The virtue of human being in organizations

By: Lloyd Sandelands

Sandelands, L.E., (2015). “The virtue of human being in organizations.” In Alejo Jose G. Sison (ed.), Handbook of Virtue Ethics in Business and Management. New York: Springer.


Virtue ethics scholarship is about the perfection of human persons in society. Positive organizational studies (POS) is about the flourishing of human persons in society. This chapter is about the perfection and flourishing of human persons in business. Reaching beyond the social sciences to metaphysical philosophy, I describe the acts by which we are perfected and flourish as human persons. Observing that business organizations differ in how well they support these acts and thus in how fully they support the personhood of their members, I argue that human being itself is the paramount virtue of business. This suggests an ethic for business leaders oriented not to “managing” human resources for profit, but to “ministering” to employees that they be more fully human. I conclude by calling attention to the dynamic of our lives that is all but ignored in business studies today; namely, that as a “fallen” being subject to sin, we are not fully the human person that we can and want to be. We long to be a perfected person able to know and love others in God.