Publications

  • Economics as a Moral Science has been published by Springer. The book is an attempt to reclaim economics as a moral science. It argues that ethics is a relevant aspect of all levels of economic activity, from individual and organizational to societal and global. Taking ethical considerations into account is needed in explaining and predicting the behavior of economic agents as well as in evaluating and designing economic policies and mechanisms. The book employs the personalist approach that sees human persons with free will and conscience as the basic agents of economic life and defines human flourishing as the final end of economic activities.

  • Luk Bouckaert published a booklet in Dutch with Pax Christi on Business for Peace (“Ondernemen voor vrede”) in which he introduces the Ypres Manifesto and presents the European SPES Institute.

  • The book contains selected papers presented at the international conference coorganized by the European  SPES Institute and IFIM Business School in Bangalore, India on January 9-10, 2014. Addressing issues of human values, ethics, spirituality and leadership in business the authors of this volume create a dialogue and interchange between Indian and European cultural traditions. Topics include spiritual orientations to business in Hindu, Buddhist and Christian traditions; the effect of spirituality upon contemporary leadership theories; sustainable business models in India and Europe and a comparison between Indian and European philosophies of leadership.
     
  • Laszlo Zsolnai and Doirean Wilson published a paper on art-based business. Their paper argues that with its exclusive focus on profit-making, modern-day businesses tend to violate the integrity and diversity of natural ecosystems, the autonomy and culture of local communities and the chance that future generations will lead a decent life. The core of the metaphysics of modern-day business is what Martin Heidegger calls “calculative thinking”. It is contrasted with poetic thinking represented by genuine art. To preserve nature and to satisfy human needs, gentle, careful ways of undertaking economic activities are needed. The paper analyses the cases of Illy Café and Brunello Cucinelli as art-based companies to show that art can inspire business to become more aesthetic organization engaged in socio-ecological value creation and the enrichment of  the quality of life.

     

  • Good business needs a peaceful and just world in which to operate and prosper. Likewise, peace thrives in a healthy economic environment. However, many companies - either directly or indirectly - are involved in the arms race and in a battle to exploit and control scarce resources. As a result of the ambiguous power of business, a timely reflection on its impact on war and peace is needed as well as a conscious pro-peace commitment. Business, Ethics and Peace gathers a selection of papers presented at the International SPES Conference Business for Peace, Strategies for Hope at Ypres, April 10 - 12, 2014.

  • Carlos Hoevel and Laszlo Zsolnai edited a special issues on Spirituality in Business in Spanish for the journal „Revista Cultura & Económica” Vol 32, No. 88. The volume contains the following papers:

    The Mission and Activities of the European SPES Institute

    Luk Bouckaert (Leuven): Spiritual Discernment in Decision-Making

    Hendrik Opdebeeck (Antwerp): Rediscovering the Personalist Philosophy of  Jacques Maritain

    Laszlo Zsolnai (Budapest): Spiritually Driven Entrepreneurship

    Henri-Claude de Bettignies (INSEAD): Can We Develop the Responsible Leaders We Need?

    Mike Thompson (London and Shanghai): Managers’ Self-understanding of Wisdom

  • In his video Laszlo Zsolnai summarizes the main principles of Buddhist economics. The video was created for the Gross National Happiness World Conference organized by the Center for Bhutan Studies and GHN Research in November 4-6, 2015 in Bhutan. (video)

  • This book discloses the spiritual dimension in business ethics and sustainability management. Spirituality is understood as a multiform search for meaning which connects people with all living beings and God or Ultimate Reality. In this sense, spirituality is a vital source in social and economic life. The volume examines the spiritual orientations to nature and business in different cultural traditions: Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Sufism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Taoism.

  • Laszlo Zsolnai edited the "Spirituality and Sustainability Management" Special Issue of World Review of Entrepreneurship, Management and Sustainable Development 2014 Vol 10. No.1. This special issue is a product of the Spirituality and Sustainability: A New Path for Entrepreneurship Conference held on 21–23 September 2012 in Visegrad, Hungary. 

  • The centenary of E.F. Schumacher’s birth (1911-1977) offered an urgent opportunity to revisit his work and life. Against the background of the crisis at the beginning of this century, reconsidering Schumacher’s Small is Beautiful or frugality paradigm makes clear that advances in responsible economics continue to be a priority. This book contains the proceedings of the 2011 Annual Conference of the European SPES Forum on ‘Responsibility in Economics and Business: The Legacy of E.F. Schumacher’, which was organised in September 2011 by the Centre for Ethics of the University of Antwerp in collaboration with the Business Ethics Center of Budapest.

  • The book "Ethical Principles and Economic Transformation" presents new contributions of Buddhist economics to pressing socio-economic problems. Buddhism points out that emphasizing individuality and promoting the greatest fulfillment of the desires of the individual conjointly lead to destruction. The book promotes the basic value-choices of Buddhism, namely happiness, peace and permanence.

  • The authors of this book feel that the time for reinventing business has come; and this implies thinking differently, jumping across the comfortable barriers of management sub-disciplines, seeking the intersections between areas that usually do not communicate. The ongoing evolution of international events seems to confirm this feeling.

  • The Palgrave Handbook of Spirituality and Business summarizes the most important issues, approaches and models in the field of spirituality in business, economics and society. It presents a comprehensive pluralistic view covering all the major religious and spiritual traditions. It is a response to three developments that challenge the business-as-usual mindset. Firstly, in response to a growing interest in spirituality applied to models of transformational leadership, in theories of social capital and in practices of values-driven management, it explores the emerging field of business spirituality—its main concepts, models and practices.

  • The book "Spirituality and Ethics in Management" is a collection of scholarly papers focusing on the role of spirituality and ethics in renewing the contemporary management praxis. The basic argument is that a more inclusive, holistic and peaceful approach to management is needed if business and political leaders are to uplift the environmentally degrading and socially disintegrating world of our age. The book uses diverse value-perspectives (Hindu, Catholic, Buddhist, and Humanist) and a variety of disciplines.

  • The book contains essays in honor of the 70th anniversary of K.U.Leuven professor Luk Bouckaert, co-founder of the European SPES forum, which aims to make spirituality accessible as a public good to as many people as possible. In the spirit of the European SPES forum, this volume covers issues of contemporary economics using a humanist perspective and discusses interrelated problems of business, ethics and society from spiritually based viewpoints. The authors argue for practicing economic wisdom in economic and social life.

  • The European SPES Forum continues its mission to bring informed debate on issues related to spirituality and society in this seventh cahier with a focus on the nature of wisdom and its practice by leaders. Eight authors bring a breadth of style and thinking to the way in which leaders lead and how wisdom (connected to spirituality) can result in a more integrated and peaceful practice of leadership. We are treated to both narrative, reflective and academic perspectives on Leading with Wisdom and the authors find wisdom to be closely connected to virtue, character, integrity, morality, spirituality, meaning and the knowledge of how to live well.

  • Business, Spirituality and the Common Good provides a robust and thorough look at the nature of business and spirituality and how they can reinforce each other for human flourishing and the common good of all. the book does not offer a one size fits all answer to complex questions, rather it provokes the reader to think deeply on these important issues. Contributors include Luk Bouckaert, Helen Alford, Mike J. Thompson, Sanjoy Mukharjee, Francois Lépineux, and Judy Neal.

  • Respect and Economic Democracy is based on the hypothesis that democracy will become a growing ingredient of good business and leadership. Many contributions of this sixth European SPES Cahier disclosing new practices of democratic entrepreneurship confirm this hypothesis. The authors assume that economic democracy implies a commitment rooted in respect.

  • The authors share the idea that narratives offer their readers an alternative fictional world. In doing this they hold up a mirror that confronts the reader with otherness that questions his self-evident norms and values but also his daily practices. Both heroes and antiheroes contribute to this process of reflection. The confrontation with literary texts stimulates the intellectual, the emotional and the social consciousness. The firm belief that divergent (cultural) systems i.e. business ethics and literature can enrich each other is at the core of this project.

  • The authors of the book believe that the European and Asian traditions of spirituality provide rich resources for world seeking to rediscover the Common Good. The particular focus of this Cahier is on the need for responsible leaders who understand and accept their responsibility to steward the resources in their care for the good of their organisation and for the Common Good. Such leaders will have developed the capacity to integrate the economic, the social and the environmental realms and inspire trust in their organisational communities through the quality of their character and spirit.   

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