Humanism in Business Series
The Humanistic Management Network is an international, interdisciplinary, and independent network that promotes the development of an economic system with respect for human dignity and well-being. The Humanistic Management Network defends human dignity in face of its vulnerability. The dignity of the human being lies in its capacity to define autonomously the purpose of its existence. Since human autonomy realizes itself through social cooperation, economic relations and business activities can either foster or obstruct human life and well-being. Against the widespread objectification of human subjects into human resources, against the common instrumentalization of human beings into human capital and a mere means for profit, we uphold humanity as the ultimate end and principle of all economic activity. In business as well as in society, respect for human dignity demands respect for human freedom. Collective decision-making, in corporations just as in governments, should hence be based on free and equal deliberation, participation or representation of all affected parties. Concerns of legitimacy must, in economics like in politics, precede questions of expediency. We believe that market economies hold substantial potential for human development in general. To promote life-conducive market activities, we want to complement the quantitative metrics which hitherto define managerial and economic success with qualitative evaluation criteria that focus on the human dignity of every woman and every man. As researchers, we work towards a humanistic paradigm for business and economics, trying to identify and facilitate corporate and governmental efforts for the common good. As a think-tank, we set out to spread intellectual tools for culturally and ecologically sustainable business practices that have the human being as their focal point. As teachers, we strive to educate, emancipate and enable students to contribute actively to a life-conducive economy in which human dignity is universally respected. As practitioners, we act towards the implementation of a humanistic economy on an individual, corporate, and governmental level. As citizens, we engage our communities in discourse about the benefits of a human-centred economy.