Reframing Economic Ethics

The Philosophical Foundations of Humanistic Management

Claus Dierksmeier, 124 Pages, Palgrave, 2016



  • Sinn und Werte

This short book contains centuries of economic history. We learn a lot about the closing of the economic mind and Dierksmeier shows that there is an alternative to mainstream theories. After an overview of the leading paradigms (mechanistic, theological, liberal), he sketches the necessary elements of a both realistic and human-centered approach. Being one of the founders of the worldwide "Humanistic Management Network", the author brings in a convincing global perspective.

The book reconstructs major paradigms in the history of economic ethics up to, and including, the present day. Asserting that ethics should be integral rather than marginal to economics and management education, Reframing Economic Ethics highlights the need for a paradigm change from mechanistic to humanistic management, and argues that the failures of markets and managers in recent years were paved by a misguided management education. The author shows how the reader can and must learn from the history of economic thinking to overcome the theoretical shortcomings and the practical failings of the present system.

Dierksmeier does not use a moral perspective but a historic analysis for developing his claims. In his reflection on today’s circumstances the existing economic problems are not caused by human beings in first place, but by the tendency for shortening economic coherences in general. This again is seen as the result of trying to get processes as predictable as possible. In consequence the author does not plead for a fundamental different Business system but for a re-centering on the factor human. Furthermore, the Author reasons that humans are capable of moral acting, even in Capitalism, while Algorithms are not.

In 6 chapters the author leads the reader through economic history towards a new way of thinking about today’s business world. It is worth reading – for scholars, for students and especially for future managers who are not afraid of free thoughts.


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