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Facing Creation: When the Pragmatic Credo Masks the Orders of Action

Abstract : This paper discusses the problematic use of the " pragmatic credo " – defined as a minimal set of basic pragmatist propositions – in practice, especially when facing creation. To do so, we analyze how managers deal with " art-based firms " and provide results from an in-depth case study of a small firm operating in garden art and design (Béjean 2015; Béjean 2008). The findings are interpreted in light of previous theoretical developments in management theory (Hatchuel 2005), as well as symbol theory (Goodman 1968; Goodman 1978). They suggest that, while appearing wise and reasonable, the pragmatic credo as embodied in practical management doctrines rather inhibits collective action and masks the necessary revision of symbolic " orders of action " , defined as the way action is itself pre-categorized by a special class of symbols. The paper concludes by providing further insights of how an " epistemology of action " could contribute to enriching both pragmatism and management, especially when action is no longer the solution to resort to but rather the enigma to unfold.
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Submitted on : Monday, June 26, 2017 - 11:48:24 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, January 28, 2021 - 3:32:07 PM
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Mathias Béjean, Armand Hatchuel. Facing Creation: When the Pragmatic Credo Masks the Orders of Action. Philosophy of management, 2017, 16 (3), pp.1-14. ⟨10.1007/s40926-017-0062-1⟩. ⟨hal-01547025⟩

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