Understanding Public Organisations: Collective Intentionality as Cooperation

Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia Conference, December 2011

11 Pages Posted: 25 Dec 2011

See all articles by Robert Keith Shaw

Robert Keith Shaw

Guangdong University of Foreign Studies (GDUFS)

Date Written: December 24, 2011

Abstract

This paper introduces the concept of collective intentionality and shows its relevance when we seek to understand public management. Social ontology – particularly its leading concept, collective intentionality – provides critical insights into public organisations. The paper sets out the some of the epistemological limitations of cultural theories and takes as its example of these the group-grid theory of Douglas and Hood. It then draws upon Brentano, Husserl and Searle to show the ontological character of public management. Modern public institutions – such as advisory organisations and service delivery agencies, including schools and universities – are expressions of human collective intentionality. The central concept within these institutions, as a phenomenology reveals, is cooperation. Public institutions are natural structures that emerge from our evolutionary ancestry as cooperative animals and enduringly display all the features of that ancestry.

Keywords: ontology, management, Searle, intentionality, cooperation

Suggested Citation

Shaw, Robert Keith, Understanding Public Organisations: Collective Intentionality as Cooperation (December 24, 2011). Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia Conference, December 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1976751

Robert Keith Shaw (Contact Author)

Guangdong University of Foreign Studies (GDUFS) ( email )

广东外语外贸大学国际工商管理学院
院系楼356室
Guangzhou, Guangdong 510006
China
137 105 90791 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://english.gdufs.edu.cn/

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