Friday, June 1, 2012

Does business contribute to spiritual well-being?

Professor Brian Engelland
In recent years, business leaders have been roundly criticized for their greed, shady dealing and corruption. As a result, students have tended to avoid business and choose majors in traditional subjects in the liberal arts because conventional wisdom implies that these fields can help overcome injustice and make the world a better place. However, business leadership skills really are necessary in order to effect lasting and beneficial change.

A new document released in March by the Pontifical Council on Justice and Peace bears this out. The thirty-page reflection is called The Vocation of the Business Leader, and it suggests “When businesses and market economies function properly and focus on serving the common good, they contribute greatly to the material and even the spiritual well-being of society.” In effect, the document acknowledges that business doesn’t just fill bellies or make money; properly practiced, it also cultivates virtue.

The document goes on to say that the vocation of the business leader is a genuine human and Christian calling. Business people have a special role to play in the unfolding of creation – they not only provide goods and services and constantly improve them, but they also help shape organizations and society, and improve human flourishing.

As The Vocation of the Business Leader gains wider readership, get ready for an influx of new graduate business students. Business is a noble calling which assists in the unfolding of creation. Even our spiritual well-being is at stake!

Doctor Brian Engelland
Professor of Marketing

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