Sub-Themes > Track 7: Humanistic Management

Humanistic Management

Convenors/Track chairs:

  • David M. Wasieleski, Institute for Ethical Business, Duquesne University, USA & Affiliate Research Professor in Ethics and Innovative Management, ICN Business School, Nancy, France
  • Sandra Waddock, Galligan Chair of Strategy, Carroll School Scholar of Corporate Responsibility, Professor of Management\Boston College, Carroll School of Management, USA

Affiliated Journal: Special Issue for Humanistic Management Journal (Springer)

Description: Humanistic management involves “recognizing what people are, treating them accordingly and fostering their development” (Mele, 2012).  The humanistic narrative starts with the realization that dignity is central to what it means to be human; suggesting that individuals need dignity in order to flourish (Pirson, 2017).  At the epicenter of humanistic management is the understanding and value of promoting human dignity because it has intrinsic value. Human dignity “is the idea that every human being has transcendent value that resides within his or her essence” (Mesa & Sims, 2018: 3). Promoting dignity is necessary for achieving the common good in an organization or in society (Sison et al., 2016).  Without the root assumption of dignity, humanistic outcomes of individual and collective well-being and human flourishing cannot result.  As a counter to the economic models of generating material wealth, the creation of well-being involves qualitatively measuring non-material aspects of life that lead toward life satisfaction, including the preservation of the ecological environment.  So, while the operating logic of the economistic models is wealth creation and power driven by maximization, humanistic models have the promotion of practical wisdom and the protection of dignity through well-being as the underlying logic (Pirson, 2017a).

This track responds to the necessity for imagining possibilities and thinking “creatively, broadly, and provocatively about improving lives from many different perspectives” (Coyle- Shapiro, 2018) by convening action-motivated submissions from diverse management disciplines to contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Drawing on a humanistic perspective of management that privileges the protection of human dignity and promotion of well-being (Pirson, 2017; Pirson & Turnbull, 2011; Pirson & Lawrence, 2010; Spitzeck, Pirson, Amann, Khan, & Kimakowitz, 2009), this track embodies a high engagement space for sharing ideas, sparking inspiration, and co-generating solutions about how organizations and organizational members can improve lives and advance well-being across social, environmental, political, and economic dimensions. It encourages interdisciplinary dialog, the strengthening of ongoing cross-disciplinary research related to improving lives and well-being, and the creation of solutions-focused initiatives within the framework of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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