Ever wondered why climate change denial persists? Are you surprised that even those convinced of our role in climate change don’t change their behaviour?… On Thursday, at the Centre for Corporate Governance and Business Ethics and one of the leading Austrian business schools, RSB Lab’s Mollie gave a talk arguing that it is because calculation of the facts around climate change don’t suffice. Instead, we need new ways to think about the changes required to address climate change.
In this presentation, I will challenge one of the most basic assumptions that seem to underpin management discourses, i.e. that only that which can be measured can be managed, and therefore only that which can be calculated can be valued. By drawing some examples from sustainability discourses and ethics management initiatives, I hope to expose the limitations of such thinking and gesture towards alternatives. The talk will touch on the risks that reside in a preoccupation with calculability, scientism, and instrumentalism, especially in the context of digitalization.
In order to challenge the obsession with calculability in management discourses, we have to revisited how we take ‘decisions’, how we ‘manage’, and how we ‘report’ organisational activities. To do so, I will draw inspiration from philosophers such as Heidegger, Deleuze and Guattari, and Bataille. Throughout, I will illustrate the importance of revisiting the humanities in business and society discourses.