Building on dissatisfaction with current approaches that entail a superficial conception of the firm’s moral agency, this article has two broad theoretical underpinnings. First, it refers to the Catholic Social Thought’s view of the enterprise as a community of work, which leads to place stress on the possibility of creating ‘organizational humanizing cultures’ that revolve around the principles of human dignity and the common good and allow organizational members to flourish. Second, the article draws on the (nowadays underappreciated) perspective of the sociologist Philip Selznick to emphasize the key role of ‘institutional leadership’ in the formation and maintenance of a moral organizational character, also suggesting that these processes involve an influence on the development of employees’ moral identity conceived as a driver of moral agency. On these theoretical grounds, the article’s central argument is articulated by claiming that human resource management can provide essential support for the development of organizational humanizing cultures. In particular, it is highlighted how human resource professionals may operate as institutional leaders who contribute to the embedding of moral identities in the organizational context.
- Catholic social thought
- Common good
- Human resource management
- Institutional leadership
- Moral identity in organizations
- Organizational humanizing cultures
- Philip Selznick