This book in its first part concerns the version of management placed in the Humanities. This position is not accidental, and forces the consequences which already hasn’t been properly recognized. They are very basic in nature, but they are also the source of the tools properly adapted to the requirements of the present day. The second part of the book describes the application of them to the explanation of the Internet, so far probably the most spectacular phenomena of our civilization. Thanks to these tools, it is possible to construct precise model of the development of the Internet, allowing it pragmatic analysis and understanding of its processes and applications. This part of the work takes the topic started in the book entitled Pragmatics. Web 2.0 by the same author.
The management is the peculiar notion. It is extremely common, which one can explain by its extraordinary popularity. However, this notion opens also the dictionary of the most important terms of our contemporaneity, which is still imbued in a modern way with the desire of mechanistic efficiency and effectiveness, for which the management is the promise of achieving excellence. In the meaning of management still dominates a narrow pragmatic approach, geared for the most trivial effect, which is profit. It is, however, perspective very incomplete, as evidenced also by the call to life so called humanistic management, which, based on the very deep concerns, exceeds intentions of its creators. Humanistic management opens up the issues far wider, which this work is trying to take under its consideration, allowing, on the one hand, to reconstruct the concept of management; on the other inevitably also extend or make up the field of Humanities.
In his initial intention humanistic management points a man as a subject, who legitimate every act in trying to organize the surrounding reality. This is also the place where begins searching for answer to the question how this right is existing and where it comes from. The basic historical version of the answer refers to the categorical imperative by Kant, but problems associated with a man and based on the keeping him in a central place of interest open the entire universe of his existence. It consists for example of parts related to the material circumstances of life, issues of social justice, the realization of the needs, rights and hopes, love and hate and so on. In other words they are related to a certain reality of the existence, which can be realized as creativity, freedom, fulfillment, happiness and the like. This kind of issues awakens in every humanist very intense, philosophical associations. Some of them appear in the literature dedicated to the management, but they do not satisfy much wider expectations coming from the situation when the management meets the area of reflection typical for the Humanities. Change, that is needed here must have a truly paradigmatical character, concerning foundations of this situation which are not possible to embrace by the orthodox branches of management as a science and requires approach of the more general, methateoretical mode.
For a simple illustration of this change, you need to imagine the abstract, philosophical situation, which is formed by the juxtaposition of a man and the world. Management is generally trying to interpret this situation by using the tools of the social sciences, which derives from the natural perception of social actions as bent on the other people; the organization is fundamentally viewed as being a collective process, a community work. However, with the increasing closeness of their examination, problems deeper. The example could be the culture, which is in the same moment the fruit and the environment of the community we mentioned. The necessity for the tools able to capture such phenomena becomes clear, consider that – like a language for example – these phenomena are so far less important in management, but have extensive research facilities in other areas of science, in the philosophy for example. Finally comes the self-reflection based on the question about the identity of humanistic management research attitude. At this point, we have to deal with the critical point. The understanding of it has an essential influence on the further proceedings and completes the whole image. This issue, in fact, moves the problematics in to the area of the epistemological thought, which asks about the conditions, capabilities, and the effects of cognitive processes. This issue is absolutely not surprising for the Humanities, because in their area it is not only the constant subject of interpretation, but in the 20th century this subject experienced a remarkable increase, which ultimately forced the Humanities to fundamentally rethink such concepts as knowledge or science.
You can say than that the discussed change is the reconstruction of the pragmatic approach, which is a natural attitude of management. Focus on deeds is most often associated with a such concept of attitude and the competency in this area is expected by the management practitioners. Historical sources are the most suggestive in this regard and they are still alive; it is sufficient to reach the so-called the classic mainstream of management to see this. The progressive inclusion of the ever-increasing complexity of the problems faced by management and, above all, bringing out the personal human role, complicates output pragmatism. Gaps appear in the pact created between the human and the world, the world the human is going to manage, coming from uncertainty referring to the way of existing but also to the perception of both sides, as well as to the connecting them complicated compounds. Self-reflection must have in this situation the philosophical and even metaphysical nature: applies in the same time to entities (the world and man) and also to cognitive processes (of understanding), which refreshes the extremely old combination of fundamental ontological and epistemological issues. It is obvious that in this situation the turn of the management towards the Humanities becomes natural and inevitable; for the Humanities this kind of confusions are the part of everyday life. Does it mean that pragmatism in management is replaced by the speculation, so unproductive from the perspective of the so-called practitioners? Do not. It means that without speculative (reflective) approach the management may become trivial. The loss of the sense of control of the processes, which the management intends to control, pushing it towards the ideology; gives it a political dimension. Such the management, unilateral and repressive, requires opposition. This dimension is clearly emphasized by Monika Kostera and other authors.
This book seeks to identify the most important clues that describe this new crisis and exciting management situation, and proposes a refreshing and much more general – humanistic by origins – approach to try to define them. Already the last formulation indicates a pragmatic attitude, based only on a deeper base, which is provided by the philosophical thought of the 20th century. Book in line with the earlier picture of the situation, takes the two main issues: the human and the world by translating them into specific discourses. The first appears as a problem of the construction of a specific kind, the subject of the profound renovation especially in the second half of the previous century in the course of such currents of thought as posthumanizm. However, above all, it leads to the deep rethinking of both: the notion and the idea of a man, and the phenomenon of humanism. World described above as the side of the pact is not similarly explicitly presented: his uncertain epistemological situation is the reason of the violent transformations of the epistemology in the twentieth century which are described in the book as the transformations of science and philosophy of science. In the shortest description the sure scientific knowledge is becoming the subject of the very intense contestation, as such as human project does. Both of these circumstances complicate the situation of the management, which, especially in its humanistic version, must confront them, and which do not fully realizes it. However the historical conditions force the management to do it; one of the most important condition is the rapid development of the technology, already recognized within the Humanities. Management must adapt to these conditions, as well as to the status of their recognition, mostly by its adequate reconstruction. Such a proposal is shown in the book and is called the pragmatic management concept. Its aim is to generalize the notion and the epistemological category (as it is considered here) on any similar intentional actions, based on the precise conceptualizations. To prove the usefulness of the pragmatic management concept it is used in the second part of the book to interpret the phenomenon of the Internet. It allows to construct his image based on the chosen assumptions, leading to the quite pessimistic conclusions related to the human situation in today's world, but the level of general view is enough to use then the concept of civilization without hesitation.