Exploring the dark side of the firm: Arts and aphorisms in management education and development

Claudio Baccarani, Federico Brunetti, Chiara Rossato

Abstract


Purpose. Our paper aims to answer a basic but fundamental question: how can we understand the business world in order to propose a wider, deeper and wiser management education and development approach that is not limited to a technical perspective?

Methodology. The paper relies on both a theoretical approach and an experiential approach in education and management development and operations.

Findings. In order to understand the business world, the usual technical approach is not able to capture the firm in its different aspects because a firm is not a simple technical system; but first of all, is a living system and life demands a softer analysis through the arts in their different forms. The aphorism throws light on this emotional ‘dark side’ of the firm.

Practical implications. Aphorisms can help management activity in several ways:

-    they produce a series of thoughts that trace maps on territories that are barely considered and in fields of knowledge that are not knowingly possessed;

-    they favour open-minded examination of problems from a different point of view;

-    they make values clear inside an organisation;

-    they communicate the corporate identity to people inside and outside the organisation;

-    they generate critical dialogue within the management team about strategic decisions.

Originality/value. We have observed a gap in the literature pointing to the value of aphorisms in management training and to their use as a training technique, in addition to the more traditional techniques.


Keywords


enterprise; technicalities; arts; aphorisms; management education; management development

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References


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