Research Handbook of Responsible Management
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Research Handbook of Responsible Management

Edited by Oliver Laasch, Roy Suddaby, R. E. Freeman and Dima Jamali

Outlining origins of the field and latest research trends, this Research Handbook offers a unique and cutting-edge take on the numerous avenues to responsible management in the 21st century. Renowned contributors present iconic viewpoints that have formed the foundation of responsible management research, introducing cutting-edge conceptual lenses for the study of the responsible management process.
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Chapter 24: American pragmatism and responsible management: the role of John Dewey

Svetlana N. Dmitrieva, R. Edward Freeman and Sergiy D. Dmytriyev

Abstract

There has been a growing understanding among organizational scholars and business practitioners that management in organizations has to be responsible to its stakeholders and to the society. Recent scholarship on responsible management focused on defining what ‘responsible’ in a management context means, and even though there has been noticeable progress in an understanding of the concept, the topic still remains open for further thinking. It is our strong belief that the comprehension of responsible management cannot be complete without brining into discussion key ideas of American Pragmatism. Thus, this work contributes to the ongoing discussion on responsible management by elaborating on far-reaching ideas of John Dewey, a renowned educator and social reformer whose philosophical ideas changed the landscape of many domains of our society. In this work, we show the relevance of Dewey’s thought-provoking ideas on individual’s responsibility to comprehending management responsibility in organizations. In particular, we analyse the following aspects of management responsibility: (1) making responsible decisions not only helps achieve good outcomes, but it also shapes the essence of an organization – its culture and values; (2) responsible management expands beyond following a set of prescribed rules – it is about transforming the environment around the organization for higher moral goals, such as the betterment of others stakeholders; (3) there is no prescription of the universal rules for responsible management as each situation is unique and requires an individualized approach.

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