Q: What is Humanistic Management?
A: Humanistic management represents human-centered organizing practices. These practices honor the intrinsic value of all life and protect dignity of all humans. The practices are oriented towards flourishing of all life and the enhancement of human well-being. Humanistic management differs from traditional, mechanistic, or economistic practices in that humans are more than resources, stakeholders, assets or capital. Human beings are the means and ends and the purpose of management is to serve human flourishing rather than wealth creation.
Q: How is it different from other management approaches?
A: In the recent decade numerous initiatives emerged that aim to protect human dignity and promote well-being, including conscious business, the common good economy, B-corps etc. Without naming their practices humanistic, we would consider them such if indeed they aim to protect dignity of all life and enhance well-being of all humanity. There is however the danger of humanistic “washing” in that the main argument brought forward is “it is better for business; it is more profitable.” Humanistic management practices are indeed sometimes better for business and more profitable, but that typically is not the reason why they are done. They are better for human beings, and often (but not always) that turns out to be better for business. In humanistic management, the ultimate reason to do something is that it protect human dignity and promotes human flourishing of all.
Q: Is Humanistic Management new?
A: No, in fact, humanistic management practices are as old as our species, homo sapiens. These practices may not necessarily have been labeled “humanistic” at the time though. In the past centuries and decades in which business administration emerged as a separate discipline, there have always been “humanistic” schools of thought (i.e. human relations, humanistic psychology or their more modern versions positive psychology, positive organizational scholarship etc.)
Q: What books can you recommend?
A: There are a number of books for academic audiences, which appear in the Humanism in Business series at SpringerNature. Check out our store for links to books on humanistic management.
Q: How can I become a member?
A: Check out our membership page.
Q: How can I get more involved?
A: There are many ways to get more involved. You can sign up for our newsletter, become a paid member, and volunteer.
Q: Can we start a Humanistic Management Association in our country?
A: In general that is a possibility. There is a quality assurance process in place. In case you are interested send us an email to that effect.
Q: What pedagogical resources are there?
A: We have been working and editing a number of case volumes along with pedagogical guidebooks for executive education.
Q: What online offerings do you have?
A: We are working on a number of online formats. To benefit from those we encourage you to become a member.
Q: Can I submit content to the IHMA blog and newsletter?
A: Yes you can. We are always interested in promoting and amplifying people’s work as it relates to Humanistic Management. Please use this form to submit your content.
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