78 Domènec Melé
he himself considered a “humanistic” approach. in 19th century to designate the Renaissance
In his own words, Maslow “attempted to enlarge emphasis on studying classical authors and lan-
our conception of the human personality by guages (Latin and Greek) in education.3
reaching into the ‘higher’ levels of human However, the roots are much older. In 15th
nature” (1970, p. ix). He accepted the previous century, those who pursued and endorsed these
findings coming from experimental psychology classical studies were called umanisti, an Italian
and psychoanalysis but he went beyond these word. According to R. Grudin (1989, p. 723),
disciplines by adopting “a new general philos- author of the article on “humanism” in the New
ophy of life” which led him to a deeper knowl- Encyclopedia Britannica, umanisti comes from
edge of human needs.1 Latin studia humanitatis, which was a course of
Apart from Maslow, some other authors have classical studies that included grammar, poetry,
adopted conceptions of management which rhetoric, history and moral philosophy. In
could be considered as approaches to humanistic fact, in Renaissance, the concept of humanitas
management, at least in a broad sense, since they became a key educational and political ideal.
emphasize several aspects of the human condi- “Renaissance humanism – he affirms – in all its
tion. The first purpose of this paper is to explore forms defined itself in its straining towards this
these historical approaches. So after a short ideal. No discussion, therefore, of humanism can
discussion about the meaning of humanistic man- have validity without an understanding of human-
agement three approaches to humanistic manage- itas.” Accordingly, Grudin gives us an explana-
ment will be distinguished. Then it will endeavor tion of the meaning of humanitas in Ancient
to show that the third approach to humanistic Greece:
management is more complete in considering the
human condition and the capacity of everyone “Humanitas meant the development of human
to develop better human qualities than the virtue, in all its approaches, to its fullest extent.
previous ones. The term thus implied not only such qualities as
are associated to the modern word humanity –
understanding, benevolence, compassion, mercy –
What humanistic management means? but also such more aggressive characteristics as
fortitude, judgment, prudence, eloquence, and
even love of honor. Consequently the possessor of
“Humanistic” is related to “humanism”, an old humanitas could not be merely a sedentary and
and rich concept. The term “humanism”, isolated philosopher or man of letters but was of
although it does not have a univocal sense,2 is necessity a participant in active life. Just as action
generally understood as the realization of certain without insight was held to be aimless and barbaric,
human ideals. More specifically, humanism is insight without action was rejected as barren and
usually conceived as an outlook emphasizing imperfect. Humanitas called for a fine balance
common human needs and is concerned with between action and contemplation, a balance born
human characteristics. It leads to structuring not of compromise but of complementarity.”
social life in a way that is appropriate for the
human condition. However, this way of under- A complementary explanation is provided by
standing humanism is too vague. So it is neces- Miralles (1975, p. 518) who holds that the word
sary to start by clarifying what humanism, and humanitas which gives origin to “humanism”
humanistic management, will mean in the is the Latin translation of the Greek word
context of this paper. In fact, the meaning ϕιλανθρωπ´ α ( filantropia) that means “love to
adopted here is very close to the origin of the the human condition”. It seems it was employed
term “humanism” and its meaning in the first by Aeschylus who applied this term to the
Ancient World, although it includes certain benevolence of Prometheus towards mankind. In
conceptual enrichment. the Hellenistic and Roman era it was a quality
The term “humanism” was introduced by the desirable in a monarch. St. Paul attributed it to
German scholar F. J. Niethammer as humanismus Christ. In Stoic writers or those influenced by
The Challenge of Humanistic Management 79
Stoicism, humanitas has a sense of something if we avoid answering such questions definitely, we
common that maintains humans united to each cannot avoid them” (1968/1938, p. 8).
other beyond race, beliefs, origin and social
conditions. A third author, quite different from Follett and
Accepting this meaning of humanistas, here Barnard but more than likely with a significant
humanistic management is understood as a man- influence on Maslow and other authors who will
agement that emphasizes the human condition be mentioned, was Elton Mayo. He introduced
and is oriented to the development of human an approach based on satisfaction for social con-
virtue, in all its forms, to its fullest extent. ditions of work. From the famous Hawthorne
experiments of the Western Electric Company in
Chicago (Roethlisberger and Dickson, 1939),
First set of approaches to humanistic Mayo (1933, 1945) realized that informal orga-
management nization exists in all organizations and the
informal group is an outlet for the aspirations of
In a paper presented in 1925, Mary Parker workers. That means a certain humanistic
Follett, who has been called “a prophet of approach, since it includes human relations in
modern management” (Graham, 1994), wrote: work organizations.
“We can never wholly separate the human from However, the consideration of persons by
the mechanical side . . . But you all see every day Mayo was exclusively related to increased pro-
the study of human relations in business and the ductivity. Mayo’s aim is made clear in his own
study of operating are bound up together” (1940, words: “a research study of human behavior and
p. 124). In her view there were no psycholog- human relations was eminently desirable. Such
ical, ethical or economic problems, but human study, if made without presuppositions other than
problems and these cover aspects which could those justified by biology or the human aspect
be psychological, ethical, economic and of clinical medicine, might, we believed, be
whatever. This outlook was one of the first more productive than a direct attack on labor
humanistic approaches to management. relations” (1945, p. xi). His findings showed work
Chester I. Barnard, another outstanding satisfaction depends to a large extent on the
pioneer in management thought, was also con- informal pattern of the work group, and satis-
cerned with the human and ethical side of faction is related to productivity. Mayo consid-
management. In his words, organizations last “in ered that management ought to provide the bases
proportion to the breadth of the morality by for group affiliation and to foster spontaneous
which they are governed” (1968, p. 282). But cooperation. But, for this purpose he only
what is even more remarkable in Barnard is the proposed a suitable communications system,
way in which he pointed out the importance to particularly upwards from workers to manage-
achieve a correct vision of the human being ment.
before dealing with organizations. In his mem- From clinical psychological observation,
orable book The functions of the executive, first Maslow (1970/1954) stated that humans are
published in 1938, he wrote: motivated by multiple needs and those needs are
hierarchical. He identified five general levels of
“I have found it impossible to go far in the study motivating needs: physiological needs, safety
of organizations or of behavior of people in needs, belongingness and love needs, esteem
relation to them without being confronted with a
needs and the need for self-actualization. He
few questions which can be simply stated. For
example: ‘What is an individual?’ ‘What is a presented a more comprehensive approach to
person?’ ‘To what extent do people have power of human beings than the current psychology of his
choice or free will?’ The temptation is to avoid days and rejected the images of man that the
such difficult questions, leaving them to philoso- latter generated.
phers and scientists who still debate them after Regarding the need of self-actualization,
centuries. It quickly appears, however, that even Maslow stated:
80 Domènec Melé
“A musician must make music, an artist must paint, (1968), focused on the development of the indi-
a poet must write, if he is to be ultimately at peace viduals as well. All these authors, like Maslow,
with himself. What a man can be, he must be. He avoid talking about the ethical side of human
must be true to his human nature. This need we growth.
may call self-actualization (. . .) It refers to man’s Concluding, the scholars of this first set of
desire for self-fulfillment, namely, to the tendency
approaches to humanistic management insisted
for him to become actualized in what he is poten-
tially. This tendency might be phrased as the desire
on the necessity of managers being concerned for
to become more and more what one idiosyncrat- motivating human needs and considered in
ically is, to become everything that one is capable different ways the need for self-actualization (or
of becoming” (1970, p. 46). (The italics are the their equivalent: personal growth or development
author’s) of the individual) but they did not delve too
much into the specific contents of these concepts.
It is an interesting approach, but it is more In fact, they were more interested in knowing
than questionable that “what a man can be, he how human behavior could be motivated to
must be”. A person can become a lot of different improve outcomes than in investigating what a
things, since each human being has many poten- human being actually is both as an individual and
tialities, some better than others. He or she can as a social being.
become someone with an excellent character or,
on the contrary, someone quite depraved. Here
it underlines a crucial ethical aspect. Second approach to humanistic
Maslow could have in mind the self-fulfillment management
of the idiosyncrasy of each one excluding bad
aspects. However, he did not talk about that. A second set of approaches to humanistic man-
In fact, self-fulfillment can have two different agement came from considering organizational
meanings: developing personal idiosyncrasy, culture. Culture within human groups and how
whatever that can be, and developing the noblest the group influences the individual have been
potentialities of each human being. The former studied by cultural anthropology since 19th
has only a psychological sense, while the latter century. But the study of organizational cultures
has an ethical sense related to character. didn’t become popular until the 1980’s with the
Unfortunately, Maslow, as the psychologist he works of Peters and Waterman (1982), who
was, only paid attention to the development of related some strong organizational cultures with
the idiosyncrasy of each one, without considering business excellence, and those of Deal and
the ethical side of this development. Kennedy et al. (1982), who studied 200 corpo-
The need for self-actualization is also very rate cultures and their relation to performance.
important in the contribution of Douglas Schein (1985/1992, 1990) and Kilmann et al.
McGregor (1960) through his well-known Y (1985) made a significant contribution to the
Theory. He considered that the satisfaction of the theoretical development of this concept.
individual’s “self-actualizing needs” is the best Afterwards some attempts have been made to link
way to obtain commitment. He pointed out that organizational culture and improvement initia-
the average human being learns, under proper tives in organizations (Detert et al., 2000) and
conditions, not only to accept but also to seek now many relate organizational culture with
responsibility, and many more people are able to positive organization results (Goffee and Jones,
contribute creatively to the solution of organi- 1998).
zational problems that do so. A variant of this Organizational culture has been defined, in
approach is that given by Likert (1961, 1967). He very simple but intuitive words, as “the way we
maintains that a leader must always adapt his or do things around here” (Deal and Kennedy,
her behavior to take persons into account, to lead 1982, p. 4). Pettigrew described it as “an
them with their expectations, values and skills. amalgam of beliefs, ideology, language, ritual and
Other scholars, as Argyris (1957) and Herzberg myth” (1979, p. 572). Gordon and DiTomaso
The Challenge of Humanistic Management 81
state that a corporate culture is “a pattern of that may become necessary – the destruction of
shared and stable beliefs and values that are culture” (1985, p. 2). But not everyone agrees
developed within the company across time” with this position. Smircich (1983), e.g., thinks
(1992, p. 784). From a different perspective, it that organizational culture “is” a part of the
has been said that “culture is what a group learns organization (something inherent to any organi-
over a period of time as that group solves its zation) and it is exclusively the outcome of the
problems of survival in an external environment interactions between the individual and the
and its problems of internal integration. Such organization. So managers have nothing to do
learning is simultaneously behavioral, cognitive, with building up an organizational culture.
and an emotional process” (Schein, 1990, p. 111). Others give a deeper knowledge of how to do
Two levels can be distinguished in an organi- it as a pre-condition for changing cultures. Thus
zational culture: an inner and invisible one and Fitzgerald (1988, p. 9) holds that “although the
another that is superficial and visible; the latter management of culture has been declared a
contains external manifestations of the former needed instrument for strengthening organiza-
(Sathe, 1983; Schein 1985/1992). The inner tional control and producing improvements, we
level, which basically contains beliefs (hypothesis, can’t talk intelligently about changing cultures
assumptions, and the business model the organi- until we understand how to change underlying
zation holds to be true) and values (principles or values.”
qualities considered worthwhile by the organi- The debate on the role of management in
zation), seems the most essential for character- building up an organizational culture is still going
izing a certain culture. In Schein’s view, the term on, but more and more it is accepted that
culture “should be reserved for this deeper level managers have a real influence on organizational
of basic assumptions and beliefs that are shared culture. In a very pragmatic way, The Price
by members of an organization, that operate Waterhouse Change Integration Team (1996),
unconsciously, and that define, in a basic ‘taken- after interviewing over 200 senior-level corpo-
for-granted’ fashion, an organization’s view of rate executives in a variety of manufacturing and
itself and its environment” (1985, p. 6). service organizations, strongly recommends that
The importance of organizational culture in managers focus directly on culture, but indirectly
organization performance is a matter of fact. For through some organizational aspects which shape
many years, organizational theory has paid an organization’s culture, such as: leadership
attention to strategy, structure and managerial actions; vision, purpose, and strategy; perfor-
systems to control an organization. But now mance measures; structure; people practices; and
there is an increasing conviction that a set of competitive context.
elements less visible and difficult to measure, as In fact, many managers are aware of the orga-
shared values and beliefs, have a great influence nizational culture in their respective organizations
on human behavior and the decision-making and are trying to promote it. Now, the question
process within the organization (Kotter and is whether or not a management focus on the
Heskett, 1992; Goffee and Jones, 1998, among organizational culture, apart from motivations, is
others). Thus organizational culture cannot be more humanistic than one that only considers
ignored by management any more. motivations.
Regarding the role of management on orga- There is no doubt that human beings live
nizational cultures, it has been questioned within a culture; they influence culture and
whether or not their leaders can promote them. develop themselves under a culture. In very
Schein, who many consider as one of the most precise words, Pope John Paul II has pointed out
outstanding scholars on organizational culture, the need to take culture into account to better
does not hesitate to affirm: “Organizational understand persons:
cultures are created by leaders, and one of the
most decisive functions of leadership may well be “It is not possible to understand man on the basis
the creation, the management, and – if and when of economics alone, nor to define him simply on
82 Domènec Melé
the basis of class membership. Man is understood culture helps to explain both the incidence of
in a more complete way when he is situated within ethical and unethical behavior. In the same way,
the sphere of culture through his language, history, other authors have pointed out that the pressure
and the position he takes towards the fundamental to adapt one’s behavior to an organizational
events of life, such as birth, love, work and death. culture may lead to unethical behavior (Shetia
At the heart of every culture lies the attitude man
and Von Glinow 1985; Baucus, 1989; Trevino,
takes to the greatest mystery: the mystery of God.”
(1991, n. 23)
1990; Stead et al., 1990; Sims, 1992, 2000;
Douglas et al., 2001; Sims and Brinkmann, 2002)
In conclusion, if culture is part of human life or can reinforce ethical decision-making (Chen
and organizational cultures have such an influ- et al., 1997). Knouse and Giacalone (1992) noted
ence on the behavior of its members, there is no that a possible cause of the behaviors within an
doubt that considering organizational culture is organization could be that an organizational
a better way to understand the human condition culture sends messages of sanctioned or unsanc-
than considering only human needs. Accordingly, tioned ways of making decisions. More specifi-
this second approach to humanistic management cally, it has been reported that certain ethical
focused on building up organizational cultures is climates-an aspect of organizational cultures,
richer than the first one. However, it is also quite which permit quantitative measurements-can
limited. foster crime (Werhane, 1991; Sims, 2000).
The goal for many scholars who deal with However, most of these approaches are bound
organizational cultures is to use this concept to by the limits of the empirical research and
better explain the variations in patterns of emphasize the influence of organizational
organizational behavior, stability of a group and cultures on the favoring of unethical behaviors
its influence on performance. Actually, they have rather than on the fostering of character.
obtained interesting findings by employing
methods of organizational psychology, including
surveys, interviews, documentation, history, Third approach to humanistic
observation of behaviors, etc. Their main interest management
lies only in how values and other elements of
organizational cultures influence behavior and There is a third approach to humanistic man-
performance from a psychological or sociological agement centered on building up a community
perspective. of persons embedded with an organizational
In a more specific way, other researches have culture which fosters charater. In this way, it takes
studied the relationship between organizational into account human needs and motivations, like
culture and ethical behavior. At the beginning of the first approach, but considers the ethical side
the 80’s, Fisse and Braithwaite (1983) showed that of the need for self-actualization. Promoting an
organizational cultures have an impact on the organizational culture is also included in this
ethical behavior and moral practices of people approach, but it adds an appropriate culture for
in organizations. Afterwards, many other scholars developing people.
have supported this finding. Trevino et al. (1985) This approach takes, as a starting point, the
found that when ethical behaviors are reinforced social nature of the persons and their capacity for
by organizational culture, these behaviors acquiring virtues that perfect them and, as a
increase, and conversely, when unethical behav- consequence, for growing as human beings. Due
iors are reinforced by culture, members tend to to their social nature, human individuals have the
exhibit more unethical behavior. In another capacity to form communities with real bonds.
research, Trevino (1986) established that when a The idea of community comes from the Latin
culture is more democratic it is associated with word communitas meaning “common” and evokes
an increase in ethical behavior including a greater individuals united for something they have in
willingness to take individual responsibility. common. Communities have a certain organiza-
Gagliardi (1990) stated that organizational tion, which gives them support, but what really
The Challenge of Humanistic Management 83
makes a community is its unity. That implies that firm, which one is free to join, demands certain
the members of the community have a certain relations and voluntary bonds. An elemental
bond between them; sometimes it is a natural observation points out that people who consti-
bond as in the family with the relationships tute a business enterprise can have three kinds
between parents and children, or a voluntary of motives to remain united to it:4
bond connected with some common goals shared
• There are motives directly related with
by the members of the community. The latter is
some external compensation: salaries, material
the case for business enterprises, as I will try to
rewards or other benefits, training received
show later on.
or for the personal learning associated with
The concept of “community” has been used
the job, power, the position or prestige
at length in sociology and philosophy, although
obtained by being a member of a commu-
not too much in management and organizational
nity with a certain role and doing some
theory so far. There is not a unique definition
of community, but it generally refers to the social
• Other motives are found in some pleasure
structures of people with specific actions, rela-
associated with the present situation within
tions and a sense of unity. In other words, in a
the firm, such as having an enjoyable job,
community there is not only mutual relations
being proud of belonging to a firm with a
among persons, but these persons appear as a
great reputation, working in a certain group
unity and forming a “we” (Stein, 1998, p. 248).
or occupying a prestigious post within the
In fact, those who belong to a community say
firm, liking the quality of human relations
“we”, but without lacking their own personal
and so on.
• Finally, there are motives that lead to atti-
According to Wojtyla (1979–80), who employs
tudes of identification, commitment and
a phenomenological approach, “we” expresses
loyalty to the mission, values or goals of the
directly a multiplicity of individuals while indi-
firm. This group of motives is derived from
rectly refers to persons who belong to this
discovering that serving or cooperating with
multiplicity. Usually, for community we do not
the enterprise is something worthy for
understand only the multiplicity of subjects, but
everybody; it is a common good for the
the unity of such a multiplicity; a unity that is a
enterprise and even for society at large. So
consequence of the relations and bonds estab-
these motives, which could be called tran-
lished between these subjects. Community
sitive motives, are related with a sense of
includes both relationships and the sum of the
service and cooperation.
relationships. In this way, a community has a
supra-personal character but individuals remain Individual interests for scarce resources
with their own personality. “We” are many motivate competition, but that does not bring
subjects who exist and act in common. The about unity. On the contrary, the perception of
meaning of “in common” is not, however, a common goals fosters cooperation. While
multiplicity of actions made together, but a set competition urges people to dominate others,
of individuals doing actions that respond to a cooperation is essential for the maintenance of
common value, that is to say, in a cooperative society in general and organizations in particular.
way for the sake of common goals. This common The two former groups of motives mentioned
value deserves to be called “common good”, the (compensation and pleasure), intrinsically con-
common good of a community. sidered, are directly related to the self-interest of
After this short introduction about the concept the individuals involved in the organization and
of community, it is time to ask whether or not the unity between an individual and the organi-
a business enterprise is a community. Answering zation will only be possible if the interests do not
this question requires an analysis of the bonds and compete for some scarce resources. However,
the corresponding motives of the people involved there could also be some common interests, like
in a firm, since the unity of a community as a the survival of the firm, which produces a sense
84 Domènec Melé
of cooperation which fosters unity. When there enterprises). He adds: “a business cannot be
are transitive motives for a “common value” and considered only as a ‘society of capital goods’
accordingly identification, commitment and because it is also a ‘society of persons’ ” (1991,
loyalty, besides other motives, then the unity n. 43 and 32). In addressing businesspersons and
becomes stronger. executives he has insisted on the importance of
If business firms were a mere collection of self- considering business corporations as communi-
interested individuals continuously competing to ties of persons (Kennedy et al., 1994; Melé,
achieve their personal goals, without any concern 1992). But this proposal has not been diffused
for common goals and with an absolute lack of so much yet.
cooperation, they could not survive. In practice, An important consequence of considering
those who form an organization are persons with firms as a community of persons is taking into
some degree of identification, commitment and account that its unity and conditions ought to be
willingness to achieve common goals, even when appropriate for the persons who constituted it.
sometimes achieving these goals could mean As Aristotle pointed out long ago, a human indi-
sacrificing some personal interests. The history vidual is a free and rational being who continu-
and culture of an enterprise, especially when it ously changes and, in a dynamic way, acquires
has a certain age, contribute to creating unity habits which increase his or her moral quality
too. All of that leads to considering enterprises (human virtues) or, on the contrary, this quality
as communities of persons, beyond being an becomes worse (Sherman, 1989; Mintz, 1996).
instrument for profits and a sort of organism This is the point where this third approach fits
which tries to adapt itself to the environment. the sense of humanitas explained at the beginning
Furthermore, firms are part of society and of this paper and related to human virtues.
interact continuously with it. They cannot be a But, what do we understand by human
parasite or a cancer for society but a pillar for virtues? In fact, that is an old subject, developed
social life and therefore the only correct attitude in Ancient Greece by Socratic philosophers,
is cooperation between firms and society and mainly by Aristotle. Now, with the current
concern for the common good. So considering development of virtue ethics it is again a highly
enterprises as communities within society is also topical subject. However, not all kinds of virtues
an ethical requirement. According to Solomon can be considered human virtues. Furthermore,
(1992, p. 148) “the first principle of business some current virtue ethics theories present a
ethics is that the corporation is itself a citizen, a relativistic approach. As Nussbaum (1993) points
member of the larger community, and incon- out; there is a striking divergence between
ceivable without it.” He reminds us of the Aristotle and contemporary virtue ethics. She
Aristotelian view that we are, first of all, reminds us that Aristotelian virtue creates the
members of a community, adding: “corporation right disposition to choose and respond well
becomes one’s immediate community and, for in the important spheres of shared human expe-
better or worse, the institution that defines the rience. She adds that there is no completely
values and the conflicts of values within which non-relative, culturally-independent way of
one lives much of one’s life” (Solomon, 1992, understanding spheres of human experience (e.g.
p. 148). friendship will be expressed through different
On the other hand, considering a business customs at different times and in different places),
enterprise as a human community is not entirely but there are virtues such as justice or courage
new. Catholic social teaching has already pre- which are required in every sphere of human
sented business enterprises as communities of experience.
people at least since the beginning of the 60’s.5 On the other hand, MacIntyre (1985) has
More recently, Pope John Paul II has alluded to showed that there are different traditions of
the creation of “working communities” by a understating virtue. One conception is that
disciplined work in close collaboration with found in Homer that a virtue is a quality which
others (that is what happens within business enables an individual to discharge his or her role,
The Challenge of Humanistic Management 85
like courage in the warrior. Another one is that behavior and decision-making but so far they
virtue is a quality which has the utility of have not paid too much attention to promoting
achieving earthly or heavenly success (having organizational cultures appropriate for fostering
qualities as a strategist, being a good negotiator, human virtues within the organization. A
or a laborious individual): this is the concept humanistic management approach should do so.
of virtue found in the writing of Benjamin Humanistic management should build up
Franklin, among others. The third conception of unity to achieve that the community of persons,
virtue is found in Aristotle and in the New which is an enterprise, becomes stronger as a
Testament: here virtue is understood as a quality community. In addition, it has to reconsider
of the character that enables an individual to motivations and organizational culture. Managers
move towards achieving his or her fulfillment as have to motivate people around them to acquire
a human being. In this conception, virtues are virtues and try to discover and promote beliefs
interior strengths that foster a person to act and values within the organizational culture that
according to the noblest human capacities. That foster human virtue, in all its forms, to its fullest
leads to concern for people and to respect and extent. That leads to the need for new research
love them with a benevolent rational love, in order to delve into the relationship between
without sentimentalism.6 these concepts and practical ways to carry out
In business each role needs certain habits and this humanistic management.
indeed certain habits are also required to be Last, but not least, this humanistic manage-
successful in achieving an objective. Nevertheless, ment is not a naïve approach nor a lack of
I think that in a humanistic approach it is better realism. On the contrary, there is growing
to reserve the term “human virtue” for the third evidence that human virtues and some habits,
conception (related with human fulfillment). that some authors called virtues too, are quite
However, the development of these other habits relevant for business performance (Horvath,
(or “virtues” in a broad sense, if you like) is not 1995; Solomon, 1999; Walton, 2001).
excluded from humanistic management, unless On the other hand, it is easy to see that
they, in a certain case, would become incompat- human virtues favor cooperation, and coopera-
ible with genuine “human virtues”. tion is absolutely necessary for business organi-
zations, as Ch. Barnard (1968/1938) pointed
out many years ago, and since then it has
Conclusion been repeated again and again. In the current
situation, in which organizations tend to be
The concept of humanistic management pre- flattened, a strong sense of cooperation is even
sented here, which strives to build up a com- more necessary. As Ghosal and Barlett (1995)
munity of persons and foster the development stress, for today’s managers the purpose-process-
of human virtues, gives a deeper content to people doctrine of management rests on the
previous humanistic approaches to management. premise that the organizational task is to shape
Namely, this one which considers human needs the behaviors of people and create an environ-
and their motivation and the other which ment that enables them to take initiatives, coop-
endeavors to build up an organizational culture. erate and learn.
As has been discussed, the classic motivation In conclusion, it seems that a humanistic man-
theories only considered the human needs that agement approach as has been sketched here is
should be satisfied to achieve good results, while a real challenge for achieving a higher ethical
the humanistic management proposed here quality in management. It is a challenge for
includes motivating people but taking into academics: it would be useful to clarify, develop
account the need for growing as a person and spread some concepts outlined in this paper.
through human virtues. On the other hand, the On their part, managers have the challenge to
current organizational culture approaches strive to build up communities of persons, with
consider the role of values and beliefs on all their implications. Adopting this approach
86 Domènec Melé
they are fostering both the human growth of That is, at least, the sense of human fulfilment and
people and, as a consequence, their sense of the role of virtues in Augustine and Aquinas (see, e.g.
service and cooperation which indubitably are Wadell, 1992). Other religious and moral wisdom
crucial for the long-term outcomes. traditions also understand reciprocity and altruism as
a great expression of moral human quality.
In his own words: “I certainly accepted and built
upon the available data of experimental psychology Argyris, C.: 1957, Personality and Organization (Harper
and the psychoanalysis. I accept also the empirical and & Row, New York).
experimental spirit of the one, and the unmasking and Barnard, I. C.: 1968/1938, The Functions of the
depth probing of the other, while yet rejecting the Executive (Harvard University Press, Cambridge,
images of man which they generate. (. . .) However, MA).
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