Care, and Its Relevance to Today’s Economy
Care is a central aspect of human existence. What we care about and who we care for largely determine our way of being. The subjects of care present a frame of reference for our human functioning. Within organizational settings, caring is usually thought of as pertaining either to leadership roles or to team and peer social ties. But from the organizational or management point of view, there are more stakeholders to care about. The imperative of responsibility implies that nature, human beings, and future generations should be accepted as primary subjects of care in business. Business actors must develop practices that incorporate genuine interest in and caring for the existence and well-being of these primordial “stakeholders.” We care for others not because they have rights that we should respect, or because we expect something in return from them. We care for others because of our humanity. However, this does not mean that care is always disinterested. Caring for others in many cases serves our best interest. But the primary motive for caring is not self-interest, but our responsibility for the existence and well-being of others.
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