Management as communicative action: habermasian perspectives on the quest for responsible management education

Smit, Arnoldus Tobias (2019-04)

Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2019.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Management education, especially as practised in business schools, has been the subject of critical debate since the beginning of the 21st century. This was largely stimulated by concerns about the impact of business on the environment, society and the economy and the role that business schools may have played in advancing business theories and paradigms in which financial gains are given priority over sustainable development considerations. From this context of critical reflection arose a new concept, namely responsible management education, of which the intention is to inculcate in a new generation of business managers a deeply ingrained responsibility orientation towards their organisational and societal obligations. Based on an analysis of the academic discourse and the principles and standards which inform business schools’ responsible management education practices, it is argued in this study that the conceptualisation of what ‘responsible management’ means is an underdeveloped aspect of the responsible management education project. The study proposes that Jürgen Habermas’s theory of communicative action provides a suitable epistemological foundation with which to conceptualise responsible management, namely ‘management as communicative action’. Building on Habermas’s concepts of communicative action, lifeworld and system, discourse ethics and moral consciousness and competence, ‘management as communicative action’ contains four interrelated responsibilities, namely those of caring for the business–society relationship; developing a responsible organisation; leading normatively validated decision making; and caring for personal moral consciousness and competence. The study concludes with the implications that management as communicative action holds for responsible management education in theory and practice. It advances the idea of ‘responsible management education as communicative action’, comprising the tasks of making management education socially purposeful; integrating ethics, responsibility and sustainability into education and administration; making educators and students competent in discourse ethics; and developing students as morally competent citizens.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Bestuursonderrig, veral soos dit in bestuurskole beoefen word, is ’n veel besproke onderwerp sedert die begin van die een en twintigste eeu. Dit is grootliks gestimuleer deur die besorgdheid oor die rol in impak van sakeondernemings op die omgewing, samelewing en ekonomie en die rol wat bestuurskole sou kon speel in die oordrag van teorieë en paradigmas waarin finansiële belange prioriteit bo volhoubare ontwikkeling geniet. Vanuit hierdie kritiese nadenke het ’n nuwe konsep na vore getree, naamlik verantwoordelike bestuursonderrig. Die doel hiervan is om ’n nuwe geslag sakebestuurders op te lei met ’n integrale verantwoordelikheidsoriëntasie in die uitvoering van hulle organisatoriese en samelewingsverpligtinge. Gegrond op ’n analise van die akademiese diskoers en die beginsels en standaarde onderliggend aan verantwoordelike bestuursonderrigpraktyke, word in hierdie navorsing geargumenteer dat die konsep ‘verantwoordelike bestuur’ steeds ’n onderontwikkelde aspek van die verantwoordelike bestuursonderrig projek is. Die studie stel voor dat Jürgen Habermas se teorie van kommunikatiewe aksie ’n geskikte epistemologiese raamwerk bied om verantwoordelike bestuur mee te beskryf, naamlik, ‘bestuur as kommunikatiewe aksie’. Gebaseer op Habermas se konsepte van kommunikatiewe aksie, lewenswêreld en sisteem, diskoersetiek, en morele bewussyn en bekwaamheid, bevat ‘bestuur as kommunikatiewe aksie’ vier verwante verantwoordelikhede, naamlik, die sorg vir die sakeonderneming – samelewing verhouding; die ontwikkeling van ’n verantwoordelike organisasie; die lei van normatief bekragtigde besluitneming; en die sorg vir persoonlike morele bewussyn en vaardigheid. Die studie sluit af met die implikasies wat bestuur as kommunikatiewe aksie vir verantwoordelike bestuursonderrig in teorie en praktyk inhou. Dit bevorder die idee van ‘verantwoordelike bestuursonderrig as kommunikatiewe aksie’, wat die volgende take insluit: om bestuursonderrig sosiaal doelmatig te maak; om etiek, verantwoordelikheid en volhoubaarheid in onderrig en administrasie te integreer; om opvoeders en studente vaardig in diskoersetiek te maak; en om studente as moreel bekwame burgers te ontwikkel.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/105876
This item appears in the following collections: