CEVI-WP 08-05

Why Bother Teaching Philosophy to Managers?
Tom Claes & David Seth Preston


This paper questions whether managers truly need philosophy and for what end. It highlights the achievements of management before examining its deficiencies. Once some basic foundation to support a case for the teaching of philosophy to managers has been made, the paper considers two main issues: what types of managers are there; and what type of philosophy do each of these types need. Using primary experiential data and some management questionnaires analysed using pattern recognition Artificial Intelligence the paper identifies a typology of five well-defined clusters: Disaffected (Whiners); Converts (Shoppers); Tacticians (Cynics); Believers (Commanders); and Workers (Jobbers). For each in turn we identify the type of philosophy most suited to each cluster. The paper argues that in teaching philosophy to managers you must consider who you are teaching as the dangers include counter-productivity.

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Published in: Philosophy of Management, Vol.8, No., 2009, pp. 67-73.