Beyond Mechanism: An Organicist Business Education for the Anthropocene

  • Neville R. EllisEmail author
Part of the CSR, Sustainability, Ethics & Governance book series (CSEG)


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.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Agriculture and EnvironmentThe University of Western AustraliaPerthAustralia
  2. 2.Centre for Responsible Citizenship and ResponsibilityMurdoch UniversityPerthAustralia

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