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More cooperation to come?

It is our contention that discussing management and organization while ignoring the part of human nature that is relevant for cooperation is not in the long term interest of the field, especially when there is a clear interdisciplinary movement involving the fields closely related to management developing a theory of cooperation in humans. Yet it won't be easy to shift from our current course. We will have to abandon the SSSM which is so basic to beliefs of so many we don't even recognize it as an ideology the field adheres to. We will have to learn how to enter into dialogue with scholars from other social sciences. Even if we ultimately reject the assumptions and approaches of those fields, we need to understand why those approaches are attractive to other scholars instead of merely searching for ways to dismiss them quickly.

This will be a difficult transition and it will meet with much internal resistence. But it is necessary. As soon as this interdisciplinary group extends their study of cooperation to organizations, they will develop theories of organizations and behavior within them which will be attractive to anthropologists, biologists, cognitive scientists, economists, philosophers, and psychologists. As they are making great gains in discovering the nature of cooperation, management scholars ought to be working with them. It's good to cooperate.

Mon Sep 8 18:21:39 BST 1997