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Two Hearts Believing in Just One Mind? The Humanistic Management Network and the Global Ethic Project

Two Hearts Believing in Just One Mind? The Humanistic Management Network and the Global Ethic... It is drearily fashionable to criticise the business community for its chronic refusal to take values - beyond the bottom line - seriously. A more honest investigation of the phenomenon of moral bankruptcy in global business and finance, however, reveals that a prior crisis among humanists - widespread denial of the very existence and even desirablility of universal values - predates the financial crises and big business scandals of recent decades, and deserves a healthy portion of the blame for them. Opposition to this quest for common values takes many forms, principled as well as practical. Values, it is commonly argued, belong in the realm of individual freedom; organisations, including corporations, have no business trying to impose moral preferences on their employees. The only solution fit for the 21st Century, with its highly differentiated and increasingly global labour markets, is, on the standard neoliberal account, to leave individuals alone to pursue their own conceptions of the good life on the condition that they display a minimum of respect for the rule of law within the organisations in which they operate. Such ethical minimalism, however, leaves a society more or less defenceless against the excesses of its most powerful actors, which today most certainly include multinational corporations. Without demanding higher, global standards of ethical responsibility beyond mimimum legal compliance, a ‘race to the bottom’ among business actors desperate for survival is, and has been, the inevitable result of this total abandonment of higher humanistic principles. The reintroduction of Basic Trust, necessary for all ethical behaviour, into the system in which global managers operate - an impossible task without turning to an updated global patrimony of humanistic learning - is the common goal of the Humanistic Management Network and the Global Ethic Project. This brief paper critically explores the paths to reform proposed by the two movements, and shows how each can play an important supporting role in helping the other to achieve its main goals. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Humanistic Management Journal Springer Journals

Two Hearts Believing in Just One Mind? The Humanistic Management Network and the Global Ethic Project

Humanistic Management Journal , Volume 1 (1) – Aug 3, 2016

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2016 by Springer International Publishing
Subject
Philosophy; Ethics; Quality of Life Research
ISSN
2366-603X
eISSN
2366-6048
DOI
10.1007/s41463-016-0008-0
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

It is drearily fashionable to criticise the business community for its chronic refusal to take values - beyond the bottom line - seriously. A more honest investigation of the phenomenon of moral bankruptcy in global business and finance, however, reveals that a prior crisis among humanists - widespread denial of the very existence and even desirablility of universal values - predates the financial crises and big business scandals of recent decades, and deserves a healthy portion of the blame for them. Opposition to this quest for common values takes many forms, principled as well as practical. Values, it is commonly argued, belong in the realm of individual freedom; organisations, including corporations, have no business trying to impose moral preferences on their employees. The only solution fit for the 21st Century, with its highly differentiated and increasingly global labour markets, is, on the standard neoliberal account, to leave individuals alone to pursue their own conceptions of the good life on the condition that they display a minimum of respect for the rule of law within the organisations in which they operate. Such ethical minimalism, however, leaves a society more or less defenceless against the excesses of its most powerful actors, which today most certainly include multinational corporations. Without demanding higher, global standards of ethical responsibility beyond mimimum legal compliance, a ‘race to the bottom’ among business actors desperate for survival is, and has been, the inevitable result of this total abandonment of higher humanistic principles. The reintroduction of Basic Trust, necessary for all ethical behaviour, into the system in which global managers operate - an impossible task without turning to an updated global patrimony of humanistic learning - is the common goal of the Humanistic Management Network and the Global Ethic Project. This brief paper critically explores the paths to reform proposed by the two movements, and shows how each can play an important supporting role in helping the other to achieve its main goals.

Journal

Humanistic Management JournalSpringer Journals

Published: Aug 3, 2016

References