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Department of

Management Politics Philosophy

Welcome to the MPP show!


MPP – CBS Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy

Welcome to MPP News Update, keeping you in touch with exciting developments and upcoming activities at CBS Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy. We are passionate about our mission: to conduct distinctive, innovative management research at the highest international level and educate reflexive, employable management graduates through research-based, multidisciplinary education. Most importantly, we want to make sure that our research and teaching makes a contribution to value-creation in the global economy by working closely and consistently with our partners and stakeholders both in Denmark and abroad.

Professor Pierre Guillet de Monthoux is our new Head of Department. Pierre’s primary research areas include management philosophy, art and aesthetics and before coming to MPP he held a professorship in general management at University of Stockholm. Read what he has to say about the department here.

In order to do that, we need to be in ongoing dialogue with you! This news update – which replaces our previous news magazine mpp leads (lpf-nyt om ledelse) – is just one of many ways we will communicate with you in future. Do you want to dance? Come Join Us! • Sign up: If you want to continue to receive news from us in the future, we need you to register for our mailing list at • Feedback: We’re always interested to hear how we can improve our cooperation with our stakeholders. Please state your thoughts, ideas, comments, statements at • Events: You are more than welcome to participate in any of our seminar and conference activities. Please check the calendar on page 6 for further info and consult our website for regular updates.

FLØK Alumni tries yet again During spring 2010 a group of CM(fil.) students together with LPF/MPP will try to revitalize the many attempts already made to get a proper FLØK-Alumni organization up and running. Hopefully learning from past experiences, the ambition is first and foremost to arrange 1-2 yearly events gathering graduated FLØK-students. The events could then in the long run hopefully become a base for further activities. The kickoff of the first event is set to take place on April 28 from around 4 pm. And besides the obvious reason to meet old friends, the aim of the gathering is also to

inspire FLØK and LPF/MPP to cope with the challenges which lay ahead. (Exact time, place and program will follow during February/March) The administration group is for now made up by 5 students with an organizing principle very much inspired by the past success of creating a fun and skillful intro environment. But past the kickoff event we hope that some graduates will join and help put forth some new activities during the fall. Interested in being involved please contact Michael Folmer (

EI BLOT TIL LYST - welcome to the MPP Show


By Pierre Guillet de Monthoux

One of our researchers has done 1 fascinating work on managing and understanding prima donnas in organizations. When philosophy was turned 4 into barren logic, art and tragedy were the right media for tackling deeper motives for human action. Dixit Nietzsche and Schopenhauer. For instance, did you hear about the Copenhagen summit? This calls for new perspectives on management.


In times when one is critical of MBA education, we are well equipped to propose solutions.


Here the work of French philosopher Michel Serres comes to my mind, he talks about a new renaissance based on the insight that man originated from Africa, that we are all on the same planet.


What is the difference between running a theatre company and being the department head at MPP? Well, the big playhouse is CBS and we are one of its teams of performers with prima donnas1, rising stars2, and experienced players. There are stand up comedians, pantomime specialists, dancers3, tragedians and comedians. And just like the famous Royal Danish Theatre, our motto might just as well be “Ei blot til Lyst” not for pleasure only! And we are an ensemble with a mixed repertory of classics and avant-garde. Following Nietzsche, we believe that theatre is a place that encourages us to philosophize about the real world4. Like Schiller, we believe that our lecture theatres should present the5 important moral issues in our society. Anchored in the city of Søren Kirkegaard, we approach serious existential queries through story-telling in what H.C. Andersen called “adventures”6. Broadly speaking our ensemble of philosophers, historians, political scientist and management scholars perform in the academic style generally known as “humanism”. More about that below. Our audience consists of young students preparing a meaningful management career in society7, of international peers looking for scholarly inspiration8 and all of you in need of reflection and support to think old problems anew or detecting new and hidden challenges in a rough and tough world9. As most ambitious companies we wish our little stage to be a microcosm to reflecting our entire globe. We regard our duty to management to inspire hope and energy for good human actions out there. And we are proud that CBS has institutionalized a stage10 for a company like ours, inviting all students, colleagues and practitioners to tap the vitalizing, innovative, creative11 forces of humanism that other business schools overlook and forget.

HUMANISM – our Repertoire Our department attracts manage- 12 ment scholars that draw on the humanities in educating and researching practical managerial issues. We study innovation, we study work life organization, we are focusing on ent repreneurial action. But at the same time, we connect to humanistic knowledge.

Our group of management scholars ensures12 that the ensemble of philosophers, historians and political scientist is brought together by a focus on management in a humanistic perspective. So all are interested in management in some form, and all are guided in their research by disciplines traditionally situated, not in the business school, but in the faculty of humanities. In this time of increasing demands for relevance in academic research, the humanities have been struggling to define their contribution to broader social concerns and the needs of the labor market. At our department, meanwhile, making this contribution comes naturally. Our company performs plays in tune with in social and political science, including contemporary organization and management theory, and has always nurtured close links to the business community and the public sector. But its distinctiveness has grown out of its genuine interest in and respect for humanistic scholarship. For over two decades we have studied the challenges faced by managers in the light of work in contemporary developments in philosophy, literature, the arts, and history. This has fostered a shared

interest in managerial conditions rather than management

2 Those in search of intellectual kicks in management education should look at the backlist of all doctoral thesis produced by MPP. It’s mindblowing stuff.

3 Our information specialist is also running a dance company and we attract ex theatre directors, artists, curators and choreographers as doctoral students. If anyone can, they should be able to spot and help creativity when it happens.

6 Yes, as a story is an ”adventure”, so is an enterprise, where you turn gut feelings about demand into concrete action on markets.

8 To all management educators and researchers that feel managing is more than applying techniques we offer a place they gladly visit and connect to.

10 Our department is now fifteen years old and a truly unique feature in the global business school landscape.

11 We believe that philosophy, history and politics add essentials to the study of innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship that are usually are approached a-historically, a-politically and as a technical not humanistic subject.


MPP – CBS Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy instruments . Business, after all, is part of the human condition, and human beings are not primarily means to other ends. They are ends in themselves. The growing international demand for greater social responsibility in corporate practices, whether in relation to human equality or environmental sustainability, is a clear marker of the relevance of our approach, both in research and in teaching14. 13

When some claim that a business 13 school should go back to basics and mainly give students a toolbox we raise 1.the philosophical question of what then is a tool and is it different from a toy? 2.The political question of who defines when the tool should be used? 3.The historical question of how business schools a century ago were vocational centers for “business techniques” when no university found them worthy of inclusion in academia. 16 There are a number of eminent thinkers and writers trying to analyse such matters. A business school is the right place to discuss their work and test its real relevance. 18 And philosophically it is a field where thinking means action in much more complex way than mainstream textbooks teach.

Being human is already a difficult business15. Staying human while managing business can be still more difficult16. We face this difficulty as a matter of course, drawing on humanism17 to understand the complexities of management in today’s increasingly virtual, increasingly international, and increasingly critical organizations. When we say “thinking” we mean business. But that’s because management both public and private today, requires a great deal of thinking, whether inside or out of the box18.


Yes, we do research in this too!

When a management scholar tries to be scientific they often mean that they are methodological and systematic. The fundamental creative part of science is then overshadowed by its “regulated” side. That is why when management talks science scientists don’t recognize themselves.



Although we constantly hear that management might be a creative art, we seldom take art as a topic for business education19. That is why managers have increasing more in common with artists. They are surrounded by design and media, but obviously lack the academic apparatus to tackle art and aesthetics in practice. But open their eyes to philosophy and the situation changes; they discover an arena for understanding aesthetic atmospheres20 for new interactions between art and economy. Connect to what artists really do and you will grasp the real organizational conditions for concrete collective creativity21. Connect the European manager to art and culture and they will discover a long heritage of resources22. You have all heard about scientific management, remember Taylor and Faylor. But what about artistic management learning from design icons like Finn Juhl or Arne Jacobsen? And the more we learn about art and artist the closer we will see them to scientists and science23. Don´t forget the old engineering schools often had “ Art & Science” as their motto24. Also remember our main audience is students and faculty that find it stimulating to learn more about contemporary management in the hometown of famous Danish scientist as Niels Bohr, C.F. Tietgen and J.C. Jacobsen. Join us and help us to educate tomorrow’s Mads Øvlisen, Janus Friis, Stine Bosse or Lars von Trier of management. We also firmly believe Joseph Beuys, Jacques Ranciere or Eduoard Glissant can help us tackle many challenges in society and its companies. If you have not heard those names you don´t have a second to lose25! They are all close to both art and science so, what they stand for might make you better suited to improve both technology and design in private as well as public undertakings. This what managerartists know and you now know it too.

14 The department was founded because there was a need to consider ethics in business education. Fifteen years later, there are now groups that have formalized this ambition in CSR education. In other words, our department acts a creative melting pot for ideas that later give birth to formal disciplines and specializations. Our role is to shelter projects not yet formalized or dominated by some special method. 15 It is here important to note that our “humanism” implies a constant questioning of human action and its limitations. Humanists must constantly question both subjectivity and individualism. 17 Just think of all movies, plays and novels, from “Dolls-house” over “Death of a Salesman” to “Gomorra”, that make explicit the human problems in life on markets that are absent in the traditional business school classroom.

19 A couple of years ago HBR, suggested that we might recruit more talented managers from art schools than business schools.

21 Our department houses scholars investigating how both artists and scientist work in an economy.

22 How can we innovate with European business without taking art and culture into consideration? But very few do.

24 Actually we know that those who talked about ”scientific-management” got it all wrong. Art is very close to science that is why those with us doing research in technology have a great deal in common with those researching design.

25 As you hear our focus is on contemporary continental philosophy but you also get a crash course in the classics.

5 THE PHILOSOPHER PLATFORM This explains that teams of researchers in management, politicial science, philosophy and history tackle themes such as “welfare management”,“social entrepreneurship” or “self management”.


After hosting a very successful 30 conference on “Deleuze and the social” our department is preparing a second conference 2011 focused on the relevance of the work of Gilles Deleuze to management studies. Some of our faculty members 32 specialize in the ethics of the later Frankfurt school.

If there is some common knowl- 33 edge about what managers do it is that they are pressed, stressed in the maelstrom of action. It is our tough challenge to help people in this situation slow down and reflect.

Yes there is a huge gap between the marketing narrator and the professional historian. But try to pinpoint the differences, please!


In this way we actually resist 36 the decoupling of education and research. Writing cases is close to writing history and both should help improve the sensibility and creativity of managers. Defined as such education is research too.

Decision-making is more an ideal 37 than a reality, we would claim.

By focusing on “the conditions of the possibility” of contemporary management practices, rather than a more traditional focus on their costs and benefits, tools and techniques, we attract future managers from all over the world, always interested in broader managerial challenges26. The manager-philosopher is versed in what might perhaps be called “critical” management studies in the sense that it brings management back to its foundations, its founding “crisis”; it continuously addresses the important and altogether necessary role of management in the organization of human life today. Here we like to point at the work of Reinhart Koselleck for instance27. And how would it ever be possible to learn and improve if we just celebrate successes while discarding any critique or crises of for democracy, for instance, or the environment, climate, energy, or financial order? Competitive enterprises are often the effect of social entrepreneurs with an ability to turn critique into constructive action. Entrepreneurship depends on the ability to interpret reality, to put it in slightly Ricoeurian terms28. Mind you, the Manager Philosopher is not a new Philosopher King positioned outside society in an ivory tower of eternal truths. No, he is acquainted with the work of Michel Foucault,29 Gilles Deleuze30 as well as that of Niklas Luhmann31 and Jürgen Habermas32 and thus realizes that philosophy means action, and that management is performed by actors who are always inside the social order. Philosophers make managers persist and contribute to society although they find themselves in chaotic world where no grand narratives can bring back security and stability33. Philosophizing, as managing, means living in flux while maintaining human dignity and values.

27 He was a German historian-philosopher that some of us turn to for inspiration. We are versed in both French and German so this make us draw on sources not so familiar to anglophone schools.

28 Yes here we allude to hermeneutics, a bridge between philosophy and history.

29 We are proud that the editor in chief of the international scholarly journal Foucault Studies is a member of our faculty. 31 Especially our political scientists have worked with the Luhmannian systems theory and we have good international connections to Luhmann-inspired academic research in Europe.

THE HISTORIAN PLATFORM The manager historian is neither conservative nor nostalgic. She is aware that concepts such as “narration” and “story-telling” connect the managerial world to questions that are central to philosophy and history34. Part of our teaching performance is to improve education by making use of cases35 written for CBS specifically36. The manager-historian learns how improve her judgment beyond application of standard programs, given models and formal rules. History and memory are also closely connected, and “forgetting” is thus also part of capitalism, manifesting itself monetarily in bankruptcies. The business historians, focused on the monetary side of past events, give us a better grasp of processes where memory and money interact to shape conditions for innovative economic action. The world is not recreated from scratch, though some business school teachings make us believe in designing reality by individual decisions only37. Ever since Machiavelli taught strategy to the Prince by way of historical cases leadership studies have been close to history and our department it well fit to modernize and actualize this tradition. Bringing history back into the business school classroom implies stimulating reflections on the presence of the past in the world of business, industry and public management38.

35 The past year’s cases available to managerial education have been written specifically about Danish companies.

38 Our business classes on modern forms of capitalism, rooted in our own scholarly work on European business history, are much appreciated by business students.


MPP – CBS Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy

JOIN OUR SHOW We are at CBS to perform the humanistic sides of management to our audiences. Our humanistic bent makes us approach managerial action as a kind of practical philosophy. If you attend our shows you are better able to see the manager as an artist, as a philosopher, or as an historian. These roles are not mutually exclusive, they are held together by our humanistic outlook and the focus on improving management education and practice by raising broader issues of “critique and crises”, “art and science” and “memory and money”. The stage is set for performing new kinds of managerial competences improving preparedness for our global challenges

So Join Us…. and sing along if you please

CALENDAR Time & Place


February 2010

02.02.10 14-16.15 Solbjerg Plads, SPs05

Strategic Change Management – Change Management Challenges in the Danish Police Reform PhD defence with Rex Degnegaard, MPP

03.02.10 15:00-17:00 Porcelænshaven, PHR120

The Design of Prosperity; on aesthetics and welfare leadership Seminar with Professor Simonetta Carbonaro, Borås University College

04.02.10 15:30-17:00 Porcelænshaven, PH 407

Selvmord og selvledelse Seminar med Marius Gudmand-Høyer, LPF


The form of tattooing – An Intricate Constellation of Economy and Art Final Ph.d seminar Christian Wymann, MPP

13:00 – 15:00

25.02.10 Kilen, K146


Managing Vision - towards a Curating Paradigm in Philosophy Seminar with Professor Daniel Birnbaum, Städelschule Art Academy

26.02.10 Ovnhallen


Magten over livet og livet som magt Doktorforsvar med Alexander Carnera, LPF

March 2010



Brain and Society Seminar with Prof. Dr Werner Vogd, Universität Witten/Herdecke

04.03.10 15:30-17:00 Porcelænshaven, PH 407

Smertens billedbog – filosofiske perspektiver på stress og depression i melankoliens historie Seminar med Rasmus Johnsen, LPF

11.03.10 15:00-17:00 Porcelænshaven, PH407

Managerial Action and Interpretation - Hermeneutics revisited Seminar with Professor Bengt Kristensson Uggla, Åbo Akademi University


Deploying Theory of Discourse and Hegemony to «the Field»? Searching for discourses on national and political identity in contemporary Russia Seminar with Philip Casula, PhD from Basel university

13:00 – 15:00

24.03.-26.03.10 CBS

Philosophy and Management - Organizational Philosophy: Subjectivity in capitalism: ‘the poor’ and ‘the self-managing employee’ PhD course with Bent M. Sørensen, Steffen Böhm, Peter Fleming and Thomas Basbøll

April 2010

08.04.10 15:30-17:00 Porcelænshaven, PH 407

Selvledelse og unge vidensarbejdere Seminar med Susanne Ekman, LPF


Ledelse af Uddannelsesinstitutioner Fælles seminar med DPU, Dorthe Pedersen og Camilla Sløk, LPF

14.-16.04.10 CBS

13:00 – 15:00

Governmentality – analytical strategies for critique of power PhD course with Mitchell Dean, Macquarie University, Sydney, Sverre Raffnsøe, Kaspar Villadsen, and Marius Gudmand-Høyer, MPP


April 2010

21.04.10 Kilen


CBS PUBLIC: ’Learning Governance, Creating Society’. Debatkonference om ledelse af velfærd - fra daglig praksis til skabelse af nye identiteter og samfundsinstitutioner

22.04.10 15:00-17:00 Porcelænshaven, PHR120

Philosophy and Society in France today Seminar with Professor Francois Dosse, the Institut d’études politiques de Paris

22.-24.04.10 Bocconi University, Italy

Understanding change in context: The Dynamics of Capitalism - Schumpeter, Innovation and Institution PhD course with Andrea Colli, Martin Jes Iversen, Franco Malerba, and John Wilson



PDA – A welfare Technology Seminar with Anders la Cour, MPP



FLØK Alumni Event: Coming home

29.04.10 15:30-17:00 Porcelænshaven, PH 407

Hvordan skaber man værdi gennem selvledelse? Seminar med Thomas Lopdrup Hjorth, LPF

May 2010

03.-04.05.10 CBS

Qualitative Methods PhD course with Robert Austin, Finn Hansson, and Alfred Reckendrees, MPP


13:00 – 15:00

Ambitions of Governance in the Relation between school and local authority Midway PhD seminar, Justine Pors, MPP

05.-07.05.10 University of St. Andrews

Ephemera conference: Work, Play and Boredom Special Issue to be published late 2010

11.05.10 15:00-17:00 Porcelænshaven, PHRs20

Past´s Present; on the history in contemporary consciousness Professor Hans Ruin, Södertörns Högskola

02.06.10 CBS

Organising Futures: Foresight methodologies as strategic thinking in organizations PhD course with Maja Horst, MPP and Cynthia Selin, Arizona State University

17.06.10 – 20.06.10 Bramstrup, Fyn

Krig og Kærlighed – Senrenæssancens verdensbillede Oplæg ved bl.a. Ole Fogh Kirkeby, Robert Austin, Pierre Monthoux

August 2010

31.08.-03.09.10 Istanbul, Turkey

Conference Stream: “Organising and Leading for Collective Creativity: Can you Ensemble the Creative Ensemble?” Organized by Daniel Hjorth, Robert Austin and Shannon O’Donnell for The Fifth Art of Management and Organization Conference

October 2010

Oktober 2010

Konference om velfærdsledelse Arrangeret af Center for Skoleledelse


‘Atmospheres, Architecture and Urban Space: New Conceptions of Management and the Social’ Organized by Christian Borch, MPP

November 2010

10-12.11.10 CBS

Organisational Entrepreneurship PhD course with Daniel Hjorth, Bent Meier Sørensen, Chris Steyaert

December 2010

Early December 2010 CBS

2nd Biannual Copenhagen Innovation Symposium Organized by the Management Group, MPP

Next Year - 2011

Summer 2011

Creation, Crisis, Critique: 4th International Deleuze Studies Conference & Deleuze Camp 5 Arranged by Bent Meier Sørensen, MPP


So what to do from here…

Head of Department Pierre Guillet de Monthoux Phone +45 3815 3650 / MPP Relations Phone +45 3815 3636 / Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy Copenhagen Business School Porcelænshaven 18B DK-2000 Frederiksberg Web: Sign up for mpp news:

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MPP News - February 2010  

Newsletter from the Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy; Copenhagen Business School