Sarah Dawkins and Angela Martin
The importance of philosophical and anthropological knowledge in management education regarding sustainability
In Search of a Multidisciplinary, Innovative and Integrated Approach
Angela Vidal and Gandra da Silva Martins
In a technological era we easily tend to materialize objectives, losing perspective by reducing management activity to exclusively economic goals. This chapter aims to propose an interdisciplinary approach that allows management students to develop a deeper capacity for reflection on the transcendence of management activity. Concerned with the motivation for sustainability practices in management, we would like to demonstrate the role and importance of anthropological knowledge that goes beyond the current conception of the human being as a maximizer of preferences in the education of future leaders. Our idea is twofold: to prepare students to meet social expectations inside and outside the enterprise; and to promote their personal and societal flourishing, and even better economic goals as well, as a consequence. Our research aims to show, from a different perspective, how philosophical anthropology could help future managers by deepening in them such concepts as humanity, rationality, relationality, nature, work, and so on, which can then generate in them more responsibility towards the economy, the environment, and society. The idea would be to sustain and achieve more efficacious action in facing necessary and appropriate goals. Our hypotheses and philosophical reasoning are inspired by the Socratic method and developed through questions on concepts. This will help us to reflect on the purpose and meaning of our activities in management education regarding sustainability. This in turn will show us how important it is to bring the study of anthropology into this field. Thus scholars will be able to realize the significance of philosophical anthropological knowledge regarding an integral formation and its consequences for students in this area. As a conclusion we would like to suggest some practical solutions in management education goals, followed by a basic program for teachers on this subject, denominated ‘Fundamentals of Anthropology in Management Education’, as a possible guide for a discipline to be included in schools of management programs.