CFP: Philosophy of Management special issue "Do Managerial Practices Need Philosophy?"

Submission deadline: July 30, 2021

Topic areas


Call for Papers for a Special Issue of Philosophy of Management "Do Managerial Practices Need Philosophy?"

Deadline: 31 July 2021

 Guest Editors:

Proposals can be submitted at, with a clear reference to the special issue ‘Do managerial practices need philosophy?’


Among the various disciplines adjacent to management theory and having a word to say on  managerial practice, philosophy is at the forefront since it can offer a wide theoretical angle and a set of encompassing concepts that can account for various business practices. Philosophy continuously and increasingly fuels management discussions with concepts and theories (Donaldson and Walsh, 2015), which blend in various degrees with management’s own corpus of research (Cornelissen and Durand, 2012; Oswick et al., 2011). Instead of focusing on management theories blending and influences, this special issue intends to draw attention to managerial practices. While numerous studies deal with the philosophical, primarily ethical, approach of managerial practice (Klikauer, 2013), very few inquire into its very usefulness. Do managerial practices need philosophy? If yes, then why and how? Some scholars following up the discussion of Aristotle in Protrepticus might say that philosophy is not meant to be useful, that it is a “disinterested contemplation of truth” (Walker, 2010). Yet, these are exciting questions to ask, especially considering the reflexivity of the philosophical inquiry (Laurie and Cherry, 2001). While this special issue aims to understand “if,” “how,” and “why” philosophy can shed light on managerial practices, contributions from all philosophical schools, traditions, methodologies, subdisciplines will be considered as there is a high interest in including in this special issue a large variety of perspectives. It would be a plus to publish opposite philosophical perspectives underlying fundamental philosophical disagreements on interpreting business practices (Eabrasu, 2018). Also, the proposals can be submitted in a large variety of forms: case studies, illustrations, comparisons, explanations, analysis, or critiques (Vandekerckhove, 2019). For demonstrating what philosophy has to tell to management practitioners, the authors might want to propose a conceptual discussion on the role that philosophy is expected to play in management practice (Shaw, 2020); they can also identify specific managerial practices (or concepts used managerial practice) (Werhane, 2018) and further show if and how they can be better analyzed through philosophical theory and methodology (Donaldson, 2018); or empirically test and/or illustrate the correlation between philosophical input and some indicators for managerial performance.

We invite submissions of proposals including, but not limited, to:

  • Ontology and metaphysics of concepts defining managerial practices and tools: What is a strategy? What are competencies or skills? What is a resource?
  • The normative assessment of business practice: Is managerial practice a thick concept, including both evaluative and descriptive features? Are there specific ethical principles or norms that are more appropriate for assessing managerial practices?
  • The epistemological approach of organization: How can we manage the epistemic production of organizational practices? Can we build a social epistemology for organizational practices? Is reliabilism a relevant approach for understanding the managerial epistemic practices? Which epistemic virtues within organizational practice?
  •  Relativism, post-modernism, and other forms of skepticism in management: Is the manager the measure of all things in the organizations? Can we escape moral or epistemic relativism in management? What are the effects of post-modernism on managerial practices? Can we think about the power relationships in organizations without Foucault?
  • Metaphilosophy and management: Are there specific philosophical methods that could be used to understand managerial practices? Can we mobilize conceptual analysis for clarifying managerial concepts? Is the a priori approach relevant for organizational phenomena?
  • Can/should philosophical counseling enhance specific indicators of managerial performance, broadly understood, or of some parts of it (social, environmental, or financial)?

Submission details:

·       Philosophy of Management:

·       Articles can be submitted at by 31 July 2021, with a clear reference to the special issue ‘Do managerial practices need philosophy?’

·       Expected publication date of complete special volume: fall 2022

·       Maximum word length: 10 000 words, excluding references.

·       The papers should follow the PHOM submission guidelines:

The editors welcome informal inquiries related to proposed topics.


Cornelissen, J. P. and Durand, R. (2012). 'More than just novelty: Conceptual blending and causality'.Academy of management review, 37, 152-54.

Donaldson, T. (2018). 'How Methods of Moral Philosophy Inform Business'. In C. Neesham & S. Segal (Eds.), Handbook of Philosophy of Management. Cham: Springer International Publishing, 1-15.

Donaldson, T. and Walsh, J. P. (2015). 'Toward a theory of business'. Research in Organizational Behavior, 35, 181-207.

Eabrasu, M. (2018). Moral disagreements in business. An exploratory introduction. Cham: Springer.

Klikauer, T. (2013). 'Ethics for Managers — Avoiding Philosophy & Managerial Reality'. Philosophy of Management, 12, 97-103.

Laurie, N. and Cherry, C. (2001). 'Wanted: Philosophy of Management'. Philosophy of Management, 1, 3-12.

Oswick, C., Fleming, P. and Hanlon, G. (2011). 'From borrowing to blending: Rethinking the processes of

organizational theory building'. Academy of management review, 36, 318-37.

Shaw, D. (2020). 'Would Plato Have Banned the Management Consultants?'. Philosophy of Management.

Vandekerckhove, W. (2019). 'Editorial'. Philosophy of Management, 18, 1-4.

Walker, M. (2010). 'The utility of contemplation in Aristotle’s Protrepticus'. Ancient Philosophy, 30, 135-53.

Werhane, P. (2018). 'The Linguistic Turn, Social Construction and the Impartial Spectator: why Do these Ideas Matter to Managerial Thinking?'. Philosophy of Management, 17, 265-78.

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