Philosophy Essay Example

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Are questions concerning truth important in management? Is it not more important to understand the «power relationships» that underpin management?

The aspect of truth plays a significant role in influencing relationships, ideals, doctrines, choices, beliefs and even when defining justice. The reason why I say truth is important is because it is the variable on which consequences are established based on availability of truth or lack of it. According to (Angelo, 2005), many philosophers and theorists have spent time and other resources in a quest to understand what makes up truth, how to define truth, how to validate truth and more importantly assessing subjectivity, objectivity, relativity and absoluteness of truth, debates am not ready to engage in right now.

Just as Socrates, I do not seek to justify what truth is and what it is not, but merely to establish its significance in management. Whether to tell the truth and act truthfully or not to in management is dependent on the effect it has to whom it is being given to and to those giving it. This is because, sometimes not telling a lie is justifiable, if the truth will do more harm than good. This is supported by bhagvad Gita Lod Krishna suggesting that to protect humanity, to save the world; we can tell a lie (Frogel, 2005). These perspectives and attitude towards truth are implausible. This is because establishing a management system founded on truth has the potential to generate more good compared with when the management system is not embedded on a culture of truth.

In my view, through truth, trust, loyalty, commitment, transparency and credibility is built, which are crucial elements to the success of the management as supported by (Galliers & Currie, 2011). This is because, employees who work for a management that acts and says things as they are, doubt less, feel valued enough to be told the truth and are well informed and therefore, they are able to make informed choices and decisions. This is a philosophy paper whose main argument is to analyze the importance of truth in management. The thesis is based on the statement ‘Are questions concerning truth important in management? Is it not more important to understand the «power relationships» that underpin management? Using arguments for and against the significance for truth by varied philosophers, I will seek to validate and support my position that truth is of more importance than focusing on power relationships. The paper will also offer a conclusion that highlights the final opinion.

Truth is more important in management than understanding the power relationships

As philosopher Pluto highlights in (Irwin, 1995), “the philosopher is in love with truth, that is, not with the changing world of sensation, which is the object of opinion, but with the unchanging reality which is the object of knowledge.” This sentiment supports my point of view that truth is more important in management than merely understanding the power relationships that underpin management. This is because lack of it generates an environment where people live in suspicion of one another and therefore, limits the opportunity for them to develop stable relationships which are vital in optimal functioning. From truth, the management is better placed to develop reliable and effective relationships with its people be it the employees, customers, suppliers, shareholders, investors and government agencies (Galliers & Currie, 2011).

Alvesson, (1996) notes that often when employees perceive and believe that their management is truthful especially when the management is performing well, they are likely to be patient and willing to accommodate the management when things are not doing so well. For instance, a management that does not tell the truth about its financial success when performing well, it has no platform to convince its people to understand and be patient with it when things are not performing so well.

Power relationships in management may help maintain the status quo, facilitate establishment of rules and policies and ensure things are done as required, but it does not have the capacity to influence people to be loyal, patient, understanding and accommodative as truth does, which are essential to effective and efficient accomplishment of the management’s anticipated goals, objectives, mission and vision. This is in line with Pluto’s philosophical understanding of truth where he states “But surely «blind» is just how you would describe men who have no true knowledge of reality, and no clear standard in their mind to refer to, as a painter refers to his model, and which they can study closely before they start laying down rules about what is fair or right or good where they are needed, or maintaining, as Guardians, any rules that already exist.’ ‘Yes, blind is just about what they are” as indicated by (Lundberg, 2005). In my own view, by embracing the truth, the management becomes all the wiser since, it is able to use the right tool, the truth and not power relationships, to convince and ensure its people such as employees are committed and accountable in achieving the set goals.

Using William James’ view of pragmatic theory where he sees true as a way of thinking just as right is a way of behaving, truth becomes the quality, the worth of which is established by its efficacy when implementing concepts to definite practice as highlighted by (James, 1909). This means the management holds the ultimate power to decide whether or not to apply truth depending on whether the truth will harm it or build it. These are perspectives that I completely disagree with. This is because, it as much as the right of the employees among other stakeholders to obtain the truth especially if the truth directly or indirectly affects them. It is my view that in order to tell truth one need to listen to truth and vice versa as echoed by (Kirkham, 1992). Often, managements are unable to handle the truth or tell it due to certain norms and routines associated with power relationships between them and those below them.


Just because truth is fundamental does not mean that power relationships are not. They are also important in ensuring respect and control is consistently maintained and a sense of leadership is established. Sometimes where the truth is made paramount such that the management holds nothing back, it generates a situation where the subordinates may feel owed when they do not access what they perceive as truth or when the truth is withheld for good reason. In addition, truth my subject the subordinates or relevant people to unnecessary worry and anxiety especially on issues or things the management can adequately handle without necessarily letting the truth be known. Therefore, this brings into focus the need to strike a balance between truth and power relationships when managing.


Alvesson, M. (1996). Communication, power and organization. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter.

Angelo, C.J. (2005). Interpreting Plato’s Dialogues. New Jersey: Parmenides Publishing.

Frogel, S. (2005). The rhetoric of philosophy. London: John Benjamin’s publishing Company.

Galliers, R.D., & Currie, W. (2011). The Oxford Handbook of Management Information Systems: Critical Perspectives and New Directions. New York: Oxford University Press.

Irwin, T. (1995). Plato’s Ethics. New York: Oxford University Press.

James, W. (1909). The Meaning of Truth, a Sequel to ‘Pragmatism.’ New York: Longmans, Green, and Company.

Kirkham, R. L. (1992). Theories of Truth. Cambridge: MIT Press.

Lundberg, P. (2005). Tallyho — The Hunt for Virtue: Beauty, Truth and Goodness Nine Dialogues by Plato: Pheadrus, Lysis, Protagoras, Charmides, Parmenides, Gorgias, Theaetetus, and Meno & Sophist. London: Authorhouse