Theoria to theory: Leadership without contemplation
Simpson, P. , French, R. and Case, P. (2010) Theoria to theory: Leadership without contemplation. Organization, 19 (3). pp. 345-361. ISSN 1350-5084
Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1350508412437072
This paper tracks the historical movement from theoria to theory, arguing that the latter derives linguistically from the former but has all but lost the sacred dimension of contemplation that made theoria the greatest of the intellectual virtues. These ideas are applied to a consideration of whether leadership without contemplation is adequate for the needs of the modern organization. The ‘forgotten’ nature of theoria is explored in the context of philosophy both as discourse and as ‘a way of life’; through the metaphor of ‘seeing’; and as a practice of living in the present moment. It is suggested that the historical movement from ancient to modern and the transition from theoria to theory reflects a shift from an ethics of disinterestedness to an ethics of utility. It is concluded that it is difficult to conceive of a norm of leadership and organizational practice in the modern context that is guided by theoria as well as theory.
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