Tasmanian School of Business & Economics

Mark Dibben

Mark Dibben

Assoc/Prof Mark Dibben

Associate Professor in Management, Tasmanian School of Business and Economics

BA(Hons), MSc, PhD

Contact Details

Contact Campus Sandy Bay Campus
Building Centenary Building
Room Reference 321
Telephone +61 3 6226 2781
Fax +61 3 6226 2170
Email Mark.Dibben@utas.edu.au

Teaching Responsibilities

Mark teaches undergraduate and postgraduate units in Entrepreneurship and Philosophy of Management.


Mark took a double First Class Honours degree in Management and Japanese Studies before gaining an MSc with Distinction in Entrepreneurship. His PhD was in Enterprise and Organisation Studies under one of the founding fathers of the Entrepreneurship discipline in the UK, Michael G. Scott. This was an inherently philosophical study of the trust process, as it manifests itself between entrepreneurs and their businesses' stakeholders. He spent his early career at the Scottish Universities of Aberdeen and latterly St Andrews, where he established the Chapter for Applied Process Thought, the UK node of the International Process Network (IPN) of thirty-plus research centres around the globe concerned with the study and application of process metaphysics. He was Executive Director of the IPN from 2008-2011 and remains on the Board. Before joining the University of Tasmania in November 2010, he was Associate Professor of Management at Monash University, Victoria.


Mark's primary area of research is Philosophy of Management; he is co-editor of the journal.  The underlying premise of his work is that philosophy should be at the heart of management research, teaching and practice. That is, in the true Humboldtian sense of Philosophy – not Science – being at the centre of intellectual inquiry. To be truly effective, all the best managers must engage in 'reason in practice'; to use Simon Blackburn's decree, they must Think. The teaching of management should be about giving students the capacity to make informed value judgements, as opposed merely to being unknowingly constrained to making instrumentalist judgements about values. This is crucial to the development of management practice which, unlike the discipline of astrophysics for example, has a deep and extensive interaction between theory and action. How we think actually can alter what management becomes. Further, whether we like it or not, we are for the time-being stuck with management; there is no alternative as yet even on the horizon for coping in, let alone positively and decisively influencing through action, our increasingly complex work and, indeed, social lives. Improving the capacity to think will directly affect the capacity to act with impact.  

This approach to the use of Philosophy in Management may involve detailed attention to the arguments of given philosophers as they may be genuinely applied in a thoroughgoing way to management topics, such as leadership and entrepreneurship, or it may be reflected in original philosophical thinking about the nature and processes of management. This view stems from Mark's work in what he terms Applied Process Thought. This is a mode of inquiry based on the metaphysics of the Cambridge Mathematician and Harvard Philosopher Alfred North Whitehead, which takes as its starting point the premise that the Natural and Physical Universe is inherently processual and, more than this, process-relational. By this he means that change is not only continuous but also that it is dependent on our relations to others. That is, how we are is a function of the relationships we are a part of and, indeed, is a function of what we make of our experience of these relationships for our own selves, and thus for our own becoming. As such, Applied Process Thought is the wholehearted attempt at examining scientific and social scientific phenomena by the thoroughgoing systematic application of process metaphysics. This allows a comprehensive exploration of life as perpetually active experiencing, as opposed to occasional – and thoroughly passive – happening.

Other research focuses on the roles of trust, distrust, culture and collegiality in organisations; Mark has published on this topic across a range of disciplines including Accounting, Medicine, Information Systems and Philosophy, as well as numerous Management sub-disciplines including marketing, strategy, and sport as business.

External Links of Interest

Philosophy of Management: http://journals.libripublishing.co.uk/journal/philosophy-management

Centre for Process Studies http://www.ctr4process.org

International Process Network https://sites.google.com/site/internationalprocessnetwork/

Selected Publications in Philosophy of Management & Applied Process Thought

Neesham, C & Dibben, M 2012 'The social value of business: Lessons from political economy and process philosophy'. In Schwartz, M. and Harris, H. (Eds) Applied Ethics: Remembering Patrick Primeaux. Bingley:  Emerald pp. 63 – 83.

Dibben, M & Sheard, S 2012 'Reason in practice: A unique role for a 'Philosophy of Management' Philosophy of Management, 11 (3) pp. 1-10.

Dibben, M 2010 'Humbug, Ba and Human Experience', Philosophy of Management 9 (2) pp. 1-5.

Dibben, MR 2009 'Exploring Whitehead's Understanding of Organizations: Moving beyond the organising experience of individual managers', Philosophy of Management, 7 (2) pp. 13-24 [i].

Dibben, MR & Newton, R 2009 'Following a trail ablaze. Introduction to Dibben, M. & Newton, R. (Eds) Applied Process Thought 2: Following a Trail Ablaze'. Frankfurt/Lancaster, Ontos Verlag, pp. 27-48.

Dibben, MR 2008 'Management and organisation studies. In M.Weber & W.Desmond (Eds.)Handbook of Whiteheadian Process Thought. Frankfurt/Lancaster Ontos-Verlag, pp. 91-107.

Dibben, MR & Kelly, TAF 2008 'What is applied process thought? In Dibben, MR & Kelly, TAF (Eds) Applied Process Thought 1: Initial Explorations in Theory and Research', Process Thought XVI. Frankfurt/Lancaster: Ontos Verlag pp. 27-42.

Dibben, MR 2008 'Exploring Bracken's 'event-field' and Cahill's 'intrinsic value' postulates to reconcile 'society' and 'organization' in management. In Dibben, MR & Kelly, TAF (Eds) Applied Process Thought 1: Initial explorations in theory and research. Process Thought XVI. Frankfurt/Lancaster: Ontos Verlag, pp. 329-346.

D'Arcy, P & Dibben, MR 2005 'Whitehead and management: Learning from management practice in 'learning and teaching from a Whiteheadian point of view', F. Riffert, Ed. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholar Press.

Dibben, MR & Panteli, N 2003 'Re-thinking technology from an organisational perspective: Virtual reality as Whiteheadian 'real potentiality', Process Studies, 32 (2) pp. 258-269.

Dibben, MR & Cobb, J 2003 'Process thought and organisation studies, Process Studies, 32 (2) pp. 178-182.

Selected Publications in Trust, Distrust, Culture & Collegiality  

Dibben, M & Rose, J 2010 'Checking, not trusting: Trust, distrust and cultural experience in the auditing profession. Dietz, G. et al (eds) Trust Across Cultures. Cambridge: CUP pp.156-181.

Rose, J, Rose, A & Dibben, M 2010 'Is a trusting disposition more important than professional scepticism for career advancement in the audit profession? Forensic & Investigative Accounting,  2 (3) pp. 141-163.

Rose, J, Rose, A & Dibben, M 2010 'The effects of trust and management incentives on audit committee judgments', Behavioural Research in Accounting, 22 (2) pp. 87-103.

Lynch, P, Johnson, P & Dibben, MR 2007 'In whom do we trust? relationships of trust in adventure recreation', Leisure Studies, 26, (1) pp. 47-64.

Marsh, S & Dibben, MR 2005 'Trust, untrust, distrust and mistrust: An exploration of the darker side. Springer Lecture Notes in Computer Science (LNCS), 3477: 17-33.

Dibben, MR & Lean, MEJ 2003 'Achieving compliance in chronic illness management: Illustrations of trust relationships between physicians and nutrition clinic patients, Health, Risk and Society, 5 (3) pp. 241-258.

Marsh, SP & Dibben, MR 2003 'The role of trust in information science and technology. Annual Review of Information Science and Technology (ARIST) Vol.37:  465-498

Dibben, MR 2000 'Exploring interpersonal trust in the entrepreneurial venture', London, MacMillan pp.1-303.

Selected Other Publications

Goddard, C, Hunt, S, Broadley, K, Dibben, M, Frederick, J, Mudalybasw, N & Newton, R 2013 'The Silencing of Children in Australia', In Child Abuse and Neglect Worldwide. Goletaa, CA: ABC-CLIO/Greenwood (in press).

Crispin, S, McAuley, A, Dibben, M, Hoel, R & Miles, M 2013 'To teach or try: A continuum of approaches to entrepreneurship education in Australasia' American Journal of Entrepreneurship(forthcoming).

Dibben, M & Dolles, H 2013 'Participant observation. In Soderman, S & Dolles, H (eds), Handbook of Research on Sport and Business, Cheltenham, Edward Elgar, pp.477-494.

Newton, R, Frederick, J, Udovic, E, Dibben, M & Goddard, C 2010 'Legislation and child death review processes in Australia: Understanding our failure to prevent child death', New South Wales Law Review, 33 (3) pp. 987-1012.

Dibben, MR 2006 'The global context of management'. In Davidson, P. and Griffin, R. (Eds) Management: An Australian perspective, 3rd Edition, Brisbane: John Wiley & Son pp.170-204.

Dibben, MR & Garrett, P 2006 'Flying Kiwi Promotions Ltd: The story of a world land speed record breaker'. In CL Hill et al (Eds) Strategic Management: An integrated approach, 6th edition. Milton, Queensland, John Wiley & Son pp.513-519.