Plato's Perspectives on Society, Organization and Leadership

1523 Words Feb 12th, 2011 7 Pages
Plato’s Perspectives on Society, Organization and Leadership Pentti Marttila

Plato’s Perspectives on Society

Main views about society Plato wrote in his book called the Republic. The Republic was written around 380 (BC). In this book Plato tries to define justice, right order and character of the just city and the just man. In the Republic different philosophers like Socrates try to argue, what is the meaning of justice. They also discuss if a just man is happier than an unjust man, if they are ruled by just philosopher kings. (Brickhouse, Thomas & Smith, Nicholas, 2010)

Plato view, that a just city has to be ruled by these philosopher kings. Plato believed in an aristocratic system of ruling, not the democratic way of ruling. The
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Plato sees an organization as an entity, which should be in harmony with its parts. Many modern organizational theoreticians have followed Plato, when they stress the unitary and well balanced nature of modern complex organizations. (Takala 1998, p.797)

Plato thinks about the greatest evil and the greatest good at an organization. In His views evil is discord and distraction. On the other hand good is unity. There has to be unity in the organization, all the members should have common experiences (pleasures etc.). (Plato 360 BC, p.198)
Justice is important thing for every organization. In the organization order brings justice and the organization has to keep the justice. (Plato 360 BC, p.6) If there is injustice in the organization, it will lead into quarrels and fights, people will become each other’s enemies. Injustice will disturb the organization’s basis for human co-operation. (Plato 360 BC, p.53-54)
Obedience is an important factor at the organization. Workers should obey their masters. Everybody should live under clear hierarchy and follow the orders given by those, who are over them. (Plato 360 BC, p.36, 192, 297)

Plato’s Perspectives on Leadership

Plato thinks, that ruler has to be philosopher. This means, that only philosophers can be good rulers. In this way main character of a leader is his/her philosophical capacity. Leader (ruler) has to know the real being and leader (ruler) has to distinguish belief from the real knowledge. This is
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