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Beyond Mechanism: An organicist business education for the anthropocene

Ellis, N.R. (2018) Beyond Mechanism: An organicist business education for the anthropocene. In: Brueckner, M., Spencer, R. and Paull, M., (eds.) Disciplining the Undisciplined? Springer International Publishing, pp. 21-38.

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Human actions have pushed planetary systems beyond their normal range of operation, bringing forth a new geological epoch of its own making. The Anthropocene —the age of humankind—is argued here to represent a failure of the higher education system (and business schools in particular) to prepare society for the challenges of transforming towards true social -ecological sustainability . In turn, it will be demonstrated that adherence to normative ‘mechanistic ’ modes of thought has prevented mainstream business education from effectively engaging with this task, and that a reorientation towards an organicist worldview is required. In doing so, the contours of business education are redefined to embrace holism, social-ecological complexity and ethical care for nature. Two organicist principles—social-ecological systems thinking and positive ecological reciprocity—are presented here as a starting point to imagine a business education fit for purpose in the twenty-first century.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Murdoch Affiliation: Centre for Responsible Citizenship and Sustainability
Publisher: Springer International Publishing
Copyright: © 2018 Springer International Publishing AG
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