Proceedings of the 53rd Annual Meeting of the ISSS - 2009, Brisbane, Australia, Proceedings of the 53rd Annual Meeting of the International Society for the Systems Sciences

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SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY AS A WAY OF SYSTEMIC BEHAVIOR AND INNOVATION LEADING OUT OF THE CURRENT SOCIO-ECONOMIC CRISIS

Matjez Mulej, Stane Božičnik, Vojko Potočan, Zdenka Ženko, Anita Hrast, Tjaša Štrukelj

Abstract


For several recent centuries the so called free market economy has been found more efficient and providing for more economic development and higher living standard of its users than any other socio-economic model of so far. It was in a deep crisis in 1930 (resulting in the WWII, not Keynesian measures only, which Hitler’s Nazis used, too), and is facing it now again under the name of big depression, financial crisis, etc. These labels are too narrow: it is a general social crisis due to a lack of requisitely holistic values/culture/ethic/norms (VCEN) and behavior (made of monitoring, perception, thinking, emotional and spiritual life, decision making, and action) rather than one-sided and short-term behavior of the influential people and their organizations, including enterprises and governments. This narrowness is based on failure of many to use systemic thinking and behavior due to their over-specialization with a poor capability of interdisciplinary creative co-operation. Consequences include the frequent limitation of the term innovation to the technology innovation alone. Consequences might be dangerous: good technology serving bad/evil/unclear purposes. They can still be avoided – by innovation of culture of one-sided behavior to the one of requisite holism. The current humankind is moving from routine via knowledge to creative society. This is based on a new economy and requires new values/culture/ethic/norms – self-interest realized by socially responsible and therefore requisitely holistic behavior. Social responsibility can and must reach far beyond charity toward the end of abuse of power/influence of the influential persons/organizations in their relations with their co-workers, other business and personal partners, broader society, and natural environment as the unavoidable and terribly endangered precondition of human survival, at least in terms of the current civilization. Social responsibility supports innovation also by upgrading criteria of business excellence, by supporting requisitely holistic behavior and thus it means also a form of innovation of human values/culture/ethic/norms and knowledge, resulting in a requisitely holistic behavior. In a most optimistic scenario, social responsibility can also provide a way toward peace on Earth. It can lead to covering all these urgent humankind’s needs by making co-workers and other people more happy, because it provides to them more feeling of being considered equal and creative rather than abused and/or misused by power-holders. In synergy with ethics of interdependence, because every specialist is complementary to all other specialists as a professional and as a human being, and with the fact than one lives increasingly on creativity, including innovation, social responsibility may innovate society to include social efficiency, social justice and similar VCEN that, among other references, lie at the core of all social teaching called religions, philosophy of moral and ethical behavior, etc. Technology supports rather than creates future and development into it, and can be used with social responsibility or abused/misused with detrimental consequences. The choice depends on the most influential people and their definition of their self-interest as a background of the new economy and humankind’s future. Innovation of values/culture/ethic/norms is unavoidable for the current civilization to survive.

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