Existential Values and Insights in Western and Eastern Management: Approaches to Managerial Self-Development

Philos Manag. 2022;21(2):219-243. doi: 10.1007/s40926-021-00184-y. Epub 2021 Aug 24.


Continual pressure on managers, their efficiency, and the need to search for novel solutions to problems can lead to psychologically demanding situations. In efforts to understand the main obstacles to work and to effectively manage work-related processes, and in the need to achieve personal development, new approaches that are based on existential philosophies emerge. The aim of this article is to highlight the ways in which existential approaches have been used or discussed in management and to show that existential themes and their applications in management can also be found in the Eastern tradition of thought. The paper presents six case vignettes from management practice that use Western and Eastern existential insights and offer recommendations for self-development of managers. The paper concludes that although it is difficult or impossible to create a unified framework of existential philosophy of management because of the diversity of existential approaches and because of the problematic nature of comparing Eastern and Western philosophies, it is possible to work towards gathering applicable insights and values.

Keywords: Eastern philosophy; Existential management; Existential philosophy; Management; Self-development.