Paradigms Found: Phronesis and Pragmatic Humanism for International and Domestic NGOs

  •  Douglas K. Peterson    


In the theory surrounding the management of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) there seems to be a lack of what Aristotle would call sophia, phronesis, and eudaimonia (as found in the Nicomachian Ethics). In plain terms, these are the wisdom, practicality and desired outcomes for theory and practice as evidenced by the lack of a coherent structure, or set of paradigms, for structuring wisdom and offering the explanation of phenomena as well as prediction of why or when those phenomena will happen. This paper is on the development of paradigms related to the understanding and management of international NGOs and their population, management and membership. The intention of paper is upon structuring arguments from interpretive, radical structuralist, radical humanist and functionalist paradigms into a pragmatic humanism that hasn’t been introduced in the management, NGO, or public administration literature.

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