Freedom and Accountability at Work: Applying Philosophical Insight to the Real World - Book Review

Freedom and Accountability at Work: Applying Philosophical Insight to the Real World – Book Review

2 min read

Greg L. Thomas

This is not your typical book on management or leadership. If you are familiar with the previous works of these two authors you will know they intended it to be dramatically different. They succeeded well with Freedom and Accountability at Work. Peter Block starts this journey by writing the introduction. His task is to create a context by which his colleague’s writings can be used to understand the dynamics of the modern workplace.

Many of the concepts and ideas found in Freedom and Accountability at Work are taken from two previous books written by Koestenbaum. Both The Vitality of Death and The New Image of the Person were written by Koestenbaum in the ‘70s. These two philosophical books are at the heart of this new publication. This book is written on the premise that it is time to bring philosophy into the world of business by helping others find answers to their questions about the real purpose of work. It includes ways to bring ethical and spiritual values into the workplace.

Block encapsulates this thought when he writes, “Philosophy is really about a universal form of leadership and the possibility open to each person to shape or create an environment that supports the pursuit of meaning and purpose, rather than our current obsession with financial security and material wealth.” Freedom and Accountability at Work provides discerning and near tangible ideas about anxiety, freedom, suffering and death. The authors maintain that viewing the purpose of work from the lens of a philosopher can provide a unique shift in mental perception. They believe that by rising above the mental traps that typically ensnare us, we can make our work places more humane and experience the accountability and real freedom we all want. The authors also provide potential solutions to those whose are presently struggling with personal suffering and depression. They encourage the reader to engage in this profound degree of change that will help one to overcome the cynicism that comes from superficial change. It is their contention that leaders need to ask these deeper philosophical questions to become better role models today and to acquire the enabling vision to lead tomorrow.


Freedom and Accountability at Work

Applying Philosophical Insight to the Real World

Jossey Bass-Pfeiffer, San Francisco, 2001 (439 pages in hardback)

Authors Peter Koestenbaum and Peter Block

ISBN 0787955949

 weLEAD rating recommended

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