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(searched for: doi:10.5465/amp.2015.0056)
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Published: 1 October 2021
Abstract:
Positive Organizational Scholarship (POS), with positivity as a core conceptual component, is a major innovation in recent decades in management and organizational studies. Just as organization is an inherently paradox laden process, so too, we argue, is positivity. Yet in classrooms and in practice, POS is mostly taught in a manner that accepts only one side of the paradox, that which, at first glance, appears positive. Against such linear approaches we propose another possibility: teaching positivity through a pedagogy of generative paradoxes emergent from creatively harmonizing the energy of competing and interdependent positive and negative tensions. In the process we extend the notion of generative paradox as discussed in paradox literature by embracing the notion of generativity as discussed in POS theorizing where it is associated with organizational processes that facilitate outcomes of collective flourishing, abundance, wellbeing, and virtue. Our proposed three-part generative paradox pedagogy contributes to the literature on POS, organizational paradox, and management learning.
Bruno Dyck,
Published: 23 September 2021
Abstract:
Friedman’s maxim “The social responsibility of business is to increase its profits” (p. 32) has shaped what managers consider effective management. This Financial Bottom Line approach to management has been challenged by both Positive Organizational Scholarship (POS) and Critical Management Studies (CMS). POS highlights how enhancing prosocial and other nonfinancial considerations can increase profits, consistent with the current dominant Triple Bottom Line approach. In contrast, CMS tends to critique any approach that seeks to maximize profits by creating dysfunctional power symmetries and marginalization. This study introduces a third option, the Social and Ecological Thought approach, which promotes maximizing social and ecological well-being while remaining financially viable. A longitudinal pre-post intervention in a sample of undergraduate management students showed that teaching multiple approaches to management—Financial Bottom Line, Triple Bottom Line, and Social and Ecological Thought—resulted in learners becoming less likely to espouse profit-related goals (e.g. to maximize efficiency, productivity, profitability) and more likely to identify nonfinancial ones (e.g. extra-organizational prosociality and reduction of marginalization) when characterizing effective management. However, the results did not support predictions regarding intra-organizational prosociality and marginalization, or power asymmetries. We discuss implications for pedagogy and the future development of POS and CMS.
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