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New ITN course in HR Management - open to all PhD fellows

Human Freedom and Dignity in Human Resource Management – Bridging Theology, Philosophy and Organizational Studies

2017.09.14 | Birgitte Bøgh

Date Wed 29 Nov Fri 01 Dec
Time 12:30    12:00
Location Aarhus, Denmark

Human Freedom and Dignity in Human Resource Management


The aim of this course is twofold:

The first aim is to conceptually explore human freedom and dignity (and related concepts) and to look at what they can mean for organizations (e.g. in HRM, Organizational Development, Leadership, Business Ethics, etc.).

The second aim is to explore the relationships between theology/philosophy and (critical) management studies. In order to enable students in humanities to translate their work to non-academic work contexts, and to enable students in management to recognize and analyse the theological or philosophical backgrounds to organizational practices.


The course will be structured into four sessions. We’ll let the lecturers introduce their themes on which the program sessions will build:

Matthijs Bal: “This talk will discuss how a dignity paradigm may inform organization studies, and in particular HRM. Drawing upon Kantian and Daoist understandings of dignity, this lecture will discuss the implications of a dignity perspective on everything around people in organizations. We will also discuss practical implications of how dignity can be dealt with on a daily basis in organizations.”

Patrick Nullens: “Hope is a driving force for transformation, innovation, economic growth and wellbeing. It is an important virtue in the Judeo-Christian tradition. Hope, often articulated as trust and expectations, has a clear economic significance as do the unfortunate opposites have such as anxiety and inertness. Since 2016 the Institute of Leadership and Social Ethics (under Evangelische Theologische Faculteit, Leuven) and Erasmus Happiness and Economics Research Organization (under Erasmus University, Rotterdam) initiated a research project to understand and measure the multifaceted concept of hope. The “hope barometer 1.0” was developed and tested in the Netherlands. The second stage of the research will focus on improvement of the hope barometer and implementing hope as psychological capital in organizations and business. This PhD class will report on our recent experiences of the dialogue between theology, philosophy, positive psychology and economics. We will also look into the implementation of hope in current leadership studies, especially in Servant Leadership and Transformational Leadership.”

Bent-Meier Sørensen: “My lecture will depart from the economic theology developed by Agamben, and give empirical examples of how ‘profanation’ may be a viable, analytical tool in studying organizations. Following this critical trajectory, the theological concept of sacrifice is identified as a central, organizational event, not least in the creative industries. While the lecture will seek to connect organizational analysis with theological concepts, it will, likewise, seek to identify current managerial practices, that are no less ‘theological’ in today’s organizations.”

Fourth lecturer: tba

A detailed program will be posted later.

The course will be conducted in English and will take the form of lectures and interactive sessions. 

About the Lecturers

Dr. Matthijs Bal, Professor of Responsible Management, University of Lincoln, United Kingdom

Prof. Dr. Patrick Nullens, Professor of Systematic Theology and Ethics, Evangelical Theological Faculty, Leuven, Belgium

Dr. Bent Meier Sørensen, Professor MSO at the Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark

Fourth lecturer: tba

Further information

Target group: PhD fellows in the humanities, social sciences and management

Dates and time: 29 November 2017, 12:30 – 1 December 2017, 12:00

Venue: Aarhus University, School of Culture and Society, 8000 Aarhus, Denmark

Registration: Register via this link: Deadline is October 31, 2017. There is room for 20 participants at the course. When you register, please the include the title of your PhD project and a brief description of your interest in this course. Program and reading materials will be sent to the participants before the course. 

For further information, please contact

PhD Course, PhD students
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Revised 10.10.2017