ArticlePDF Available

Abstract

The world is going through major upheaval and many people feel drawn to despair (Pirson 2017). As George Monbiot 1 and others suggest our current problems, as intractable as they may seem, rather point to our lack of imagination. It looks like we are experiencing the phase preceding a major paradigm shift and all the crises that go along with it (Kuhn 1996). The dominant paradigm cannot explain the social anomalies and it appears as if outside events such as terrorist attacks, extreme weather or political unrest force our mindsets to shift. As a typical reaction to such threats, people across the world turn to the old and more familiar paradigms hoping to find comfort. The elections of strongmen across the globe show that humanity's tribal instincts have kicked into overdrive. Because we lack an alternative narrative that features a universal purpose in a world of globalization, many people seek solace in the soothing stories of a seemingly glorious tribal past. However, our human need for community and purpose will likely not be satisfied by these returns to tribalism in an increasingly interconnected world. Creating a universally applicable purpose for a global community is arguably the challenge of our species at this point of time. It is clear that this momentous task requires a lot of imagination and cannot be achieved by anyone person, organization or country alone. It is a large systemic effort of human co-creation. We all need to be able to be part of the solution and achieve a different, and higher level of consciousness. This shift of consciousness has been advocated by many and can be formulated at its core as an understanding of us human beings as deeply connected to one another and the world around us. Chris Laszlo uses insights from quantum physics to show how we are fundamentally connected to each other, nature, and the world around us on a particle level (Laszlo and Tsao 2017). Rather than being distinct individuals in a competitive setting fighting for profit at whatever cost, people thrive when they can act in harmony with their community and environment. This new level of consciousness, however, can only be advanced when we debunk old narratives and create functional alternatives to replace them (Waddock 2016). The most powerful way people have grown, shifted their mindset, and achieved higher levels of consciousness historically has been through stories (Lovins 2016)—ideally stories that help us make sense of the world, give us a shared purpose, and help us learn and embrace the challenges to move forward (Pirson 2016). Religion has successfully used stories to bring solace and allow believers to make sense of their lives. Religion has also provided community and cemented tribal and intertribal bonds. The secular stories that underlie political and economic globalization movement have failed to clearly articulate a meaningful purpose beyond the acquisition of status, power, and wealth (Lawrence and Pirson 2015). The religious revival in the past decades shows the urgent need for deeper purpose, yet it also has created stronger in–groups and outgroups feeding global violence. We thus still need a universal, global story that creates meaningful explanations and can help humanity survive and thrive (Lovins 2016, Waddock 2016). At the International Humanistic Management Association, we are suggesting that we have elements for a new and better story of how humanity can organize and address these global problems. Those elements are centered on the protection of dignity and the promotion of well-being (Pirson 2017). These 1 https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/sep/09/george-monbiot-how-de-we-get-out-of-this-mess
Editorial
Better Stories Needed: How meaningful narratives can transform the world
Michael Pirson, Ph.D.
The world is going through major upheaval and many people feel drawn to despair (Pirson 2017). As
George Monbiot
1
and others suggest our current problems, as intractable as they may seem, rather
point to our lack of imagination. It looks like we are experiencing the phase preceding a major paradigm
shift and all the crises that go along with it (Kuhn 1996). The dominant paradigm cannot explain the
social anomalies and it appears as if outside events such as terrorist attacks, extreme weather or
political unrest force our mindsets to shift. As a typical reaction to such threats, people across the world
turn to the old and more familiar paradigms hoping to find comfort. The elections of strongmen across
the globe show that humanity’s tribal instincts have kicked into overdrive. Because we lack an
alternative narrative that features a universal purpose in a world of globalization, many people seek
solace in the soothing stories of a seemingly glorious tribal past. However, our human need for
community and purpose will likely not be satisfied by these returns to tribalism in an increasingly
interconnected world.
Creating a universally applicable purpose for a global community is arguably the challenge of our species
at this point of time. It is clear that this momentous task requires a lot of imagination and cannot be
achieved by anyone person, organization or country alone. It is a large systemic effort of human co-
creation. We all need to be able to be part of the solution and achieve a different, and higher level of
consciousness. This shift of consciousness has been advocated by many and can be formulated at its
core as an understanding of us human beings as deeply connected to one another and the world around
us. Chris Laszlo uses insights from quantum physics to show how we are fundamentally connected to
each other, nature, and the world around us on a particle level (Laszlo and Tsao 2017). Rather than
being distinct individuals in a competitive setting fighting for profit at whatever cost, people thrive when
they can act in harmony with their community and environment. This new level of consciousness,
however, can only be advanced when we debunk old narratives and create functional alternatives to
replace them (Waddock 2016).
The most powerful way people have grown, shifted their mindset, and achieved higher levels of
consciousness historically has been through stories (Lovins 2016)ideally stories that help us make
sense of the world, give us a shared purpose, and help us learn and embrace the challenges to move
forward (Pirson 2016). Religion has successfully used stories to bring solace and allow believers to make
sense of their lives. Religion has also provided community and cemented tribal and intertribal bonds.
The secular stories that underlie political and economic globalization movement have failed to clearly
articulate a meaningful purpose beyond the acquisition of status, power, and wealth (Lawrence and
Pirson 2015). The religious revival in the past decades shows the urgent need for deeper purpose, yet it
also has created stronger ingroups and outgroups feeding global violence. We thus still need a
universal, global story that creates meaningful explanations and can help humanity survive and thrive
(Lovins 2016, Waddock 2016).
1
https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/sep/09/george-monbiot-how-de-we-get-out-of-this-mess
At the International Humanistic Management Association, we are suggesting that we have elements for
a new and better story of how humanity can organize and address these global problems. Those
elements are centered on the protection of dignity and the promotion of well-being (Pirson 2017). These
principles are not novel; in fact, they have stood the test of time: as a species we created risks to our
survival precisely when we did not honor these principles resulting in warfare, environmental crises, or
genocide. Ancient wisdom traditions have pointed to the importance of treating people humanely and
sanctify those that contribute to a higher purpose (Kueng 2004). They also tell stories that celebrate
ethical behavior which Hans Küng and others view as a key lever to human survival. Intrinsically ethical
behavior understood as management that protects dignity and creates well-being we argue is the most
effective practice to 1) ensure survival as a necessary condition and 2) allow for human thriving in
harmony with nature (Pirson 2017).
Our current understanding of ethics in business schools, however, views ethics and morality as
constraints on otherwise amoral behavior (Amann, Pirson et al. 2011). We often teach that one should
do no harm while maximizing shareholder value or ensure compliance when one trade’s financial
derivatives (Pirson 2017). On the other hand, science provides increasing evidence that our species has
survived as a social, altruistic species in which moral behavior (at least at group level) was key to survival
(Lawrence 2010). As such, ethical behavior is more accurately a TO DO guide, a practical application for
how we organize better (Dierksmeier, Amann et al. 2011).
Since this kind of thinking is considered foreign to most business schools, businesses, and society at
large, we need new stories to reconcile our current management approaches with what famed biologist
E.O. Wilson calls the consilience of knowledge (Wilson 1998). We are all called to create new stories and
new narratives about who we are as human beings and how we organize better. As George Monbiot
states:
It is the realisation that it is not strong leaders or parties that dominate politics as much as powerful
political narratives.[…] This should not surprise us. Stories are the means by which we navigate the world.
They allow us to interpret its complex and contradictory signals. We all possess a narrative instinct: an
innate disposition to listen for an account of who we are and where we stand.
2
Hunter Lovins and Sandra Waddock have called for better, more cogent stories. By that they do not
mean better Hollywood movies or TV scripts. Even though, it would be worthwhile to understand our
fascination with psychopathic antiheroes such as Tony Soprano of the Mafia Saga “the Sopranos, Frank
Underwood in House of Cards, Walter White of Breaking Bad, Nucky Johnson of Boardwalk
Empire”…(this list could be continued). In prior editions of the Humanistic Management Journal, Hunter
Lovins and Sandra Waddock refer to how systemic change has been brought about in the past. It has
always been a shift of stories that we tell each other about what matters and what we should organize
towards.
Such shifts in paradigm or narrative have occurred over time. On the European continent, the dominant
narrative was provided by the Catholic Church until modern times and the renaissance challenged it. By
placing human dignity at the center and employing stories that empowered people to think for
themselves the authority structures were reshaped. The economic historian Deirdre McCloskey argues
2
Cf: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/sep/09/george-monbiot-how-de-we-get-out-of-this-mess
that the main shift towards Western, capitalist economics has occurred by embracing entrepreneurial
problem solving as a dignified activity. When before, moneymaking was considered a second class
activity relegated to minorities, a new story of democratic empowerment and achievement led the path
to Western progress, she argues (McCloskey 2010). A shift of the cultural narrative was arguably the
lever for change. The story changed once more when Marx reframed capitalist activity as exploitation.
The lack of dignity of a large proportion of workers led to the transformation in worldview and in
societal structure. Rescuing economic freedom from Marxist claims and Keynesian state intervention,
the Mont Pelerin Society later advocated for a “free” market (Lawrence and Pirson 2015, Lovins 2016,
Waddock 2016). A very powerful meme of a story that is now called neo-liberalism. These are just some
examples that show how science and research has influenced the stories we tell about who we are,
what we consider important, and what we wish to organize for.
Of course, a call for narratives and stories could be viewed as blasphemous or simply naïve because
social science legitimizes itself by being objective and fact-based. The emergence of “fake news” as a
relevant phenomenon points to the power of stories that are imagined, fact free, and primarily
engineered to gain power. The consilience of science predicted by E.O Wilson, however, provides a
novel starting point for both the scientific, fact-based approach in connection with the more subjective
and faith- based approach to such narratives. While it is a risky endeavor, it seems nevertheless
worthwhile. Exploring the underlying patterns of how we see our world is important. Even more so,
because we need to understand how we can shift our worldview to better enable our survival as a
species.
The stories we tell each other matter. They allow us to engage with what we consider legitimate and
relevant. What is it that we recognize and value in our stories of our shared cultural narratives? It is
important that examine with rigor the stories we tell about ourselves as human beings and our
connection with each other and nature at large. At this point of time, we need to understand which
stories frame our endeavors better. Given that humanity’s survival as a species is at risk we must unpack
misguided frames about who we are and what we organize for.
The Humanistic Management Journal is a place to do so.
Contributions in the current issue
Starting off the latest issue of the Humanistic Management Journal is an article by Jonathan Keir, a
fellow at the World Ethos institute (Keir 2017). He develops his thinking on how better management
practices can be built on the consensus of the global religious narratives. He develops the path-breaking
work of Hans Küng on the World Ethos and highlights how this ethos can become a baseline for global
business management. As Keir states; “for Küng, the ‘World Ethos’ (Weltethos) is a discovery, less of a
common letter than of a common spirit among the world’s major and minor spiritual and cultural
traditions, which he summarises as ‘Basic Trust in life and reality’ (in German Grundvertrauen or
Lebensvertrauen), a yes-saying disposition of love for life ‘despite all temptations to reject it’. Without
such a basic disposition, Küng argues, ‘no one can behave ethically’.” As such Keir develops the
argument that ethics is a strategically valid tool for organizing better. He also argues that such ethically
inspired strategies can engender trust and love and create a culture in which dignity is protected and the
whole person can flourish.
Another way of understanding business is presented by Kevin Jackson of Fordham University (Jackson
2017). He presents music as a metaphor for business, and virtuosity as excellence which can be achieved
through business. Jackson suggests that business and music, when at their best, embody virtuosity. His
article presents the concept of virtuosity in music as an analogue for a deeper understanding of, and for
cultivating, virtuosity in business. Among the advantages of undertaking the comparison is the
assistance it provides in envisioning business in a new light, a task especially called for in a climate of
disillusionment with economic institutions and economic actors. A story of business as searching
harmony trough virtuosity is certainly a different way of understanding management.
Looking at management directly as a practice of communication, Marie Noelle Albert and Jean Pierre
Perouma of the University of Quebec explore how dialogue can be used to construct narratives (Albert
and Perouma 2017). They suggest that such narratives are the foundation of shared purpose and
community. The authors use the concept of a “community of persons” to study a large Canadian
business using autopraxegraphy. Presenting the results of interventions at this company, the authors
describe how the development of dialogues resulted in the creation of a community of people that
could be fully human. However, the traditional practice of focusing on productivity was resumed after
the intervention to align with the dominant story of business. The authors suggest that that practice led
to a disassembly of a community of people and instead devolved to an association of individuals creating
a lot of hidden costs.
Staying with the theme of new stories for better management, Christine Unterrainer, Hans Jeppe
Jeppesen and Thomas Faurholt Jonsson of Aarhus University examine how distributive leadership guided
by common narrative can enable empowerment at all levels (Unterrainer, Jeppesen et al. 2017). In their
paper, they study distributed leadership agency (DLA) as an activity-based concept which aims to
empower leadership throughout the entire organization. The authors suggest that by combining a
descriptive and a normative approach, DLA has the potential of real employee empowerment as it can
protect from arbitrary managerial power and lead to employees’ personal development through sharing
organizational resources, influencing leadership activities and joint decision making in companies. Their
study examines individually perceived autonomy as an antecedent and employees’ occupational self-
efficacy as an outcome of DLA over time. Their results provide first evidence that structural features
such as autonomy precede DLA which in turn makes employees better at their job. Overall this paper
points to the relevance of perceived dignity as autonomous human being in the decision making
process.
In a final contribution, Michel Dion of Sherbrooke University examines sustainability reports as would be
narratives of an organization’s future (Dion 2017). Dion explores how corporate citizenship, social
responsibility, and sustainability reports could be analyzed from a philosophical viewpoint. In his article,
he uses Paul Ricoeur’s hermeneutic philosophy to assess the narrativity of such reports. Out of a
philosophical viewpoint, the exploratory study analyzes the contents of ten reports: two corporate
citizenship reports (Disney; Abbott), three corporate social responsibility reports (WhiteWave; Comcast
NBCUniversal; MGM Resorts International), and five sustainability reports (Whole Foods Market;
Marriott; Johnson & Johnson; Toyota; Honda). Those reports are arising in-time and are thus referring to
past corporate events and phenomena (past-focused perspective). Sometimes such reports introduce a
corporate world-dream that could emphasize various issues such as human dignity and
inclusiveness/diversity, global health, and planetary stewardship (future-focused perspective). They
could even convey a subversive ideal that could strongly shake the foundations of business. The way
business corporations are understanding corporate citizenship and sustainability could, more or less
radically, change the way we are doing business. However, those corporate citizenship, social
responsibility and sustainability reports do not have any emplotment. They are thus stories that cannot
be considered as narratives. We could call them “would-be” narratives. As we can see the narrative
perspective on management can help to see business differently. As Dion argues, organizations could
benefit from using this perspective even more.
I hope you can see the contributions in this issue as helpful stepping-stones. They can inform further
research into the importance of “stories”, paradigms or narratives, and how mindsets can shape our
responses to the current global managerial challenges. We are looking forward to receiving your
submissions.
References:
Albert, M. and J. Perouma (2017). "The Dialogue: an Essential Component to Consider “Organization as a
Community of Persons”." Humanistic Management Journal 2(1): https://doi.org/10.1007/s41463-41017-
40024-41468.
Amann, W., et al., Eds. (2011). Business Schools Under Fire: Humanistic Management Education as the
Way Forward Humanism in Business. New York, Palgrave Mcmillan.
Dierksmeier, C., et al., Eds. (2011). Humanistic Ethics in the Age of Globality. Humanism in Business.
London/New York, Palgrave.
Dion, M. (2017). "Corporate Citizenship, Social Responsibility, and Sustainability Reports as “Would-be
Narratives." Humanistic Management Journal 2(1): https://doi.org/10.1007/s41463-41017-40022-x.
Jackson, K. (2017). "Music and Virtuosity: a Higher Vision for Business." Humanistic Management Journal
2(1): https://doi.org/10.1007/s41463-41017-40020-z.
Keir, J. (2017). "A World Ethos for Humanistic Management: Love Story or Dialogue Platform?"
Humanistic Management Journal 2(1): https://doi.org/10.1007/s41463-41017-40025-41467.
Kueng, H. (2004). Global responsibility: In search of a new world ethic. , Wipf and Stock Publishers.
Kuhn, T. (1996). The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, University of Chicago Press.
Laszlo, C. and F. Tsao (2017). Quantum Leadership, Stanford University Press.
Lawrence, P. (2010). Driven to Lead: Good, Bad, and Misguided Leadership, Jossey- Bass.
Lawrence, P. R. and M. Pirson (2015). "Economistic and humanistic narratives of leadership in the age of
globality: Toward a renewed Darwinian theory of leadership." Journal of Business Ethics 128(2): 383-
394.
Lovins, H. (2016). "Needed: A better Story." Humanistic Management Journal 1(1): 7590.
McCloskey, D. (2010). Bourgeois Dignity: Why Economics Can't Explain the Modern World, University of
Chicago.
Pirson, M. (2016). "Editorial: Welcome to the Humanistic Management Journal." Humanistic
Management Journal 1(1): 1-7.
Pirson, M. (2017). Humanistic Management-Protecting Dignity and Promoting Well Being. Cambridge,
Cambridge University Press.
Pirson, M. (2017). "In a Time of Global Upheaval-Humanistic Management Thinking Needed More Than
Ever." Humanistic Management Journal 1(2): 1-3.
Unterrainer, C., et al. (2017). "Distributed Leadership Agency and Its Relationship to Individual
Autonomy and Occupational Self-Efficacy: a Two Wave-Mediation Study in Denmark." Humanistic
Management Journal 2(1): ttps://doi.org/10.1007/s41463-41017-40023-41469.
Waddock, S. (2016). "Foundational Memes for a New Narrative About the Role of Business in Society."
Humanistic Management Journal 1(1): 91-105.
Wilson, E. O. (1998). Consilience : the unity of knowledge. New York, Knopf : Distributed by Random
House.
... The last decades in social science research show growing interest in the role of place in the development, analyzed not only from the perspective of various organizations operating on its area but mainly from the angle of people who create them as well as through the prism of tangible and intangible artefacts of their activities, which is a sign of a more humanistic approach to the surrounding world and its organizations (Kimakowitz et al. 2010;Pirson 2017). An interesting view of this issue is suggested by humanistic geography whose representatives − such as Yi-Fu Tuan, Edward Relph or Anne Buttimerwhen considering Bthe essence of place^make human being, seen in the context of culture and his regional heritage, the center of their interest (Tuan 1977;Buttimer 2001;Relph 2008). ...
... Thus, stakeholders of the route, by fulfilling their needs through the use of cultural heritage resources, have a significant impact on their preservation and development, and at the same time, these resources significantly affect stakeholders themselves, their development and relations with the environment. Therefore, the interaction between cultural heritage resources and their participants becomes a dialogue based on such values as human rights, cultural democracy, diversity, mutual understanding and exchanges across boundaries, whose role in building routes and communities that create them was noted by the European Institute of Cultural Routes (The ICOMOS Charter on Cultural Routes, 2008); they also constitute foundations of the humanist current in management (Pirson 2017;Melé 2003). ...
Article
Full-text available
The most common way of managing cultural heritage recently takes form of cultural routes as they seem to offer a new model of participation in culture to their recipients; they are often a peculiar anchor point for inhabitants to let them understand their identity and form the future; they offer actual tours to enter into interaction with culture and history, to build together that creation of the heritage, which so is becoming not only a touristic product, but, first of all, the space for cultural, social and civic activity. Yet, so far, according to what we know, the research problem concerning the method of cultural route organization (points on the route) into solid structures or more of the networked nature, has not been deliberated. A question arises, what values are brought by routes and how to organize routes to be the carriers of the values important for communities, where routes are functioning. And, as a consequence, if, from the point of view of the values of local communities, organizing solid route structures or organizing more widely-spaced, network-based routes would bring effects and what those effects would be. Thus, the posed question is of course scientifically imprecise because a network is a type of structure but presents a given direction for the development of cultural route structures. Our objective here is to present a certain solidity and rigidity of structure with dynamic and smooth understanding of the network. The research presented in the article is based on 3 case studies. We have selected for this purpose the three largest cultural routes in Poland, organized to various degrees. The outcome of the research was referred also to other cultural route organization research.
... This can be interpreted as a reflection of the current management education in business schools. If business schools focus their education on shareholder value and view ethics and morality as constraints (Pirson 2017;Amann et al. 2011), organizations are incentivized to foster the encompassing (greedy) utilization of an individual's commitment and loyalty. ...
Article
Full-text available
Digital communication between humans fundamentally changes the nature of communication. One inherent change is the acceleration of communication as a systematic change in societal life, particularly in the workplace. Often, the aim is to release time resources. However, the acceleration of communication also leads to the opposite: a lack of time. This paradoxical development can be based on an acceleration cycle whereby technologies seem to be a solution on the micro-level, but they are also a significant part of the problem on the meso-level.
... In this way, critical engagement with robotic futures can be well-founded and take the form of prescriptive speculation towards developing the future of robots and automation [22]. This means for instance that knowledge from fields like robot ethics, participatory design, but potentially also posthumanist thinking and speculative design can help to create new, meaningful narratives [41]. ...
Chapter
Full-text available
This paper develops an approach towards the study of trust in emerging robotics in a context of technology governance. First, a notion of robotics’ speculative character as an emerging technology is developed, thereby pointing at the different expectations regarding its societal impact. Furthermore, robots as speculative objects are explained as important to engage with, thereby arguing for a narrative approach towards robot trajectories. Finally, based on the above, a concept for the analysis of trust building through technology governance is developed. A concept that can engage with the speculative character of emerging robotics on a societal level.
... Moving responsible managerial learning from the confines of the economistic ontological frame to the humanistic ontological frame requires a shift in narrative (Hambrick 2002;Lawrence and Pirson 2015;Lovins 2016;Pirson 2017a;Raworth 2017;Waddock 2016). Language is a critical component to support and accelerate responsible management learning and so are metaphors and images. ...
Article
Full-text available
Why has responsible management been so difficult and why is the chorus of stakeholders demanding such responsibility getting louder? We argue that management learning has been framed within the narrative of economism. As such, we argue that managers need to be aware of the paradigmatic frame of the dominant economistic narrative and learn to transcend it. We also argue that for true managerial responsibility, an alternative humanistic narrative is more fit for purpose. This humanistic narrative is based on epistemological metaphors and ontological insights that integrate the latest insights from evolutionists suggesting that humans only survived by being responsible. This understanding has consequences for responsible management learning in that it focuses on dignity literacy, balance orientation, as well as creativity and innovation for the common good. We argue that managerial learning within a humanistic paradigm is more likely to lead to ethical and sustainable business conduct.
... Przyjąwszy za punkt wyjścia dla naszych rozważań nurt humanistyczny w naukach o zarządzaniu [Pirson, Turnbull 2011, Kociatkiewicz, Kostera 2013, Pirson 2017, przedmiotem naszego zainteresowania uczyniłyśmy rolę, jaką w zarządzaniu projektem odgrywają ludzie, ich motywacje, a także -co zostało zidentyfikowane w toku badań -ważne z ich perspektywy wartości, takie jak wiara, poczucie przynależności i dumy, wzajemny szacunek i tolerancja. W swoich badaniach skupiłyśmy się na analizie doświadczenia człowieka zaangażowanego w realizację projektu, jego uczuciach, percepcji przedsięwzięcia i motywacji do udziału w nim [Kostera 2014] oraz na wartości związków między ludźmi i poczuciu przynależności w budowaniu sukcesu organizacji i realizowanych przez nią działań [Kostera 2015]. ...
Article
Full-text available
The text attempts to reflect on the project management practices from the humanistic perspective. The subject of consideration involved the World Youth Day (WYD) project, which took place in Cracow in July 2016. In the paper, the World Youth Day is shown as an example of a mass-scale organizational event, which required the people involved to have advanced management skills and the knowledge of methodologies and various tools necessary to manage large projects. Attention, however, was focused on the role that these people and their related values such as faith, emotions, pride, hopes, and dreams played in the management of this project. Thus, the research problem formulated in the paper investigated how the values of the people co-creating the WYD events impacted the effective and timely implementation of the project and its goals.
... The journal has published several pieces that relate to a better narrative (Dion 2017;Lawrence and Pirson 2015;Lovins 2016;Pirson 2016Pirson , 2017aPirson , b, c, 2018Waddock 2016). In a second contribution in this issue, Sandra Waddock (2018) is exploring the possibility of building such a narrative. ...
Chapter
Full-text available
In 2017, the Protestant Church in Germany presented the robot priest “BlessU2” to the participants of the Deutscher Kirchentag in Wittenberg. This generated a number of important questions on key themes of religion(s) in digital societies: Are robots legitimized and authorized to pronounce blessings on humans—and why? To answer such questions, one must first define the interrelationship of technology, religion and the human being. Paul Tillich (1886–1965) referred to the polarization of autonomy and heteronomy by raising the issue of theonomy: the first step on the way to critical research on representing the divine in robotic technology.
Article
Sustainable development is now seen as the business paradigm for the 21st century and poses a significant dilemma for managers, which is to balance economic goals, environmental impact and social development. In recent years, more and more attention has been paid to sustainable entrepreneurship as a concept combining triple bottom line (TBL) aspects since introducing social and ecological values and goals, in addition to economic ones, is seen as a long-term strategy for survival and value creation. Italy’s socio-economic context where there are a large number of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and social enterprises has proven to be a good field for new hybrid forms of for-purpose business. This paper is a single case in-depth study conducted over three years (2017–2019) analyzing Mondora, a certified and legally recognized Benefit Corporation that has introduced full-spectrum teal practices in its governance structure and is shifting the paradigm as a flourishing enterprise. The aim of this paper is to analyze the legal and governance framework of Mondora as a benefit corporation and delineate a best-case example that embraces new leadership practices as a pilot for future research on benefit corporations. The implications lie in the fact that the typology of the social entrepreneur present in benefit corporations has the characteristics of the quantum leader outlined by Tsao and Laszlo (2019).
Article
Full-text available
The paper argues that if humanity is to survive looming system collapse we need a new narrative of what it means to be human, how to organize our economy and how to create a world that works for everyone. The report outlines the challenges created by our current neo-liberal economic narrative. It provides corporate and leadership solutions that can craft a new story of an economy that works for 100% of humanity. It describes the regenerative economy that is emerging through a common commitment to entrepreneur a finer future. Behaving in ways that are more responsible towards people, planet and profit, a concept known as the integrated bottom line, enhances every aspect of core business values. Ensuring well-being and dignity for all of humanity is core to creating an economy in service to life.
Article
Full-text available
This paper argues that memes form the basis of our cultural narratives, and that today’s dominant memes need to dramatically shift to contend with the realities of growing inequality and climate change, which could pose existential threats to humanity. The paper offers a potential set of memes that could be used to develop a business and economic narrative that allows for inclusiveness, wellbeing and dignity for all, while still emphasizing a prosperous business community but not allowing it to dominant societal thinking. New memes proposed focus at the societal level arguing that societies (and businesses) are deeply intertwined with nature, that goals should emphasize wellbeing and dignity for all, defining ‘wealth’ as collective value and dignity as reverence for humans, living beings, and Nature itself. Relevant capitals are multiple, including economic/financial, human/intellectual, social/relational, natural/ecological, and spiritual/reverence. Core values include freedom and democracy within constraints of dignity and an ecologically sustainability social contract, creating ‘fair’ markets, ‘glocal-ism,’ both private and public goods, and collaboration combined with competition. Governments play important roles in setting fair laws and regulations and business’ purpose becomes maximizing aggregate wellbeing within ecological constraints without dignity violations.
Article
Full-text available
Drawing on insights from evolutionary psychology and modern neuroscience, this paper highlights propositions about human nature that have far reaching consequences, when applied to leadership. We specifically examine the main factors of human survival and extend them to a model for leadership in the twenty-first century. The discussion concludes with an outlook on the organizational and structural conditions that would allow for better and more balanced leadership.
Scitation is the online home of leading journals and conference proceedings from AIP Publishing and AIP Member Societies
Article
Two centuries ago the world’s economy stood at the present level of Chad. Two centuries later the world supports more than six-and-half times more people. Starvation worldwide is at an all-time low, and falling. Literacy and life expectancy are at all-time highs, and rising. How did average income in the world move from $3 to $30 a day? Economics mattered in shaping the pattern but to understand it economists must know the history and historians must know the economics. Material, economic forces were not the original and sustaining causes of the modern rise, 1800 to the present. Ethical talk runs the world. Dignity encourages faith. Liberty encourages hope. The claim is that the dignity to stand in one’s place and the liberty to venture made the modern world. An internal ethical change allowed it, beginning in northwestern Europe after 1700. For the first time on a big scale people looked with favor on the market economy, and even on the creative destruction coming from its profitable innovations. The world began to revalue the bourgeois towns. If envy and local interest and keeping the peace between users of old and new technologies are allowed to call the shots, innovation and the modern world is blocked. If bourgeois dignity and liberty are not on the whole embraced by public opinion, the enrichment of the poor doesn’t happen. The older suppliers win. The poor remain unspeakably poor. By 1800 in northwestern Europe, for the first time in economic history, an important part of public opinion came to accept creative accumulation and destruction in the economy. People were willing to change jobs and allow technology to progress. People stopped attributing riches or poverty to politics or witchcraft. The historians of the world that trade created do not acknowledge the largest economic event in world history since the domestication of plants and animals, happening in the middle of their story. Ordinary Europeans got a dignity and liberty that the proud man’s contumely had long been devoted to suppressing. The material economy followed.