Oikonomia and Chrematistike, Learning from Aristotle About the Future of Management

37 Pages Posted: 22 Feb 2010 Last revised: 1 Nov 2013

See all articles by Claus Dierksmeier

Claus Dierksmeier

Global Ethic Institute; Humanistic Management Network

Michael Pirson

Fordham University - Gabelli School of Business; Humanistic Management Network; Harvard University

Date Written: 2009


As a philosopher, whose theory about economics and business is systematically connected to a moral and political philosophy, Aristotle provides a rich conceptual framework to reflect upon personal well-being, the wealth of households, and the welfare of the state. Even though Aristotle has mainly been portrayed as an enemy of business, interest in his teachings has been on the rise among management scholars. Several articles have examined Aristotle’s position with regard to current managerial approaches such as total quality management, knowledge management, crisis management, and networking. Even though Aristotle is a constant reference point for business ethics scholars, only rarely have there been attempts to see what consequences his thinking would have for reorienting business philosophy and organizational strategy. In this paper, we outline how Aristotle’s theory of household management can be applied to the management of modern corporations. We argue that conceptions of chrematistike and oikonomia provide a basis to discuss the relationship between business and society and to draw important conclusions for business management and a renewed theory of the firm.

Keywords: Management, Humanistic Management, Organizational Design, objective function, strategy, theory of firm

JEL Classification: A00, B00, B3, L00, L2, M00, M1, M10, M14, N0

Suggested Citation

Dierksmeier, Claus and Pirson, Michael, Oikonomia and Chrematistike, Learning from Aristotle About the Future of Management (2009). Journal of Business Ethics, Vol. 88, No. 3, 2009, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1556857

Claus Dierksmeier

Global Ethic Institute ( email )

Waldhäuser Strasse 23
Tübingen, 72076

Humanistic Management Network ( email )

St. Gallen

HOME PAGE: http://www.humanetwork.org

Michael Pirson (Contact Author)

Fordham University - Gabelli School of Business ( email )

140 West 62nd Street
New York, NY 10018
United States

Humanistic Management Network ( email )

St. Gallen

Harvard University

1875 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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