“The Challenger Launch decision, a case study of organizational deafness to practical wisdom”

Abstract : In this paper, we argue that intuition is a necessary, but non sufficient, step towards the use of practical wisdom in organizations. The conceptualization of practical wisdom by Paul Ricoeur offers a heuristic to understand how it may unravel in organizational settings. It also leads to emphasizing the role of prudence in practical wisdom. We use the Challenger launch decision as a case study, and ask why prudence was expressed, but ultimately went unheard. We analyse the testimonies of six participants to the discussion that led to the decision, in order to understand how practical wisdom was hindered. As a result, we show that the development of an intuition into a practically wise decision requires reasoned argumentation, and the possibility of contradictory dialogue. We believe our results help better appreciate how practical wisdom may help members of an organization act in the face of high uncertainty, and refine our understanding of agency in organizations.
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Communication dans un congrès
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Contributeur : Hortense Blazsin <>
Soumis le : vendredi 23 décembre 2016 - 12:05:06
Dernière modification le : lundi 12 novembre 2018 - 10:54:47
Document(s) archivé(s) le : mardi 21 mars 2017 - 02:36:04


Challenger paper - H.Blazsin v...
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  • HAL Id : hal-01421945, version 1


Hortense Blazsin. “The Challenger Launch decision, a case study of organizational deafness to practical wisdom” . EGOS 2016 Conference, Jul 2016, Naples, Italy. ⟨hal-01421945⟩



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