The italian way to Humanistic Management

According with Domènec Melé “management could be called humanistic when its outlook emphasizes common human needs and is oriented to the development of human virtue, in all its forms, to its fullest extent. A first approach to humanistic management, although quite incomplete, was developed mainly in the middle of the 20th century. It was centered on human motivations. A second approach to humanistic management sprang up in the 80s and centered on organizational culture. This implied a wider approach to the human condition while taking into account the influence of culture on behaviors and decision-making, but it is incomplete, too. There is a third approach to humanistic management, which is still emerging, that considers a business enterprise as a real community of persons. That means promoting unity and favoring the acquisition of human virtues. This humanistic management approach is a real challenge in order to achieve a higher moral quality in management, human virtues among people and more efficient organizations”. (Domènec Melé, The Challenge of Humanistic Management, JOURNAL OF BUSINESS ETHICS Volume 44, Number 1, 2003)

The aim of this site is to show the particular italian approach to Humanistic Management, developed by Marco Minghetti in collaboration not only with a lot of managers, consultants, economists, but also philosophers, writers and artists like Milo Manara e The Nobel Prize Wislawa Szymborska. A multidisciplinary approach to understanding the complex, liquid,  nature of the contemporary firm and society, alternative to  the pervasive presence of the “solid” Scientific  Management. The belief is that even in  the great madness of the contemporary age a method, an interpretation and a meaning can be found that all the actors playing out their roles and living out own their stories on the business and society stage can share.

In other words,  as Humanistic Management Manifesto points out, the italian vision of Humanistic Management isn’t a new paradigm, a new absolute, axiomatic truth, but rather a new type of discourse. A discourse that talks to us of how to catch the emergence of new things, of how one learns to learn, of how the one is affected by the world we belong to and, at the same time, how the world is (also) the fruit of our creative contribution.  Of how then to recommence reflection on the aims, in addition to the means, that puts “art” at the centre, as is revealed to us at the highest level by poets, novelists and playwrights: by “humanists” in the Renaissance sense, storytellers, sensemakers through the novel, poetry, autobiography, the theatre and the cinema, but also the social networking e the web 2.0.

As Gary Hamel has recently written: “The management model that predominates in most organizations has its roots in the early 20th century.  At that time, management innova­tors were focused on the challenge of achieving efficiency at scale.  Their solution was the bureaucratic organization, with its emphasis on standardiza­tion, specialization, hierarchy, conformance and control.  These principles comprise the philosophical foundations of Management 1.0, and are deeply baked into management mindsets and processes.  In virtually every organization, one finds that power cascades down, that strate­gies get set at the top, that tasks are assigned and not chosen, that supervi­sors review subordinates rather than the other way around, that control is imposed, and that senior executives allocate resources.

Before the Web, it was hard to imagine alternatives to manage­ment orthodoxy.  But the Internet has spawned a Cambrian explosion of new organizational life forms–where coordination occurs without centraliza­tion, where power is the product of contribution rather than posi­tion, where the wisdom of the many trumps the authority of the few, where novel viewpoints get amplified rather than squelched, where commu­nities form spontane­ously around shared interests, where opportuni­ties to “opt-in” blur the line between vocation and hobby, where titles and credentials count for less than value-added, where perfor­mance is judged by your peers, and where influence comes from sharing information, not from hoarding it.”

Origins of Humanistic Management in Italy: the ockhamist organization

Agip Library

The Shakespearian Company 

The Humanistic Management Manifesto 

Nothing twice. The Management seen through the poetry by Wisława Szymborska

The In-Visible Corporation

The Web Opera 


Postmodern Alice

Collaborative Intelligence Towards the Social Organization