“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 collective attention to such timely subjects as EQ, negotiation, global politics, and individual and organizational ethics.”—Steve Kerr, Chief Learning Officer, Goldman Sachs, and Past President of the Academy of Management“One of the ‘most promising’ forthcoming management books.”—EUROPEAN ACADEMY OF MANAGEMENTOrganizes wisdom around the five primary philosophical branches—logic, ethics, aesthetics, epistemology, and metaphysicsApplies wisdom in organizations and management through international examples that synthesize a set of practical principles for academics and practicing managersOffers an outstanding collection of world-renowned scholars who give profound insights regarding wisdom

Individual Ethics—the Virtue of Prudence

Individual Ethics—the Virtue of Prudence

Individual ethics—the virtue of prudence

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

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

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