Academic journal article Journal of Positive Management

The Place of Human Contestability in Positive Management

Academic journal article Journal of Positive Management

The Place of Human Contestability in Positive Management

Article excerpt

1. Introduction

A natural way of behaving, thinking, or feeling that is not learned is generally termed as instinct, inherent complex patterns of behaviour that exist in most of living species. It is a natural, inborn or innate, tendency or a pattern of activity (impulse or aptitude) of a living organism to act in a particular way. It is a natural intuitive power or gift such as an instinct for making money, entrepreneurial instinct, instinctive leadership style, and so on. The role of instincts in determining animals' behaviour varies from species to species. Humans, like all animals, have instincts that determine their genetically and hereditarily hard-wired behaviours to enhance the abilities and skills to cope with vital environmental emergencies and social surroundings. The powerful human behavioural forces are determined largely by social instincts like sympathy, love, cooperation and modesty (James, 1890). A profound understanding of human instincts reveals that by nature human beings have deepest desires (physiological instinct), are born to live (survival instinct) and possess a strong will to win (competitive instinct). A journey deep into the human mind to probe the 'instinct to compete and win' divulges that human beings are always competing, even when they least expect it. Humans firstly compete for physiological needs (food, shelter, water, rest, mate, etc. contributing to health rather than disease) and when these needs are met, competitive instinct often arises over the pursuit of higher levels of needs such as safety, personal development, healthcare, wealth, prestige, esteem, leadership and fame (Maslow, 1954 and 1970; Reiss, 2004). Thus, human needs and competitive instincts are amalgamated in human nature in such a way that it creates a situation of competing against each other, overtly or covertly, for gains and rewards.

The fundamental question is: why winning feels so great and losing feels so bad? The 'instinct to compete and will to win' keeps our species alive. Competition is ubiquitous wherever resources are in diminutive supply. Competition leads to behaviours known as rational and self-interest. It is the underlying driving force for capitalism, organisational success, leadership, quality, excellence, economic development and entrepreneurship. As a natural lively being, instincts are vital powerful forces that exist inside the human, however the essential objects of these instincts (objects he/she needs) exist outside in the society, totally independent of him/her. Thus, the totality of an instinct 'to compete and win' (inside forces), the objects of such instinct (outside things), continual abilities/skills enhancement and their ultimate utilisation, and command over resources create a strong drive of competitive spirit that furnishes a genesis to the phenomenon of human contestability [1]. Thus, the theoretical scaffolding of human contestability subsumes competitive instinct, holistic personal development and command over resources (resource capital). In the present age of high uncertainty, human beings need to explore and develop their abilities, skills, competencies and resources in order to compete by taking rewarding risks, overcoming fears and failures and ultimately thriving at work and in life. Undoubtedly, insights into the dynamics of cognitive neuroscience, behavioural economics, social psychology, network theory, political economy, physiological science, management and medical sciences do render ample scientific explanations and understanding of human complexity and behaviour. However, the present paper is a meek attempt to understand and explore how human beings can develop and apply their contestable abilities to attain wellness, satisfaction, success and happiness at work and in real life.

Be that it may, this paper proposes, develops and constructs a new approach of human contestability to amass, understand, and determine human abilities, skills, competencies, experiences and resources, inherited or acquired, enhanced and applied through investment in physical, cognitive, emotional and resource assets of human beings which should evade the fissures and inadequacies of the previous concepts such as human development, human capital, human capabilities, system of profound knowledge, system of profound consciousness, knowledge management and so on presently in use. …

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