Again, a few words about the conceptual, methodological, and teleological rigor necessary for the academic way of life

To combat this pathological situation, Paulo Grave and I have defended a proposal to rehabilitate the process of training masters and doctors in stricto sensu postgraduate courses in administration. This proposal consists of education for virtue (Azevedo & Grave 2014; 2020). Of course, it is not an education for any virtue, but an education proper to the academic way of life; hence we say education for scholarly virtue. Its core is the hypothesis that the spoudaios academicus is an agent (academic) whose way of life reflects the scope of conceptual, methodological, and teleological (CMTR) rigor in the performance of activities aimed at the construction of organizational knowledge, in this case, the study, conversation, and research. The agent’s possession of the CRMT is the main ingredient that enables the administrative understanding to reach its necessary validity concerning peers.

The sociologist Wright Mills, for example, was aware of the need for this rigor in the education of those who embark on the academic (and intellectual) endeavor, as we can infer from the passages below:

In a recently published article, I stated that doing science based on productivism had distorted the training of researchers and professors within the scope of postgraduate courses in administration. My diagnosis was the following: the broad totality of academic doing and production, which involves varied and distinct activities, such as reading, studies, research, conversations, article evaluations, participation in newsstands, conferences, guidance, classes, university management, etc., has been subsumed under the “formalistic and alienated production of papers,” resulting in the conversion of academic production into academic productivism (Sá et al. l, 2020, p. 172). The naturalization of this productivism that institutes and, at the same time, is instituted by a specific form of academic sociability. It happens within the stricto sensugraduate program. On the one hand, it has led to contempt for the pedagogical training of masters and doctors in graduate courses stricto sensu graduation and, on the other hand, to the distortion of what the activity of a researcher is, even though epistemology and methodology figure among the mandatory subjects.

Only through conversations in which experienced thinkers exchange information about their effective ways of working is it possible to communicate a valuable notion of method and theory to the beginning scholar” (Mills, 2009, p. 21).

In a vigorous [academic] … community, there would be interludes of discussion among individuals about future work. Three types of interludes – about problems, methods, and theories – should result from the work of social scientists and lead to it again; (…) It is for interludes like these that a professional association finds its intellectual reason for being. (Mills, 2009, p. 25).

I don’t know what the full social conditions are for the best intellectual production, but certainly, surrounding yourself with a circle of people willing to listen and speak – and sometimes they will have to be imaginary characters – is one of them. (Mills, 2009, p. 28).

Opinions such as Mills’ and examples of people I have lived with and have invited – Paulo Grave himself is an excellent referent for me – strengthen in me my conviction that the RCMT should establish itself as a quality of masters and doctors in our field. As a disposition {hexis} of the academic, this rigor is related to the search for a particular object of study, which is represented by the concept and only by it; that of an appropriate method of apprehending such an object; and that of a specific knowledge to which it refers or that interests us, constituted by a unique relationship between the knowing subject and the cognitive object, in a certain way of life.

I expect that, soon, we will be able to complete our studies on the subject and present them to the general public. For now, that is what I have to say.


AZEVEDO, A.; GRAVE, P. S. Prolegômenos a toda administrologia possível: administração – o que é isso? Organizações & Sociedade, v. 21, n. 71, 2014, p. 695-712.

AZEVEDO, A.; GRAVE, P.S. O administrador como agente virtuoso. In: SERAFIM, M.C. (Org). Virtudes e dilemas morais na administração. Florianópolis: AdmEthics, 2020, p. 89-102.

MILLS. C.W. Sobre o artesanato intelectual e outros ensaios. Rio de Janeiro: Jorge Zahar Ed., 2009.

SÁ, M.; Alcadipani, R.; Azevedo, A.; Rigo, A.S.; Saraiva, L.A.S. De onde viemos, para onde vamos? Autocríticas coletivas e horizontes desejáveis aos Estudos Organizacionais no Brasil. RAE-Revista de Administração de Empresas, v. 60, n. 2, p. 168-18, 2020.

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