Compassion – a key to successful and sustainable business
An evident need for novel work culture and leadership has risen, as finding meaning in work and in the workplace has become more and more important. Our project states, quoting earlier research, that compassion is the grounding factor for experiencing meaning in its deepest and most human form.
We define compassion as the knowledge, will and ability to act and work for the benefit of others, thus finding a meaningful place for oneself. Right now it is the time to explore compassion in business: compassion is a strong trending value. For example it is in the core values of two thirds of the Finnish population. Both academic research and business are ready and willing to consider compassion and giving as a key to success.
Our Research Questions
Our research project looks at the various aspects and uses of compassion in business. Our goal is threefold: To find out in the everyday life at the organization and workplace, in the work practices, in leadership, and in interactions with customers and colleagues:
- what compassion is
- how compassion is created maintained and reinforced; and
- how compassion affects business productivity
The project will result to concrete tools to encourage and ways to measure the power of compassion in business. Tools to be developed include a measurement of the compassion capital of a company / community. The development process focuses on the individual’s experience of meaning. The project aims to plan an international compassion-certificate together with the project participants and Finnish businesses.
compassion examined through projects in workplaces
The impact of compassion is examined through projects in workplaces and in business. The projects are grouped in three work packages (WP):
WP 1: Practicing compassion in business – every day (interventions): 1) Compassionate leadership 2) Compassionate cooperation 3) Compassionate customer care
WP 2: Compassion and corporate volunteering
WP 3: Compassion and the concept of sharing ideas
International research results confirm, that compassion adds to productivity and business value: a compassionate work environment creates an innovative atmosphere, compassionate customer contacts are highly stable, practicing compassion increases work productivity and motivation, and a compassionate business is valued as a partner as well as a employer. However, Finnish research results on the subject are all but missing. This research project is unique also in interdisciplinarity and depth. Among participants are both the Finnish key researchers on values and compassion, and experts in the new, value centered working culture.
Our Aim: competent and compassionate businesses
The new, verified knowledge produced in the project will instantly facilitate new business opportunities for Finnish trainers’ / consulting companies. In the long run, by promoting understanding of compassion and by providing tools for fostering and measuring it, the project will build Finnish businesses more compassionate and more competent in the international scale.
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