Philosophy of Management

Research and teaching in Philosophy of Management concentrate mainly on moral and political philosophy, business ethics, and the philosophy of social sciences.
Aalto University/Flags

The teachers and researchers in Philosophy of Management have an important role to play in scholarly activities at the Department of Management Studies. Much of the research conducted in the department is informed and inspired by recent advances in moral philosophy, political philosophy and social epistemology. For curriculum development, the unit also serves as an important collaborator and sparring partner. The skills and abilities of critical thinking and ethical leadership are at the core of learning outcomes in all educational programs at the School of Business. Research in Philosophy of Management provides unique resources for developing learning modules and assignments that help students gain these skills and abilities.

Research in the unit of Philosophy of Management aims towards dialogue between ethical and political doctrines and research paradigms.

Ongoing research projects in Philosophy of Management include:

Bioeconomy and Justice (BioEcoJust) – Matti Häyry, Tuija Takala, Johanna Ahola-Launonen

  • In this project, funded by the Academy of Finland during 2017–2020, we study questions of responsibility and justice in the context of decision making concerning a potential transition from the current fossil fuel based economy to an advanced bioeconomy.

Synthetic Biology and Ethics (SynBioEthics) – Matti Häyry, Tuija Takala, Johanna Ahola-Launonen

  • In this project, funded by the Academy of Finland during 2013–2017, we study the ethical and philosophical questions surrounding scientific attempts to produce life (living organisms or their parts) from inanimate matter. More information about the project can be found here.

Justice and Its Alternatives in a Globalizing World (OIVA) – Matti Häyry, Tuija Takala, Johanna Ahola-Launonen

  • In this Argumenta project, funded by the Finnish Cultural Foundation during 2015–2017, we study the many meanings people can attach to the word “justice”, and endeavour to convey the ambiguity of the concept, and the political implications of this ambiguity, to expert and lay audiences in workshops and public lecture series. More information about the project (in Finnish) can be found here.

Political Corporate Responsibility – Jukka Mäkinen

  • This project approaches the political and socio-economic roles of businesses in contemporary societies from the perspective of the liberal theories of social justice. More particularly, the project aims towards a new conception of political corporate responsibility based on some of the key ideas of John Rawls’s political philosophy. The research from this project has appeared in journals such as Business Ethics Quarterly, Journal of Business Ethics, Journal of Global Ethics, Journal of Sustainable Tourism, Management and Organization Review, and Utilitas.

Unorthodox Organizations and Research Ethics of Radical Ethnography – Maarit Laihonen

  • In this post-doctoral research project funded by The Finnish Cultural Foundation, I study the nature of unorthodox organizations in a context of radical resistance. The research is based on a one-year in-depth ethnography on a protest camp. The focus is on theorizing from a peculiar organizational setting, its everyday and political context. In addition, I will contribute to the discussion of research ethics and other methodological questions in utilizing ethnographic methods in sensitive settings.

Interfaces for Empathy: Regenerative notes – Reflecting and developing empathetic practices in post-fossil world – Maarit Laihonen and working group Mari Keski-Korsu and Petri Ruikka

  • Interfaces for Empathy is an interdisciplinary research group, and also an entity that aims for pragmatic results in form of workshops, discussions and actions. The group is researching the contents and method of empathy in collaborative and collective intelligence and action, in order to apply them to creative activism and conscious action. The project funded by Kone Foundation in 2018.

The Morality of Corporate Social Responsibility – Marja Svanberg

  • Marja’s research focuses on the conceptualization and morality of corporate social responsibility (CSR). Specifically, she explores the essence of CSR and its relation to the profit motive. Additionally, she studies the general moral framing of business ethics.

Business: A Force for Peace – Tilman Bauer 

  • Tilman studies the potential for ethical business to foster holistic peace in society. The idea that peace can be seen as the substance of positive impact in the business context pertains to fundamental questions of the philosophical nature and purpose of business, as well as to corporate social responsibility and business ethics. This study asks how companies can climb the “ladder of morality” in order to move towards a new paradigm of responsible business.

Latest publications

Department of Management Studies, Sustainability in Business

Socio-cultural framing during the emergence of a technological field

Publishing year: 2019 Research Policy
Department of Management Studies, Sustainability in Business

Market organizing in the European Union's biofuels market

Publishing year: 2019 Journal of Cleaner Production
Department of Management Studies, Sustainability in Business

Volunteer Retention in Prosocial Venturing: The Role of Emotional Connectivity

Publishing year: 2019 Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice
Department of Management Studies

Proudly Elitist and Undemocratic? The distributed maintenance of contested practices

Publishing year: 2019 Organization Studies
Department of Management Studies, Department of Design

The four faces of creative industries: visualising the game industry ecosystem in Helsinki and Tokyo

Publishing year: 2019 Industry and Innovation
Department of Management Studies, School Services, BIZ

Becoming upbeat: Learning the affecto-rhythmic order of organizational practices

Publishing year: 2019 Human Relations
School of Business, Department of Management Studies

The sense of it all

Publishing year: 2019 Long Range Planning
Department of Design, Department of Management Studies

Intermediate Codesigning in Transitions Governance: Catalysing and Channelling Participant Action

Publishing year: 2019 Design Journal
School services, SCI, Surfaces and Interfaces at the Nanoscale, Department of Applied Physics, Department of Management Studies, Computational Electronic Structure Theory

Data-Driven Materials Science

Publishing year: 2019 Advanced Science
Department of Management Studies

What company characteristics are associated with the adoption of social media?

Publishing year: 2019 Industry and Innovation
More information on our research in the Research database.
Research database
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