Resource 1a.(1).pdf - J Bus Ethics(2011 104:223235 DOI...

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Wise Up: Creating Organizational Wisdom Through an Ethic of Kaitiakitanga Chellie Spiller Edwina Pio Lijijana Erakovic Manuka Henare Received: 8 April 2011 / Accepted: 13 May 2011 / Published online: 28 May 2011 Ó Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011 Abstract Organizations are searching for innovative business approaches that deliver profits and create shared value for all stakeholders. We show what can be learned from the relational wisdom approach of Indigenous Ma ¯ori and reframe the prevailing economic argument that has seen companies profit and prosper at the expense of communities and ecologies. We develop an ethic of kaitiakitanga model premised on Ma ¯ori values which holds the potential to enrich and further humanize our understanding of business. The Ma ¯ori economy is a globally connected, prosperous, and profitable sector of the New Zealand economy. By drawing on Ma ¯ori values, we present a wisdom position through an ethic of kaitiakitanga or stewardship to emphasize and illustrate the interconnectedness of life in a woven universe. Through practicing kaitiakitanga , organi- zations can build businesses where wisdom is consciously created through reciprocal relationships. In this worldview of business, humans are stewards endowed with a mandate to use the agency of their mana (spiritual power, authority, and sovereignty) to create mauri ora (conscious well-being) for humans and ecosystems—and this commitment extends to organizations. Keywords Ethics Á Indigenous Á Maori Á Stewardship Á Values Á Well-being Á Wisdom The Ma ¯ori economy is a globally connected, prosperous, and profitable sector of the New Zealand economy. By drawing on Ma ¯ori values, we present a wisdom position through the ethic of kaitiakitanga or stewardship to emphasize and illustrate the interconnectedness of life in a ‘‘woven universe’’ (Marsden 2003 ). Through practicing kaitiakitanga , organizations can build businesses where wisdom is consciously created through reciprocal relation- ships. In this worldview of business, humans are stewards endowed with a mandate to use the agency of their mana (spiritual power, authority, and sovereignty) to create mauri ora (conscious well-being) for humans and ecosystems— and this commitment extends to organizations. In a Ma ¯ori worldview, explains Porter ( 2009 ), humans are born as kaitiaki (stewards) imbued with manifold mana (spiritual power, authority, and sovereignty). Therefore, they are stewards, endowed from birth with obligations, and empowered at the same time to care, respect, conserve, and create mauri ora (conscious well-being). In contrast, much Western philosophy is a response to Descartes’ famous proposition ‘‘I think therefore I am.’’ While his insight has been valuable, it has precipitated a philosophy that asserts primacy of the individual. In busi- ness, the solely self-interested individual approach is blamed for much of the unsustainable muddle that business finds itself in (Folger and Salvador 2008 ). An individual- ized, self-interested view often
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