The purpose of this paper is to locate the dominant discourse on organizations and their management in the history of Western thought. Such location highlights the fundamental, taken-for-granted assumptions underlying the dominant discourse. The purpose is also to identify an alternative way of thinking about organizations which derives from different fundamental assumptions. The approach adopted in the paper is to review two fundamentally different approaches in Western thought to understanding the nature of the individual human agent, the organization and the relationship between them. One approach derives from the philosophy of Kant and the other from Hegel. The exploration of different ways of thinking in this paper leads to a major undermining of the dominant discourse and overturns the most widespread prescriptions for strategic management and the management of change. In dong so it has profound significance for the conceptualization of leadership and values in organizations.