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Green Templeton College | Oxford

Richard Normann Lecture 2010

Empowering Theories in Management Studies

Given by Professor Pasquale Gagliardi, Secretary-General, Giorgio Cini Foundation, Professor of Sociology of Organisation at the Faculty of Political Sciences, Catholic University, Milan.

In his lecture Professor Pasquale analysed the relationship between thinking and experiencing in the production of knowledge before going on to hypothesise the distinctive traits of an 'empowering theory'.

It is argued in organization and management studies that the development of expert knowledge is hampered by the poverty of interactions between theory and practice, and that academic theories do not seem to significantly affect management practice. The historical and cultural reasons for this distance and the role of problem-driven research in filling it were also examined.

The lecture took place at on Thursday 4 March 2010 in the E P Abraham Lecture Theatre at Green Templeton College.

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Read a transcript of the lecture

Professor Pasquale Gagliardi

After graduating in law from the Catholic University, Milan, in 1958, Professor Gagliardi focused on the study of social sciences applied to business management. He was an assistant lecturer and then lecturer in organisational behaviour at the CUOA (University Centre for Business Organisation), Padua, in the 1960s. Since 1986 he has been professor of the sociology of organisations in the Faculty of Political Sciences at the Catholic University, Milan.

From 1961 to 1970 he was involved in research, and managerial training and consultancy, mainly for Pietro Gennaro & Associati and the Boston Consulting Group.

From 1970 to 1977 he worked in companies with direct managerial responsibilities: he was managing director of the UPIM chain, part of the Rinascente Group, from 1970 to 1974, and then joint general manager of an industrial conglomerate.

From 1977 to 2005 he was the head of ISTUD (an institute of management studies, now the ISTUD Foundation), where he achieved his mission of making the institute economically and financially independent and enabling it to take an active part in scientific thinking about management and organisations in the Italian and international scientific community.

As a scholar, Pasquale Gagliardi has contributed to the international spread of the use of cultural and social anthropology in studying the issues faced by companies and contemporary institutions. On this subject he has published articles, essays and books both in Italy and abroad; the best-known is Le imprese come culture (1986), published by ISEDI. He is a member of the editorial board of Organization and Organization Studies, and a member of the scientific committee of AICIS- Åland International Institute of Comparative Island Studies.

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