Call for Papers: Special Issue on Management and Political Philosophy (Philosophy of Management)
Deadline: 31 March 2021
Guest Editors: Marian Eabrasu and David Wilson
Political philosophy explores general questions about how to organize ourselves, and how to make legitimate decisions about how to organize ourselves, for the purpose of meeting our most fundamental needs of security and welfare. Management philosophy, for its part, explores general questions about existing organizations and how they can best advance their goals. There is, thus, much overlap of subject area. Political states themselves must engage in the management of public resources and public institutions; thus, historians of management typically start with a discussion of ancient thought about how to rule (see Witzel, 2016; Wren, 2020). With the rise of industrialization, organizations that were independent of but hosted by the state began to proliferate, and management thought became focused on them instead. However, not only does management continue to occur in both, but political behavior and organizational behavior strongly influence one another. Thus, inquiry in each area can be pertinent to the other. This idea joins the observation that in the past decades CSR took a political turn (Kourula et al., 2019). However, while welcoming papers discussing political CSR (Scherer et al., 2016), this call for paper opens a wider theoretical angle by inviting contributions to take a step back from the current conversations on the political roles of corporations and think more broadly on topics such as:
- States are not exactly like corporations: some argue that it is a difference in degree, others that it is a difference in kind (Schrempf-Stirling, 2018). Among other things, this question bears on the extent to which the vast literature about ruling the state can be applied to managing the firm (Philips and Margolis, 1999; Moriarty, 2005; Taylor, 2017).
- There are lively debates about the extent to which it is appropriate and desirable for the state to treat corporations as persons. What rights, and what responsibilities, are best accorded them? Are they more properly treated by the state (contrary to the first question) not as a different sort of state but as a different sort of citizen (French, 1979; Ripken, 2019)?
- Corporate management, along with state government, is an important variety of social authority. Many have argued that there is a strong case to be made for democracy in corporate management (Dahl, 1985; McMahon, 2017; Anderson, 2019). What would such democracy look like?
- Political thought has been directed to supporting a robust notion of corporate social responsibility-owing, for example, to the deployment of the same arguments that are used to justify capitalism (Heath, 2020) or to the argument that they serve important political purposes (Singer, 2019). How can political thought support the notion of corporate social responsibility?
- It is argued that it is appropriate and even desirable for the state to regulate managerial behavior with respect to, for example, safety, discrimination in hiring and pay, and whistleblowing. This, in other words, is the area of state-enforced worker’s rights (Werhane, 1985; Werhane, Radin, and Bowie, 2004). Should the state regulate managerial behavior – and if so, how?
- The increasing permeability of the boundary between public and private spheres raises the question of where the power should reside: business or politics? The struggles of influence between business and politics, often epitomized by formulas such as “big corporations” or “omnipotent government,” leaves open fundamental philosophical questions on how their relations should eventually be organized (Chomsky, 2013; Bakan, 2003; Reich, 2007; Blok, 2019).
- Political philosophers generally make a space for civil disobedience in the case of illegitimate governments or laws (Simmons, 1979). At the same time, corporate social responsibility and business ethics literature typically assumes that businesses should obey the law. Is there a space for civil disobedience by firms that are faced with corrupt political regimes or immoral laws?
Articles can be submitted at https://www.editorialmanager.com/phom/ by 31 March 2021.
Expected publication date: January 2022.
Word length: 6,000-10,000 words, excluding References.
David Carl Wilson, Professor of Philosophy, Webster University: firstname.lastname@example.org
Marian Eabrasu, Associate Professor, European Business School Paris, EM Normandie: email@example.com
Anderson, E. (2019) Private Government (Princeton: Princeton University Press)
Bakan, J. (2005) The Corporation (New York: The Free Press)
Blok, V. (2020) ‘Politics versus Economics. Philosophical Reflections on the Nature of Corporate Governance’ Philosophy of Management 19, pp. 69–87
Chomsky, N. (2013) Making the Future (San Francisco: City Lights Open Media)
Dahl, R. A. (1985) A Preface to Economic Democracy (Berkeley: University of California Press)
French, P. (1979) ‘The Corporation as a Moral Person’ American Philosophical Quarterly 16(3), pp. 207-15
Heath, J. (2020) The Machinery of Government (New York: Oxford University Press)
Kourula, A., Moon, J., Salles-Djelic, M.-L. & Wickert, C. (2019). ‘New Roles of Government in the Governance of Business Conduct: Implications for Management and Organizational Research’ Organization Studies 40, pp. 1101-23
MacIntyre, A. (1981) After Virtue (South Bend: University of Notre Dame Press)
McMahon, C. (2017) Authority and Democracy: A General Theory of Government and Management (Princeton: Princeton University Press)
Moriarty, J. (2005) ‘On the Relevance of Political Philosophy to Business Ethics’ Business Ethics Quarterly 15(3), pp. 455-73
Phillips, R.A. & Margolis, J. D. (1999) ‘Towards an Ethics of Organizations’ Business Ethics Quarterly 9(3), pp. 619-38
Reich, R. (2007) Supercapitalism (New York: Vintage)
Ripken, S. K. (2019) Corporate Personhood (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press)
Scherer, A. G., Rasche, A., Palazzo, G. & Spicer, A. (2016). ‘Managing for Political Corporate Social Responsibility: New Challenges and Directions for PCSR 2.0’ Journal of Management Studies 53, pp. 273-98
Schrempf-Stirling, J. (2018) ‘State Power: Rethinking the Role of the State in Political Corporate Social Responsibility’ Journal of Business Ethics 150, pp. 1-14
Simmons, J. (1979) Moral Principles and Political Obligations (Princeton: Princeton University Press)
Singer, A. A. (2019) The Form of the Firm: A Normative Political Theory of the Corporation (Oxford: Oxford University Press)
Taylor, R. S. (2017) Exit Left: Markets and Mobility in Republican Thought (Oxford: Oxford University Press)
Werhane, P. H. (1985) Persons, Rights, and Corporations (Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall)
Werhane, P., Radin, T., & Bowie, N. (2004) Employment and Employee Rights (London: Blackwell)
Witzel, R. (2016) A History of Management Thought, 2nd ed. (London: Routledge)
Wren, D. & Bedeian, A. (2020) The Evolution of Management Thought, 8th ed. (New York: Wiley)