Wise face of organizations

Bernard McKenna, David Rooney

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Because the context for wise leaders will be increasingly complex, wise leaders must develop capacities for tolerating ambiguous situations and dealing with uncertainty. This chapter revives the ancient concept of wisdom, which has been absent from Western management discourse, and looks for ways to link with the Islamic tradition. We focus on two principles of social practice wisdom: ontological acuity, challenging epistemic knowledge by critiquing its ontological foundations, and virtuous outcomes. It also calls for imagination and creativity - the social imaginary - to see beyond orthodoxies and common assumptions. We consider the global complexities of environmental destruction, the so-called clash of cultures, and globalization. To deal with these, wise people must use technē, expert knowledge, and phronesis, the ability to balance instrumental rationality with value rationality.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe New faces of organizations in the 21st century
EditorsMohammad A Sarlak
Place of PublicationCanada
PublisherNAIST Publishers
Number of pages30
ISBN (Print)9780986533563
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameThe New faces of organizations in the 21st century
PublisherNAIST Publishers


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