Ethics in Business: Faith at Work

By James M. Childs Jr. | Go to book overview

PREFACE

Is it possible to function successfully in business and maintain one's ethical integrity as a Christian? Is there a genuine Christian vocation for those in business? Are there special Christian insights on ethical issues such as whistle-blowing, affirmative action, or environmental responsibility? How can I make my Christian witness heard and appreciated in the secular world of business? How is it possible for Christianity or any other religious faith to have much impact on the ethics of business in a world as pluralistic as ours?

This book is meant for people who struggle with these questions or for whom these questions strike a responsive chord and that point to issues of importance today.

I want to offer such persons an encouragement and, I hope, a helpful resource in dealing with these questions and the issues they involve.

The foremost encouragement comes from the promises of God in Jesus Christ which affirm us and empower us in our aspirations to faithful witness. These promises are always at the vital center of our discussion. There are, however, other encouragements as well. Our contemporary culture, despite its baffling pluralism and seeming loss of moral consensus, provides Christians and the Christian community with some important new avenues of witness. The avenues I have in mind are the various possibilities of participating in ethical dialogue, both in the context of business and among the stakeholders of business in the larger society. The process of dialogue, which is at the strategic center of the discussion that follows, opens us up to one another in our diversity and enables us to speak with integrity out of the particular perspectives of our experience and our faith. I hope to show that diversity can foster that kind of dialogue. It does so by forcing us to deal with one another's ethical vision in its cultural and religious particularity rather than imagining that we can all discourse together in some neutral language of rationality.

There is further encouragement in the rising tide of ethical concern among business leaders in our day. My numerous personal contacts confirmed this interest and provided examples of individuals who are working

-vii-

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Ethics in Business: Faith at Work
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • 1: Bridging the Shareability Gap 1
  • 2: From Being a Nobody to Being a Somebody 14
  • 3: The Not-So-Secular World 28
  • 4: From Dualism to Dialogue 42
  • 5: Beyond the Moral Minimum 56
  • 6: Beyond Leadership to Servant Leadership 71
  • 7: Beyond Affirmative Action 86
  • 8: Beyond Mere Survival 102
  • 9: Beyond Certainty 121
  • 10: Beyond the Company Walls 136
  • Notes 149
  • Index 163
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