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Über dieses Buch

The progressive convergence of global economic and social structures calls for a rethinking of management practices as they relate to cultural diversity and moral values. A key element for coping with this transformational phenomenon is the Aristotelian concept of Practical Wisdom, which helps us to do the right thing, in the right way, at the right time and for the right reasons. Expert academics and practitioners share their insights into contemporary theories and conventions for ethical decision-making in diverse cultural contexts.

About the Editors

Martina Stangel-Meseke – professor of business psychology. Christine Boven – professor of intercultural management. Gershon Braun - lecturer of business ethics. André Habisch – professor of economics. Nicolai Scherle – professor of intercultural management and diversity. Frank Ihlenburg – managing partner of a change management consultancy.



Aristotle on Happiness, Emotions, and Practical Wisdom – A Short Reading Guide

The essay begins with an outline of Aristotle’s views on ethics as given in his most well-known work, the Nichomachean Ethics, which deals with moral issues as they pertain to individuals in the context of society, and raises the questions: “What is happiness?” and “What is the prescription for a happy life?” The main body of the essay examines the role of practical wisdom in guiding the intellectual move from the general to the particular as well as its relevance to the diversity-sensitive modern world in which we live.
Jan Radicke

Practical Wisdom: Revisiting an Ancient Virtue in the Context of a Diverse Business World

After a pause of some 300 years, the Aristotelian concept of practical wisdom is enjoying a renaissance - particularly in the business and management literature where it is being applied to such themes as Leadership, Strategic Management, Corporate Culture, etc. The essay presents practical wisdom as an effective means of bridging the gap between management theory and practice as well as a useful tool for understanding and resolving complex problems, including diversity issues.
Claudius Bachmann

Diversity as Practical Wisdom

In many organizations, diversity management is practiced at departmental level without explicitly labelling it as such. That said, diversity management is more than bringing various groups together, e.g. generations, men and women, or people from different cultural backgrounds. This article presents an overview of diversity management in the organizational context and critically reviews the relevant literature from the perspective of the Aristotelian thought virtues.
Petia Genkova

Rediscover the Charioteer. Practical Wisdom and Diversity Management in the Digital Age

The dawning of the digitalization era has placed diversity into an entirely new light. Beyond the traditional cultural, age, and gender-specific sensitivities, “inter-creational” differences will require business leaders and HR managers to address the prospect of humans working together with artificial intelligence on a day-to-day basis. This essay demonstrates that practical wisdom as espoused by Aristotle is not only applicable to winning chariot races but drawing on modern fairy tales such as George Lucas’ Star Wars, shows its relevance to finding synergies in “inter-creational” teams in SMEs, and challenges businesses to design a suitable environment for realizing their potential.
André Habisch

Reflections on Cosmopolitanism as a Normative Guideline for Practical Wisdom

Due to current socioeconomic transformation processes such as globalization, individualization and shifting demographics, the challenges for organizations with respect to their stakeholders are growing more and more complex. One of the main implications of these transformational processes is an increasing organizational heterogeneity, which ideally should be understood not only as a challenge, but also as an opportunity to increase the competitiveness of the organization in the medium- to long-term. This paper is concerned with the two highly traditional and largely timeless concepts of cosmopolitanism and practical wisdom, which on the one hand offer a constructive impetus for dealing with organizational heterogeneity, and on the other hand provide valuable, thought-provoking impulses in an increasingly transnational world.
Nicolai Scherle, Claudius Bachmann

Diversity Management at SEISSENSCHMIDT GmbH – Generation Management as a Competitive Advantage

The workforce of enterprises is becoming increasingly diverse and older. SEISSENSCHMIDT has understood the potential of this development and as a first-mover among SMEs in our region, we introduced Diversity Management in 2012. Our focus is on generation management and cultural diversity. At the same time, our hands-on approach is geared toward improving the perception of vocational training as well as the company’s reputation as an innovative and committed employer.
Kathrin Groos, Thomas Winkler

Practical Wisdom vs Functional Stupidity: Toward an Inspired Business School

In the wake of financial crises and corporate scandals, the role of business schools in society have come under close scrutiny. Led astray by neoliberal reforms, they have become entangled in bureaucratic accreditation exercises and competitive ranking spirals that have resulted in the phenomenon of functional stupidity characterized by a lack of thoughtful, substantive reasoning. In order to foster inspired learning in business schools, a shift in worldview from organization-centric toward a more human-centric perspective is necessary. This will place a greater emphasis on a humanistic paradigm than on the prevailing economistic one, and affirm that the pursuit of human dignity and well-being are the ultimate goals of business activity.
Volker Rundshagen

Scouting and Unfolding Talents. A Case Study from the Ruhr Area

At universities of applied sciences in Germany, the student body is becoming increasingly heterogeneous. This especially goes for institutions in the Ruhr-Area where more and more students have a migration background or are so-called academic pioneers. This is, no doubt a challenge, but heterogeneity also means diversity. It is important to understand the manifold opportunities the situation offers and to find new innovative approaches, such as talent scouting and writing classes, to successfully recruit potential students as well as retaining enrolled students. While the main focus is on students, the objective is to also turn the university into a more open and inclusive institution.
Angelika Dorawa, Katrin Hansen, Lena Kreppel, Frank Meetz

Practical Wisdom: A Key to a Successful Implementation of Lateral Leadership

In change processes lateral leadership is often considered to be a post-heroic management concept which focuses on systematic procedures integrated in the organizational structure and agreed upon by all members of the organization. Facing economic, political and societal changes, managers tend to ignore that in practice lateral leadership requires a basic reflection of the framework conditions of leadership in the whole organization. This article explores how Practical wisdom in conjunction with a sound psychological background in the fields of wisdom and leadership can build a bridge for a successful implementation of lateral leadership.
Martina Stangel-Meseke

Diversity Management and Practical Wisdom: Organizational Change Success Factors

Numerous companies are attempting organizational changes or transformations in order to avail themselves of the many advantages offered by emerging technologies; but, unfortunately not always with complete success. This essay posits that in the majority of cases, suboptimal results were due to errors in implementation at the level of human resources and recommends practical wisdom as an effective means of bridging the gap between design and practice. An analogy is drawn to the great pioneering expeditions of the golden age of global exploration.
Frank Ihlenburg

Adding Value to Project Management – The Magic Triangle Meets the “Cultural” Iceberg

The article reviews the key factors of success in project management before examining the contribution of heterogenous teams characterized by diversity of culture and educational background. It is posited that regardless of the project processes or methods employed, diversity of culture and education contributes to more successful solutions and calls for project team training to recognize and deal with unconscious biases and to reorient team members from “mainstream” to “change stream” thinking.
Rüdiger Kloss

How Practical Wisdom Can Save the Journalistic Ideal

These days, it is becoming more and more difficult to navigate through the enormous amount of information available to us. Traditionally, it was the role of journalism to guide us through the labyrinth of facts, opinions, hear-say and speculation, because, unlike politicians and corporate leaders who mostly act out of self-interest, journalists earned our trust by drawing clear distinctions between news and commentary, fact and opinion. In times of Trump and Brexit, this journalistic compass no longer points toward true North. Spin, fake news, post-truths and alternative facts have become more pervasive than ever, and virtue, let alone virtue in the Aristotelian sense, is in short supply. The text at hand proposes a dual strategy solution for the public at large and for journalists, respectively: personal engagement when it comes to political issues, and the adoption of solutions-based journalism tempered by Practical Wisdom as the means for saving the journalistic ideal.
Christine Boven

Listen! A Journalist’s Journey to Practical Wisdom

Democracy is an extremely valuable and fragile asset, yet it seems that many people have no idea how important it is for them as individuals and for society at large. In times when it is under threat, be it by extreme political parties or by an American president who disregards the rules of fair play and truthfulness, we have to rely more than ever on a free press to preserve democracy. The text is a first-hand account of a journalist who in the spirit of Aristotle sat down in a city square to speak with his fellow citizens about their concerns regarding the current political situation. This experiment highlights the important role of journalists as fair and impartial proxies between politics and the public.
Richard Fuchs

Corporate Ethics: An Aristotelian Approach

Although globalization has provided businesses with a wealth of opportunities, it has also burdened corporate managements with a host of formidable challenges – especially with respect to meeting stakeholder expectations for ethical behavior at home and abroad. Assuming a will to act ethically, this paper postulates that the main barriers to effective corporate ethical compliance lie in 1.) weaknesses and complexities in the methods managers employ for identifying, confronting and resolving ethical issues, 2.) the absence of a standardized codex of universally applicable business norms, and 3.) the notion that despite cultural and situational differences, corporate ethical values ought to be expressed uniformly. The paper demonstrates how these three barriers can be appreciably lowered by employing a versatile process model that pairs Aristotelian thought-virtues with a culturally-agnostic standardized codex of business-relevant virtues.
Gershon Braun

In a Nutshell – Practically Wise Recommendations

Happiness is attained by realizing one’s potential as a human being through social interaction, the harmonization of the intellect and the emotions, the application of moral values, and the fulfilment of public and private duties.
Martina Stangel-Meseke, Christine Boven, Gershon Braun, André Habisch, Nicolai Scherle, Frank Ihlenburg


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