The Managerism initiative promotes responsible and accountable business leadership: it is a private, independent, open and non-commercial project -- started and supported by a network of individuals. It offers an alternative German/Austrian perspective on management topics and the matrix business/economics/society.

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Lesson Number 74 is now online

The Rise and Fall of Business Ethics

How managers lost their business ethics and how family firms with moral principles turned into profit-maximizing shareholder-value corporations. The tale of the original business purpose of Cadbury, one of the world's iconic chocolate brands and of Hershey, another chocolate maker with a long tradition of business ethics.  More


Lesson Number 68

New Work, Purpose And Self-Determination

Many businesses have already adopted the working methods of New Work and Agile Work. After all, these methods are associated with meaningful work and flexibility. But the way they are applied is having serious consequences. And yet, managers could have learned from earlier attempts to humanize the workplace. More


Lesson Number 72

RELECTURE 7: Michael Polanyi – Advocate of Scientific and Social Freedom

Following Relecture 6 which featured Karl Polanyi, this Lesson looks at the works of his brother, Michael Polanyi, a polymath who made important contributions to the theory of physical chemistry. Later on he turned to the social sciences, in particular economics, and finally as a philosopher Michael Polanyi developed an integrative theory of knowledge – an alternative to mainstream theories. Discover this original thinker. More


Lesson Number 69

Reinhold Würth – Visionary and Entrepreneur

Principles – Practice – Achievements: "Arrogance can be deadly for a business enterprise", said Reinhold Würth, reflecting on the future of his life's work. Read how he turned a small firm selling industrial screws into the Würth Group – a global champion for industrial assembly materials and fasteners. How he succeeded and what business lessons can be learned. More


Lesson Number 60

Robert Bosch – Industrialist and Pioneer of the Social Market Economy

Read in his own words the ethical spirit of Robert Bosch. Learn how his ideas live on in the private worldwide company he founded, wholly-owned by the Robert Bosch trust, and his contribution to the common good. More


Lesson Number 62

Claus Hipp: Eco-entrepreneur — Practitioner of the Christian Social Teaching

The series of entrepreneur profiles continues with Claus Hipp, longstanding head of HiPP, the market leader in organic babyfood. Learn how Claus Hipp's personal values — perseverance, modesty and versatility — have contributed to the entrepreneurial success of HiPP. Read more


Thinkpiece Number 42

What is the Purpose of Business Ethics?

The first industrial revolution and business philanthropy
Are social justice issues – equality, inclusion and diversity the responsibility of corporate managers? What would the factory owners of the industrial revolution think of contemporary business ethics and moral management?
Can a business have a moral purpose? This piece looks at the first industrial pioneers and their business ethos. Did they have one? Can lessons be learned for today? More


Lesson Number 44

Practical Knowledge is an Undervalued Asset

For some time now there has been much talk about the inexorable advance of digitization, all-pervading algorithms and modeling. So where does that leave practical knowledge? This thoughtful essay explains why practical experience must not be neglected. More


Lesson Number 59

Women Quotas Benefit An 'Elite' – Not You"

Women quotas on supervisory boards are controversial, but they are spreading fast. Now gender balancing is also being proposed for management boards. There are many causes of gender gaps and each deserves a remedy. However, the women quota is the wrong solution.  More


Thinkpiece 38 – Part 2 

Boeing – Bad Managers and GE-Style Culture (Part 2) 

CEOs and their methods. The GE-Boeing malady began twenty years ago. Boeing is suffering from a managerial disease, at first latent, then progressive, and now perhaps fatal. The 737 MAX crashes were sure signs of a sick management culture. Boeing executives and shareholders will be hoping that too-big-to-fail status and the coronavirus pandemic would justify US government intervention if necessary.
This thinkpiece Part 2 investigates the causes and the causers. More


Thinkpiece 38 Part I 

Boeing – Bad Managers And GE-Style Culture (Part 1)

How a disastrous corporate culture grounded Boeing
Why the Boeing 737 MAX dream machine became a nightmare. This Thinkpiece (Part 1) hosts comments by insiders and observers on the total failure of a once renowned and exemplary corporation. More


Lesson Number 51 

The Lonely Crowd: Human Beings as Digitally-Controlled 'Expert Machines'

Is there a law that says bad work drives out good? No, and yet digitalization reduces and simplifies traditional work until, ultimately, it can be automated. Many employees face the prospect of becoming mere 'human sensors' and semi-skilled operatives in an automated process. The working lives of people in manufacturing and service industries will be marked by deskilling, estrangement and isolation, unless corrective measures are taken. This essay considers the dangers of digital Taylorization and denounces the drive for total efficiency. More


Thinkpiece Number 27 

Decline and Fall of Management Gurus

For over thirty years now, business management teaching – while claiming to be professional and scientific – has simply been a follower of fashions and trends. It is surprizing how many managers, organizations and well-established corporations have been fooled. This essay gives a first-hand account of the guru game: it exposes the guilty gurus, their disciples, the willing victims, and most important – offers essential, unique and valuable lessons for today`s executive managers. More