On the neglect of fallibility in management learning and education: from perfect to adequate managers

Hay, A. ORCID: 0000-0002-2629-230X, 2023. On the neglect of fallibility in management learning and education: from perfect to adequate managers. Academy of Management Learning and Education, 22 (4), pp. 702-717. ISSN 1537-260X

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Fallibility is an integral yet silenced aspect of the lived experience of managing. While this is to the detriment of learning, management educators also collude in this silencing. In this essay, I propose that a process philosophical perspective offers educators one resource, which can voice, legitimize, and foreground the fallibility central to management practice to unleash its learning potential. I offer three contributions. First, I highlight how a processual lens allows us to see managerial fallibility anew as an inevitable effect of a world which is constantly ‘becoming’, rather than a sign of individual weakness which is pathologized and denied. Second, I show how this rethinking invites an alternative focus for management practice- one that avoids the pursuit of perfection, and instead focuses on ‘practical adequacy’. I suggest that this expands possibilities for management practice by providing a relieving power that enables managers to work with, not against, fallibility. In doing so, I highlight the unstated value of the processual lens as a resource for coping. Third, my call to action considers how management educators might embrace fallibility to reimagine their teaching stance, content, and methods to lay the foundations for the development of the ‘adequate manager’.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Academy of Management Learning and Education
Creators: Hay, A.
Publisher: Academy of Management
Date: 2023
Volume: 22
Number: 4
ISSN: 1537-260X
Divisions: Schools > Nottingham Business School
Record created by: Laura Ward
Date Added: 26 Oct 2022 13:24
Last Modified: 18 Dec 2023 03:00
URI: https://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/47312

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