Business, Wisdom and Materialisation

The world needs wisdom like it has never been needed it before; and if knowledge continues to increase, the world will need wisdom in the future even more than it does now. Knowledge and Wisdom, Bertrand Russell

Business, Wisdom and Knowledge- 1


Education is knowledge which doesn’t necessarily mean it is wisdom too. Since wisdom is a quality of understanding, it may be enhanced through knowledge. Knowledge and wisdom are fundamentally different things although both are equally important and associated with each other. The quality of knowledge may differ from person to person based on the age, needs, and society. Businesses always grow in ethics. Using wisdom in business decisions and resources allocation is desperately needed for the fairness, humanity and sustainability. Wisdom doesn’t mean that the world has to be spiritual but it means world should be an appropriate place for the humanity. Knowledge has been talked about too much but wisdom is left far behind. So we are on the way to lose ethical ground of  business. Today’s knowledge based businesses need more wisdom for the sake of future without which the next generation may not really be benefited.

Are we ready for wisdom?  

What does it mean?          

According to Oxford online dictionary Knowledge is ‘‘facts, information, and skills acquired through experience or education; the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject’’ likewise Wisdom is the quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgement; the quality of being wise.

According Diffin website wisdom is unchangeable, while knowledge is an ever growing process. Dropping of the atomic bombs on Japan during World War II was an application of knowledge. Knowledge is knowing that yoghurt is a product of milk whereas Wisdom is the fact thet you don’t put it in your coffee or tea. Knowledge is knowing that militarization is harmful to the society whereas wisdom is when it is not promoted.  

It is clear that knowledge can be gained from education market that is motivated commercially too but wisdom is the quality of understanding how it is behaved. Sources of knowledge are Learning, education, Science, and logical thought. Also, wisdom is voice of soul,  ability to make correct judgements, it is inherited.

I would love to share these interesting stories about knowledge and wisdom from a course material provided by Dr Viktor Dorfler from University of Strathclyde for Future Learn:

‘‘In 1969 Peter Drucker introduced the term “knowledge economy”. (week 2.2) Kjelle Nordström and Jonas Ridderstråle argue that 70% of the value of a car today is knowledge…New knowledge always builds upon existing knowledge…we have to wait ‘’until the knowledge is verified’’ As Charles Handy says: “By the time you know where you ought to go, it’s too late to go there.” …Alchemists searched for two things: the Philosopher’s Stone and the Elixir of Life. The first one was thought of as a means of making gold – considered the most perfect and pure thing in the material world. The second was thought to provide eternal life and infinite wisdom, which corresponded to the ultimate perfection and purity on the spiritual plain.’’

Lets see some other saying on knowledge and wisdom:

Horace, Roman Lyric Poet says- “Wisdom is not wisdom when it is derived from books alone.”

Alfred, Lord Tennyson, English Poet says- “Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers.”

Albert Einstein, Physicist and Nobel Laureate says – “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.”  and

Bertrand Russell, Philosopher, says (Knowledge and Wisdom) – ‘‘The world needs wisdom as it has never needed it before; and if knowledge continues to increase, the world will need wisdom in the future even more than it does now.’’  

A good example can be extracted from the movie The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas. Bruno is the naive child that judges people around him from what he sees. He regards a Jewish boy Samuel as his friend Bruno sees the positives in him. This is wisdom. The same Samuel is hated by Bruno’s father Ralf, who sees every Jewish person to be bad as he has been taught to do so. This is knowledge.  

So knowledge now seems enough. We need more wisdom to get back to track. Knowledge based today’s business left wisdom somewhere behind in unknown zone that need to be grabbed for complete justice.   

Business is not welfare

People are moral agents

Highly qualified students only think about using knowledge gained from Universities. Due to them being in a state where they have to prioritise their family, it is obvious that the more money the more happiness. Intellectuals work hard about 18 hours per day by setting the life behind the money.

Available opportunities for them are very limited. The one must give up to gain other. Because of huge investments, knowledge holders are miserably weak to understand personal values and also their family. Parents, wife and children of the family are the true representatives of past, present and future. If knowledge holders are not motivated to understand about the past (Parent), present (wife/friend) and future (children) then they may lead current business but not the future society. Ultimately such business does not go for long. Society needs love. love doesn’t grow in the profit. So, I think, consumers today are looking for the break from the extreme materialization of their needs. It is bad if it seeks profit in good relation. For example, consumers love supermarkets but supermarkets offers sales of ‘buy one get one free’ instead of reducing the price for the product. Due to what one can not have it and other one is compelled to throw the quantity in the bin. There are lots of examples for the sheer opposing of ethics. So corporation today are understood as negative for consumers welfare. There is huge gap between theory and practice in reality.


These are several hot issues around our society of the 21st century as wisdom is being lost day by day. I think due to unpredictable development of information technology and extreme lack of resources, development thoughts should be reconsidered accordingly. People are moral agents and businesses only grow in ethical soil. Now, knowledge is almost enough but the world needs more wisdom to be governed in such a critical situation. There is huge gap between the use of knowledge and wisdom.

Author: Jesi

Read next posts:

State, Wisdom and Marginalisation 

Business, Wisdom and Knowledge- 3


How Business Schools Lost Their Way, Havard Business review,

Why Leaders Lose Their Way, Havard Business School

Business Ethics as Self-Regulation


Oxford dictionary

Howard Bowen’s landmark book Social Responsibilities of the Businessman (Pioneer)

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