The Power of Relational Responsibility
Hoskins, T.K., Martin, B. & Humphries, M. (2011). The Power of Relational Responsibility. EJBO, Vol. 16, No. 2, p. 22-27.
© Business and Organization Ethics Network (BON)
Responsibility is elaborated here as an ethic which reaches beyond codified and individualized norms of duty. As a relational ethic responsibility is considered for its power to address the planetary, ecological and human challenges of our time. We draw on philosopher Emmanuel Levinas’s work on relational responsibility, and, as is fitting from our context, on indigenous knowledge. These diverse cultural knowledge systems are both premised on putting the Other before self interest and are remarkable for their shared priorities of responsibility, obligation and relationality as pre-eminent values. Responsibility is built on a powerful critique of the tenets of classical liberalism and associated economic theory. Sustainability espouses the importance of collaboration, which is necessarily relational. While relational responsibility cannot be confined to rules, this quality of human commitment can invest decision-making for sustainability. Could it be that ethical relationality is a key to moving beyond self interest (individual and corporate) and commercial goals to put responsibility for the viability of earth’s ecosystems as a priority across professional fields such as management, education, ethics and business? ...
PublisherBusiness and Organization Ethics Network (BON)