Laszlo Zsolnai gave a presentation on Materialistic versus Non-materialistic Management in the TransAtlantic Business Ethics Conference in October 19-20, 2012 at the Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) in Bergen, Norway.
He argued that the materialistic management model cannot produce true well-being for people but actually undermines it. By advocating economic action on the basis of money-making and justifying its success by generating profit the materialistic model encourages irresponsible behavior of economic actors toward others, contributes to ecological destruction and disregards the interests of future generations. So the presupposed rational management model becomes highly irrational as producing non-desirable outcomes.
Acknowledging the primacy of the spiritual the non-materialistic management model activates intrinsic motivation of the economic actors for serving the common good and suggests measuring success in a multidimensional way. Non-materialistic management is based on the right motivation, executes processes in a fair way which altogether may lead to desirable outcomes. Spirituality and rationality are not antagonist in management but materialism and rationality are.