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Economic Wisdom for Managerial Decision-Making

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Part of the Virtues and Economics book series (VIEC,volume 1)

Abstract

The paper argues that Aristotle’s “phronesis ” can be explained as social practice wisdom, a discursive system linking mind and social practice to produce wellbeing and human flourishing . It uses the contemporary conceptualization of phronesis and its related metatheoretical construct of wisdom principles to bring a practical dimension to wise decision-making. The paper first reviews progress in the understanding of wise leadership within leadership studies and the principles of wisdom proposed by McKenna. Against this taxonomy it then recontextualizes the numerous calls in leadership literature for qualitative, research. It presents samples and interprets the resulting theory based in original material from interviews with 184 managers generated by the Wisdom Project.

The paper concludes that an economic wisdom is present in the minds of managers. Economic wisdom could offer resources for management education and development across all business domains to address the challenges of the VUCA world with a more realistic, holistic and planet-friendly approach.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    This is the list of virtues for corporate managers suggested by Robert Solomon but are derivatives of virtues proposed by the ancient philosophers and expounded within a Christian context by Thomas Aquinas. See Helen J. Alford and Michael J. Naughton, Managing As If Faith Mattered: Christian Social Principles in the Modern Organization, (University of Notre Dame Press, 2001), chapter 3.

  2. 2.

    Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous.

  3. 3.

    The interpretation of Aristotle’s use of the term aesthetics in relation to practical wisdom made by Rooney et al. (2010) is that it is the creative art of living with special reference to communicating difficult to convey ideas in everyday social practice, and communicative excellence that creates value for oneself and others.

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Correspondence to Mike Thompson .

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Thompson, M. (2017). Economic Wisdom for Managerial Decision-Making. In: Rona, P., Zsolnai, L. (eds) Economics as a Moral Science. Virtues and Economics, vol 1. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-53291-2_13

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