The ‘Me-We-All’-Approach for a more Sustainable and Responsible World


  • Emőke Takács ERI Hungary – European Research Institute, Budapest, Hungary;
  • Toon Abcouwer University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands



Management, Leadership, Organisation, Society, Sustainability, Me-We-All, paradigm-shift


It is a fact of life that the world changes. This constant change raises an important question about the role of managers, leaders and organisations in society. Society forms the context for human development. Society, or in a broader sense, the world we live, will always last longer than any individual or organisation. Striving for short-term individual welfare cannot be an objective in the long run. Introducing the ‘Me-We-All’-approach in this opinion paper, we highlight the need to find a balance between individuals and organisations within the ever-changing context of our society. We discuss the role of management and leadership in creating more sustainable organisations and a better world. We analyse the complex relationship between individuals (Me), organisations/communities/networks (We) and society (All). The volatile requirements harm clear objectives/strategies and finding a balance for different perspectives. These stakeholders’ different roles and positions show conflicts of interest, contradicting challenges in a dynamic playing field. Developments within and in the vicinity of organisations demand significantly more attention as they influence organisations with an immense or even disruptive effect on and by individuals. Finally, organisational interactions have emerging impacts on society. Dealing with developments on the three identified levels cannot be elucidated in a single and unified way. We are in the middle of a paradigm shift from a Me-We perspective to a We-All one with attention to sustainability and circularity on a physically finite planet.