New chair in 'Leadership Ethics and Humane Economics'
12 May 2020
As of 1 September, Professor Patrick Nullens will be appointed extraordinary professor of 'Leadership Ethics and Humane Economics' at the University of Humanistic Studies in Utrecht. The chair is funded by the Goldschmeding Foundation for Man, Work and the Economy.
The University of Humanistic Studies in Utrecht is establishing a chair in leadership ethics and humane economics. In doing so, it responds to a widely felt need. In a society that is mainly focused on efficiency, profit maximization, pragmatic solutions and short-term success, this chair aims to contribute to an alternative leadership model and the development of a people-oriented organizational culture and economy.
The special chair is funded by the Goldschmeding Foundation for People, Work and the Economy. This Dutch Foundation works towards an inclusive and sustainable society based on the conviction that a better world is created when people serve each other's interests. To this end, the foundation supports innovative practical projects and excellent scientific research within the themes of the Inclusive Labour Market, the Circular Economy and the Humane Economy.
Chairman of the Board, Aart de Geus, is enthusiastic about the new chair: "Ethical leadership is an essential condition for achieving the necessary social changes. We got to know Patrick Nullens as an excellent scientific researcher, but also as someone with a keen eye for its relevance in practice. The University of Humanistic Studies is an excellent environment for this chair, where different disciplines and sources of inspiration can come together".
Patrick Nullens is a theologian and ethicist specializing in leadership ethics. He is one of the co-founders of the Institute for Leadership and Social Ethics of the Evangelical Theological Faculty in Leuven, a Belgian university of which he was also rector for many years. "The new generation of professionals demands more meaning and purpose in their jobs. This requires newer forms of leadership." says Nullens.
Through the chair, the professor wants to focus on the development of an alternative leadership model, for the benefit of a people-oriented organizational culture and economy. Central is servant leadership and the ethics of responsibility. "Our leadership models are often still based on outdated economic paradigms aimed at short-term growth, efficiency and profit maximization. Ethics in this case is reduced to a kind of moralistic border guard, just a bit stricter than the legal frameworks. Ethics must be at the core of leadership, only then will we achieve a humane and sustainable economy".
Professor Nullens, the Goldschmeding Foundation and the University of Humanistic Studies are expecting a fruitful collaboration. The university has already built up a good reputation in the field of care ethics and can now further broaden this field. Rector Joke van Saane, herself Professor of Leadership and Meaning, is pleased with this expansion in the field of leadership ethics. "Earlier we awarded honorary doctorates to the economist and Nobel Prize winner Amartya Sen and philosopher Martha Nussbaum. This chair is in line with their vision of the primary importance of human freedom and flourishing in an economically driven world."
As of 1 September, Professor Patrick Nullens will be appointed extraordinary professor of 'Leadership Ethics and Humane Economics' at the University of Humanistics in Utrecht. The chair is funded by the Goldschmeding Foundation for Man, Work and the Economy.