Introduction – Humanistic Management: Social Entrepreneurship and Mindfulness, Volume II


Humanistic Management advocates for protection of human dignity and social well-being as central concerns of management, over and above the economistic view of pure pursuit of profits and productivity. UN PRME ask that the global Sustainable Development Goals be made local. This book is an attempt to contribute to these two goals. It does that by making several local ideas from humanistic practices around the globe available for global use by others who are interested in the Humanistic Management and the UN PRME.

This book is one of two that arose from ongoing conversations among several members of the global Humanistic Management Network who had gathered for the first Humanistic Management Pre-Conference held at the University of British Columbia, alongside the Academy of Management Meetings in Vancouver, Canada in August 2015. This one provides a humanistic perspective on topics of Social Entrepreneurship and Mindfulness and the companion volume provides it for Leadership and Trust. These topics are commonly taught in management courses but only a few professors have incorporated the UN PRME relevant materials and even fewer have used the humanistic perspective. This book offers fresh theoretical frameworks on practices of humanistic management in the areas of social entrepreneurship and mindful organizing along with exemplar case-studies and experiential exercises to apply these theories to.

The book is organized in two sections: Social Entrepreneurship and Mindfulness. The first section begins with a theoretical framework for social entrepreneurship as a humanistic form of managing for societal well-being. The following chapters offer case studies for students to engage and apply the theory in a practical manner. Homeboy Industries is an exemplar case about providing employment to former prisoners to give them a fresh start for a different life. There is a student engagement activity where they can play online video games to learn about social problems and thereby raise their awareness. A case study from Greece showcases the way policy makers can make changes in laws to enable social change and the challenges of bringing about societal improvement. Another case study, this one from Indonesia, showcases how societal problem of waste can be turned into an opportunity with innovations from ­Indonesia. The cases illustrate ways to turn around a social problem and solve it so that dignity is protected and well-being increased.

The second section of the book offers a set of alternative practices that are useful when trying to implement a humanistic management perspective, such as mindfulness and appreciative inquiry. These begin with the premise that change comes from within, and engage people in a more fully human manner. With appreciative inquiry, people can be heard and silent spaces held sacred for the real issues to emerge safely. Mindful organizing practices can facilitate strategic clarity and responsibility, enabling everyone to cocreate solutions for our current societal problems.

The contributions to this book showcase the global relevance of the humanistic principles for responsible leadership. By providing examples from different parts of the world, it also conveys that social problems cross political boundaries and sometimes need global solutions beyond borders.

The contributions have come from the “so-called” real world and have been tested in their classrooms by the authors. The book offers examples of both good and bad management situations across business, government, and nongovernment organizations. For those interested in teaching more topics from a Humanistic Management perspective, we recommend the companion volume that covers topics of Leadership and Trust. For those new to Humanistic Management or interested in more details about this approach, an expanded overview is available in the book: Humanistic Management: Protecting Dignity and Promoting Well Being, by Michael Pirson. We also encourage you to check out the International Humanistic Management Association for more information on how to get involved (

The editors thank the contributors, and take responsibility for any errors that may remain. We would love any feedback on experiences with the material. Please feel free to contact us at


Michael Pirson, Fordham University New York.

Jyoti Bachani, Saint Mary’s College of California, Moraga.

Robert J. Blomme, Nyenrode Business University Netherlands.

Supplemental readings may be assigned from any of the other books on Humanistic Management.