The foolishness of wisdom: towards an inclusive approach to wisdom in organization

Izak, Michal (2013) The foolishness of wisdom: towards an inclusive approach to wisdom in organization. Scandinavian Journal of Management, 29 (1). pp. 108-115. ISSN 0956-5221

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The review of multiple attempts to develop an understanding of wisdom suggests that its modern conceptualizations being typically essentialist and objectivist are more restricted than historical interpretations. Many popular accounts imply interpreting wisdom in terms of other notions, such as knowledge or intelligence, however, as this paper suggests, this path of reasoning is far too limited to be meaningful, since by preventing theoretical exchange between discourses it makes the concept of wisdom unfeasible. This study shall attempt to demonstrate that departure from the essentialist framework of wisdom's conceptualizations may be tempting, and that exploring possibilities of replacing such restrictive approaches to wisdom with more inclusive one is an interesting option for organizational theorists, among others. Such a possibility is investigated via exploring March's notion of foolishness – not as an antithesis to wisdom, as essentialist accounts readily imply, but as a notion with which it appears inextricably linked. The deconstruction of the binary pair wisdom/foolishness suggests undecidability of the meaning of wisdom and encourages considering an extended context capable of accommodating the whole variety of concepts resulting from different sensemaking strategies rooted in the local theories of wisdom. It also invites regarding foolishness as an important organizational and societal concept. As a result, a more inclusive, post-modern context for organizational research on wisdom/foolishness for the potential benefit of organization studies is proposed.

Keywords:Berlin Wisdom Paradigm; Deconstruction; Technology of foolishness; Wisdom
Subjects:N Business and Administrative studies > N200 Management studies
Divisions:Lincoln International Business School
ID Code:7844
Deposited On:08 Mar 2013 10:56

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