Cre Perspective Living beyond the Boundaries

By McCoy, Bowen H. | Real Estate Issues, Summer 2001 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Cre Perspective Living beyond the Boundaries


McCoy, Bowen H., Real Estate Issues


INTRODUCTION

There appears to be a growing interest in the field of religion, spirituality and business, as evidenced by recent stories in major magazines and several books. A Business Week story, "Religion in the Workplace," indicated that there are some 10,000 Bible study and prayer groups in workplaces, that meet regularly. The article further stated that 95 percent of Americans say they believe in God or a universal spirit, and 60 percent of those polled stated that they believe in the beneficial effect of spirituality in the workplace. A survey published by the New York Times Sunday magazine indicated that 81 percent of Americans surveyed believe in an afterlife; 72 percent absolutely believe in the religious practices they follow; but 75 percent believe their behavior at home is more indicative of who they really are than is their behavior at work. There is a perceived dichotomy between the "real" person and the person at work.

Yet, most people do not wish to compartmentalize their lives. Research performed by University of Southern California Marshall Graduate School of Business Professor Ira Mitroff indicates that organizations which identify themselves with spirituality have employees who: 1). are less fearful of their organizations and 2). less likely to compromise their basic beliefs and values in the workplace; 3). perceive their organizations as being significantly more profitable; and 4). report that they can bring significantly more of their complete selves to work, especially their creativity and intelligence. Many studies have indicated that what gives individuals the most meaning and purpose in their job is the ability to realize their full potential as a person.

In medieval society, (a.k.a., the Age of Faith), there was a strong connection between church and state, between faith and work. There was an order to society which was comforting in a world filled with superstition and mystery. In the post modem age, reason dominates all. We are suspicious of mystery, even of faith. While we may be willing to discuss spirituality at work with a stranger, we find it difficult to discuss our religious faith outside the boundaries of the church or synagogue. Ironically, in an age where 95 percent of Americans are said to believe in God or a universal spirit, the subject is taboo at work or in the classroom, even though research is showing that such faith brings great comfort to individuals in the workplace.

The dilemma, it seems, is how to break down the walls between the fields of religion, business, and ethics to the mutual benefit of all. They are formidable walls, reinforced by constitutional interpretation, political correctness, over specialization, and the like. If we cannot break the walls down, then we must learn how to straddle them and to become boundary people, attempting to deftly navigate our way through a life while staying true to our beliefs and to our vocation to be our best professionally. I know it is not always easy. In a successful career as an investment banker, I have tried to live out my faith in all the aspects of my life. I was Dr. Faust to some. To others I was perceived chiefly as a church elder, a seminary trustee and a teacher.

I have written several published articles on the field of business ethics. Comments come back to me from many sources. A philosopher said my articles were not scholarly enough. A business ethicist said I was too critical of the way business ethics is taught. A theologian said I was too worldly. A business person said I was too religious. A Christian said I was too universal. Being a boundary person is not easy; but how else can one respond to the dual calls to be authentic in work and in faith? In this paper I propose that we can live rich lives of faith, while being engaged in the world as successful business people. We can live with one foot in the spirit and one foot in the world. I believe most of us are designed to be boundary people, and we thus have instilled in us the hope that we can realize our full potential as people created in God's image.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Cre Perspective Living beyond the Boundaries
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?