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SAGE Publications
Handbook of Organizational and Managerial Wisdom / Edition 1

Handbook of Organizational and Managerial Wisdom / Edition 1

by Eric H. Kessler, James BaileyEric H. Kessler


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"A brilliant and comprehensive introduction to the most seminal component of leadership: wisdom. The diversity of the readings and wisdom of the authors make this a most original and valuable addition to the management canon. "

Warren Bennis, Distinguished Professor of Management, University of Southern California and author of On Becoming a Leader

"This wonderful compilation proves that management is as much art as science, and that deep thinking can inform and inspire practice to be more humane, ethical, and, yes, wise. "

—Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Harvard Business School Professor and best-selling author of Confidence: How Winning Streaks and Losing Streaks Begin and End

"If you'll forgive a pun, this is a wise book about organizational and managerial wisdom. It shows what's possible when some of our best thinkers turn their collective attention to such timely subjects as EQ, negotiation, global politics, and individual and organizational ethics. "

Steve Kerr, Chief Learning Officer, Goldman Sachs, and Past President of the Academy of Management

"One of the 'most promising' forthcoming management books. "


"To wade into the topic wisdom is to see organizing differently. To wade into this volume is to see wisdom differently. Both forms of effort embody a wonderful moment of wisdom itself. "

Karl E. Weick, Distinguished Professor of Organizational Behavior and Psychology,University of Michigan

Some interesting issues emerge when one views organizations from a wisdom-based perspective. Does technology promote or inhibit wisdom? How do HR systems, organizational forms, management practices, and operational capabilities relate to wisdom? What are the ethical and social dimensions of wisdom? What makes a wise leader? Can wisdom be developed and utilized strategically? Do conceptions and manifestations of wisdom vary across cultures? Can one teach wisdom?

Editors Eric Kessler and James Bailey have produced a ground-breaking compendium of globally renowned thinkers in the Handbook of Organizational and Managerial Wisdom. This Handbook systematically explores the characteristics of understanding, applying, and developing organizational and managerial wisdom.

Key Features

  • Organizes wisdom around the five primary philosophical branches—logic, ethics, aesthetics, epistemology, and metaphysics
  • Applies wisdom in organizations and management through international examples that synthesize a set of practical principles for academics and practicing managers
  • Offers an outstanding collection of world-renowned scholars who give profound insights regarding wisdom

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781412915618
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Publication date: 05/16/2007
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 656
Product dimensions: 7.00(w) x 10.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

Eric H. Kessler is the Henry George Professor of Management, and founding director of the Business Honors Program, in the Lubin School of Business at Pace University in New York City. As a management scholar, Dr. Kessler holds a Ph D in organization management and international business; he has produced over 100 research papers and presentations that span a broad array of management issues and published three critically acclaimed management books: (1) Handbook of Organizational and Managerial Wisdom, (2) Cultural Mythology and Global Leadership, and (3) Management Theory in Action: Real World Lessons for Walking the Talk. As a management educator Dr. Kessler instructs courses and conducts developmental workshops on a range of management levels and topics; in addition he has worked as an executive educator, corporate speaker, and has led numerous global management field studies traveling across six continents. As a management professional, Dr. Kessler is a Fellow and Past President of the Eastern Academy of Management and a long-time member of the Academy of Management; he has served on several management journals’ advisory and editorial boards and has worked with a wide variety of large and small as well as private and government organizations. Dr. Kessler has received many academic honors and awards, is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, and has been inducted into national and international honorary societies in business, forensics, economics, and psychology.

James R. Bailey is Professor and Hochberg Fellow of Leadership Development at the George Washington University School of Business, and a Fellow in the Centre for Management Development, London Business School. He has taught at University of Michigan, New York University, IMD, and Helsinki School of Economics, Dr. Bailey is the recipient of many teaching distinctions, including four GWSB Outstanding Faculty Awards. In 2006 he was named one of the world’s top ten executive educators by the International Council for Executive Leadership Development. He has published over 50 academic papers and case studies, and is the author of five books, including the award-winning, best-selling Organizational and Managerial Wisdom and the forthcoming Lessons on Leadership. He has designed and delivered hundreds of executive programs for firms like Nestle, UBS, Conoco-Phillips, and Goldman Sachs, as well as several major law firms and US Congressmen. Dr. Bailey is a frequent keynote speaker who has appeared on broadcast programs for the BBC, CBS, NPR, and Fox News Channel, and whose work has been cited in such outlets as the Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Forbes, and Business 2.0. He is a frequent contributor to The Hill, Washington Post, Washington Business Journal, and Harvard Business Review. He is the past Editor-in-Chief of the Academy of Management Learning and Education, as well as the founder and Editor-in-Chief of the online magazine Lessons on Leadership ( and the author of the Psychology Today column, At the Helm. Professor Bailey has served as a dean, department chair, and program director during his 30 year academic career.

Selected Readings (hyperlinks):

  • Morpheus’s Bargain, International Business Times
  • Return to the Larger than Life Leader, The Hill
  • Self-improvements Myths, Harvard Business Review
  • The Indispensability Syndrome, Washington Post
  • The Difference between Good and Great Leaders, Harvard Business Review
  • Great Leaders and their Environments, Lessons on Leadership

Areas of expertise include: Effective leadership, Leadership Development, Organizational and individual change, Strategy formulation and execution, Corporate boards, Employee motivation, competence, satisfaction, and performance, Negotiations, Gender in leadership, Managerial decision making, Business ethics, Teams

Industries with experience include: Law firms, Congressional Offices, Banking/Finance, Food and beverage, Higher Education, Oil & Gas, Professional Service, Higher Education

Organizations consulted for include: Mayer-Brown, Nestle, Goldman Sachs, Latham Watkins, Morgan Stanley, U.S. Congressional Institute, Booz Allen Hamilton, Metropolitan Baptist Church (DC)

Table of Contents

Foreword - Karl E. Weick
Introduction - Understanding, Applying and Developing Organizational and Managerial Wisdom - Eric H. Kessler and James R. Bailey
Part I: Logic
Chapter 1 Individual Logic - Wisdom in Organizations: A Balance Theory Analysis - Jennifer Jordan and Robert J. Sternberg
Chapter 2 Interpersonal Logic - Team Wisdom: Definition, Dynamics, and Applications - Tjai M. Nielsen, Amy C. Edmondson, and Eric Sundstrom
Chapter 3 Organizational Logic - Institutionalizing Wisdom in Organizations - Paul R. Lawrence
Chapter 4 Strategic Logic - Towards a Wisdom-Based Approach to Strategic Management - Paul E. Bierly, III and Robert W. Kolodinsky
Part II: Ethics
Chapter 5 Individual Ethics - The Virtue of Prudence - Jean M. Bartunek and Jordi Trullen
Chapter 6 Interpersonal Ethics - The Wise Negotiator - Roy J. Lewicki
Chapter 7 Organizational Ethics - Acting Wisely While Facing Ethical Dilemmas in Leadership - Jay Conger and Robert Hooijberg
Chapter 8 Strategic Ethics - Strategy, Wisdom and Stakeholder Theory: A Pragmatic and Entrepreneurial View of Stakeholder Strategy - R. Edward Freeman, Laura Dunham, and John Mc Vea
Part III: Aesthetics
Chapter 9 Individual Aesthetics - Self-Interest - Russell Cropanzano, Jordan Stein, and Barry M. Goldman
Chapter 10 Interpersonal Aesthetics - Emotional and Social Intelligence Competencies Are Wisdom in Practice - Richard E. Boyatzis
Chapter 11 Organizational Aesthetics - Aesthetics and Wisdom in the Practice of Organizational Development - W. Warner Burke
Chapter 12 Strategic Aesthetics - Wisdom and Human Resource Management - Angelo S. De Nisi and Carrie A. Belsito
Part IV: Epistemology
Chapter 13 Individual Epistemology - Interpretive Wisdom - Dennis A. Gioia
Chapter 14 Interpersonal Epistemology - Wisdom, Culture, and Organizations - P. Christopher Earley and Lynn R. Offermann
Chapter 15 Organizational Epistemology - Interpersonal Relations in Organizations and the Emergence of Wisdom - Peter B. Vaill
Chapter 16 Strategic Epistemology - Innovation and Organizational Wisdom - Arnoud De Meyer
Part V: Metaphysics
Chapter 17 Individual Metaphysics - The Getting of Wisdom: Self-Conduct, Personal Identity and Wisdom Across the Life Span - Nigel Nicholson
Chapter 18 Interpersonal Metaphysics - "We Live in a Political World ": The Paradox of Managerial Wisdom - Tyrone S. Pitsis and Stewart R. Clegg
Chapter 19 Organizational Metaphysics - Global Wisdom and the Audacity of Hope - Nancy J. Adler
Chapter 20 Strategic Metaphysics - Can Wisdom be Taught? - Cynthia V. Fukami
Part VI: Synthesizing Commentary
Chapter 21 Wisdom: Objectivism as the Proper Philosophy for Living on Earth - Edwin A. Locke
Chapter 22 Wisdom as Learned Ignorance: Integrating East-West Perspectives - Robert Chia and Robin Holt
Name Index
Subject Index
About the Editors
About the Contributors

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