The ongoing global economic and financial crisis has exposed the risks of considering market and business organizations only as instruments for creating economic wealth while paying little heed to their role in ethics and values. Catholic Social Teaching (CST) could provide a useful contribution in rethinking the role of values in business organizations and markets because CST puts forward an anthropological view that involves thinking of the marketplace as a community of persons with the aim of participating in the Common (...) Good (CG) of society. In the light of the CST tradition, and in particular Caritas in Veritate , this article investigates the thinking of some of the historical scholars of the Italian Economia Aziendale ( EA ), by focusing on the concept of azienda , in order to reinterpret in a more humanistic way the role of business organizations in society. By linking CST and EA , the dichotomy between for-profit and not-for-profit organizations and the stereotype of the so-called business amorality that has, for a long time, driven business managers can be transcended. The conclusions imply a forward-looking application of the ethical concepts embedded in the Italian science of EA. (shrink)
In this study, we analyze the financial performance and the managerial abilities of religious mutual fund managers, implementing a comparative analysis with conventional mutual funds. We use a broad sample, free of survivorship bias, of religious equity mutual funds from the US market, for the period from January 1994 to September 2010. We build a matched-pair conventional sample in order to compare the results obtained for both kinds of mutual fund managers. We analyze stock-picking and market timing abilities, topics widely (...) neglected for the specific case of religious mutual fund managers. We also study style timing abilities. As far as we are aware, this aspect has not been studied previously for religious mutual fund managers. Our results indicate that religious mutual fund managers underperform both the market and their conventional counterparts. This result is driven by negative stock-picking ability which could be generated by excluding “Sin” stocks from their portfolios. Moreover, they are not able to time the market or any of the following styles: size, book-to-market, and momentum. (shrink)
This article reviews the element of consciousness from a Buddhist and a non-Buddhist (Western) perspective. Within the Buddhist perspective, two practices toward attaining expanded and purified consciousness will be included: the Seven-Point Mind Training and Vipassana. Within the Western perspective, David Hawkins’ works on consciousness will be used as a main guide. In addition, a number of important concepts that contribute to expanded and purified consciousness will be presented. Among these concepts are impermanence, karma, non-harming (ahimsa), ethics, kindness and compassion, (...) mindfulness, right livelihood, charity, interdependence, wholesome view, collaboration, and fairness. This article may be of use to students and workforce members who consider a transdisciplinary approach on human wellbeing in personal and professional environments. (shrink)
Building on prior research in Confucianism and business, the current study examines the effects of Confucianism on consumer trust of government involvement with products and company brands. Based on three major ideas of Confucianism – meritocracy, loyalty to superior, and separation of responsibilities – it is expected that consumers under the influence of Confucianism would perceive products from government-involved enterprises to have more desirable attributes and show preference for their company brands. Findings from an empirical study in the Chinese automobile (...) market support the hypotheses. The results suggest that small firms doing business in China would especially benefit from some association with the government. These results also provide managerial implications for enterprises in other countries with a Confucian cultural background. (shrink)
The empirical findings in Collins and Porras'' study of visionary companies, Built to Last, and the normative claims about the purpose of the business firm in Centesimus Annus are found to be complementary in understanding the purpose of the business firm. A summary of the methodology and findings of Built to Lastand a short overview of Catholic Social Teaching are provided. It is shown that Centesimus Annus'' claim that the purpose of the firm is broader than just profit is consistent (...) with Collins and Porras empirical finding that firms which set a broader objective tend to be more successful than those which pursue only the maximization of profits. It is noted however that a related finding in Collins and Porras, namely that the content of the firm''s objective is not as important as internalizing some objective beyond just profit maximization, can lead to ethical myopia. Two examples are provided of this: the Walt Disney Company and Philip Morris. Centesimus Annus offers a way to expose such myopia, by providing guidance as to what the purpose of the firm is, and therefore as to what kinds of objectives are appropriate to the firm. (shrink)
Islamic banking, based on the prohibition of interest, is well established throughout the Muslim world. Attention has now turned towards applying Islamic principles in equity markets. The search for alternatives to Western style markets has been given added impetus in Muslim countries by the turmoil in Asian financial markets in 1997. Common stocks are a legitimate form of instrument in Islam, but many of the practices associated with stock trading are not. In this paper the instruments traded and the structure (...) and practices of stock markets are examined from an Islamic perspective. Speculation is not acceptable in Islam and measures would have to be taken to control speculative trading. In addition short selling and margin trading are severely restricted. The use of stock index and equity futures and options are also unlikely to be acceptable within an Islamic market. Regulatory authorities in Muslim countries will therefore find a vast array of problems in attempting to structure a trading system that will be acceptable. (shrink)
The Puritan ethic is conventionally interpreted as a set of individualistic values that encourage a degree of self-interest inimical to the good of organizations and society. A closer reading of original Puritan moralists reveals a different ethic. Puritan moralists simultaneously legitimated economic individualism while urging individuals to work for the common good. They contrasted self-interest and the common good, which they understood to be the sinful and moral ends, respectively, of economic individualism. This polarity can be found in all the (...) details of their moral system, including the Puritan understanding of vocation, economic virtues, property rights, contracts, wealth and poverty, market prices and interest, and the proper economic role of government. The efforts of contemporary ethics to confront the problem of self-interest in business organizations and society would be enriched by a rediscovery of the Puritan understanding of self as a fundamental problem for any individualistic value system. (shrink)
The Talmud, the compilation of Jewish oral law, is over 1500 years old and includes extensive discussions of business ethics. This paper presents four levels of ethical behavior in business gleaned from the words of the Talmud. At the lowest level, an individual is just barely inside the law; the highest level is the way of the pious. The author has attempted to relate the ethics in ancient business situations to business practices today.