When the going gets tough, the tough try philosophy

Sep 15 2005 by Brian Amble Print This Article

What do German managers do in times of crisis? They turn to philosophy.

"All around me," says Andre Mindermann, head of Enterprise Consulting in Bad Homburg, "businesses are going bust and this has made me very philosophical."

In times of crisis Mr Mindermann turns to Hegel, Schopenhauer or Nietzsche for advice.

Philosopher Klaus-JŁrgen Gruen of Frankfurt University has been offering philosophy courses for managers for three years. He argues that the approach goes beyond conventional business or management training. It enables people to see links between thoughts and alternatives. His clients include German business heavyweights Henkel, Degussa and Hypovereinsbank.

Prof Rainer Hegsel-mann of Bayreuth University offers a course in philosophy and economics which integrates both disciplines. By studying the works of Aristotle, Adam Smith, Immanuel Kant and John Stuart Mill, his students learn about not only ethics, justice and society but "real-world" issues such as dealing with uncertainty. There are answers to be found to such questions as what level of risk can be legitimately imposed on customers and how open one can be about what can go wrong and why.

Daily Telegraph | I think, therefore I am an entrepreneur