The term humanisation was introduced in humanistic studies to develop a humanist way of thinking about organisations and human relations. It stems from a need to think about questions of justice and living a good life in practice but not from some absolute or abstract point of view. As it is often framed, humanisation is concerned with working towards a more human type of organisation.
Organisation studies are concerned with understanding organisations and their role in our society, and developing perspectives and methods to improve them, while humanisation theories, on the other hand, do not represent a managerial blueprint as they tend to incorporate notions of situated knowledge, sense-making and relational value, drawing our attention to specific processes rather than offering universal truths. Although Critical Management Studies counters mainstream managerialism, it still tends to produce the same kind of ‘truths’ that are supposed to apply to all organisations.
Much of the existing management literature is related to control and offers strategies on how to do things but this is not about prescriptions, rather how to explore possibilities from both theoretical and practical perspectives. It offers managers as well as theoreticians of organisations the possibility to question their grounding principles. In the variety of contributions to this book the authors reflect on their understanding of what it is to be human and whether this can be found in the way that organisations are run. They consider the value of humanisation to understand and intervene in organisations and the challenges they face.
'Humanising organizations and organising humanization require neverending debates, critical reflection and practical experimentations from a diversity of positions, sources, hopes and fears. The reflexive reader will here find no definitive recipe but food for thought, for hope and for engagement.' - Jean-Luc Moriceau, Professor of Research Methods and head of doctoral education program, Institut Mines-Télécom/Télécom Ecole de Management, France
‘The trades that van de Klundert, van Boeschoten and their contributors set up between the study of the processes of organisation and humanisation (particularly the rich and rare Dutch inflected varieties of the latter) are revealed in this fascinating new text to be very profitable ones indeed. For the questioning of both organisation and humanisation so enabled should be of the highest value to us, if we seek to progress either’ - Simon D. Lilley, Professor of Information and Organisation, University of Leicester School of Management, UK
'In a world increasingly dominated by instrumentalism, discrimination and injustice, this thought provoking collection offers a timely series of reflections on what it means to be human in organisations. ‘Practical humanisation’ takes precedence over naïve universalism in contributions that seek to explore this complex question in contexts – health, education, commerce – of everyday management practice.' - Professor Peter Case, Bristol Leadership Centre, University of the West of England, UK
Foreword (Stephen Linstead) Preface (Myrte Van De Klundert & Robert Van Boeschoten) 1. The Process of Humanisation (Fernando Suárez-Müller) 2. Let’s Dance: On Humanising and Organisations (Ruud Kaulingfreks) 3. A Sense of Consultancy: The Humanising Effort of Problematization (Martijn Simons) 4. Humanisation, Technology and Organisation (Myrte Van De Klundert & Robert Van Boeschoten) 5. The Humanisation of Education. Teaching the Wisdom of Uncertainty (Martien Schreurs) 6. Leadership and Humanisation in a Psychiatric Forensic Clinic (Gabriël Anthonio & Myrte Van De Klundert) 7. Humanisation in the Advertising Industry (Veronica Millan Caceres) 8. Discourse and Humanisation in Health Care Organisations (Clóvis Ricardo Montenegro De Lima) 9. Humanisation of the Economy (Christian Felber & Fernando Suárez-Müller)