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A World Ethos for Humanistic Management: Love Story or Dialogue Platform?

A World Ethos for Humanistic Management: Love Story or Dialogue Platform? Abstract Humanistic reform of management theory and practice could be expected to take a plurality of guises. One such manifestation of the desire for a humanistic reorientation of management discourse is the Weltethos Institut at the University of Tübingen, Germany. The Institute’s work builds on the legacy of founder Hans Küng in the sphere of interreligious and intercultural dialogue, and seeks to apply the humanistic insights learnt there to the world of organisations. 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’. This paper explores the paradox at the heart of the ‘World Ethos’ idea as it applies to questions of organisational leadership and management: if a certain spirit of Grundvertrauen among employees is indeed a feature of successful organisations, the attempt to cultivate it directly in the name of increased efficiency or profit is a potentially sinister and counter-productive enterprise. A more truly humanistic approach to organisational management might ease up on the top-down ‘love and trust’ message and instead provide a platform on which all members of an organisation feel free to reveal their ‘whole selves’ and explore their own spiritual sources—and those of colleagues—in a critical but ultimately trusting and constructive climate. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Humanistic Management Journal Springer Journals

A World Ethos for Humanistic Management: Love Story or Dialogue Platform?

Humanistic Management Journal , Volume 2 (1): 8 – Oct 1, 2017

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
2017 Springer International Publishing AG
ISSN
2366-603X
eISSN
2366-6048
DOI
10.1007/s41463-017-0025-7
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Abstract Humanistic reform of management theory and practice could be expected to take a plurality of guises. One such manifestation of the desire for a humanistic reorientation of management discourse is the Weltethos Institut at the University of Tübingen, Germany. The Institute’s work builds on the legacy of founder Hans Küng in the sphere of interreligious and intercultural dialogue, and seeks to apply the humanistic insights learnt there to the world of organisations. 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’. This paper explores the paradox at the heart of the ‘World Ethos’ idea as it applies to questions of organisational leadership and management: if a certain spirit of Grundvertrauen among employees is indeed a feature of successful organisations, the attempt to cultivate it directly in the name of increased efficiency or profit is a potentially sinister and counter-productive enterprise. A more truly humanistic approach to organisational management might ease up on the top-down ‘love and trust’ message and instead provide a platform on which all members of an organisation feel free to reveal their ‘whole selves’ and explore their own spiritual sources—and those of colleagues—in a critical but ultimately trusting and constructive climate.

Journal

Humanistic Management JournalSpringer Journals

Published: Oct 1, 2017

Keywords: Ethics; Quality of Life Research

References