Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York
 

 
Center for Humanistic Management

Humanistic Management:

Protecting Human Dignity
Promoting Human Well-Being

The Center for Humanistic Management was established to do research, provide teaching and inform practice and policy along the precepts of humanistic management.

Humanistic management respects and protects human dignity and promotes sustainable human well-being in line with the carrying capacity of the planet.

The center works in an interdisciplinary manner across the humanities and the social and natural sciences to improve the condition of human existence. We see business as a foundational element of society that can be conducted for human development. The unifying character of humanism guides our thinking on the future of market economies and the role of businesses therein.

The center's work includes:

  • Creating and co-developing the theoretical basis for a humanistic management paradigm.
  • Disseminating knowledge through education at various levels: undergraduate, graduate and executive.
  • Reaching out and creating dialogue with practitioners and policy makers along the precepts of humanistic management.

Mission

Our mission is to influence business academics, management practitioners, policy makers and the general public in defining the purpose and role of business in a global society. We foster the creation and dissemination of actionable knowledge to change business practices toward humanistic ideals.

Vision

Our vision is a global economy in which all stakeholders are equally respected, so that market mechanisms are applied to maximize societal benefits rather than individual profits — an economy in which economic rationality is applied as a means rather than an end in itself.

Overview

In our world, the human being and its fundamental needs are increasingly broken down into material necessities. The "economization" of everyday life is supplanting humanistic ideals. These ideals, however, have been the foundation of free, liberal and democratic societies, focusing on human nature and its potential in a holistic way.

Fordham's Center for Humanistic Management is a partner of the Humanistic Management Network, an international, interdisciplinary and independent network that promotes the development of an economic system in service of human dignity and well-being.

We therefore subscribe to the basic positions of the Humanistic Management Network, which defends human dignity in the face of its vulnerability. The dignity of the human being lies in its capacity to define autonomously the purpose of its existence. Because human autonomy realizes itself through social cooperation, economic relations and business activities can either foster or obstruct human life and well-being. Against the widespread objectification of human subjects into human resources, against the common instrumentalization of human beings into human capital and a mere means for profit, we uphold humanity as the ultimate end and principle of all economic activity.

In business as well as in society, respect for human dignity demands respect for human freedom. Collective decision-making, in corporations just as in governments, should hence be based on free and equal deliberation, participation or representation of all affected parties. Concerns of legitimacy must, in economics as in politics, precede questions of expediency.

We believe that market economies hold substantial potential for human development in general. To promote life-conducive market activities, we want to complement the quantitative metrics which hitherto define managerial and economic success with qualitative evaluation criteria that focus on the human dignity of every woman and every man.

For more information about Fordham's Center for Humanistic Management, please contact its director, Professor Michael Pirson, at pirson@fordham.edu.



 

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