Home Concepts Organizational Theory Understanding and Leading Organizations: A Hermeneutic Phenomenological Investigation

Understanding and Leading Organizations: A Hermeneutic Phenomenological Investigation

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The purpose of this paper is to argue for an ontological investigation into the very nature of organizations and their leadership, in the tradition of Heidegger’s hermeneutic phenomenology. Organizations in general, and corporations in particular, play an ever-more prominent role in contemporary society and, given their pervasive influence in all spheres of life, it seems surprising that this has not led to a vibrant ontological inquiry into what they are in their very nature. In choosing a guide for engaging in such an ontological inquiry, Heidegger’s hermeneutic phenomenology seems promising, as he made the most prominent contribution to the ontological project in the twentieth century—a time that coincides not only with the rise of corporations, but also with the corporatization of many other aspects of contemporary society.

Complete essay is available as a download (by clicking the button below). Reprinted from Philosophy Today (Spring 2010) with permission of author.

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