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Towards a Human-Centered Theory and Practice of the Firm: Presenting the Humanistic Paradigm of Business and Management

Michael Pirson, Ernst Von Kimakowitz


In this article, we review the challenges to the current economic system and then proceed by presenting two competing paradigms—the economistic and humanistic paradigms of business. We then develop the consequences of the humanistic view for the theory and practice of the firm with regard to global sustainability. We examine paradigmatic differences regarding business strategy, governance structures, leadership styles, and organizational culture, and illustrate them based on global case examples. In this manner, we contribute to the discussion of alternative theories for global sustainability, centering the debate on authentic human needs and the consequences of such for management theory.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13185/1891