Title: Excellence: capturing Aristotelian notions of meaning and purpose

Authors: Alistair R. Anderson, Carter Crockett

Addresses: Aberdeen Business School, The Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, UK. ' Department of Economics & Business, Westmont College, 955 La Paz. Rd., Santa Barbara, CA 93108, USA

Abstract: In this paper, we argue that conventional models for excellence are too narrow, too internally focused, too instrumental and too functionalist to achieve excellence in dealing with emerging broad socioeconomic concerns. We try to show that Aristotle|s theory of virtue has useful contemporary relevance and can be developed and used to understand a fuller notion of business excellence. We develop a qualitative research instrument to discover and illustrate excellence and to establish its modern nature. Our application of virtue demonstrated that purpose was the key to achieving excellence. We find that the virtue theory can be a useful and practical guide to producing excellence.

Keywords: Aristotle; balance; excellence; meaning; purpose; theory of virtue; business excellence; socioeconomic concerns.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBEX.2008.017883

International Journal of Business Excellence, 2008 Vol.1 No.3, pp.262 - 281

Available online: 21 Apr 2008 *

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