A Humanistic Narrative for Responsible Management Learning: An Ontological Perspective

Journal of Business Ethics 162 (4):775-793 (2020)
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Why has responsible management been so difficult and why is the chorus of stakeholders demanding such responsibility getting louder? We argue that management learning has been framed within the narrative of economism. As such, we argue that managers need to be aware of the paradigmatic frame of the dominant economistic narrative and learn to transcend it. We also argue that for true managerial responsibility, an alternative humanistic narrative is more fit for purpose. This humanistic narrative is based on epistemological metaphors and ontological insights that integrate the latest insights from evolutionists suggesting that humans only survived by being responsible. This understanding has consequences for responsible management learning in that it focuses on dignity literacy, balance orientation, as well as creativity and innovation for the common good. We argue that managerial learning within a humanistic paradigm is more likely to lead to ethical and sustainable business conduct.



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