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Telfer Research Seminar Series and CSIID - Simon Pek Greener

The promise of deliberative pedagogy in business schools

Date & Time

January 19, 2024


DMS 7170


Kathy Cunningham

***M.Sc. Students, this event can count towards one of the six mandatory Research Seminars Series needed to attend (MGT 6191/ MGT 6991 / MHS 6991).***

Simon Pek, PhD

Aristotle’s notion of phronesis has garnered increased attention in recent years because of its potential to improve the quality of managers’ judgement, reasoning, and decision-making. These skills are even more relevant considering heightened expectations of managers and businesses to tackle pressing social and environmental issues. However, efforts to cultivate phronesis in business schools are relatively rare and face a host of theoretical and practical challenges. In this paper, we draw on the growing body of research on deliberative pedagogy, which has yet to be explored by scholars of management learning and education, to develop theory about how it could help cultivate phronesis. We argue that deliberative pedagogy has absorbed three important elements from its two main intellectual foundations—deliberative democracy and engaged pedagogy—that are especially relevant for the cultivation of phronesis: recognition of the transformative benefits of group deliberation; an emphasis on choice and action; and careful attention to power dynamics in social relations. Our arguments offer novel insights into research on individual and collective phronesis, civic skill and capacity development, and boundary spanning in the context of business schools.

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The Centre for Sustainable Impact/Impact Durable (CSIID) aims to advance sustainable business practices that benefit society and the natural environment for generations to come through our research, education, and outreach activities.

About the Speaker

Simon Pek, associate professor of business and society, joined the Gustavson School of Business in 2017. Simon teaches and researches in the area of business and society. His research Simon Pek explores how organizations and the individuals within them embed social and environmental sustainability into their cultures, strategies and daily operations. His primary research interests centre on helping democratic organizations like co-operatives, schools and unions achieve their social and environmental objectives through the use of democratic innovations. He is particularly interested in collaborating with organizations on joint action research projects. He is available to and interested in supervising full-time or visiting graduate students pursuing related research interests.

Simon's research has appeared in top-tier outlets including Academy of Management Review, Organization Science, Strategic Management Journal, Business Ethics Quarterly and Journal of Business Ethics. He has presented his work at numerous national and international conferences, and has engaged with various media to discuss his work, including Radio-Canada International, the CBC and Co-operatives First. He has received numerous awards and grants, including a President's Chair from the University of Victoria, the Ascendant Scholar Award from the Western Academy of Management, the Dean’s Convocation Medal from Simon Fraser University and the Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship. He currently serves as an associate editor for the Journal of Management Inquiry and Business and Society.

Simon served as the steering committee lead of the Ontario Assembly on Workplace Democracy. Simon also co-founded and serves as a member of the board of directors of Democracy In Practice, a non-profit dedicated to democratic experimentation, innovation and capacity-building. In this capacity, he spoke at the Council of Europe's World Forum for Democracy 2016, where Democracy In Practice was selected as a finalist for the Democracy Innovation Award. He loves to travel, explore the outdoors and gain exposure to new cultures, languages and ways of thinking.

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