior man thinks of virtue; the small man thinks of comfort. The proper man understands equity; the small man profits.” Thus, individuals become wise when they are open-minded enough to be guided by principle. More specific to our field, Malan and Kriger (1998) defined managerial wisdom as “the ability to detect those fine nuances between what is right and what is not … the ability to capture the meaning of several often contradictory signals and stimuli, to interpret them in a holistic and integrative manner, to learn from them, and to act on them” (p. 249). According to Vaill (1996), this type of wisdom can be seen in managers and organizations navigating permanent “white water” without losing their sense of purpose and direction. And as reported by Engardio (2006), ancient lessons such as in the Bhagavad-Gita are being increasingly applied to conceptualize more holistic approaches to corporate strategy and leadership. Together, these insights blend wisdom with implementation—the abstract with the impact.
In this section, we have put forth that organization and management are ubiquitous yet often in need of wisdom and, moreover, that scholars and practitioners are not trained for wisdom per se yet must rightly consider it to do their jobs properly. Driven by a pronounced lack of wise management practices in organizations, research in this domain is increasing. However, what does exist is diffuse and ill connected. The need to consider wisdom is clear, as is the need to organize that consideration systemically. In short, the moment is ripe for a Handbook of Organizational and Managerial Wisdom.Handbook of Organizational and Managerial Wisdom
A philosophy of a discipline such as history, physics, or law seeks not so much to solve historical, physical, or legal questions as to study the concepts that structure such thinking and to lay bare their foundations and presuppositions. In this sense philosophy is what happens when a practice becomes self-conscious.—Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy, 1996[Page xxxvii]
Organizational theorists bite off too little too precisely, and we've tried to encourage them to tackle bigger slices of reality. And if poetry, appreciation, and the artistry of inquiry need to be coupled with science to produce those bigger bites, so be it.—Karl Weick, 1979
Wisdom is inherently action oriented. To paraphrase Gandhi, the wise both know and have the courage to do what is right. Conversely, Confucius observed that to see what is right and not do it is cowardice. Thus, the wise not only talk the walk but also walk the talk. Organizing and managing are action oriented as well but are not requisitely wise. As we have noted, wisdom in these domains is more the exception than the rule. The opening quotations suggest this is so because we do not look sufficiently inward to surface foundational assumptions or sufficiently outward to appreciate overarching context. The purpose of this handbook is to provide a venue for both through the prism of wisdom.
The Handbook of Organizational and Managerial Wisdom is structured according to primary levels of analysis—individual, interpersonal, organizational, and strategic—and thematically around the five primary philosophical branches: logic, ethics, aesthetics, epistemology, and metaphysics. It integrates the insights of some of the field's most respected thinkers to further our understanding of this emerging domain, consider how it might be applied practically to real organizations, and explore how it might be fostered and developed.Levels of Organizational and Managerial Wisdom
Consider the following:
Joseph Wiseman, chief executive officer. How should he reason? How might he act? What do he and his employees, customers, and the like really want? What does he know, and what can he be expected to know? What is his fundamental purpose?
Team Illuminati. How can the team members synergize? How should they negotiate interactions? What role do emotional and social factors play in their relationships? What impact does diversity have on their dynamics? Is their existence essentially and/or rightly unequal and power driven?
Philos Enterprises. How should the firm be structured? How should it be led? What is the best way to approach change? What is the best way to design for learning? In what way will globalization affect its processes and objectives?
Wisestrat Consultants. How might the consultants facilitate an effective or even enlightened policy? How should they advise the client to interact with their context? What is the best way to construct human resource systems? What is the best way to create and leverage resources? Can education and development truly convey any of these insights?
After pondering these questions and their associated implications, take one more moment to consider the following. What people would you then consider wise? What teams, companies and institutions, or strategies? Why? From a contextual perspective, the lattice of these levels can be visually depicted as in Figure I.1 and constitutes one dimension of this handbook's organizational scheme.[Page xxxviii]Figure I.1 Levels of Inquiry Explored in the Handbook
Individual Inquiry. Organizations do not behave. Neither do nations, societies, industries, cultures, or families. Individuals behave. People are the fundamental unit of analysis because all of these other entities exist only in the abstract—reifications, if you will. Individuals are, ultimately, responsible for the whole of human history because events are made, not discovered. Thus, organization management phenomena can always be traced to the people who occupy the space. It is their judgments that create the organizational logic, their morals that create the organizational ethic, their values that create the organizational design, their interpretations that create the organizational knowledge, and their reflection that creates the organizational reality.
Interpersonal Inquiry. One cannot explain a collective by summing the parts. The interpersonal cannot be amalgamated with units. Collective dynamics, such as groupthink, risky shift, social loafing, contagion, and social facilitation, are but some of the unique impacts that highlight the complex interdependencies between people and ultimately create positive synergy or process loss. Therefore, a reasonable understanding of organization management must augment individual examination with interpersonal analysis, adding to the mix factors such as negotiated decisions, social exchanges, collective sensemaking, cultural diversity, and power and influence.[Page xxxix]
Organizational Inquiry. It is axiomatic in the social sciences that behavior is influenced by its context. No person acts in a vacuum. Rather, a host of environmental features, such as the nature of the activity, involved others, and assumed or assigned roles, have a profound impact on how one acts at any given moment. In this way, organizations are created systems that furnish the fundamental situation in which individual behavior is executed. For example, even the most creative individuals may fail to produce innovative outcomes if bogged down by boundless bureaucracy and disempowered by autocratic managers. Therefore, we must also consider judgment and teams within the context of organizational systems, virtue and negotiation within the context of organizational leadership, values and exchanges within the context of organizational development, sensemaking and diversity within the context of organizational learning, and reflection and influence within the context of organizational globalization.
Strategic Inquiry. It is difficult to understand a phenomenon if one does not consider its intention, direction, and relationship to broader systems. Strategy is the amalgam of all these things, incorporating the how and the why as well as the present and the future. Strategic dynamics are essential for properly exploring the wisdom of organizations and management. It follows that judgment, teams, and structures can be better understood by adding business policy (section on logic); virtue, negotiation, and leadership can be better understood by adding environmental interface (section on ethics); values, social exchange, and development can be better understood by adding human resource management (section on aesthetics); sensemaking, diversity, and learning can be better understood by adding innovation (section on epistemology); and reflection, influence, and globalization can be better understood by adding education (section on metaphysics).
Altogether, we put forth in this handbook that there can be more or less wise individuals, interactions, organizations, and strategies engaged in the practice of organization management and that, therefore, we seek to explore the nature, application, and source of this variability.Domains of Organizational and Managerial Wisdom
According to the Columbia Encyclopedia (2005), philosophy (i.e., the love and pursuit of wisdom) can be defined as the “study of the ultimate reality, causes, and principles underlying being and thinking.” To this end, philosophical inquiry traditionally is divided into several branches or approaches. Logic is concerned with the laws of valid reasoning, ethics deals with problems of right conduct, aesthetics attempts to determine the nature of beauty and the criteria of artistic judgment, epistemology investigates the nature of knowledge and the process of knowing, and metaphysics inquires into the nature and ultimate significance of the universe. These branches are neither comprehensive [Page xl]or independent, but they are useful for discerning fundamental questions and, as such, constitute a second dimension of this handbook's organizational scheme (Figure I.2). The following discussion draws from several sources (Craig, 1998; Durant, 1961; Encyclopedia Britannica [http://concise.britannica.com]; Scruton, 1996; Solomon & Higgins, 1997; Wikipedia [http://en.wikipedia.org]) to discuss these domains of inquiry.
Logic. Logic, from ancient Greek for “the word,” is at its foundation the study of inference and argument. More broadly, it investigates ideal methods of thought by asking questions about what constitutes sound reasoning and what can be construed as rational. Great thinkers such as Aristotle, John Stuart Mill, David Hume, Gottlob Frege, and Bertrand Russell have taken up this challenge. Most recently, logic has been applied to matters concerning computer and information systems as well as artificial intelligence. The central property of logic is “soundness” or internal fidelity. If the parts of an argument (propositions or premises) are noncontradictory and systematically lead to the end goal (conclusions or inferences), reasoning is said to be rational (sound). A person, a practice, an entity, or an approach can be said to be logical, or by extension rational, when its objectives follow from its parts in an internally consistent manner. Thus, individual logic [Page xli]elates to sound judgment, interpersonal logic relates to sound interactions and dynamics, organizational logic relates to sound institutionalized context, and strategic logic relates to sound policy formulation and implementation. For example, consider the syllogistic reasoning embedded in the following: Premise 1 (heavyweight project leaders are most appropriate for radical innovation) combined with Premise 2 (this nanotechnology initiative is a radical project) would suggest a conclusion (we should put a heavyweight leader in charge of the nanotechnology project). The rigorous and purpose-driven elements of logic are apparent. Of course, logical decisions at one level must be combined with, and embedded within, a larger system to produce desired results. Even people with good judgment must work within team structures, design contexts, and strategic frameworks. The parts should inductively suggest the whole, and the whole should deductively suggest the parts. Logic simultaneously operates at and reconciles the micro, meso, and macro.Figure I.2 Philosophical Branches of Thought Considered in this Handbook
Ethics. Ethics is concerned with ideal conduct, the nature of ultimate value, and the moral standards by which human action can be judged. Its study investigates what actions are “right” and what ends are “good,” thereby deriving a method or code by which people should live. Great thinkers such as Plato, Immanuel Kant, Thomas Hobbes, Jeremy Bentham, G. E. Moore, and A. J. Ayer have taken up the challenge of investigating ethics, and the study of the subject also has a rich history in nearly all major world religious traditions. Perhaps the most widespread understanding of the field is synchronous with what is commonly referred to as a normative approach to ethics, which is concerned primarily with the questions of proper conduct. Here are debates about what should and should not be done. Arguments can use a variety of vehicles, such as the scientific (ethics is derived), the theological (ethics is divine), the economic (ethics is systemic), and the professional and political (ethics is applied). Specific to the scope of our handbook, we suggest that individual ethics relates to personal virtue, interpersonal ethics relates to negotiated interaction, organizational ethics relates to proper leadership, and strategic ethics relates to principled synthesis with embedded and overlapping systems. A particularly interesting ethical debate involves whether there is one true ethical standard or relative standards that are dependent on time and context. This translates in a business domain to the question of whether there is a single set of ethical criteria for all organizations or whether such criteria are moderated by differences in culture and industry. Carried further is the related issue as to where criteria should be applied: the individual (e.g., Hobbes), the institution (e.g., Hegel), the society (e.g., Mill), or the greater purpose (e.g., Anselm). The application of ethics to organization management must, then, consider multiple analytic levels. Indeed, there is much fodder for discussion, as cases abound regarding ethics and business issues such as bribery, deception, creative accounting, layoffs and takeovers, discrimination, insider trading, environmental impact, and stakeholder rights.[Page xlii]
Aesthetics. Aesthetics is the study of ideal form or beauty, including the character of tastes and preferences. Etymologically, it derives from the ancient Greek term for perception. It is concerned with questions such as what is enjoyable and why, linking design and art to objects, structures, experiences, and language. Thus, we can say that to some extent individual aesthetics relates to personal values and interests, interpersonal aesthetics relates to empathy and exchange, organizational aesthetics relates to change and development, and strategic aesthetics relates to human resource systems and practice. When approaching organizational and managerial aesthetics, we acknowledge the open debate as to whether there are objective universal tastes (cf. Maslow) or in fact subjective considerations that locate beauty in the proverbial “eye of the beholder.” As organizations and their activities are increasingly framed in terms of artistic-related conceptualizations (e.g., in the emergence of design-based approaches), the concept of aesthetics is receiving more interest. Analogies between the expressive endeavors and organizations are plentiful and include management as performance and prose, teamwork as symphony, structural context as architecture, and leadership and strategy as art form.
Epistemology. Epistemology focuses on the origin, nature, and limits of human knowledge, both a priori (theory) and a posteriori (empiricism). It is concerned with what we know and how we know it as well as the question of whether knowledge is even possible. Insofar as we can know, knowledge, as opposed to speculation or opinion, is justified true belief. This definition dates back to Plato and can be traced through the writings of Russell and Wittgenstein. Epistemology considers whether all knowledge is gathered through the senses or if there is any real a priori knowledge and whether knowledge is the product of reasoned thought or if there are other sources such as experience and mysticism. Ideas on the nature of knowledge and subsequent epistemological systems abound. Hence, we are forced to confront and reconcile diverse frameworks such as idealism, positivism, and pragmatism, as well as a plethora of other competing models, for explaining knowledge phenomena. Focusing the epistemological lens on the subject at hand, we can say that to some extent individual epistemology relates to a person's sensemaking process, interpersonal epistemology relates to diversity and the synthesis of knowledge frameworks, organizational epistemology relates to a process of institutionalizing knowledge and learning, and strategic epistemology relates to innovation and the creation and application of new knowledge.
Metaphysics. Metaphysics is the study of ultimate reality and what constitutes the structure and content of what exists as real. It considers categories and natures of things, their interrelation, and their manifestation in complex systems. In so doing, it confronts mind and body, cause and effect, what it means to exist and be a person, and one's relation to the larger [Page xliii]orld. A fair consideration of metaphysics must acknowledge the multifarious approaches to understanding reality and existence. Metaphysical problems include those of an ontological (existence), theological (divine), and cosmological (universal principles) nature. As it is often put, metaphysics asks the really big questions such as “who am I?,” “what is reality?,” and “for what purpose do I exist?” Mirrored questions in the realm of organization management are equally germane, such as “why does and how should this team [or firm or strategy] exist?” Thus, we can say that to some extent individual metaphysics relates to personal reflection, interpersonal metaphysics relates to influence and power relationships, organizational metaphysics relates to global and intercultural mind-sets, and strategic metaphysics relates to pedagogy and education.
Altogether, we put forth in this handbook that organization management processes can be more or less wise in the domains of logic, ethics, aesthetics, epistemology, and metaphysics; as such, we seek to explore the nature, application, and source of this variability.Contributions to the Handbook
Of course, the full richness of OMW can be better appreciated by experiencing these manifestations of the phenomena more specifically and directly. To this end, the 22 original contributions were commissioned for the Handbook of Organizational and Managerial Wisdom. Together, they offer a veritable smorgasbord of wisdom to be savored and digested. Bon appétité.
Part I covers organizational and managerial logic.
In Chapter 1, titled “Wisdom in Organizations: A Balance Theory Analysis,” Jennifer Jordan and Robert J. Sternberg address individual logic by considering judgment. Jordan is a postdoctoral research fellow at Dartmouth College. Sternberg is dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at Tufts University, former director of the PACE (Psychology of Abilities, Competencies, and Expertise) Center at Yale University, and past president of the American Psychological Association. Using Johnson & Johnson as a case study, Jordan and Sternberg integrate their interests to address the impact that leaders’ intelligence and creativity can have on their organizations. They present the balance theory of wisdom to explain how James Burke used his intelligence and creativity to manage competing interests and help Johnson & Johnson recover from the Tylenol poisoning dilemma. Jordan and Sternberg then draw similarities between the balance theory and judgment, calling particular [Page xliv]ttention to enhancing one's character through knowing when to act versus when to observe and knowing when to incorporate personal values versus when to disregard them. The authors integrate logic, emphasizing a wise leader's ability to consider multiple points of view and focus on the impact of time. Yet Jordan and Sternberg are quick to point out that wisdom is all too often not present. If a leader has both intelligence and creativity, he or she can still fail to be wise based on an inability to act on these skills or an unwillingness to incorporate good judgment into his or her actions. The authors argue that this inability or unwillingness comes from a number of factors (dubbed fallacies), including an egocentric attitude—the belief that one is omnipotent, omniscient, or invulnerable—and reliance on unrealistic optimism. These fallacies are used in the Johnson & Johnson examples to explain why Burke succeeded in dealing with the Tylenol dilemma, whereas Ralph Larsen failed when facing medical stent problems. Ultimately, Jordan and Sternberg detail a number of means that leaders can use to foster wisdom within their organizations. They conclude that “wise decision making can be developed. We have a way. We need only the will.”
In Chapter 2, titled “Team Wisdom: Definition, Dynamics, and Applications,” Tjai M. Nielsen, Amy C. Edmondson, and Eric Sundstrom address interpersonal logic by considering teams. Nielsen is an assistant professor of management at George Washington University. Edmondson is the Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management at Harvard University. Sundstrom is a professor of psychology at the University of Tennessee as well as an evaluator for the National Science Foundation. Building on a shared interest in groups or teams, the authors develop a framework for understanding team wisdom. Such a concept is achieved when teams become effective at recognizing and managing the multitude of tensions underlying teamwork. These tensions are predominantly related to team boundaries (distinguishing the team from its surrounding environment), temporal scope (dividing time between varying goals and purposes), and multiple priorities (prioritizing the importance of competing tasks). Nielsen, Edmondson, and Sundstrom argue that wisdom can be developed within teams when managers work with the rest of the team to enhance member attributes, establish team norms, and acknowledge that conflict may arise. Conflict can be generated from choices regarding the self versus the team, internal versus external demands, and short-term versus long-term goals. The authors provide examples of conflicts arising from these issues in a variety of team types before concluding with a practical discussion of how to address tension and develop wisdom in teams.[Page xlv]
Paul R. Lawrence addresses organizational logic by considering institutionalization and systems in Chapter 3, titled “Institutionalizing Wisdom in Organizations.” Lawrence is the Wallace Brett Donham Professor of Organizational Behavior (Emeritus) at the Harvard Business School. He uses his knowledge of organizational structure, environment, and design to detail how the U.S. government and human brain function to foster wisdom within their subjects. First, Lawrence uses the U.S. Constitution as an example to facilitate a discussion about how this imparting of wisdom is accomplished. He draws on the competing forces of passion and reason as conceptualized by the Founding Fathers to emphasize the inner dichotomy present in every individual. Passions are described as the emotional urges that drive individuals to satisfy impulses. Reason is seen as the regulator of passion and the gateway to virtue (the placement of public good over individual gain). The government functions to provide the checks and balances necessary to tilt the dichotomy in favor of virtue within its subjects. Lawrence then turns to the drives underlying both passion and reason, exploring them from a neurological point of view. Returning to the concerns raised by the Founding Fathers, Lawrence argues that there are often conflicting drives that generate emotions. These emotions are examined and possibly censored by reason. Lawrence then presents mental models that accomplish this task, and the process of decision making in the brain is detailed using these drives. Similar to the regulation of emotions by reason seen in the human mind, Lawrence views the government as a balancing force that supports wise behavior in its subjects through an emphasis on dialogue and logic—the system of checks and balances. Finally, Lawrence concludes by commenting on the current prevalence of special interest factionalism within the U.S. government as caused by the involvement of corporations.
In Chapter 4, titled “Toward a Wisdom-Based Approach to Strategic Management,” Paul E. Bierly, III and Robert W. Kolodinsky address strategic logic by considering business policy. Bierly is the Zane Showker Professor of Management and director of the Center for Entrepreneurship at James Madison University. Kolodinsky is an assistant professor at the same institution. After presenting an overview of strategic management, Bierly and Kolodinsky outline several shortcomings to the simplified view [Page xlvi]f the world on which most strategic decisions rely. As a solution to these shortcomings, the authors present varying levels of wisdom, beginning with executive wisdom. For Bierly and Kolodinsky, executive wisdom is composed of five components: (a) judgment, (b) accumulation of knowledge, (c) deep reflection about one's own and others’ past experiences, (d) actions performed for the “common good,” and (e) moral maturity. They elaborate on this framework by examining the associated concepts of knowledge, experience, maturity, discipline, and generativity. These concepts are guided by spirituality and lead to a number of beneficial outcomes such as enlightenment. Bierly and Kolodinsky expand the concept of executive wisdom from here to the more complex notion of organizational wisdom, noting that this complexity stems from the multitude of levels involved in such a concept. Furthermore, the authors point out, at this level knowledge accumulation is a far more complex amalgamation; however, leaders can help to foster this form of wisdom through advocating and supporting organizational spirituality and balance. Bierly and Kolodinsky close with a discussion of how to foster the spirituality and balance necessary for wisdom as well as the positive outcomes that can result from wisdom.
Part II covers organizational and managerial ethics.
Chapter 5, titled “The Virtue of Prudence,” is where Jean M. Bartunek and Jordi Trullen address individual ethics by considering virtue. Bartunek is the Robert A. and Evelyn J. Ferris Chair and professor of organizational studies at Boston College as well as a fellow and past president of the Academy of Management. Trullen is a doctoral candidate in organizational studies at the same institution. Their combined interests in wisdom and spirituality led Bartunek and Trullen to the notion of prudence; however, before directly addressing that issue, the authors raise the concept of virtue. An individual concept that relates to a strong moral character and commitment to the environment beyond individual gain, virtue is equated with individuals performing at their best. Bartunek and Trullen then introduce prudence as the link between intellectual and moral virtue. The authors detail the situational nature of prudence as they explore how it arises in response to specific stimulants. When individuals must make decisions in complex situations, prudence is particularly visible because many competing factors must be evaluated, weighed, and acted on. The results are rarely the linear and rational decisions often emphasized by academics. The tripartite brain is evoked as the authors find wise individuals from those who can integrate their cognition, affection, and conation. Bartunek and Trullen argue that individuals develop this integration through experience. They [Page xlvii]rovide several cases to illustrate the acquisition and impact of wisdom in organizations and conclude by speculating on the effect that academic work can have on fostering wisdom.
Chapter 6, titled “The Wise Negotiator,” is where Roy J. Lewicki addresses interpersonal ethics by considering negotiation. Lewicki is the Dean's Distinguished Teaching Professor of Management and Human Resources at The Ohio State University and founding editor of Academy of Management Learning and Education. Relying on his extensive experience in the field, Lewicki introduces wisdom by emphasizing how, in negotiations, the concept has become synonymous with competitiveness and domination. However, wisdom is not found in bending ethical principles to advance a self-serving path. Using many common themes from Jordan and Sternberg's definition of wisdom in Chapter 1, Lewicki argues that wise negotiators embrace the ethical and moral foundations of negotiation and try to act as truthfully as possible to establish a fair and lasting relationship with their counterparts. He then presents a series of 10 actionable principles for wise negotiators, namely that they (1) recognize opportunities to negotiate (even when such opportunities are not obvious), (2) eschew an exclusive reliance on a competitive approach, (3) prepare thoroughly, (4) accept the perceptual biases that can enter into the process, (5) commit to interpersonal relationships, (6) listen actively throughout the process, (7) accept the influence that the context has on events, (8) are aware of but do not emphasize the power they have, (9) appreciate cultural differences, and (10) maintain personal integrity. These principles are explored in-depth and operationalized in negotiation settings.
In Chapter 7, titled “Acting Wisely While Facing Ethical Dilemmas in Leadership,” Jay Conger and Robert Hooijberg address organizational ethics by considering leadership. Conger holds the Henry Kravis Research Chair Professorship of Leadership at Claremont McKenna College, is a visiting professor of organizational behavior at the London Business School, and is a senior research scientist at the Center for Effective Organizations at the University of Southern California. Hooijberg is a professor of organizational behavior at the International Institute for Management [Page xlviii]Development (IMD) in Lausanne, Switzerland. Beginning their chapter with a case, Conger and Hooijberg emphasize that the practicality of applying wisdom is often lost in the theoretical conceptualization of it. A myriad of connections between wisdom and action are presented to emphasize the multileveled and situational aspects of the term. The authors settle on wise action as adaptive behaviors that are based on intelligence and experience to bring about a common good in both the short and long term beyond the mere benefit of the decider. To make this concept of wisdom more applicable, Conger and Hooijberg present and analyze two cases. In so doing, the authors convey that wise decisions are not always the most popular ones. They see wise decisions as often emphasizing values and priorities, but with a commitment to compromising, improving, and accepting uncertainty. Conger and Hooijberg then expand the discussion to address how the organization itself can support wise action by providing a moral compass and establishing an emphasis on core values. However, most important is an organization's willingness to look beyond financial reward and allow its managers to make potentially unpopular decisions. They argue that, in so doing, managers are encouraged to break down the barriers to wisdom rather than eschew it for short-term benefits.
In Chapter 8, “Strategy, Wisdom, and Stakeholder Theory: A Pragmatic and Entrepreneurial View of Stakeholder Strategy,” R. Edward Freeman, Laura Dunham, and John McVea address strategic ethics by considering the environment. Freeman is the Elis and Signe Olsson Professor of Business Administration and director of the Olsson Center for Applied Ethics at the University of Virginia. Dunham and McVea both are assistant professors in the Schulze School of Entrepreneurship at the University of St. Thomas. Using their shared interest in strategy, they integrate wisdom into the strategy-making process through the construct of stakeholder theory. The authors raise a philosophical impasse between means and ends that underlies this theory, giving rise to practical and ethical shortcomings. They present pragmatism and managerial wisdom to revisit this theory and deal with these shortcomings, integrating these two concepts into the stakeholder approach through an emphasis on perception, deliberation, experimental action, and reflection. Freeman, Dunham, and McVea explore these skills in greater depth to demonstrate the potential benefits of such practical wisdom. To orient managers toward practical wisdom, they call on researchers and educators to focus on the preceding skills. In so doing, practitioners of [Page xlix]takeholder theory become adept at solving ethical dilemmas, using human intelligence, and approaching complex problems realistically.
Part III covers organizational and managerial aesthetics.
In Chapter 9, titled “Self-Interest,” Russell Cropanzano, Jordan Stein, and Barry M. Goldman address individual aesthetics by considering the self-interest drive. Cropanzano is the Brien Lesk Professor of Organizational Behavior at the University of Arizona's Eller College of Management, a fellow in the Society for Industrial/Organizational Psychology, and editor of Journal of Management. Stein is a doctoral candidate, and Goldman is an assistant professor, at the same institution. Implying that wisdom is obtained through understanding the root motivation of individuals, the authors delve into a discussion of self-interest. By reviewing the historical foundation that motivation theory has established, they present self-interest as the primary motivating factor. Three fundamental concerns—material interests, interpersonal interests, and moral principles—are explored to reveal that their roots are far more complex then a mere reliance on self-interest. Concepts such as values, altruism, empathy, principles, and justice are also explored to reveal possible foundations in self-interest. Yet Cropanzano, Stein, and Goldman show that every concept represents far more than a desire for self-enhancement. Subsequently, they explore emotions to raise the question of whether these are simply reflections of self-interest or are indicative of other factors. Given the results presented, the authors argue that the current definition of self-interest does not take into consideration all of the potentially relevant factors that it influences; therefore, they offer a broader definition. Despite this, the authors undermine this broader definition through a discussion of the practical value of such a conceptualization. Concluding with a discussion of ethics and morals, they raise the question of whether self-interest is fundamentally negative or if it can have beneficial outcomes in the domain of organization management.
In Chapter 10, titled “Emotional and Social Intelligence Competencies Are Wisdom in Practice,” Richard E. Boyatzis addresses interpersonal aesthetics by considering emotion. Boyatzis is a professor in the Departments of [Page l]Organizational Behavior and Psychology at Case Western Reserve University and an adjunct professor in human resources at ESADE in Barcelona, Spain. He presents three overarching rules of wisdom obtained from the ancient Greeks: “know thyself,” “nothing too much,” and “treat others as you wish to be treated.” Boyatzis integrates these rules into five key theories, driving the understanding of aesthetics to establish their timelessness and global relevance. He presents emotional and social intelligence (ESI) both as a means to practicing and as a result of being familiar with these overarching rules, stating that through exhibiting ESI one is actually practicing the act of wisdom. As a result, Boyatzis describes the set of competencies and abilities underlying ESI and outlines how it has been operationalized and measured. The self-knowledge that leads to both ESI and wisdom can be obtained by progressing through five discontinuities: (a) who you want to be versus who you are, (b) how others see you versus how you see yourself, (c) your desired future versus your probable future, (d) whether you act toward a desirable future or maintain stability, and (e) whether you rely on reference groups or rely exclusively on yourself. Boyatzis elaborates on these discontinuities to create a five-step progression that leads an individual toward the interconnected concepts of ESI and wisdom.
In Chapter 11, titled “Aesthetics and Wisdom in the Practice of Organization Development,” W. Warner Burke addresses organizational aesthetics by considering organization development. Burke holds the Edward Lee Thorndike Professorship of Psychology and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University, is codirector of the Eisenhower Leader Development M.A. program for the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and is a past editor of both Organizational Dynamics and Academy of Management Executive. Fusing his lifetime of experience in organizational development (OD) with a practice-based approach toward wisdom leads Burke to three recommendations when attempting a wise OD initiative, namely to (a) take the time to develop relevant knowledge, (b) reflect on previous practices, and (c) know when and how to apply the knowledge obtained. Exploring the increasingly elaborate definitions and outcomes associated with OD, Burke emphasizes the wealth of knowledge available to those designing a change. Integrating culture into the discussion, Burke details 11 characteristics of a culturally wise OD initiative. He also introduces a systems perspective and describes wise OD as an initiative embracing the underlying systemic nature of most manifest problems and committed to [Page li]ruly changing them. This discussion gives rise to several examples of what unwise OD resembles. In turn, these examples give way to three basic processes that must be embraced in a wise OD process: conflict resolution, trusting the process, and leader coaching. Burke provides a thorough case example to emphasize the need for a coherent mission statement and to detail how this is accomplished. Ultimately, he concludes this case by emphasizing that a commitment to wise OD often takes a great deal of time and does not always yield wise results. However, truly wise OD can yield a positive and beautiful change that aids the organization in realizing its potential and fosters a more positive environment.
Chapter 12, titled “Wisdom and Human Resource Management,” is where Angelo S. DeNisi and Carrie A. Belsito address strategic aesthetics by considering human resource management (HRM). DeNisi is a professor of organizational behavior and dean of the A.B. Freeman School of Business at Tulane University and a past editor of Academy of Management Journal. Belsito is a lecturer and doctoral candidate at Texas A&M University. From their interests in HRM and strategy, the authors build wisdom into an HRM system to develop a sustainable strategic advantage. This system is achieved through maintaining the delicate balance between the financial goals of the organization and the personal goals of employees. Arguing that the traditional system has been far more focused on the prior, DeNisi and Belsito outline the history of strategic HRD. Fundamentally, they argue that this overreliance on financial performance has stemmed from the incorrect belief in a bipolar relationship between the two variables. Exposing the independence actually present in this relationship, the authors assert that wise strategic HRM results in a focus on practices that maximize both variables. They discuss how to accomplish this mutual maximization, covering relevant issues such as selection, compensation, training and development, performance appraisal systems, and union-management relations. Through this integration, not only does the firm improve its performance; employees become more motivated and committed as well. Finally, the authors conclude with a discussion of the relevance of manager education to the process of a wise strategic HRD system.[Page lii]
Part IV covers organizational and managerial epistemology.
In Chapter 13, titled “Interpretive Wisdom,” Dennis Gioia addresses individual epistemology by considering sensemaking. Gioia is a professor in the Department of Organizational Behavior at Pennsylvania State University. Gioia begins by presenting a piece of art to emphasize how interpretations about an objective object can differ. This difference is further exacerbated when one attempts to infer meaning from the piece of art. The author expands this discussion by giving a musical example of multiple perspectives being generated around the Beatles’ Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Sensemaking is introduced to characterize both examples in which individuals make their own interpretations of information. Expanding the sensemaking process to include interpersonal interactions, Gioia emphasizes how two individuals conversing with one another embody very different realities. Through these examples, he builds his case that perception is the only reality and that wisdom is obtained by embracing this notion and acting with this awareness in mind. The constructionist approach on which this argument rests is detailed and elaborated through five interrelated conceptions about the world, namely that (a) it is constructed, (b) it is interpreted, (c) it is collectively constructed, (d) it is relative, and (e) it is treated as objective. The concept of wisdom is again raised as the ability to create viable realities based on experiences and to use informed judgment to act prudently in these realities. As a result, sensemaking—and the awareness that sense-making is always occurring—is essential to wisdom. Gioia concludes with a discussion of the misgivings that he faced when asked to write about wisdom and a personal experience that gave rise to a mental approach oriented to both sensemaking and sensegiving.
In Chapter 14, titled “Wisdom, Culture, and Organizations,” P. Christopher Earley and Lynn R. Offermann address interpersonal epistemology by considering cultural diversity. Earley is the dean and Cycle and Carriage Professor at the National University of Singapore Business School and is a professor of organizational behavior at the London Business School. Offermann is a professor of industrial/organizational psychology at George Washington University and a fellow in the Society for Industrial/Organizational Psychology, the American Psychological Association, and the Association for Psychological Science. Beginning by detailing an auspicious task, Earley and Offermann attempt to disentangle the more universal aspects of wisdom (etic wisdom) from the more culture-specific aspects of it (emic wisdom). They introduce cultural intelligence as a fundamental tool to [Page liii]ccomplishing this task. The concept of culture itself is distinguished from associated constructs to distill an essential core construct that is used to explore the moral foundations of wisdom. The authors then expand this discussion to a more extensive comparison of wisdom and intelligence as it differs across cultures. Four distinguishing dimensions are presented: (a) cognitive capability, (b) the application of cognitive competencies to issues encountered in life, (c) interpersonal capacities, and (d) demeanor with those considered wise. Earley and Offermann conclude by combining their areas of interest to develop a coherent analysis of the application of culture-based wisdom in organizations. This analysis generates an exploration of a number of areas, including cultural training, leadership, multinational/multicultural teams, and multinational organizations. Within these areas, relationships are explored, motivational elements are addressed, the benefits and disadvantages of global homogenization are raised, and the individual is connected to the overall organization.
In Chapter 15, titled “Interpersonal Relations in Organizations and the Emergence of Wisdom,” Peter B. Vaill addresses organizational epistemology by considering learning. Vaill is a professor of management at Antioch University. Beginning with a poem emphasizing the escalating complexity of achieving shared understanding in a field relying on increasingly specialized expertise, Vaill presents three premises, namely that (a) wisdom is needed in all organizational action, (b) wisdom is a social phenomenon, and (c) wisdom results from interrelated external and internal sources. Through a discussion of these premises, Vaill sees scientific wisdom as ineffective in organizations; instead, he shows wisdom as arising from relationships that do not necessarily involve wise individuals. In contrast, Vaill argues that wisdom arises based on the social choices that individuals make. Given the social nature of wisdom, Vaill goes on to introduce the “error of the third kind” to explain how wisdom is often prevented from arising in interaction. He presents from within wisdom as a means of overcoming the decline in the value of meetings by cultivating wisdom-generating relationships in a group context. To foster this environment, groups must deal with what Vaill has dubbed the “permanent white water” of unexpected problems and continual change. He presents seven hypotheses to help solve this problem and, in so doing, to increase group wisdom. At this point, Vaill introduces a case to explain how wisdom can emerge from relationships. Aiding this emergence is an interpersonal focus on acceptance, empathy, and congruence. [Page liv]Ultimately, Vaill explains these terms and brings them into the organization to help create a clear pathway to wisdom.
In Chapter 16, titled “Innovation and Organizational Wisdom,” Arnoud De Meyer addresses strategic epistemology by considering innovation. De Meyer is professor of management studies at Cambridge University and director of the Judge Business School, a fellow of Jesus College, and a former Akzo Nobel Fellow in Strategic Management and professor of technology management at INSEAD. Relying on his career involved in innovative management processes, De Meyer presents the relationship between innovation and wisdom as more complex than the traditional belief that the former arises out of the latter. To accomplish this, he defines innovation and applies it in the organizational environment. Subsequently, De Meyer details how wisdom is manifested in practice by showing how in organizations it is split into organizational and user components. Arguing that innovation arises from the wise organization's ability to accumulate and integrate knowledge, De Meyer moves on to a discussion of five actions designed to create and mobilize organizational wisdom: (a) creating credibility, (b) stimulating diversity, (c) focusing on communication and cooperation, (d) developing an extended network, and (e) investing in procedures and tools. De Meyer brings the discussion down to the component level by exploring how organizations can access the user wisdom of their employees. The author then addresses the possibility that wisdom can actually function to hinder innovation through the creation and operation of defense mechanisms and the calcification of ways of thinking. As a result, De Meyer concludes with a discussion of how to use wisdom to assess whether innovation is beneficial and how to maintain a wise and agile organizational environment.
Part V covers organizational and managerial metaphysics.
In Chapter 17, titled “The Getting of Wisdom: Self-Conduct, Personal Identity, and Wisdom Across the Life Span,” Nigel Nicholson addresses individual metaphysics by considering reflection. Nicholson, a professor of organizational behavior at the London Business School, emphasizes unique ways of looking at problems and fostering learning. He uses a Darwinian approach [Page lv]o argue that wisdom is a complex system of learning that is formed by unique self- and social insight. Insight of this nature generates effective judgments that help to guide individuals through an increasingly complex world. These insights can be generated in three domains: human affairs, interpersonal relationships, and self-conduct. One gains insight by experiencing the world, understanding how to read and survive with others, and controlling oneself and one's impulses. Nicholson expands on these three areas before detailing how one can gain wisdom in them throughout life. Finally, he uses biography to address how wisdom is not exhibited by constantly resisting destiny (a function of upbringing that gives individuals the tendency to act in set ways); instead, wisdom is the knowledge of when it is valuable to fight destiny and when it is more efficient to go along with it. Thus, through a commitment to learning and creativity, one develops the potentiality to observe one's destiny and to know when it is more valuable to make judgments based on it and when it is best to fight it and make independent judgments.
In Chapter 18, titled “‘We Live in a Political World’: The Paradox of Managerial Wisdom,” Tyrone S. Pitsis and Stewart R. Clegg address interpersonal metaphysics by considering influence. Pitsis is a senior research associate at the University of Technology, Sydney. Clegg is director of the Innovative Collaborations Alliances and Networks (ICAN) and a professor of management at the same institution and also holds chairs at Aston University, the University of Maastricht, and Vrije Universiteit. Defined as the willingness to pursue knowledge about what is accepted as social reality, wisdom is really about knowing what one does not know. However, upper level managers traditionally have imprisoned wisdom within organizations. Rather than acting in a wise manner, they have been trained to create routines and processes to limit the reflection that is the foundation of both wisdom and ethics. This limits the true value of wisdom because it greatly hinders its social construction. With their lack of focus on dialogue, orientation to amassing control, and focus on practice, Pitsis and Clegg incorporate the works of Ghoshal, Weick, Mintzberg, and Pfeffer to argue that managers often see wisdom as opposing their purpose. This discussion is expanded to an analysis of why management learning literature has not fostered wisdom within its readers. Emphasizing the economic and hierarchical model in which management is currently ensconced, the authors argue that wisdom can be fostered by a turn to shared power. This is a possibility only through a commitment to “heterarchy” and positive organizational scholarship. Pitsis and Clegg explore these two concepts to uncover how they foster wisdom throughout the organization.[Page lvi]
In Chapter 19, titled “Global Wisdom and the Audacity of Hope,” Nancy J. Adler addresses organizational metaphysics by considering international management. Adler is a professor of organizational behavior in the Faculty of Management at McGill University and a fellow of the Academy of Management, the Academy of International Business, and the Royal Society of Canada. Embracing a view of pragmatic wisdom and a focus on globalization, Adler uses her extensive experience in these areas to explain how wisdom moves from understanding to action. Global wisdom is substantiated through a discussion of the possibilities of change, hope, and courage in today's world. The presence of these factors is essential because it is through hope and courage that wisdom is translated from understanding to action. Adler presents the organization Uniterra as an international initiative designed to foster the hope-based courageous actions that constitute the application of wisdom. Its progression from an idea to a reality is examined thoroughly, providing an effective case study of a wisdom-based progression from understanding to action. Adler elaborates on this progression by focusing on the organization's partnering with the following factors: each other, oneself, generosity, expertise, the unknown, the world, structure, challenges, and success. The end result of this process is a partnering with hope. Uniterra is seen as an organization emphasizing the power of partnering wisdom and hope in a world that often sees negative outcomes from this pairing. Instead, Uniterra has succeeded in unifying experience with idealism to become a trailblazer in how to foster wisdom as a means to developing a successful organization.
In Chapter 20, titled “Can Wisdom Be Taught?,” Cynthia V. Fukami addresses strategic metaphysics by considering management education. Fukami is a professor of management at the University of Denver and a fellow of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Relying on her interest in teaching effectiveness and scholarship, Fukami argues that wisdom is the bridge between theory and practice and is of fundamental importance in management education. Management educators have been quick to emphasize the imparting of knowledge in the classroom while the application of this knowledge is left to the students. Arguing that education has not relied enough on professors as role models, Fukami suggests [Page lvii]hat a gap between knowing and doing has evolved. Through encouraging individuals to apply their knowledge appropriately in various scenarios, wisdom can be operationalized as situation recognition. Fukami goes on to detail several root causes behind the lack of wisdom in education, namely the low status of teaching, a focus on teaching rather than on learning, a focus on quantity rather than on quality, highly competitive classrooms, poor acknowledgment of students as whole individuals, ignorance of tacit knowledge, and a shift in schools to hiring researchers rather than practitioners. Many of these problems have been brought to the forefront recently by the recognition that teaching is an integral part of faculty scholarship. Furthermore, the literature on pedagogy in management education is already present and merely needs to be used to foster a wiser teaching environment. Fukami details several pedagogies intended to help professors bring wisdom into the classroom and transfer it to the practice of organization management, such as a focus on cooperation, out-of-classroom activities, practical experience, team teaching, and values. Although Fukami concludes that wisdom cannot fundamentally be taught, she argues that it can be fostered through effective teaching.
Part VI presents synthesizing commentaries that employ particular lenses to reconcile the levels and schools of thought into more overarching explorations of OMW. As such, the following chapters present two contrasting approaches.
In Chapter 21, titled “Wisdom: Objectivism as the Proper Philosophy for Living on Earth,” Edwin A. Locke offers a synthesis of OMW by using the lens of objectivism. Locke is Dean's Professor of Leadership and Motivation (Emeritus) in the R. H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland as well as a fellow of the American Psychological Society, the American Psychological Association, and the Academy of Management. With a heavy reliance on the philosophy of Ayn Rand, Locke explores the philosophy that underlies wisdom, namely metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, politics, and aesthetics. In metaphysics, Locke addresses the basic axioms of existence, identity, and consciousness. Moving on to epistemology, Locke outlines his basic premise of the fundamental importance of objectivism and the impact that it has on concept formation and causality. Shifting to ethics, Locke outlines the potential costs of ethical behavior for organizations before going on to address the benefits that an objective code of ethics has over dominant approaches such as skepticism and religious dogmatism. Virtue is also integrated into the ethical framework through six [Page lviii]ypes, as outlined by Rand: honesty, integrity, independence, productiveness, justice, and pride. Locke's discussion of ethics concludes with an analysis of who should fundamentally benefit from ethics and morals. Moving on to politics, Locke outlines a number of principles that individuals should use to function together as a society. Power and rights are also integrated into politics, and the implications of objectivism for these components are explored, yielding an orientation toward laissez-faire capitalism. Locke outlines the implications of laissez-faire capitalism for the business world through exploring 10 commonly discussed business issues. Concluding with aesthetics, he tackles the function of art and beauty from an objectivist viewpoint. Locke sums up with an argument that the embracing of an objective outlook yields a rational world, making wisdom inherently obtainable.
In Chapter 22, titled “Wisdom as Learned Ignorance: Integrating East-West Perspectives,” Robert Chia and Robin Holt offer a synthesis of OMW by using the lens of the East-West dichotomy. Chia is a professor of management at the University of Aberdeen Business School. Holt is a professor of management at the Leeds University Business School. Using their extensive philosophical backgrounds, Chia and Holt argue that wisdom is actually a process of learned ignorance or unlearning rather than the accumulation of knowledge and information. In fact, extensive knowledge is shown to impede one's ability to learn from practical experience, an outcome that limits the potential for wisdom. Humans are seen as constantly striving to fill the void caused by ignorance rather than reflecting on it, a tendency that fundamentally drives humanity further from Socrates's belief that wisdom is knowing what one does not know. Chia and Holt take the reader on a journey through Western philosophy, showing how the pure Socratic notion of wisdom has been compromised throughout history. They return to the concept of learned ignorance through an emphasis on Eastern philosophy. Outlined through a review of East-West thinkers, Chia and Holt show Eastern thinking as fundamentally comfortable with the emptiness that Western thinking seeks to eliminate so aggressively. They bring the concept of this comfort with emptiness into organizations to detail the potential for “performative extravagance,” which arises when individuals are willing to abandon orthodox thinking and fundamentally alter how things are done. The authors wrap up their discussion by exploring how to foster wisdom in the workplace. Ultimately, Chia and Holt conclude by raising the innately paradoxical task of writing a book about wisdom, and they present several methods to ease such a contradiction.[Page lix]
In this section, we have surveyed the structure and content of our contributors’ contributions to the challenge of finding the nexus of wisdom and organization management. In the final section, we attempt to synthesize their insights, and add some of our own, to help crystallize and facilitate the development of this most important area of inquiry.Insights from the Handbook of Organizational and Managerial Wisdom
Our approach to creating this handbook was to embrace the inherent complexity of wisdom and consider its various forms and manifestations within the context of organizing and managing. This being said, the challenge remains as to how these pieces might fit together or, to use a different analogy, how the pixels produce the picture. In this final section, we explore the combined insights that emerge from our consideration of the topic. To review, we present a grid delineated by level and perspective, with the final two chapters attempting synthesis using two distinct lenses (Table I.2).
A recurrent theme in wisdom lore is that it is unwise to consider oneself wise. This paradox is usually resolved by acknowledging one's limitations and seeking counsel from others, and that is the approach adopted in this synopsis. Rather than a priori profess a superordinate definition of wisdom, we reflect on the offerings of our esteemed colleagues—each of whom was chosen specifically for his or her expertise in a particular content and analytic domain—and attempt to develop integrative insights. To this end, our objective within is the trifurcate quest for edification, application, and development. Thus, we entertain the following questions, processed through the experts but filtered through our own personal predilections and perspectives:
Objective 1: What is the essence of organizational and managerial wisdom?
Objective 2: What are the best practices for applying organizational and managerial wisdom?
Objective 3: What are ways for developing organizational and managerial wisdom?Objective 1: Understanding the Essence of Organizational and Managerial Wisdom
Given the enormity of defining organizational and managerial wisdom, we employ the spirit of successive approximation. First, we synthesize conceptions across common content domains to understand OMW through the spectrum of logic, ethics, aesthetics, epistemology, and metaphysics. The [Page lx]product of such an endeavor is reconciliations of component OMW dimensions. Similarly, we synthesize conceptions across analytic levels to understand wisdom in the individual, interpersonal, organizational, and strategic domains. The product will be reconciliations of component OMW agents. Considering these conceptualizations alongside means for implementation and development, we then return to explore whether there is perhaps a metaconceptualization of OMW to be had.Content Domains
What is organizational and managerial logic, ethics, aesthetics, epistemology, and metaphysics? A synthesis of the relevant contributions to the handbook yields the following (Table I.3).
Organizational and managerial logic is sound and balanced judgment (individual), integrated within a team framework that manages inherent tensions (interpersonal) and is institutionalized in a structure of checks and balances (organizational), used to leverage collective knowledge so as to maximize organizational and societal effectiveness (strategic). Here the components, dynamics, design, and orientation of the system are seen as inherently sound. Each part is balanced and reconciled within its larger context to function effectively and efficiently. That is, each element makes sense in both the “micro” self and the “macro” scheme. The essence of organizational and managerial logic, then, is that of a finely tuned machine.
Organizational and managerial ethics is prudent behavior (individual), integrated within ethically negotiated relationships (interpersonal) and viability-enhancing leadership (organizational), used to discern the most appropriate action for achieving joint value in a multiplicity of complex stakeholder relationships and uncertain situations (strategic). Here the components, dynamics, design, and orientation of the system are seen as inherently moral. Each part is grounded in and supportive of its larger context. That is, each element is firmly based in a set of fundamental principles. The [Page lxi][Page lxii]essence of organizational and managerial ethics, then, is that of a well-intentioned agent.
Organizational and managerial aesthetics is mitigated facilitation of self-interests (individual), integrated within socially and emotionally intelligent interactions (interpersonal) and behaviorally grounded change processes (organizational), used to seek a synergy between financial and personal well-being (strategic). Here the components, dynamics, design, and orientation of the system are seen as inherently holistic. Each part is fulfilled and collaborative with its larger context. That is, each element is partner to the dance or brushstroke to the masterpiece. The essence of organizational and managerial aesthetics, then, is that of a mutually reinforcing relationship.
Organizational and managerial epistemology is informed sensemaking and sensegiving (individual), integrated within multicultural contexts and views (interpersonal) and emergent in accepting, empathic, and congruent understanding (organizational), used to facilitate and properly orient the creative transformation function (strategic). Here the components, dynamics, design, and orientation of the system are seen as inherently harmonious. Each part is active and interactive with its larger context. That is, each element is both creator of and created in a dynamic discernment. The essence of organizational and managerial epistemology, then, is that of an emergent comprehension.
Organizational and managerial metaphysics is reflective and farsighted understanding (individual), integrated within intersubjectively created and collaboratively formed relationships (interpersonal) and a vision that inspires courage and hope to make a positive difference (organizational), used to marry knowing and doing (strategic). Here the components, dynamics, design, and orientation of the system are seen as inherently valuable. Each part is important and contributory with its larger context. That is, each element is an end as well as a process. The essence of organizational and managerial metaphysics, then, is that of a meaningful journey.Analytic Levels
What is wisdom across the individual, interpersonal, organizational, and strategic dynamics of organization management? A synthesis of the relevant contributions to the handbook yields the following (Table I.3).
The wise actor is characterized by sound and balanced judgment (logical), prudent behavior (ethical), mitigated facilitation of self-interests (aesthetic), informed sensemaking and sensegiving (epistemological), and reflective and farsighted understanding (metaphysical). The person who is the embodiment of individual wisdom within the domain of organization management is a complex and thoughtful contributor.
The wise team is characterized by managed tensions (logical), morally negotiated relationships (ethical), emotionally and socially intelligent interactions (aesthetic), multiculturally reconciled contexts and views [Page lxiii](epistemological), and intersubjectively created and collaboratively formed relationships (metaphysical). The wise team, then, is the embodiment of interpersonal wisdom as a rich and supportive interaction.
The wise organization is characterized by an institutionalized structure of checks and balances (logical); viability-enhancing leadership (ethical); behaviorally grounded change processes (aesthetic); accepting, empathic, and congruent understanding (epistemological); and a vision that inspires courage and hope to make a positive difference (metaphysical). The embodiment of organizational-level wisdom, then, is that of an enabling and synergistic context.
The wise strategy is characterized by leveraging collective knowledge to maximize organizational and societal effectiveness (logical), discerning the most appropriate action for achieving joint value in a multiplicity of complex stakeholder relationships and uncertain situations (ethical), seeking a balance between financial and personal well-being (aesthetic), improving and properly orienting the creative transformation function (epistemological), and combining knowing and doing (metaphysical). The embodiment of strategic wisdom within the domain of organization management, then, is that of a productive and inclusive vision.Objective 2: Delineation of Best Practices for Applying Organizational and Managerial Wisdom
Now that we have proposed a platform for understanding some of the manifestations of OMW across content domains and analytic levels, we turn to the second objective of the handbook. The intersection of wisdom and organization management is necessarily practically focused and application oriented; therefore, it is necessary to go beyond a discussion of the phenomena in the abstract. To generate useful guideposts for wise action, we must relate it to the professional function. In the following, we synthesize our coauthors’ contributions to discern central tenets, and thereby best practices, for applying OMW.
The first best practice we identify for applying OMW is to “think.” Think implies that the wisest individuals, teams, organizations, and strategies demonstrate extraordinary intellectual prowess. This is evidenced by characterizations of said actors as possessing highly developed intellectual capacity, keen insight, the ability for complex deliberation, deep cultural intelligence, and a broad knowledge base. Thus, wise actors in the professional domain are smart. They use their heads. They get it. They deploy their resources to process issues and figure things out.
The second best practice we identify for applying OMW is to “feel.” By feel, we mean that the wisest individuals, teams, organizations, and strategies demonstrate extraordinary emotive capacity. This is evidenced by characterizations of said actors as possessing profound spirituality, a fundamental prudence, the courage to do what is right, empathy and understanding of [Page lxiv]thers, and an openness to differences between peoples and contexts. Thus, wise actors in the professional domain are intimately connected. They use their hearts. They deploy their empathy and sensitivity to be in touch.
The third best practice we identify for applying OMW is to “synergize.” To synergize implies that the wisest individuals, teams, organizations, and strategies demonstrate extraordinary collaborative orientation. This is evidenced by characterizations of said actors as possessing strong norms and systemic checks that balance, productive change, mutual collaboration, and collective coherence. Thus, wise actors in the professional domain are unified. They coordinate their efforts. They deploy their harmony and congruence to be on the same page and move to the same music.
The fourth best practice we identify for applying OMW is to “engage.” Possessing the ability to engage implies that the wisest individuals, teams, organizations, and strategies demonstrate extraordinary functional application. This is evidenced by characterizations of said actors as possessing behavioral proactiveness, situational recognition, consistent experimentation, established networks, and practical experience. Thus, wise actors in the professional domain are active. They engage their world. They deploy their flexibility, energy, and acumen to adapt to their stage and cast.
The fifth best practice we identify for applying OMW is to “reflect.” Reflect implies that the wisest individuals, teams, organizations, and strategies demonstrate extraordinary introspective insight. This is evidenced by characterizations of said actors as possessing contemplative understanding and appreciation of their values, needs, emotions, interpretations, and sense of being. Thus, wise actors in the professional domain are deep. They discover their identity. They deploy their insight and grounded base to realize and leverage the self.
The sixth best practice we identify for applying OMW is to “aspire.” Aspire implies that the wisest individuals, teams, organizations, and strategies demonstrate extraordinary principled objectives. This is evidenced by characterizations of said actors as possessing a concern for the public good, striving for a common purpose, establishing sustainability, promoting humaneness, and addressing profound and meaningful issues. Thus, wise actors in the professional domain are well-intentioned. They channel their will in positive directions. They deploy their humanity and citizenry to make themselves and their world better.
Altogether, the wise agent demonstrates a smart, connected, unified, active, deep, and good-intentioned approach in the practice of organization management, as illustrated in Table I.4.Objective 3: Exploration of Ways to Develop Organizational and Managerial Wisdom
We have so far explored the essence and deployment of wisdom within the domain of organization management in hopes of understanding the [Page lxv][Page lxvi]concept. But understanding does not imply existence. Wisdom is not magically transported from mind to matter simply by attaining a conceptual or philosophical comprehension. The proper conditions need to be created. Thus, the previous sections are necessary but not sufficient treatments of the topic insofar as OMW must be developed.
The first best practice we identify for developing OMW is a “focus on attitude.” This focus on attitude implies that it is possible to move toward the wisdom ideal through a consideration of orientation or the way one sees things. This is essentially a matter of defining one's worldview. A focus on attitude addresses what issue: “What is your outlook?” Thus, insofar as attitude underlies wisdom, we need to develop the proper mind-set. This is a function of factors such as personal and collective schemas, approach, and definitions. As the contributors to this handbook suggest, a focus on attitude is put into practice via pedagogical and diffusive interventions aimed at crystallizing and fostering dialogue, acceptance, aesthetic regard, recognition, and positive vision.
The second best practice we identify for developing OMW is a “focus on awareness.” This focus on awareness suggests that one can move toward the wisdom ideal through a consideration of identity. This is essentially a matter of discovering one's true nature. A focus on awareness can be seen to address the proverbial who issue: “Who are you?” Thus, insofar as awareness underlies wisdom, we need to develop the appropriate sense of self. Again, the contributors suggest that a focus on awareness is put into practice by pedagogical and diffusive interventions aimed at crystallizing and fostering spirituality, essential values, motivating interests, core ideals, and the practice of self-talk.
The third best practice we identify for developing OMW is a “focus on ability.” When focusing on ability, one can move toward the wisdom ideal through a consideration of capability or the things one can do. This is essentially a matter of growing one's fundamental competencies. A focus on ability addresses the why issue: “Why can you in effect perform some functions and not others?” And insofar as ability underlies wisdom, we need to develop the appropriate capacity. Our contributors suggest that a focus on ability is put into practice via pedagogical and diffusive interventions aimed at crystallizing and fostering sound thought processes, relevant experience, broad education, specific training, and use of knowledge resources.
The fourth best practice we identify for developing OMW is a “focus on application.” In focusing on application, one can move toward the wisdom ideal through a consideration of behavior or causal and networked relationships. This is essentially a matter of learning effective principles. A focus on application addresses the how issue: “How do things really work?” Thus, insofar as application underlies wisdom, we need to develop the appropriate practical orientation. As per the contributions to this handbook, a focus on application is put into practice via pedagogical and diffusive interventions aimed at crystallizing and fostering the practices of coaching, action and reflection, mentorship, intentional change, and engaged experimentation.[Page lxvii]
The fifth best practice we identify for developing OMW is a “focus on design.” This focus on design implies that one can move toward the wisdom ideal through a consideration of arena or overarching framework. This is essentially a matter of building facilitative contexts. A focus on design addresses the where issue: “Where do you operate?” Thus, insofar as design underlies wisdom, we need to develop the appropriate systems. Our contributors find that a focus on design can be put into practice via pedagogical and diffusive interventions aimed at crystallizing and fostering team support, a balanced structure, inclusive stakeholder relationships, culture sensitivity and alacrity, and positive power dynamics. In sum, a development program for OMW would employ methods to develop appropriate attitude, awareness, ability, application, and design, as illustrated in Table I.5.Final Thoughts
What, then, is our ultimate conceptualization of OMW? This is a fantastic question, and the reader will note that we have so far resisted answering it. Surely, the contributing authors would cry foul (as we required definitions in their content domain chapters). This notwithstanding, we acknowledge that wisdom in the practice of organization management, by its very nature, is resistant to a simple characterization or delineation. This is evident in its manifest complexity and elusiveness. The closest we might come to reconciling the contributions of the handbook is that OMW suggests the application of a deep understanding and fundamental capacity about living well to professional pursuits. Given its inherent action orientation, living well does not merely mean knowledge of the good life or how to achieve it; it also means the fostering and implementation of intellectual, spiritual, behavioral, and all related dynamics to lead the good life and enable it for others. Therefore, in the interest of fairness, we give our “two cents” on the matter in the following, humbly offered not as a universal definition but rather as a basis for exploration:
Organizational and managerial wisdom is the application to professional pursuits of a deep understanding and fundamental capacity for living well. This includes the visioning, integration, and implementation of multifarious dimensions (within logical, ethical, aesthetic, epistemological, and metaphysical domains) as well as the development and enactment of multifarious elements (across individual, interpersonal, organizational, and strategic levels) to lead the good life and enable it for others.
But what exactly is living well? Another outstanding question. The term living implies existence. OMW specifies the domain of this existence. Individuals exist and live, as do their interpersonal relationships, their organizations, and their strategic objectives, movements, and causes. As such, there can be a wisdom, or lack thereof, in any domain and at each of [Page lxviii]these levels. Yet the term well implies an implicit or explicit set of values and assumptions, a particular cultural or institutional context, and defined and delineated criteria. It also implies a province of thought such as logic and what is reasoned, ethics and what is good, aesthetics and what is beautiful, epistemology and what is understood, and metaphysics and what is [Page lxix]eaningful. As such, there can be a wisdom, or lack thereof, in any culture or context as well as to any of these ends. This further implies that, just as our personal and professional lives are mystifyingly multifarious, so too must be our conception of OMW. With apologies to the Warren Commission, there is simply no “magic” OMW bullet.
It is useful to note that there are several basic tensions that underlie, and emerge from, this thinking. First, is there such a thing as a universal OMW? Or, as Earley and Offermann put it in Chapter 14, is OMW an emic or an etic? Said yet another way, is the solution to this dilemma derivative of an ecumenical or pluralist framework (cf. Bolman & Deal, 2006)? No matter how the question is phrased, the issue will haunt. We are of the position that even among the divergences in intellectual, cultural, spiritual, and religious traditions of the world, there is indeed a commonality that could be approximate. As such, we advocate approaching the issue from an Aristotelean contingency perspective while still aspiring to a Platonic synthesis. This is based on our conclusion that OMW has (a) a customized and relativistic element as well as (b) an equifinal and mutually reinforcing nature. It is customized and relativistic insofar as OMW often requires different means in different contexts. It is equifinal and mutually reinforcing insofar as OMW ultimately aspires to common or collaborative ends.
Second, is there a feasible OMW? That is to say, can we ever really attain this austere condition, or is it more accurate, and useful, to frame the concept as an ideal meant to inspire movement? For sure, there are many barriers in the pursuit of OMW, but there are also a plethora of rich opportunities to reduce impediments and empower potentialities. As such, we advocate approaching issues from an incrementalist and conditional perspective while aspiring to a paradigmatic transformation. Third, and in a related sense, is there a perennial OMW? Is OMW a noun, a state of being, something that is to be grasped, applied, and developed? Alternatively, is it a verb, an eternal process, a journey or quest that is to be experimented with, reflected on, and tried again? Or is it both of these, a la Xeno's paradoxical arrow and Einstein's mysterious light, which will forever and concurrently be and not be? As such, we advocate approaching the issue from a fluid perspective while aspiring to achieve the quintessential “aha” enlightened moment.
Within these tensions lays the central paradox of this handbook. To publish a “handbook” implies that there is a knowable, comprehensive, finite, and definitive conceptualization of the focal phenomena. But to say this is profoundly “unwise” because the wise know what they do not and cannot know. The purposeful, albeit somewhat quixotic, approach of this handbook, then, is to suggest a framework and set of insights but ultimately to leave the conceptualization of wisdom and its organizational and managerial manifestation unresolved. In the distinguished tradition of the Greek philosophical school, we offer systematically arranged domain-specific truths (Aristotle's lowercase “t” truth or, in this instance, lowercase “w” wisdom) in the hope of approximating a universal truth (Plato's uppercase[Page lxx]
“T” Truth or, in this instance, uppercase “W” Wisdom). Our contributors have put forth their lowercase OM w‘s, and we have extracted central themes to approximate what an uppercase OMW might be, how it might appear, and from where it might arrive. In this sense, we reiterate the words of wisdom in Karl Weick's foreword to our handbook to recommend embracing rather than obscuring the inherent complexity of OMW. And similarly in the profound and mysterious tradition of our Eastern colleagues, we invite the reader to reflect on, infer, and apply his or her personal path(s) as appropriate.
We put forth that, in the domain of organizational and managerial activity, there is a both a Wisdom and many wisdoms to be realized and applied. Speaking to the issue of universality, we suggest that there are common elements found in all manifestations of the OMW concept. As illustrated in Figure I.3, there are varied overlaps with specific OMw's and overarching OMW, such as with the circles on the left. There are also interactions between multiple OMw approaches, such as with the circles on the right. Therefore, the seeker and practitioner of OMW must simultaneously be a realist and an idealist, demonstrating a resilient flexibility (to engage wisdoms) while at the same time exhibiting a broad-mindedness and integrative—perhaps visionary—quality (in pursuing Wisdom).Figure I.3 Overlaps with and Interactions Between Organizational and Managerial Wisdom and wisdoms
Speaking to the issues of feasibility and eternality, we put forth that as a noun, OMW suggests a state or potential that can be greater or lesser and that can grow or decline. Simultaneously as a verb, OMW suggests a process of engagement, the effectiveness of which varies by circumstance and the maturity of which varies by stages. It stands to reason that potential will affect process, which in turn will alter potential. In other words, one's specific experiences and reflections can enact wisdoms that in turn might add to or detract from one's overall or general Wisdom at any given time. These characteristics and dynamics are illustrated in Figure I.4. Therefore, to truly understand, practice, and develop OMW, we must see it as both snapshot and cinema, as the fundamental interplay between [Page lxxi]acquiring and using wisdom (and the virtual or vicious cycles that may result), and as the inseparable interaction of being and acting wise.Figure I.4 Development and Use of Organizational and Managerial Wisdom and wisdoms
We close, as per Socrates, by restating the belief that we can at best be lovers of wisdom and devotees to its pursuit. OMW is represented across a complex array of dimensions and a dynamic interaction of actors. It is found in the abstract and the specific, can be facilitated and impeded, is more or less generalizable, and represents both a state and a process. As such, its application to professional pursuits is a central yet perennial objective. It is our hope that the Handbook of Organizational and Managerial Wisdom will both inspire and facilitate this most noble end.References[Page 1](1996).The Dilbert Principle. New York: HarperCollins.American Heritage dictionary of the English language (4th ed.). (2006).Boston: Houghton Mifflin.(1992).HarperCollins dictionary of philosophy (2nd ed.). New York: HarperCollins.Intellectual versus wisdom-related knowledge: The case for a different kind of learning in the later years of life. Educational Gerontology, 26771–789. 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About the Editors[Page 567]Figure 17.3 Journey to Adult Identity: Autobiographical Analysis
Eric H. Kessler is Professor of Management and Founding Director of the Lubin Leaders and Scholars Program at Pace University. He is also a past president of the Eastern Academy of Management where he developed a conference themed around organizational wisdom and launched what has become an ongoing initiative to better apply management theory to business practice. He serves, or has served, on several editorial boards and as the guest editor for a number of professional journals as well as on review panels with the U.S. National Security Education Program. He is widely published in leading academic and technical journals and professional book series in areas related to decision making, innovation, organization, and leadership. He has won numerous outstanding research awards, and is the author or editor of several books, including Cultural Mythology and Leadership (in press). He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa has been inducted into national and international honor societies in business, economics, forensics, and psychology. His professional travels have taken him across the Americas, Europe, Australia, Asia, and Africa. He instructs courses on the doctoral, master's, and bachelor's levels; has led several international field studies; and has worked as an executive educator, policy analyst, and business consultant for public and private organizations. He is an avid reader of history and philosophy, a sports and puzzle junkie, and the spinner of many a bad pun. He lives with his best friend/wife, two terrific sons, and faithful Black Labrador.[Page 568]
James R. Bailey is Tucker Professorial Fellow of Leadership and Director of Executive Development Programs at the George Washington University School of Business (GWSB) and is a fellow in the Center for Management Development at the London Business School. He has held, or holds, distinguished or visiting professorships at New York University, the University
of Michigan, the Institute of Management Development (Switzerland), the Helsinki School of Economics and Business Administration (Finland), Adelaide University (Australia), and the American College of Greece. He has been the recipient of many teaching distinctions, including the Professor of the Year award from the B.B.A. and E.M.B.A. programs at GWSB. He has published more than 50 academic articles and case studies and is the author of several books, including The International Encyclopedia of Organizational Studies (in press). He has designed and delivered hundreds of executive programs for firms such as Nestle, United Bank of Switzerland, Morgan Stanley, and Lucent Technologies. He is a frequent keynote speaker who has appeared on broadcast programs for the BBC and Fox News Network and whose work has been cited in outlets such as Fortune, Forbes, and Business 2.0. He currently serves as editor in chief of Academy of Management Learning and Education. He lives across from the National Zoo in Washington DC with his splendid wife; the couple is expecting their first child in August.
About the Contributors[Page 569]
Nancy J. Adler is Professor of International Management at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. She conducts research and consults on global leadership, cross-cultural management, and women as global leaders and managers. She has authored more than 100 articles and published four books: International Dimensions of Organizational Behavior (now in its fifth edition, with more than a half million copies in print in multiple languages), Women in Management Worldwide, Competitive Frontiers: Women Managers in a Global Economy, and From Boston to Beijing: Managing With a Worldview. She consults with global companies and government organizations on projects worldwide. Among numerous other awards, she has been honored as a fellow of the Academy of Management, the Academy of International Business, and the Royal Society of Canada. She has been honored as one of Canada's top university teachers. She is also an artist working primarily in watercolor and ink.
Jean M. Bartunek is Robert A. and Evelyn J. Ferris Chair and Professor of Organization Studies at Boston College. Her doctorate in social and organizational psychology is from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is a fellow and a past president of the Academy of Management and is an associate editor of the Journal of Applied Behavioral Science. She has published more than 90 articles and book chapters and has authored or edited five books. Her most recent book (coedited with Mary Ann Hinsdale and James Keenan) is Church Ethics and Its Organizational Context: Learning From the Sex Abuse Scandal in the Catholic Church (2006).
Carrie A. Belsito is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Management of the Mays Business School at Texas A&M University. She received her B.S. (business administration/management) from California State University, Fresno. She currently teaches human resource management, and her research interests include the areas of strategic human resource management, discretion theory, organizational stigma, and business ethics.
Paul E. Bierly, III is Zane Showker Professor of Entrepreneurship and Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship at James Madison University. [Page 570]His degrees include a B.S. and B.A.S. (University of Pennsylvania) and an M.B.A. and Ph.D. (Rutgers University). His primary research areas are management of technology, innovation, knowledge management, and strategic alliances. He has published more than 25 articles in Strategic Management Journal, Academy of Management Executive, Journal of Management, IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, Journal of Engineering and Technology Management, R&D Management, Journal of Organizational Change Management, and numerous other management journals and books. He is on the executive committee of the Academy of Management, Technology and Innovation Management division, and is on the editorial board of IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management and International Journal of Learning and Intellectual Capital. Previously, he was an officer on a fast-attack nuclear submarine in the U.S. Navy's Nuclear Power Program, a manager at Johnson & Johnson, and a consultant for Princeton Economic Research.
Richard E. Boyatzis is Professor in the Departments of Organizational Behavior and Psychology at Case Western Reserve University and Adjunct Professor in Human Resources at ESADE in Barcelona, Spain. He was chief executive officer of McBer and Company for 11 years and chief operating officer of Yankelovich, Skelly, & White for 2 years. He is the author of more than 100 articles on behavior change, leadership, competencies, and emotional intelligence. His books include The Competent Manager; Tans-forming Qualitative Information (in 2 languages); Innovations in Professional Education: Steps on a Journey From Teaching to Learning (with Scott Cowen and David Kolb); Primal Leadership: Realizing the Power of Emotional Intelligence (with Daniel Goleman and Annie McKee in 28 languages); and Resonant Leadership: Renewing Yourself and Connecting With Others Through Mindfulness, Hope, and Compassion (with Annie McKee in 16 languages). He has a B.S. in aeronautics and astronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and an M.S. and Ph.D. in social psychology from Harvard University.
W. Warner Burke is Edward Lee Thorndike Professor of Psychology and Education and Coordinator of the Graduate Program in Social-Organizational Psychology in the Department of Organization and Leadership at Teachers College, Columbia University, and is Codirector of the Eisenhower Leadership Development Program in the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He was the first executive director of the Organization Development (OD) Network. His consulting experience has been with a variety of organizations in business and industry, education, government, religion, and medical systems. A diplomat in industrial/organizational (I/O) psychology from the American Board of Professional Psychology, he is also a fellow of the Academy of Management, the Association of Psychological Science, and the Society of Industrial and Organizational Psychology as well as a past editor of both Organizational[Page 571]
Dynamics and Academy of Management Executive. His publications number more than 150, and his most recent book is Organization Change: Theory and Practice, 2nd Ed. (2007).
Robert Chia is Professor of Management at the University of Aberdeen Business School. He received his Ph.D. in organization studies from Lancaster University and publishes regularly in the leading international journals in organization and management studies. Prior to entering academia, he worked for 16 years in aircraft engineering and manufacturing management and was the group human resource manager, Asia Pacific, for a large U.K.-based multinational corporation. His research since entering academia after a successful career in industry has been focused on the enhancement of life chances through the systematic analysis and understanding of the guiding principles underlying the general economy of effort involved in wealth creation.
Stewart R. Clegg is Professor of Management at the University of Technology in Sydney, Australia, and is Director of ICAN (Innovative Collaborations, Alliances, and Networks) Research, a Key University Research Center. He completed his first degree at Aston University (1971) and completed his doctorate at the University of Bradford (1974). He holds chairs at Aston University, the University of Maastricht, and Vrije Universiteit. He has published extensively in many journals and is recipient of a number of best paper awards including the Academy of Management's George R. Terry Book Award. His most recent book is Power and Organizations (2007 with David Courpasson and Nelson Phillips) and Managing and Organizations: An Introduction to Theory and Practice (2008, with Martin Kornberger and Tyrone Pitsis).
Jay Conger holds the Henry Kravis Research Chair Professorship of Leadership at Claremont McKenna College. He is also a visiting professor of organizational behavior at the London Business School and a senior research scientist in the Center for Effective Organizations at the University of Southern California. The author of more than 90 articles and book chapters and of 12 books, he researches leadership, executive derailment, organizational change, boards of directors, and the training and development of leaders and managers. His more recent books include The Practice of Leadership (2006), Growing Your Company's Leaders: How Organizations Use Succession Management for Competitive Advantage (2003), Shared Leadership (2002), Corporate Boards: New Strategies for Adding Value at the Top (2001), The Leader's Change Handbook (1999), Building Leaders (1999), Winning ‘Em Over: A New Model for Management in the Age of Persuasion (1998), and Charismatic Leadership in Organizations (1998). He received his B.A. from Dartmouth College, his M.B.A. from the University of Virginia, and his D.B.A. from the Harvard Business School.[Page 572]
Russell Cropanzano is Brien Lesk Professor of Organizational Behavior at the University of Arizona's Eller College of Management. His primary research areas include perceptions of organizational justice and the experience and impact of workplace emotion. He has edited four books, presented more than 60 papers, and published roughly 80 scholarly articles and chapters. In addition, he is a coauthor (with Robert Folger) of the book Organizational Justice and Human Resources Management, which won the 1998 Book Award from the International Association of Conflict Management. He was also a winner of the 2000 Outstanding Paper Award from Consulting Psychology Journal. He is currently editor of the Journal of Management, a fellow in the Society for Industrial/Organizational Psychology, and a representative-at-large for the Organizational Behavior division of the Academy of Management.
Arnoud De Meyer is Professor of Management Studies at Cambridge University (United Kingdom) and Director of the Judge Business School. He is also a fellow of Jesus College, Cambridge. Until August 2006, he was Akzo Nobel Fellow in Strategic Management and a professor of technology management at INSEAD, where he also assumed several management positions, including that of founding dean of INSEAD's Asia Campus in Singapore. His main research interests are in manufacturing and technology strategy, the implementation of new manufacturing technologies, and the management of research and development, and he has published widely in these areas. Recently, he has coauthored four books, on management and innovation in Asia, on the globalization of Asian firms, on management of novel projects, and on E-readiness in Europe. While serving as an academic, he has also acted as a consultant for a number of medium-sized and large companies throughout Europe and Asia.
Angelo S. DeNisi is Dean of the A. B. Freeman School of Business at Tulane University. After receiving his Ph.D. in industrial/organizational psychology from Purdue University, he taught at Kent State, the University of South Carolina, and Rutgers University before moving to Texas A&M University, where he was head of the Department of Management. He served as the editor of the Academy of Management Journal and as chair of both the Organizational Behavior and Human Resources divisions of the Academy of Management, and he is now vice president and program chair for the academy. He also served as president of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP). He has published in a wide variety of journals on topics that include performance appraisal and managing expatriates. He has served, or currently serves, on more than a dozen editorial boards and was the winner of the 2005 Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award from SIOP.
Laura Dunham is Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship in the College of Business at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. Her research is in the area of entrepreneurship and ethics, with a specific focus [Page 573]on the ethical issues that arise during the start-up of new ventures and the role of entrepreneurial values in resource acquisition processes and outcomes. She received her Ph.D. from the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia.
P. Christopher Earley is Dean of the National University of Singapore Business School and is Cycle and Carriage Professor of Management at the London Business School, where he is a former chair and professor of organizational behavior. His research interests include cross-cultural and international aspects of organizational behavior. His recent publications include Cultural Intelligence: Individual Interactions Across Cultures (with Soon Ang); Face, Harmony, and Social Structure: An Analysis of Behavior in Organizations; Multinational Work Teams: A New Perspective (with Cristina Gibson); and “Cultural Intelligence” (with Elaine Mosakowski) in Harvard Business Review.
Amy C. Edmondson, Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management and Chair of Doctoral Programs, joined the Harvard Business School faculty in 1996. Her research investigates leadership influences on learning and change in teams and organizations. In 2003, she received the Cummings Award from the Academy of Management, Organizational Behavior division, for outstanding achievement in early midcareer. Her recent article, “Why Hospitals Don't Learn From Failures: Organizational and Psychological Dynamics That Inhibit System Change” (with Anita Tucker), received the 2004 Accenture Award for a significant contribution to management practice. Before her academic career, she worked as the chief engineer for architect/inventor Buckminster Fuller during the early 1980s, and her book, A Fuller Explanation, clarifies Fuller's mathematical contributions for a nonscientific audience. She received her Ph.D. in organizational behavior, A.M. in psychology, and A.B. in engineering and design from Harvard University.
R. Edward Freeman is Elis and Signe Olsson Professor of Business Administration and Codirector of the Olsson Center for Applied Ethics in the Darden Graduate School of Business at the University of Virginia. He is an internationally recognized authority on stakeholder management—how to understand and manage the multiple changes and challenges in today's business environment—and on the connection between business ethics and corporate strategy. He has received numerous awards in recognition of outstanding teaching at the Wharton, Minnesota, and Darden business schools. In 2001, he was recognized with a Pioneer Lifetime Achievement Award by the World Resources Institute and the Aspen Institute Project on Corporate Responsibility.
Cynthia V. Fukami is Professor of Management in the Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver. She has conducted research and published articles on employee commitment, union attitudes, turnover, absenteeism, employee discipline, and total quality management. She was awarded the 1992 Willemssen Distinguished Research Professorship and was presented [Page 574]with the University of Denver's 1992 Distinguished Teaching Award. From 2000 to 2002, she was the Evelyn and Jay G. Piccinati Endowed Professor for Teaching Excellence. She has served on the board of directors (2 years as chair) of the Organizational Behavior Teaching Society and has been a member of the editorial boards of Journal of Management Education and Academy of Management Learning and Education. From 1998 to 1999, she was appointed as a scholar in the Carnegie Foundation's Academy for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning and was named a fellow of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
Dennis A. Gioia is Professor of Organizational Behavior, Department of Management and Organization, Smeal College of Business, Pennsylvania State University. Previously, he worked as an engineer for Boeing Aerospace at Cape Kennedy during the Apollo lunar program and for Ford Motor Company as corporate recall coordinator. His current research and writing interests focus on the ways in which identity, image, learning, and knowledge are involved in sensemaking, sensegiving, and organizational change. His work has appeared in Academy of Management Executive, Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Administrative Science Quarterly, Human Relations, Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, Journal of Business Ethics, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Organizational Dynamics, Organization Science, Organization Studies, and Strategic Management Journal, among other journals, as well as in numerous book chapters and proceedings. He also has edited two books of original contributions: The Thinking Organization and Creative Action in Organizations.
Barry M. Goldman is Associate Professor of Management and Policy in the Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona. His primary area of research involves dispute resolution and justice at work, particularly legal claiming. His current focus is on mediation of work-related disputes. He has published in Academy of Management Journal, Journal of Applied Psychology, Personnel Psychology, Journal of Management, and Journal of Organizational Behavior, among other outlets. He is on the editorial boards of Journal of Applied Psychology, Journal of Management, and Negotiations and Conflict Management Research. He teaches M.B.A. courses on negotiations and human resource management and doctoral seminars on those same subjects.
Robin Holt is a reader in strategy and ethics at the University of Liverpool Management School. He received his Ph.D. in Government from the London School of Economics. He has worked with both public and private sector organizations, and he has published in a range of social science journals. He has an abiding interest in bringing philosophical perspectives to bear on the prevailing and emerging questions and concerns of business life.
Robert Hooijberg is Professor of Organizational Behavior at the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) in Lausanne, Switzerland. His research, teaching, and consulting focus on leadership and [Page 575]360-degree feedback, negotiations, team building, and organizational culture. His research has appeared in journals such as Leadership Quarterly, Journal of Management, Human Relations, Organization Science, Human Resource Management, Hospital and Health Services Administration, Journal of Applied Social Psychology, Journal of Management Education, Administration & Society, International Journal of Organizational Analysis, and Journal of Organizational Behavior. He received his B.A. and M.A. from the University of Nijmegen in the Netherlands and received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.
Jennifer Jordan is Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College. She received her doctorate in social psychology from Yale University. Her research interests include moral leadership, awareness, and decision making within the business domain. She coedited (with Robert Sternberg) A Handbook of Wisdom: Psychological Perspectives. She is also a 2004 recipient of the Yale University John F. Enders Research Grant, a 2004 American Psychological Association Dissertation Award, and the 2005 Academy of Management, Social Issues in Management division, Best Dissertation Award.
Robert W. Kolodinsky is Assistant Professor of Management at James Madison University. He did his doctoral work in organizational behavior and human resources management at Florida State University. His primary research interests include wisdom in organizations, ethics, leadership, spiritual issues in the workplace, social effectiveness and social influence processes in organizations, and organizational politics. He has published several book chapters and articles in journals such as Journal of Management and Journal of Vocational Behavior, and papers on which he was the primary author have won best paper awards at two conferences. He also is one of the primary instructors in the United Nations Demining Program's Senior Managers Course, a 5-week program that enriches the management skills of senior managers from countries struggling with the problems associated with land mine removal and civil unrest. He is a three-time small business owner and a small business founder.
Paul R. Lawrence is Wallace Brett Donham Professor of Organizational Behavior Emeritus at the Harvard Business School. He did undergraduate work in sociology and economics at Albion College and did M.B.A. and doctoral training at Harvard. His research, published in 25 books and numerous articles, has dealt with the human aspects of management. His book, Organization and Enviroinment: Managing Differentiation and Integration (coauthored with Jay Lorsch), added “contingency theory” to the vocabulary of students of organizational behavior. In 2002, he published Driven: How Human Nature Shapes Our Choices (coauthored with Nitin Nohria), a book that proposes a four-drive theory of human motivation based on the biology of the brain.[Page 576]
Roy J. Lewicki is Dean's Distinguished Teaching Professor and Professor of Management and Human Resources in the Max M. Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University. His research interests are in the areas of trust development, negotiation, and conflict management, and he is the author of numerous research articles and book chapters in these fields. He is probably best known for editing seven volumes of Research on Negotiation in Organizations and for his textbooks (Negotiation, Essentials of Negotiation, and Negotiation: Readings, Exercises, and Cases). He has authored or edited other books on intractable environmental disputes, organizational justice, and organizational change. He is the winner of the Academy of Management's Distinguished Educator Award and was the first winner of the David Bradford Award from the Organizational Behavior Teaching Society. He was the founding editor of Academy of Management Learning and Education.
Edwin A. Locke is Dean's Professor of Leadership and Motivation Emeritus in the R. H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland. He is a fellow of the Association for Psychological Science, the American Psychological Association, and the Academy of Management. He has been the recipient of the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award (Society for Industrial/Organizational Psychology), the Career Achievement Award from the Academy of Management (Organizational Behavior division), the J. M. Cattell Award (American Psychological Society), and the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award from the Academy of Management. He (with Gary Latham) has spent the past 40 years developing goal-setting theory, recently ranked No. 1 in importance among 73 management theories. He has published more than 275 books, chapters, articles, and notes and is internationally known for his research on motivation, job satisfaction, leadership, and other topics.
John McVea is Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship in the College of Business at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. His research is in the areas of entrepreneurial strategy, managerial decision making, and entrepreneurial ethics. Currently, he is completing research in the area of decision making in ethically pioneering situations and is developing a number of entrepreneurial case studies from the Twin Cities area. He received his Ph.D. from the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia.
Nigel Nicholson is Professor at London Business School, where he has held the positions of Chairman of the Department of Organizational Behavior, Research Dean, member of Governing Body, and Deputy Dean of the school. He is widely known for pioneering the introduction of the new science of evolutionary psychology to business. His current major research interests include the psychology of family business, personality and leadership, and people skills in management. In these fields, as well as in others such as innovation, organizational change, and executive career development, he has published [Page 577]more than 15 books and 200 articles. He has been a guest professor at German, American, and Australian universities and has been honored by the Academy of Management for his contribution to theory and research. He consults, coaches, and advises in all areas of his wide-ranging interests.
Tjai M. Nielsen is Assistant Professor of Management in the School of Business at The George Washington University (GWSB). He teaches in the full-time, part-time, and executive MBA programs and teaches research methods to GWSB doctoral students. His research primarily focuses on work team effectiveness, leadership development, and organizational citizenship. He recently received a Best Reviewer Award from the Academy of Management at its 2004 annual meeting. Currently, he serves on editorial boards for the Journal of Organizational Behavior and the journal, Group & Organization Management. Prior to joining GWSB, he spent more than three years working as a consultant for RHR International Company. In this role he provided consulting services in the areas of executive selection and development, succession planning, team development, and executive coaching. He has worked with a variety of organizations within the retail, financial, pharmaceutical, and utility industries in North America, Europe, and the Middle East.
Lynn R. Offermann is Professor of Industrial and Organizational Psychology at the George Washington University. Her research focuses on leadership and followership, teams, organizational processes and influence, and diversity issues. She is a fellow of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, the American Psychological Association, and the Association for Psychological Science. Her work has appeared in Harvard Business Review, Journal of Applied Psychology, American Psychologist, and Academy of Management Journal, among other outlets. She has worked with numerous public, private, multinational, and international organizations on executive development and coaching, team development, change management, and organizational development. She has trained and coached hundreds of managers from all over the world to improve their leadership effectiveness in multicultural contexts. She holds a Ph.D. in psychology from Syracuse University and is currently associate editor of Academy of Management Learning and Education.
Tyrone S. Pitsis is Senior Research Associate at the ICAN (Innovative Collaborations, Alliances, and Networks) Research Center (University of Technology, Sydney [UTS], Australia). His area of research interest is in the phenomenology of project-based interorganizational collaboration, pragmatic philosophy, and positive organizational scholarship. His work has appeared in both academic and industry journals such as Organization Science, Organization Studies, Leadership Excellence, and Management amongst others. He has also been recipient of best paper awards at international conferences. He lectures in executive leadership and in organizational [Page 578]behavior in the M.B.A. program within the School of Management at UTS, and also delivers leadership training and development programs to major corporations in Australia and Europe. He attained an honors degree in social science (psychology) from the University of New South Wales and attained his Ph.D. from UTS in 2006. He is member of the American Academy of Management and is a founding member of the Alliance Association of Australasia. In a previous life, he was an executive chef specializing in South East Asian cuisine.
Jordan Stein is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Management and Organizations at the University of Arizona in Tucson. She previously received her master's in human resources and industrial relations from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She has published in Journal of Management. Her current research focuses on organizational justice and conflict.
Robert J. Sternberg is Dean of Arts and Sciences at Tufts University. Prior to that, he was the IBM Professor of Psychology and Education in the Department of Psychology, a professor of management in the School of Management, and director of the Center for the Psychology of Abilities, Competencies, and Expertise at Yale University. He also was the 2003 president of the American Psychological Association. Sternberg is the author of more than 1,000 journal articles, book chapters, and books. The central focus of his research is on intelligence, creativity, and wisdom, and he also has studied love and close relationships as well as hate. He has been listed in APA Monitor on Psychology as one of the top 100 psychologists of the 20th century and is listed by the ISI as one of its most highly cited authors (top 0.5%) in psychology and psychiatry.
Eric Sundstrom is Professor at the University of Tennessee, Evaluator for the National Science Foundation, and an independent consultant. His research on the effectiveness of work environments, teams, and organizations has generated more than 70 professional publications, including two books (Work Places  and Supporting Work Team Effectiveness ) and articles in Academy of Management Journal, Journal of Applied Psychology, and more than a dozen other refereed journals. He has supervised more than 20 doctoral dissertations to completion and has served on another 80 or more doctoral and master's committees. He has provided consultation to private companies, such as AT&T, ALCOA, Chrysler Corporation, Exxon USA, Lockheed-Martin, M&M/Mars, Maraven (Venezuela), Nortel, PepsiCo, Rhone-Poulenc, United Technologies Corporation, and Weyerhaeuser, as well as to government organizations, such as the Tennessee Department of Human Services, National Institutes of Health, and U.S. Department of Energy.
Jordi Trullen is Assistant Professor in the Human Resource Management Department at ESADE Business School (Universitat Ramon Lull, Barcelona, [Page 579]Spain). He holds an M.S. and Ph.D. in Organization Studies from the Wallace E. Carroll School of Management at Boston College and an M.B.A. from ESADE. His dissertation explored the role of faculty perceptions in mediating responses to quality evaluations at universities. His research interests include practical wisdom in management, organizational change and cognition, and design research as an approach to accomplishing change.
Peter B. Vaill is Professor of Management in Antioch University's Ph.D. program in Leadership and Change. He has served on the business school faculties at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), the University of Connecticut, Stanford University, the University of St. Thomas, and George Washington University, where he also was dean of the School of Business and Public Management. His doctorate is from the Harvard Business School. He has been a consultant to many corporations, colleges and universities, health systems, and departments of the U.S. government. He is the author of Managing as a Performing Art (1989), Learning as a Way of Being (1996), Spirited Leading and Learning (1998), and many scholarly articles in the fields of managerial leadership and organization change and development. He is a member of the Academy of Management, the Organizational Behavior Teaching Society, and the Organization Development Network, which gave him its Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003.
Karl E. Weick is Rensis Likert Distinguished University Professor of Organizational Behavior and Psychology and Professor of Psychology at the University of Michigan. He joined the Michigan faculty in 1988 after previous faculty positions at the University of Texas, Cornell University, the University of Minnesota, and Purdue University. His B.A. is from Wittenberg University, and his M.A. and Ph.D. in social and organizational psychology are from the Ohio State University. He is a former editor of the journal Administrative Science Quarterly (1977–1985), a former associate editor of the journal Organizational Behavior and Human Performance (1971–1977), and a former topic editor for human factors at the journal Wildfire. His research interests include collective sensemaking under pressure, medical errors, handoffs and transitions in dynamic events, high-reliability performance, improvisation, and continuous change.