Edited by Jonathan P. Doh and Stephen A. Stumpf
Chapter 12: Is There Free Will in Business? Leadership and Social Impact Management
Mary C. Gentile Introduction When I ﬁrst went to work at a business school – well, not just any business school actually but the Harvard Business School in the mid-1980s – I experienced culture shock. This was a time when even the student newspapers at business schools crowed that students would attempt a hostile takeover of their grandmothers if they could make a proﬁt at it. I was fresh out of graduate school with a doctorate in the Humanities and nothing had prepared me for this new world. I was excited by the energy, the clarity of intention and the sheer logic of the place. It seemed the opposite of everything I had known. I would joke with my friends that, when my fellow doctoral students in literature and ﬁlm used to ask ‘how are you?’, I would be considered suspect – either shallow or ignorant – if I had answered without the requisite level of angst, seasoned with knowing despair. At the business school, on the other hand, the accepted response to that greeting was ‘Great, just great!’ delivered in a ﬁrm and conﬁdent tone with direct eye contact and preferably accompanied by an energetic shake of one’s right arm and closed ﬁst. What looking glass had I stumbled through? Business school and the corporate ofﬁces of senior executives I was privileged to frequent as a result of my then job as researcher, case writer and eventually faculty member at such a school were halls of purposefulness and...
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