How to reform the curriculum of business schools ? – Workshop with Ellen O’ Connor (Stanford University)

9:00 – 12:30

Location : still to be defined (probablement à la Ligue des Optimistes – 1, Av. Alfred Solvay à Watermael-Boisfort).




Brochure du cycle 2013 – 2014


O’Connors research focuses on building on the foundations of management: Two masters, one principle, three practices

Two masters

Ellen S. O’Connor has done pioneering work on the two theorists and institution-builders who most fully developed the new science and profession of management:  Mary Parker Follett (1868-1933) and Chester Barnard (1886-1961). 

As shown in her book, Creating New Knowledge in Management: Appropriating the Field’s Lost Foundations (Stanford University Press, 2011), the university does not offer this knowledge because business schools do not recognize management as a distinct field.  Instead, they organized to produce specialist knowledge in occupational disciplines (accounting, finance, etc.) and academic disciplines (economics, psychology, etc.).  Also, formal education favors disinterested science, but management entails an engaged relation to knowledge that Follett and Barnard called personal responsibility.

Today more than ever, society needs knowledge of management just as much as it does in the more established fields.  Through this website, O’Connor codifies the foundations of management for use today and incubates them so that professional institutions may build on them in the future.

One principle

Management is the science underlying the practice of creating value(s) by integrating smaller parts to form larger wholes.  Under skilled management, the total is greater than the sum of the parts.  Also, each part realizes value not only in relating interdependently with the whole but also in relating to itself as an autonomous entity.   

Three practices

Management begins with the individual’s relation to larger entities such as the city, organization, and state, or to less defined entities such as the neighborhood, community, and society.  First, one takes a mutual interest in developing oneself and the larger entity particularly as regards value(s) creation.  For example, as one makes the life that one desires to have, one makes the society in which one desires to live; as one makes the society in which one desires to live, one makes the life that one desires to have.  One keeps scaling up, integrating more elements more fully, to master integration.  Finally, one feeds knowledge back into the whole-making process to build a science of and for society.


This workshop will investigate into more details the ideas discussed during the debate of the day before.


It will build on O’Connor’s previous and forthcoming books :


Creating New Knowledge in Management: Appropriating the Field’s Lost Foundations (Stanford University Press, 2011)

This book presents the foundations of management:  what they are, how they were lost, and how to recover and build on them.  This knowledge went unrecognized for the past century because the business school and academy followed specialist logics, whereas management is an integrative science and practice.  They also adhered to an intangible but solid boundary between scientific and practitioner communities.


Part I explains how the business school and management academy did not encourage management knowledge. 


Part II introduces the founders of management, Mary Parker Follett (1868-1933) and Chester Barnard (1883-1961).  They recognized a new set of conditions for the individual and society characterized by change. They took particular interest in the idea of knowledge about creating new value continuously; thus Follett pursued a science of “dynamic relating,” and Barnard, an “applied social science.” 


Part III presents O’Connor’s experiments with this idea.

Buy at Stanford University Press

Buy at Amazon


O’Connor is currently working on a second book, Managing on Solid Ground: Building on the Field’s Foundations. Addressed to the general public, it explores how to implement Follett’s and Barnard’s ideas.


Aucun orateur associé.

Pin It on Pinterest