Beyond Economic Criteria: A Humanistic Approach to Organizational Survival

25 Pages Posted: 27 Jan 2007

See all articles by Josep M. Rosanas

Josep M. Rosanas

University of Navarra - IESE Business School


There are many, often mutually inconsistent, theories about organizations that explain organizational phenomena to the same, limited extent. Most of them ignore the ethical dimension completely. In this paper we propose the basic principles for a theory of decision-making in organizations that has ethics at its core. This theory is based on the work of Juan Antonio Pérez López (1991, 1993) and is essentially a humanistic view of the interrelationships between people and their implications for organizational decision-making. First, we show how, in any interrelationship between two people, what each person learns is crucial to the future of the relationship. We then consider the different aspects of what each person learns. Second, we apply the preceding analysis to the organizational context, as a guide to organizational decision making, and show how any decision in an organization needs to be analyzed in terms of three criteria: short-run effectiveness, development of distinctive competence, and unity and identification of employees with the organization.

Keywords: business ethics, ethical foundations of organization, trust, management theory, learning

Suggested Citation

Rosanas, Josep M., Beyond Economic Criteria: A Humanistic Approach to Organizational Survival. IESE Business School Working Paper No. 654, Available at SSRN: or

Josep M. Rosanas (Contact Author)

University of Navarra - IESE Business School ( email )

Avenida Pearson 21
Barcelona, 08034
34 932534200 (Phone)
34 932534343 (Fax)

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics