Critical Thinking in Management
Cod: 61055
Department: DCSG
Scientific area: Management
Total working hours: 156
Total contact time: 15

The CU seeks to promote some softskills in Bussiness and Management (B&M) by fostering critical thinking. It does not aim to equip students with additional technical knowledge on B&M, but to suggest a thought and a personal look at the field.
The first part focuses on learning how to write an argumentative essay and a critical review. In a second part, one is invited to question the economic and social environment that contextualizes the B&M practice. More specifically, the climate changes, the limits to economic growth, the proposal of degrowth, and a historical account of the process of turn cheap essential resources (nature, money, labor, care, food, energy and life) that characterize today's society. The third part reflects on (i) the cognitive limitations that lead to bias and overconfidence of decision makers; (ii) the contribution of economic science to the understanding of people's happiness through subjective well-being, and how some of these concepts may change the way one looks at our social and economic organization; and (iii) the proposition that individual and collective happiness is possible because each of us already has and is enough.
Thus, we will read texts by some of the most relevant authors in these matters, such as the philosopher and economist Serge Latouche (degrowth), the Zen Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh (non-desire and sufficiency), psychologist and the Economy Nobel Prize-winning Daniel Kahneman (bias and overconfidence), among others. We’ll watch and analyze three documentaries: Decrease and Before the Flood and Status & Anxiety.


It is expected that the student to complete this course is able to:
• Prepare a critical review;
• Understand the concept of argument;
• Discuss the historical process that allowed to turn cheap some essential resources for human life;
• Recognize the limits that theories of degrowth place on business and society;
• Reflect on the effects of the climate change;
• Understand the biasis of decision-making;
• Discuss the emerging challenges of the economy of happiness;
• Reflect on a spiritual proposal about sufficiency.

1- The argumentative essay
2- The critical review
3- Anthropogenic climate change
   3.1- The causes of global warming
   3.2- Mitigation and differentiated impacts of climate change
   3.3- Intergenerational climate ethics
4- The inexpensive network of life
5- Degrowth
   5.1- The impossibility of continued economic growth
   5.2- The alternative of degrowth
   5.3- Limitations in the application of degrowth
6- Bias and confidence of decision makers
7- Happiness: a contribution from behavioral economics
8- Sufficiency
   8.1- A philosophy proposal
   8.2- A spiritual proposal

Mandatory readings
Botton, A. (2004) Status ansiedade. Dom Quixote. Cap. III    
 Costanza, R., Kubiszewski, I., Giovannini, E., Lovins, H., McGlade, J., Pickett, K. E., ... & Wilkinson, R. (2014). Development: Time to leave GDP behind. Nature News, 505(7483), 283.
Guerra, J., Horta, A., Santos, M. D., Schmidt, L. (2019). Alterações climáticas - vulnerabilidades, desempenhos e perceções. In Ferrão, J., Delicado, A. (Eds.), Portugal Social em Mudança. Objectivos de desenvolvimento sustentável, pp. 37-45. Lisboa. Instituto de Ciências Sociais da Universidade de Lisboa.
Hanh, T. N. (2018) A arte de viver. Amadora: Nascente. Cap.5.
Kahneman, D. (2012) Pensar, depressa e devagar. Temas e Debates. Caps. 1 e 24.
Latouche, S. (2006) O desafio do decrescimento. Instituto Piaget. Caps. 1 e 6.
Patel, R. & Moore, J. (2018) A história do mundo em sete coisas baratas. Editorial Presença. Introdução.
Santos, F. (2017) Implicações éticas das alterações climáticas. In M. Neves e V. Soromenho-Marques (Eds) Ética Aplicada: Ambiente. Lisboa: Edições 70.
Santos, F. (2012) Alterações Globais. Fundação Francisco Manuel dos Santos. Cap. 9.
Silva, R. (2011) Valores e felicidade no século XXI. Tese de doutoramento. ISCTE. pp.173-224
Weston, A. (1996) A arte de argumentar, Cap. VIII. Lisboa: Gradiva.
Mandatory films:
"Before the Flood".
"Status Anxiety".
Additional readings
Bassham, G., Irwin, W., Nardone, H. & Wallace, J. (2008) Critical Thinking. McGraw Hill.
Daly & Farley (2004) Economia Ecológica. Instituto Piaget. Caps 1 e 2.
Davel, E. & Alcadipani (2003) Estudos críticos em administração: a produção científica brasileira nos anos 1990. RAE,43:4.
Fisher, A. (2011) Critical Thinking: an introduction. Cambridge.
Frey, B. (2009) Felicidade: uma revolução na economia. Gradiva.


Continuous assessment is privileged: 2 or 3 digital written documents (e-folios) during the semester (40%) and a presence-based final exam (p-folio) in the end of the semester (60%).

Good computer skills: Word processing; Internet.