The Shame of Reason in Organizational Change

A Levinassian Perspective

  • Naud van der Ven

Part of the Issues in Business Ethics book series (IBET, volume 32)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xx
  2. Naud Van der Ven
    Pages 1-18
  3. Naud Van der Ven
    Pages 19-47
  4. Naud Van der Ven
    Pages 49-72
  5. Naud Van der Ven
    Pages 73-109
  6. Naud Van der Ven
    Pages 111-148
  7. Naud Van der Ven
    Pages 149-167
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 169-192

About this book


Many problems associated with change in organizations can be traced back to the human factor. In the past, the worker was considered merely to be ‘a pair of hands’ (Henry Ford). Today, people wish to be taken seriously, if they are, they generally perform better. However, if organizations’ only motivation to focus on the workers’ sense of fulfilment is increased achievement, the question arises whether these organizations do in fact take their workers seriously or whether the latter merely become enlisted into the organization’s targets or schemes.

This book examines this question from the perspective of Emmanuel Levinas’ treatment of rationality. There are close similarities between the Levinassian description of rational thinking and the role of managers in organizations. Rationality makes the world controllable yet is totalitarian in character. Likewise, managers make their businesses controllable, yet their planning and schemes create a totalitarian straitjacket.


Business Ethics Derrida Emmanuel Levinas Financial Crisis Foucault Glass Ceiling Heidegger Human Resource Management Levinas Levinas and Organizations Management Management Theory Organisation Organisational Cynicism Organizational Change Organizational Science Rationality Rationality Shame Representation Representationalism Wittgenstein `

Authors and affiliations

  • Naud van der Ven
    • 1
  1. 1.ZaandamNetherlands

Bibliographic information

Industry Sectors
Finance, Business & Banking