Positive for Whom

Positive Links Speaker Series
Presented by the Center for Positive Organizations (University of Michigan)

Event Details:

Positive for Whom? Addressing the Elephant in the Room
Antoinette Weibel

Tuesday, March 19, 2024
11:00 am - 12:00 pm ET

Free, registration required to obtain login information


Event link: https://positiveorgs.bus.umich.edu/events/positive-for-whom-addressing-the-elephant-in-the-room/

Short link: https://myumi.ch/DwEjm

About the Event: 

Most scholars in the realm of positive organizations share a common passion: we all aspire to alleviate some of the suffering in the world. Consequently, we are actively engaged in studying positive phenomena such as trust, compassion, high-quality connections, flourishing, and more. Despite this, many of us shy away from addressing a crucial underlying question: positive for whom and on what grounds? There is also contemplation on whether “positive” is indeed the most fitting label, as opposed to “good” or “for the common good.” Often, we adhere to the value-free label of social science, neither acknowledging the underlying value-driven nature of our work nor recognizing that by frequently choosing performance as the dependent variable, we implicitly align with instrumentalism and utilitarian thinking.

In the upcoming discussion, Antoinette will share her story and explain why she chose to directly confront the value question in her new project, “good organizations.” By adopting a distinctly virtue ethics approach, she emphasizes the need to qualify the term “positive,” to differentiate between flourishing and thriving, and to recognize that trust can be ethical only in conjunction with practical wisdom. Antoinette will elaborate on how good organizations view prosperity as a means to the end of collective development and good work, aiming to enable the good life of all stakeholders touched by the organization. Lastly, she will elucidate why she believes that we, as engaged scholars and managers alike, cannot exempt ourselves from contemplating values and ethics. According to Antoinette, coming to explicit terms with our normative foundation is the only genuine way to alleviate the suffering within organizations.

About Weibel:
Professor Dr. Antoinette Weibel is chaired professor for human resource management at the University of St.Gallen and Director at the Institute for Work and Employment Research at the University of St.Gallen. She is President of the Executive Committee of the Institute for Systemic Management and Public Governance at the University of St.Gallen (IMP-HSG), and a member of the Executive Committee of the Institute for Media and Communications Management (MCM-HSG) and the Institute for Business Ethics (IWE-HSG) at the University of St.Gallen. Further, she has been elected to the executive board of the Swiss Academy of Humanities and Social Sciences (SAGW).

Antoinette is a dedicated trust and motivation researcher and has written more than 200 articles as well as three books. Together with Otti Vogt, founder of “good organizations” and former COO-ING, she has initiated the “good organization research laboratory.” Topics focused on at present are practical wisdom, flourishing, responsible leadership, and good work (also in the context of AI). Antoinette belongs to the 40 thinker HR from the D-A-CH. She is active in executive teaching, runs a small HR academy, is active as speaker and sparring partner to top management. Among others, she leads the certificate course “CAS HSG Strategic Human Resources Management.”

Monica Worline, Faculty Director of Engaged Learning and Innovation, Center for Positive Organizations

About the Positive Links Speaker Series:

The Positive Links Speaker Series, presented by Michigan Ross’ Center for Positive Organizations, offers inspiring and practical science-based strategies to build and bolster thriving organizations. Attendees learn from leading positive organizational scholars and connect with our community of academics, students, staff, and leaders. 

Series Sponsors:
The Center for Positive Organizations thanks Sanger Leadership Center, Tauber Institute for Global Operations, and Samuel Zell & Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies, for their support of the 2023-24 Positive Links Speaker Series.

Series Promotional Partners:
Additionally, we thank Ann Arbor SPARK and the Managerial and Organizational Cognition (MOC) Division of the Academy of Management for their Positive Links Speaker Series promotional partnerships.