Practicing Human Dignity: Ethical Lessons from Commedia dell’Arte and Theater

Journal of Business Ethics 144 (2):251-262 (2017)
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The paper considers two main cases of how the creative arts can inform a greater appreciation of human dignity. The first case explores a form of theater, Commedia dell’Arte that has deep roots in Italian culture. The second recounts a set of theater exercises done with very minimal direction or self-direction in executive education and MBA courses at the Darden School, University of Virginia, in the United States. In both cases we highlight how the creative arts can be important for promoting human dignity in organizations, and how they can lead to a more authentic conversation about values, ethics, and meaning.



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Robert Edward Freeman
University of Virginia