Personalist Business Ethics and Humanistic Management: Insights from Jacques Maritain
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- Acevedo, A. J Bus Ethics (2012) 105: 197. doi:10.1007/s10551-011-0959-x
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The integration of personalism into business ethics has been recently studied. Research has also been conducted on humanistic management approaches. The conceptual relationship between personalism and humanism, however, has not been fully addressed. This article furthers that research by arguing that a true humanistic management is personalistic. Moreover, it claims that personalism is promising as a sound philosophical foundation for business ethics. Insights from Jacques Maritain’s work are discussed in support of these conclusions. Of particular interest is his distinction between human person and individual based on a realistic metaphysics that, in turn, grounds human dignity and the natural law as the philosophical basis for human rights, personal virtues, and a common good defined in terms of properly human ends. Although Maritain is widely regarded as one of the foremost twentieth century personalist philosophers, his contribution has not been sufficiently considered in the business ethics and humanistic management literature. Important implications of Maritainian personalism for business ethics as philosophical study and as practical professional pursuit are discussed.