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Humanistic Management
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Book description

In a world facing multiple crises, our foundational institutions are failing to offer effective solutions. Drawing on the emerging consilience of knowledge, Michael Pirson debunks the fundamental yet outdated assumptions of human nature that guide twentieth-century management theory and practice - as captured in the 'economistic' paradigm - and instead provides an urgently needed conceptual and practical 'humanistic' framework, based on the protection of human dignity and the promotion of well-being. By outlining the science-based pillars of this innovative system, Pirson provides a twenty first-century model for the responsible twenty first-century leader seeking sustainable ways to organize in a world of crisis. Highlighting relevant applications for research, practice, teaching and policy, this book is ideal for graduate students and professionals seeking to develop their understanding of responsible business, business ethics and corporate responsibility.


'Read this important, accessible, and beautifully-developed book. You will be glad you did!'

Sandra Waddock - Galligan Chair of Strategy, Carroll School Scholar of Corporate Responsibility, Boston College

'This book is a revelation! So many people in senior management positions today feel a huge disconnect between their personal values and those of their businesses and the wider economy. They long for a new story - a new way of doing business. This brilliant book not only explains why they feel as they do but shows how to construct an economy that reflects who we truly are as people.'

Stewart Wallis - Lancaster University and previously Director, New Economics Foundation.

'This is an excellent book which expounds on the basics for stakeholder responsibility: protection of dignity and contribution to wellbeing.'

Klaus Schwab - Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum

'We are living in a time where old understandings of politics, economic organization and management are collapsing under their own weight. The pernicious idea that corporations exist to create shareholder value has reached the end of its useful life. What would organizations look like in an economy organized around the creation of well-being? Humanistic Management provides a solid and grounded framework for creating these new ways of management.'

Jerry Davis - Gilbert and Ruth Whitaker Professor of Business Administration, Michigan Ross School of Business, and author of The vanishing American corporation

'An insightful book for the 99% - and the 1% who think that they run the world should take a close look, too.'

John Elkington - Chairman and Chief Pollinator, Volans, co-founder of Environmental Data Services (ENDS) and SustainAbility, and co-author of The Breakthrough Challenge

'We live in an age of disruption. At the root of the current global social and environmental crisis is an old paradigm of economics and management that has outlived its usefulness. In this book Michael Pirson takes us on an intriguing journey of tracing the sources and foundations of an emerging paradigm that can inspire the next generation of management research, management practice, and leadership capacity building.'

Otto Scharmer - Senior Lecturer, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Sloan School of Management, Founder of Presencing Institute and author of Theory U

'Humankind looks over the edge of a precipitous cliff, reflected in business scandals and public mistrust. The path we have taken stops at the edge. In Humanistic Management Michael Pirson points to another path, one away from the cliff, toward a future where dignity counts as much as maximization.'

Thomas Donaldson - Mark O. Winkelman Endowed Professor, The Wharton School University of Pennsylvania

'Managers and policy makers who want to improve business and society of tomorrow should read Pirson's thoughtful analysis. Shifting business strategy towards dignity and wellbeing can benefit not only employees but society at large.'

Douglas Frantz - Pulitzer Prize winner and Deputy Secretary General, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

'Michael Pirson provides the long overdue re-embedding of economic theory and managerial practice into its scientific and real-life contexts: from ethics to democracy, from psycology to ecology. Something that got completely separated and fragmented is being healed and becoming whole again. Humanistic Management transforms an impoverished chrematistic ideology back into what it ought and originally was thought to be: an economy serving the common good.'

Christian Felber - Vienna University of Economics and Business, initiator of the international 'Economy for the Common Good' movement

'This is an important book. It explains how the narrative of business is changing, and why we should adopt this more human understanding of business. Read it more than once. We can and should make business better.'

R. Edward Freeman - The Darden School, University of Virginia

'With Humanistic Management: Protecting Dignity and Promoting Well Being, Michael Pirson provides a sterling upgrade to the inadequate business economic theories that currently shape democratic capitalism. With this brilliant book, Pirson helps readers see a path toward better theory, which has the potential of spurring better practice and a more meritorious future for us all.'

Roger Martin - Institute Director of the Martin Prosperity Institute and the Michael Lee-Chin Family Institute for Corporate Citizenship, Rotman School of Management

'Very few people have the intellectual breadth to accomplish what Michael Pirson did in this remarkable book. Weaving together insights from a variety of disciplines, he has shown us what lies at the core of our shared humanity - our desire to be treated with dignity - and how crucial it is to develop a paradigm for business that recognizes his fundamental truth. His passion for promoting dignity, wellbeing, and human flourishing come through his writing. Thank you, Michael, for this enormous contribution to our understanding of what the world needs to take us farther down the path of our development.'

Donna Hicks - Associate at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University

'Humanistic Management is a much needed and timely articulation of humanistic perspectives on organizations. For researchers, managers, policy makers and teachers alike this book is a wakeup call to take humanistic perspectives seriously. However, beyond waking us up through research, examples, and arguments, the book provides direction and inspiration about how to move down the pathways toward greater well-being and human dignity.'

Jane E. Dutton - Robert L. Kahn Distinguished University Professor of Business Administration and Psychology, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan

'Michael Pirson shows us how we can restore human beings to the center, where they rightly belong. This book is a landmark contribution to our understanding of how to make this happen in practice and in our research and teaching.'

Raj Sisodia - F. W. Olin Distinguished Professor of Global Business and Whole Foods Market Research Scholar in Conscious Capitalism, Babson College, Co-founder and Chairman Emeritus of Conscious Capitalism Inc

'Important book. It provides critical foundations for a new narrative of an economy in service to life.'

L. Hunter Lovins - President, Natural Capitalism Solutions

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  • 1 - Two Narratives for Business
    pp 5-6


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