Logic, Morals and Organizational States of Affairs
Published online: 3 August 2017
Springer International Publishing AG 2017
Abstract In this article it will be argued that it is a misapprehension to think that there is just
one ‘state of affairs’ within an organization. Yet, many organizations seriously try to create the
impression that there is indeed just one state of affairs. This certainly goes for hierarchically
structured organizations. Therefore, various imbroglios and paradoxes arising in this way will
here be briefly highlighted.
State of affairs
ΣΩ. Ὅμως δέ—πάντα γὰρ τολμητέον—τί εἰἐπιχειρήσαιμεν ἀναισχυντεῖν;
ΣΩ. Ἐθελήσαντες εἰπεῖνποῖόντί ποτ' ἐστὶ τὸἐπίστασθαι.
Soc. Still—we must stop at nothing; supposing now
we were to set about being quite shameless?
Soc. By consenting to say what knowing is like.
Plato Theætetus 196 d2~5; trsl. Levett/Burnyeat.
Organizationally, the ‘state of affairs’ or ‘status quo’ is often taken to be an obvious issue.
Whistleblowers know better, just as does many an employee who shrugs his shoulders and
says BIwon’t be around to see it,^ after reading the company’s monthly newsletter. Yet, the
human mind constitutes an additional complicating factor, because it does not really behave
like a univocally logical system and frequently betrays a basically antagonistic attitude. This is
Philosophy of Management (2018) 17:229–242
* Loek Schönbeck
Anjeliersstraat 62A-I, 1015 NH Amsterdam, The Netherlands