Ron Nahser - Journeys to Oxford: Nine Pragmatic Inquiries Into the Practice of Values in Business and Education
Journeys to Oxford: Nine Pragmatic Inquiries Into the Practice of Values in Business and Education
Author: Ron Nahser
Publisher: Global Scholarly Publications
Businessman, philosopher, educator, and author of Learning to Read the Signs (Butterworth-Heinemann; May, 1997), Ron Nahser has emerged as one of the leaders in a revolution taking place in America today--a return to pragmatic inquiry and values in business, education, and politics. In his new book, Journeys To Oxford, (Global Scholarly Press; September, 2008) Nahser explores the uniquely American roots of pragmatism in democracy, the implications of the broader philosophy of pragmatism, founded by Charles Sanders Peirce, the historical context that gave rise to the American pragmatic philosophy, and how pragmatism resolved the eternal conflict between individuals and society. From Adam Smith through Abraham Lincoln, John Dewey, Peter Drucker and hundreds of other thinkers in business, religion, and politics, Nahser traces the development of ideas laying the foundation for a moral universe of competing and sometimes conflicting business, educational and religious interests. Based on his own extensive experience as head of the Nahser Agency, a Chicago-based advertising agency founded by his father in 1939, which in turn evolved from his grandfather's engraving business founded in 1989, Nahser applies the principles of pragmatic inquiry, established in his groundbreaking Corporantes Pathfinder Journal to discover pragmatic marketing strategies and learn more meaningful branding methodologies. Using charts and diagrams, Nahser shows how specific lines of inquiry into the real core value of a given business creates both a sustainable business model and gives rise to on-going pragmatic leadership. Provost Emeritus of Presidio School of Management, San Francisco, featured in Newsweek (April 14, 2008), Dr. Nahser offers pragmatic pointers on how today's business schools can teach and develop the good character young men and women need to provide pragmatic leadership in sustainable business.
- Journeys to Oxford tells the story of the development of principles and methods of American pragmatism and their application to management science. Nahser's work is especially welcome since economics in theoretical and applied forms, such as management practices and business education, is vital to guide decision makers in meeting the challenges of globalization and sustainability. A brief historical context shows the importance of pragmatic inquiry methodology today and is the reason why this book was chosen to launch our IJDE Series. We can no longer rely on the traditional models construed initially by Adam Smith's laissez faire capitalism that mimicked the rigid Newtonian interpretation of science, as well as by nineteenth-century Marxian economics based on the ontology of reductive materialism. In a similar manner, the 20th Century logical positivists' models presupposed the unity of science, leading to a fact-value dualism. In this light, they applied mathematical reasoning and language to all disciplines - the syntactical axiomatic method - without differentiating between physical and societal domains. In Europe, Pragmatic methodology was finally adopted as a procedure by later logical positivists, for instance in the notion of tolerance for a choice of meta-languages in explaining reality. Expanding on this tradition, Nahser is the first social scientist who, by combining his unique business strategy and moral philosophy background, presents a comprehensive reformulation of a foundation for management science based on a pragmatist model of learning, showing the central importance of creating values-driven narratives to guide decisions and actions. Not only does his work incorporate Dewey's empirical method of the continuum of end-means valuation, but also concludes by reminding us of our place in nature and the need for sustainable management. In sum, this work introduces the best of contemporary ideas and practices of the unique American intellectual and democratic tradition to scholars, students and practitioners from Oxford to Beijing - and all points in-between. It provides methods and language necessary as we construct new economic models and management practices by helping each of us, in our different organizations and cultures, create new narratives to meet the challenges we all face in our globalization and sustainability era.
--Parviz Morewedge Director, Global Scholarly Publishing Senior Research Scholar in Residence, SUNY Old Westbury, NY
Author Information: Managing Director for CORPORANTES Inc., an outgrowth of The Nahser Agency/Advertising, Dr. Nahser has served as Provost Emeritus of Presidio School of Management, San Francisco, where he was featured in the April 14, 2008,Newsweek for his teaching initiative in green growth for business sustainability. He lectures and consults with business and academic audiences in the US and internationally on business values, vision, marketing strategy, branding, social responsibility and sustainable management. The author of Learning to Read the Signs: Reclaiming Pragmatism in Business, he has developed a strategic business problem-solving model known as PathFinder Pragmatic Inquiry which has been used by more than 100 organizations and thousands of participants including 3M, Levi-Strauss & CO., The Quaker Oats Company, Time Inc, Harris Bank, Kellogg School of Management,Stanford GSB, Notre Dame Mendoza College of Business,DePaul University Kellstadt GSB, Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society, Presidio School of Management and many others. The former chairman, president, and CEO of The Nahser Agency of Chicago, serving such advertisers as The Quaker Oats Co., CNA Insurance, Harris Bank, Schwinn Bicycle Co., Merlin's 200,000 Mile Shops, Solo Cup Co., and Florsheim Shoe Co., Dr. Nahser earned a BA degree from the University of Notre Dame, an MBA degree from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management, an MA degree in Religious Studies from Loyola/Mundelein College and a Ph.D. in American Business Philosophy from DePaul University. Nahser is also a Fellow of the World Business Academy, Curator of the Willis Harman Archive and the Founding Partner of the Oxford Leadership Academy in USA.