Kick start businesses. Give growth and development a boost. Take a fresh look at business management, profits and labour. All of these are goals that many attempt to reach and which are closely tied to industrial and business ethics, to social responsibility in enterprise and, finally, to an approach to aspects of industry and society that are less about the material and more about mankind.
This is the crux of the matter that Laura Salvan (a student at Ca’ Foscari) discusses in Cultural responsibility. Small steps to restore anthropology in economic behaviour. Interviews and best practices, a work that, in the words of Salvan herself, “ponders the concept of cultural responsibility (CR), i.e. a combination of ‘culture’ and ‘responsibility’. Responsibility is the ethical duty to ensure that both present and future generations will have the opportunity to meet their own needs, achieve their own goals and live lives that they can appreciate. Culture, in the anthropological sense, sees individuals as a set of beliefs, symbolism, spirituality, imagination and rationality that enables them to represent the world around them within the various social contexts that arise.”
However, this no mere academic work that Salvan has authored, but rather an exploration of both theory and practice that seeks to bring together cultural responsibility and the custom – where it already exists – of corporate social responsibility (CSR).
“It could be said that CR is an implication of CSR in that it considers the cultural development of the individual to be the primary goal of any economic behaviour.” This is a view that could be seen as forward-looking if we consider many areas of areas of industry, both in Italy and abroad, and if we limit ourselves to today’s challenging economy, but it assumes a different connotation if we strive to see beyond our current context.
Salvan has based this work on a series of principles and practical examples taken from a series of interviews and from a number of social and business case studies, such as of Libera and Banca Popolare Etica S.p.A. and of various foundations.
Her conclusion is in the form of a proposal: “Basing modern economic behaviour on anthropology through forms of social cooperation could be one of the ways out of the crisis in which we are currently mired.”
Cultural Responsibility. Small steps to restore anthropology in economic behaviour. Interviews and best practices
Ca’ Foscari – Undergraduate Studies in Management & Economics of Culture and the Arts (EGArt), 2011/2012.