top of page
pp (14).jpg
AVANZADA Nº1 (10)_edited.jpg

The companies

Humanistic and profitable?

A new vision of CSR is urgently needed

by Oscar Munoz  
Researcher / Academic 

AVANZADA Nº1 (9)_edited_edited.jpg

It aspires to an organizational culture based on the integral human development of the person to achieve the Common Good of the entity and its social environment.

According to Alvira & Llano (1992), neither business ethics nor support for the so-called «world of culture» are the sought-after humanism. Neither does it consist of creating a “Personnel Management” or “Human Resources”. The work that is carried out in these springs inside the company is extraordinary, but it is not enough. For these authors, humanism simply consists of taking the human being seriously, which can only be done in two ways, which far from being exclusive, are complementary. One is to consider man as absolute. The other, consider it as a whole.

This is how Alvira (1989) asserts that in order to support Western man from the void in which he finds himself, one should have a conception of the human being that goes far beyond charitable works or patronage activities or donations to the arts or culture, but what:


“It is necessary to support a humanism that saves Western man from the void in which he finds himself. But what is it
humanism? Master, as in the Renaissance, the Greek and Latin letters? learn to enjoy
literature? Also know how to look at a painting without indifference? Fight for the just demands of the
oppressed and needy? A good mix of all this? Well, and all that, in any case, what does it have to do with the company? Yes, now it is clear. Entrepreneurial humanism must mean organizing
painting exhibitions, good music concerts, subsidizing scientific congresses, giving scholarships and subsidies to promising young people and established scientists and artists, setting up foundations for culture. How beautiful are all these activities, how useful and praiseworthy, in my opinion! But they are only a part -perhaps a small part- of business humanism” (Alvira, 1989)

This model is summarized in two points:

a) Taking care of others is not an additional act of benevolence or solidarity, but rather it is a radical and natural obligation of the human being.
b) The perfection of the human, the humanistic, must be integrated, in a timely manner in each case, into the life of the company and that of the businessmen.

This is, on the one hand, the organizational culture based on the integral human development of the person to achieve the Common Good of the entity and its social environment, that is, "the set of conditions that allow each and every one of its members to achieve their maximum possible spiritual and material development”; while, on the other, the development of humanistic activities linked to art and culture must be integrated into the company and its stakeholders.

AVANZADA Nº1 (4)_edited.jpg

This new concept of business humanism comes from the IESE Business School of the University of Navarra, ranked in the top five worldwide according to The Financial Times, for the last five years together with the ESE Institute of the University of Los Andes.

This humanistic management is not a naive or unrealistic approach. On the contrary, there is increasing evidence that human virtues and people's habits are highly relevant to performance in the business and corporate world (Horvath, 1995; Solomon, 1999; Walton, 2001; Melé , 2003). Companies do much more than just make money.

According to the CNCA (2013), in Corporate Social Responsibility and its Contribution to Culture, in the case of the United Kingdom, companies that invest in art seek increasingly direct links between their work and the support they provide. The research of Arts & Bussines (2004) concludes that those that have this relationship in a more evident way, are the ones that to a greater extent
will continue to provide funding to the arts.

AVANZADA Nº1 (20)_edited.jpg

Humanistic management is not a naive or unrealistic approach. There is increasing evidence that human virtues and people's habits are highly relevant to performance in the business world.

Along the same lines, research on the relationship between CSR and corporate support for culture and the arts in Bulgaria and Romania concludes that the main reason why companies in those countries are not very likely to invest in these matters, is their preference to invest in initiatives directly related to their activity (Lamandi and Constantin, 2012). That is, when
companies fail to make the strategic link between culture and the arts and the activities and impacts of their business, investing in these areas becomes less attractive than investing in others.

Finally, in addition to what has already been mentioned, companies that do select culture as the focus of their CSR activities tend to promote cultural expressions not only in accordance with their business, but also with their organizational values and, in general, support programs non-controversial artistic ones that are easier to justify (Dávalos 1990).

In Chile, companies focus on “less noisy cultural forms in the transmission of meaning, which are already established and socially legitimized as valuable”, that is, they are already consolidated in the audiences (Antoine, 2011). He affirms that in Chile most of the funds would go to painting, classical music, ballet, museums and art galleries, and hardly to less traditional disciplines.

Something very similar occurs in Spain, where painting and classical music are the most favored cultural sectors (Jiménez, 2008) and in England, where 34% of private investment in culture is in heritage, 15% in visual arts and 13 % in museums (Business in the Community, 2012).

On the other hand, for Rodríguez-Penalas (2008), the company, as a social organization, must cooperate with the common good, and since culture provides the conditions for the common good, it must be considered as a corporate social responsibility because the Businesses can affect you in a variety of ways. People build culture, but culture also builds people and affects their development. Companies must take culture as a challenge. The points considered are: business culture based on values, culture of work and merit, culture of solidarity and trust, the company as a generator of knowledge and culture in marketing.

To the foregoing, it must be added that not only will it increase the psychological and spiritual well-being of the internal clients or workers of a company or of its different external publics of interest, such as its clients or stakeholders, but it is also scientifically proven that companies can increase its profitability, as verified by the IESE Business School.

AVANZADA Nº1 (12)_edited.jpg

Companies can be humane and profitable. Humanism and profitability are not only not at odds, but comprehensive care for the person contributes to the smooth running of the organization.


+56 9 



  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Instagram
bottom of page