Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Value Creation with the Humanistic Mission of ‘People for People’

During the last several years both business and society are undergoing substantial change. A few key examples illustrate this change: the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico; the nuclear catastrophe in Japan; the ongoing European debt crisis and social movements such as “Occupy Wall Street” that have spread around the globe. All these changes show that it is not simply single actors who are salient, but rather networks of actors. This interconnectedness is the critical feature of today’s reality. Value creation takes place between firms and stakeholders in networks to achieve greater service to society. Such networks of value creation encompass the boundary of sectors (economic, political, and societal) as well as the degree of institutionalization (formal and informal).

Business schools are responsible for preparing new generations of leaders for a networked globalized society in which intra- and inter-network cooperation is key. The responsibility of business schools was also the topic at the caucus session we conducted at the annual meeting 2011 of the Academy of Management (AoM) (http://www.fh-hwz.ch/g3.cfm/s_page/63780/s_name/socialmovementinitiativeteaching). The focus was to assess whether there is sufficient interest in the core challenge of nurturing humanism in management education by creating a network of interested scholars. The shared understanding of participants was that it matters what business schools do in educating future leaders and managers. The participants came to the conclusion that as educators of future leaders and as world citizens we have to foster teaching and research that contributes to the humanistic mission of ‘People for People’. "People for People" describes the humanistic mission of all management: human beings helping others.

If you are interested to advance the humanistic mission in management education please join us for our Professional Development Workshop at the annual meeting 2012 of the Academy of Management (AoM) in Boston. Joseph Mahoney (University of Illinois) and I organized this workshop for the following divisions of AoM: Business Policy and Strategy (BPS), Human Resources (HR) and the Social Issues in Management (SIM). Panelists include Sandra Waddock (Boston College), Robert Phillips (University of Richmond), James Post (Boston University), Tom Donaldson (University of Pennsylvania), Ed Freeman, (University of Virginia). The workshop takes place on 03. August 2012, 2:45pm, pm Boston Hynes Convention Center, Room 301 (http://program.aomonline.org/2012/subMenu.asp?mode=setmenu&menuid=14).

I am looking forward to see you there.

Sybille Sachs

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