Gästseminarium - Peter Svensson

  • Date: –12:00
  • Location: Hybrid: Zoom / K312, Ekonomikum
  • Lecturer: Docent Peter Svensson, Lunds universitet
  • Website
  • Organiser: Företagsekonomiska institutionen
  • Contact person: Golondrian Janke
  • Seminarium

The Higher Seminar in Business Studies

Wonderless research: Why business administration is uninteresting

In this presentation I will take the opportunity to dwell on a question that has haunted me since I started my undergraduate studies in business administration. The question is this: why is business administration uninteresting? Hopefully this is not only an existential question belonging to me (and my therapist) but a more general issue that has something to say about the academic discipline that organizes us and pays our salaries.

My preliminary answer, which I will try to elaborate on in the presentation, is that business administration is wonderless. A business administration researcher, it seems to me, asks questions but does not really wonder about the world of business.

To “wonder” is to approach the world with a certain kind of curious attitude, one that makes the world look peculiar and exotic to us and enables us to ask the most basic questions (the kind of questions children sometimes pose). What on earth happens here? How is this possible? How is even “society” and “organization” possible?

It seems to me that business administration researchers and teachers very seldom (yes, there are some good exceptions here and there) allow themselves to be childish in a curious sense and curious in a childish manner. Questions are formulated, but the questions are defined within a rather tight axiomatic system of premises, assumptions and ideological pillars that make it hard to dig deeper into the phenomenological, existential and political aspects of the realm of business.

In my presentation I will explore some possible reasons for this state of “wonderlessness”. I will also discuss some potential consequences of this lack of wonder within the field of business administration. Finally, if I am in the right mood, I may even come up with some suggestions for the future re-wondering of our discipline.