Durkheim, Mayo, morality and management

Journal of Business Ethics 16 (11):1117-1129 (1997)
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Morality and business ethics are topics facing increased attention in modern management, yet they tend to be looked at only in relation to external relationships. However one of the most important contributions to management practice and theory (human relations) was built upon a sociological theory that was totally concerned with morality. That sociological theory was borrowed by Mayo (the father of human relations) without reading the original theory; consequently he missed the real point that the theory made, i.e. a common morality embracing everyone was necessary to maintain order and social cohesion. Such a morality was only possible when we realised our social dimension through continuous contact with each other. Moral man had to be social man; occupational groups were a way of attempting to achieve this. Yet morality is a dimension of group dynamics and management training rarely mentioned, partly through ignorance, partly through a fear of what discussions of morality might lead on to, and partly through a structural blindness to non-operational problems.



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Knowledge and Human Interests.Jürgen Habermas - 1971 - Heinemann Educational.
The Sociological Imagination.C. Wright Mills - 1960 - British Journal of Educational Studies 9 (1):75-76.
Knowledge and Human Interests.Jurgen Habermas - 1981 - Ethics 91 (2):280-295.

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