The Challenge of Humanistic Management
- Cite this article as:
- Melé, D. Journal of Business Ethics (2003) 44: 77. doi:10.1023/A:1023298710412
According to the origin of the word "humanism" and the concept of humanitas where the former comes from, management could be called humanistic when its outlook emphasizes common human needs and is oriented to the development of human virtue, in all its forms, to its fullest extent. A first approach to humanistic management, although quite incomplete, was developed mainly in the middle of the 20th century. It was centered on human motivations. A second approach to humanistic management sprang up in the 80's and centered on organizational culture. This implied a wider approach to the human condition while taking into account the influence of culture on behaviors and decision-making, but it is incomplete, too. There is a third approach to humanistic management, which is still emerging, that considers a business enterprise as a real community of persons. That means promoting unity and favoring the acquisition of human virtues. This humanistic management approach is a real challenge in order to achieve a higher moral quality in management, human virtues among people and more efficient organizations.