Corporate caretaking: Neue Wege der Gestaltung organisationaler Mitweltbeziehungen Theorie der Unternehmung

Nicola Manuela Pless

Producció científica: Llibre


The objective of my thesis is to develop new approaches in organization-environment relationships. I show how an alternative meta-narrative of the environment and our relations towards it can help rethink prevailing mindsets regarding the construction of relationships between organizations and the natural and social environment, thus providing the basis for a cultural change in management thinking and relating and opening up new possibilities for solving the environmental crisis. I apply a social constructionist and feminist approach using narrative theory. My understanding is that the way we understand, define and approach the natural environment and the environmental crisis depend on social-relational processes of creating knowledge and understanding in and through relationships. In Part 1 I discuss the environmental crisis in the context of modernity, modern science and its underlying assumptions. In Part 2 I argue that the environmental crisis is a challenge as to how we think about, understand and relate to the environment. I postulate that a paradgim shift is imperative in the search for new solution approaches. In Parts 2 and 3 I introduce the social-relational paradigm with a feminist-care narrative into the environmental debate to foster a new understanding of the environmental crisis and derive new approaches to the construction of better relationships towards the social and natural environment. In Part 4 "Towards a cultural transformation in the organizational creation of environmental relations" I apply the social-relational paradigm and the discourse of care to the management discussion and introduce possibilities for constructing new management realities and forms of relating towards the environment. In Chapter 1 I show that both in theory and practice mechanistic and technocentric approaches of environmental economics and eco management do not solve the environmental crisis. On the contrary they create "solutions" that solidify the status quo, obfuscate fundamental elements of the problem and consequently become part of the problem itself (first-order solutions, Watzlawick). I argue that they keep management theorists and practitioners alike captured in a "Denkgefängnis" (mental prison). In Chapters 2 and 3 I examine the underlying principles, assumptions, beliefs and values of modern thinking, which are rooted in enlightenment and are ingrained in society and natural and social science (scientism, positivism, rationalism...). Science and the "project of modernity" (Habermas) have legitimated exuberant growth and the exploitation of nature. I also show that they form the basis for the modern self-understanding (possessive individualism), for the relationship between men and women, for the relationship with nature as one of dominance and exploitation and the dominant understanding of reality. By unveiling fundamental epistemological assumptions of modern science and deconstructing them from different epistemological angles I explain why and how modern scientific thinking holds us captive in a vicious circle and forms a mental prison that constrains other ways of thinking and sense-making. From this analysis I conclude that the prevailing perception and definition of the environmental crisis is a mirror of the scientific technocentric approach and our dyadic relationship towards nature. I propose that the environmental crisis is first and foremost a relationship problem between man/science and women/environment which is rooted in the Cartesian subject-object separation. I conclude that a paradigm shift is imperative if society and business wants to solve the environmental crisis. In Chapters 4 and 5 I search for an alternative paradigm (Kuhn) that allows other ways of sense-making and opens up a new relationship understanding with nature (subject-subject). I examine feminism and constructionism in regard to its paradigmatic potential and ultimately identify social-relational constructionism (in t
Idioma originalAnglès
Nombre de pàgines360
Estat de la publicacióPublicada - 1 de febr. 1998


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