chapter  9
20 Pages

The role of the charismatic economist E. F. Schumacher in economic and civil life: CSR and beyond

WithHENDRIK OPDEBEECK

It is worthwhile, on the occasion of the centenary of the birth of the charismatic economist E. F. Schumacher (1911-77), to explore his life and work. We want to discover how this author of the well-known bestseller Small is Beautiful created an impact that helped to change the economic and social mainstream of the last quarter of the twentieth century. One can think about his influence on the cooperative movement, the social economy and values-based organizations. With this perspective, in the first part of this paper we describe some biographical elements. In the second part we explore how Schumacher was one of the first economists to integrate CSR principles. In his last publication, Good Work, he clarifies the policies and practices of the good corporation, especially the regarding employee participation (Schumacher, 1979).