Haridimos Tsoukas

Haridimos Tsoukas

Organization Theorist @ University of Cyprus

Haridimos Tsoukas (www.htsoukas.com) is the Columbia Ship Management Professor of Strategic Management at the University of Cyprus, Cyprus and a Distinguished Research Environment Professor of Organization Studies at Warwick Business School, University of Warwick, UK. He is also an Honorary Professor at the University of Sydney Business School and at the University of Queensland Business School in Australia. He served as the Editor-in-Chief of the leading academic journal Organization Studies (2003-2008). He has received the honorary degree Doctor of Science from the University of Warwick (2014) and the Best Researcher Award from the Cyprus Institute for the Advancement of Research (2016). He is an Honorary Member of the European Group of Organization Studies (since 2016) and a recipient of the Joan Martin Trailblazer Award from the OMT Division of the American Academy of Management (2016). He is the co-founder and co-convener of the acclaimed International Symposium on Process Organization and co-editor of the Perspectives on Process Organization Studies, Oxford University Press. He is interested in, among other things, what insights philosophy can provide the research and practice of management. He is the author of Complex Knowledge: Studies in Organizational Epistemology (Oxford University Press, 2005), If Aristotle were a CEO (in Greek, Kastaniotis, 2012, 4th edition), and Philosophical Organization Theory (Oxford University Press, forthcoming).

Good living, virtue, and practical wisdom at work: What can we learn from Aristotle and Adam Smith?

Human flourishing is what, ultimately, a great place to work is all about. When people flourish, they tend to be productive, adaptive, other-oriented, and accepting of novelty; they are likely to co-operate smoothly to build good products and offer quality services; they grow by being stretched. Easier said than done, of course! Aristotle and, counter-intuitively perhaps, Adam Smith have something useful to tell us here. You cannot flourish unless you grasp the point of doing what you do: human life is fulfilled to the extent people are able to answer the question “what is it all about?” To achieve a fulfilled life requires the cultivation of virtues – courage, honesty, temperance, fairness, concern for others, etc. A life in pursuit if virtue equips people with certain dispositions that enable them to exercise prudent judgment – practical wisdom. An organization enables its people to flourish in so far it ensures their responsible and spontaneously cooperation: when a sensus communis is developed, authority is bound by rules, and leaders become exemplars of behavior. Aristotle and Smith remind us not only what matters in human behavior but how a sense of what matters drives human behavior. I will present their insights in an organizational context and will illustrate them with several examples from contemporary business.