Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 144, Issue 2, pp 251–262 | Cite as

Practicing Human Dignity: Ethical Lessons from Commedia dell’Arte and Theater

  • Simone de ColleEmail author
  • R. Edward Freeman
  • Bidhan Parmar
  • Leonardo de Colle


The paper considers two main cases of how the creative arts can inform a greater appreciation of human dignity. The first case explores a form of theater, Commedia dell’Arte that has deep roots in Italian culture. The second recounts a set of theater exercises done with very minimal direction or self-direction in executive education and MBA courses at the Darden School, University of Virginia, in the United States. In both cases we highlight how the creative arts can be important for promoting human dignity in organizations, and how they can lead to a more authentic conversation about values, ethics, and meaning.


Ethics Theater Collaboration Dignity 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Simone de Colle
    • 1
    Email author
  • R. Edward Freeman
    • 2
  • Bidhan Parmar
    • 2
  • Leonardo de Colle
    • 3
  1. 1.IESEG School of Management (LEM-CNRS)ParisFrance
  2. 2.Darden Graduate School of Business AdministrationUniversity of VirginiaCharlottesvilleUSA
  3. 3.Actor at Piccolo TeatroMilanItaly

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