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The Humanities Conference 2003

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Improvement and Progress: Business as a Service to Society

Peter Mansour-Nahra.

Improvement or progress does not have a defined presence in the vocabulary of management. Without it, terms like strategy, efficiency and effectiveness cannot embrace dimensions that are necessary for managing in a globalised environment, such as the aspirations and sovereignty of a nation. This paper argues that improvement is a natural purpose of organisations and of economics, and the improvement is assessed from a national and individual perspective of independence and self-sufficiency, not from a global perspective.

What has been clear from Ancient Egypt and the contribution of Solon and Cleisthenes to Athenian democracy, is that different groupings identify themselves as a nation, and wish to maintain sovereignty over their collective lives. The age of Pericles and the activities of Alexander the Great of Macedon could be seen as the beginning of globalisation of power and trade. The Greek concepts of 'autarchy' (autarchia – independence) and 'autarky' (autarkeia - self-sufficiency) as the defining conditions of a state and its citizens, have particular relevance today in the world of globalisation of business.

The term 'profective' is coined to signify the objective of improvement and progress within the dynamic imperatives of the whole environment. The etymology of the term is briefly discussed to validate the logic of this application of it.


Peter Mansour-Nahra  (Australia)
Lecturer in Management
School of Management
Queensland University of Technology (QUT)

Peter is a Lecturer in Management, who specializes in Quality, Operations and General Management. He has delivered conference papers internationally, written book chapters and Competency Based Training packages on these topics. He has consulted in organizations from Law Firms to Warehouses. His studies include Psychology, and his PhD was in Ancient Philosophy. He also has a Licentiate in Theology. He has drawn on all these background resources in teaching management with a human perspective.

  • Improvement
  • Progress
  • Management Theory
  • Globalisation
  • National Sovereignty
  • Autarky
  • Autarchy
  • Social value
  • Environment
  • "Profectiveness"

(Virtual Presentation, English)