Journal of Human Values 1 (1):27-35 (1995)

Daniel Ostas
University of Oklahoma
The main thesis of this essay is that religious inquiry can and should be central to business ethics instruction in both the business school classroom and the corporate boardroom. Religious conviction has always been a major factor in social progress in America. Hence, removing religious inquiry from ethical instruction severely restricts the potency of such instruction to effect change. The essay first analyzes two aspects of American culture that tend to inhibit religious dialogue: American faith in a wall between the secular and the sacred; and a cultural commitment to 'scientific' inquiries when discussing business matters. Although both cultural beliefs must be taken seriously, however, they need not silence one's religious beliefs and values. Two contemporary frameworks for analyzing issues in business ethics—'stakeholder theory' and 'social contract theory'— are then focused upon and it is demonstrated that religious dialogue and religious principles can usefully supplement either approach.
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DOI 10.1177/097168589500100104
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