Professor Robin Holt Inaugural Lecture

Judgment and Strategy

RHolt Matrix
Public lectures

Professor Holt will argue strategy is the process by which an organisation presents itself to itself and others. To bring this about strategists attempt to gather knowledge about an organisation in situ from which to appraise themselves and others about where it has been in the past, currently is, and might go in the future. The upshot of such inquiry is a succession of images by which an organisation attains its distinction as a unity, or ‘self’. Using work from literature, art, and philosophy, Robin will explore what it means to present such an organisational ‘self’.

  • From: Thursday 7 March 2019, 5.30 pm
  • To: Thursday 7 March 2019, 7 pm
  • Registration: 5.00 pm
  • Location: Newton building, Main Entrance, Nottingham Trent University, City Campus, Burton Street, Nottingham, NG1 4BU
  • Booking deadline: Thursday 7 March 2019, 12.00 pm

Past event

Event details

Judgment and Strategy

Professor Holt will argue strategy is the process by which an organisation presents itself to itself and others. To bring this about strategists attempt to gather knowledge about an organisation in situ from which to appraise themselves and others about where it has been in the past, currently is, and might go in the future. The upshot of such inquiry is a succession of images by which an organisation attains its distinction as a unity, or ‘self’.

Using work from literature, art, and philosophy, Robin will explore what it means to present such an organisational ‘self’. In reviewing the current strategy literature, he will argue there are three ways this is done. First, and by far the most common, is the attempt  by strategists to generate accurate, timely, and complex data from which to better know the world and the place of the organisation within it. This knowledge-based image remains subject, however, to a basic sceptical challenge: things could always be otherwise. Strategists attempt to configure the world as a ‘calculable, coherence of forces’, and all the while the world slips away. In response to the disappointment of being unable to present a complete or secure self-image there are two further forms of image making: the use of visionary images being one, and assertions of will being the other. Either way there are risks. With vision comes the risk of collective thoughtlessness, and with will the risk of advocating a kind of Hobbesian state of nature.

Robin will suggest judgment offers another way of responding to the sceptics’ challenge. Tracing a narrative through the ideas of Adam Smith, William Shakespeare, Hannah Arendt, Stanley Cavell, Harold Pinter, Virginia Woolf, Martha Nussbaum and others, Robin will find much might be gained from associating strategic inquiry with a form of unhomely or poetic spectating. It is by creating this sense of ‘being besides’ oneself that strategy can gain a distinctive role as an ethical and aesthetic rather than just a rational practice.

Professor Robin Holt, Nottingham Business School

Robin Holt, a visiting professor with NTU, is professor at Copenhagen Business School. He has a long standing interest studying the creation of organisational forms, both as a technological process of organising and as an ethical and aesthetic activity. To this end he has studied strategy the forming of an organisational sense of self. In addition to the recently published Judgment and Strategy, in 2009 he co-authored the book Strategy Without Design with Professor Robert Chia. He is currently writing a further book on strategy as a technology, as well as continuing a long standing study of craft and craftwork. He currently serves on the editorial board of Academy of Management Review and was editor of the journal Organization Studies 2013-2017.

Programme

5.00 pmRegistration and welcome refreshments
5.30 pmInaugural lecture
6.30 pmDrinks reception
7.00 pmEvent close

Booking information

This event is free to attend. To book your place, click the Reserve your place button at the top of the page.

Location details

Room/Building:

Newton building, Main Entrance

Address:

Nottingham Trent University
City Campus
Burton Street
Nottingham
NG1 4BU

Past event

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