THEORY OF KNOWLEDGE and SCHOOL ECONOMICS AND BUSINESS Whose Perspectives? and other Problems of Knowledge The Theory of Knowledge Diagram Where is Business and Management? WAYS OF KNOWING • • • • • Perception Emotion Reason Language HOW DO THEY PLAY A ROLE IN THE CONSTRUCTION OF ECONOMIC AND BUSINESS KNOWLEDGE? PROBLEMS OF KNOWLEDGE • • • • • • Sources - bias and subjectivity Evidence - reliability Degree of Certainty Methods and standards of Justification Whose knowledge? History of knowledge PERCEPTION What we PERCEIVE of the real world is a product of a FILTERING PROCESS involving: a BIOLOGICAL filter a COGNITIVE filter which includes a PSYCHOLOGICAL and LINGUISTIC filter a CULTURAL and VALUES filter PERCEPTIONS AND KNOWLEDGE CONSTRUCTION The COGNITIVE FILTER can itself be broken down further into • a rational filter (“head”) – psychological, linguistic • an axiological filter (“heart”) – cultural, moral, aesthetic These filters may take the forms of models, theories, paradigms and value judgements. Knowledge, paradigms, and the world **”Head” - LANGUAGE, THOUGHT PROCESSES, “Heart” - CULTURE, VALUES, PARADIGMS and IDEOLOGIES Biological Filter “Head” and “heart” filters** Knowledge The world Knowledge re-shaping the world through human action NATURE OF BUSINESS KNOWLEDGE • • • • • • What is the role of intuitions and tacit knowledge in business decisions? Can management be taught from a book? Do successful managers know more than they can tell? Whose perspective does B&M adopt? Is the management of organizations an art or a science? What roles do emotions and creativity play in business, and how are they manifested? Changing assumptions about human beings and culture in business. SPECIFIC ISSUES IN B&M THAT CONNECT WITH TOK • Measuring what we value vs. valuing what we measure. Can quality be reliably captured in quantitative measures? • Cost-benefit reasoning vs. ethical reasoning in business decisions and strategy • The reliability of business accounts • Sources of bias in business knowledge • Whose knowledge – management’s or employee’s? • Others? ETHICAL ISSUES IN BUSINESS AND ORGANIZATIONAL LIFE • • • Can ethical judgments be applied to the behaviour of corporations (as distinct from its managers or other agents)? Is it ethical for businesses to develop ethical objectives as a marketing strategy? Is it possible to be humane and successful in business at the same time? WHAT WE CAN DO AS TEACHERS • Pay special attention to the distinction between technical and non-technical uses of words • Encourage students to look for the limitations of economic and strategic analysis • Encourage focus on institutional, behavioural, moral and political assumptions of any analysis • Encourage students to identify, wherever possible, the gainers and losers from policies.