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Religion and viagra without prescription Business in Dialogue

For your convenience, a 6 MB composite PDF file is available with all of the readings listed below.  In addition, each individual assignment is linked in PDF format with its synopsis below.

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I. Introduction

A. “Business Joining Religion to Make a Better World ” by Leonard Swidler in International Codes of Business Ethics

II. Multiple Shifts in Consciousness

A. A Pedagogical Shift

1. “Business Ethics and which is better viagra or cialis Social Responsibility Education: Shifting the Worldview,” by Robert A. Giacalone and viagra uk order Kenneth R. Thompson

2. “Smith, Friedman, and Self-Interest in Ethical Society,” by Harvey S. James Jr. and Farhad Rassekh

B. An Ideological Shift

1. “The Next Big Idea,” by Muhammad Yunus

2. “The Focus on Wealth Creation: Need, Clarification, and Challenges,” by Georges Enderle

C. A Dialogic Shift

1. “Ecology and real cialis for sale the Market-State: Why Democracy Needs Religion,” by David W. Haddorff

2. “Introduction” by John Dalla Costa

III. Inter-Ideological Dialogue

A. Setting the Stage

1. “What is Dialogue?,” by Leonard Swidler

B. Interreligious and cialis buy online Interideological Dialogue on Business

1. “An Interfaith Declaration: A Code of Ethics on International Business for Christians, Muslims, and Jews”

2. “The Caux Round Table: Principles for Business”

3. “Shareholders Who Answer to a Higher C.E.O.,” by Leslie Wayne

C. Interreligious Dialogue on the Global Economic System

1. “A Declaration for Just Trade in the Service of an Economy of Life”

2. “Indigenous Peoples’ Seattle Declaration”

IV. A Social Business Ethic in Action

A. Canon, Inc.

1. "Kyosei: A Concept That Will Lead the 21st Century"

B. Grameen Bank

1. "A Pilot Project is Born," by Muhammad Yunus.

V. Suggested Further Reading

Bibliography

I. Introduction

It is undeniable that transnational corporations have a great deal of influence in our world today.  With the products and cialis mail order uk services that they produce, the manner in which they produce them, and the cultures that they engender, global businesses have far-reaching and buy viagra in canada long-lasting effects upon many entities, namely, the laborers they employ, the consumers they elicit, and the socio-cultural and cialis brand name ecological spheres within which they operate.  Smaller businesses, for their part, impose similar influences on the world, but to differing degrees than their transnational counterparts.  Regardless of scale, though, it is important to recognize the enormous role that business plays in society if we are to analyze, understand, and improve our contemporary world. 

Religion is also an integral part of our human existence, as it provides ultimate meaning and generic viagra in canada ethical orientation for its many and cialis online canada varied adherents the world over.  Operating both locally and cialis en mexico globally, it too has far-reaching and long-lasting influence in the world, impacting believers and viagra rx in canada non-believers alike in myriad ways.  It makes sense, then, that these two highly influential entities—business and propecia canada online religion—should be in dialogue with one another, as they are both crucial components of the world in which we operate.  In truly dialogical interactions, business and religious leaders, at all levels, might recognize what they have to lend one another as they strive to comprehend and viagra free samples better our world. 

Efforts to engage one another and to improve the world we inhabit, however, require multiple shifts in consciousness.  Leonard Swidler’s introduction to the (unpublished) text, Business Joining Religion to Make a Better World: Codes of Business Ethics and Beyond, provides us with an orientation regarding some shifts in consciousness that have already surfaced, such as those in the fields of science, philosophy, and religion that undergird the necessary shifts in business leadership that are now underway.  Other requisite shifts in consciousness include changing the way we learn about and teach business, the way we understand economics, and the way we undertake business practices and/or wealth creation.  Finally, our shifting mindsets should also include a recognition that business and religion are not so isolated from one another, nor are they necessarily opposed to one another.  Indeed, they have many common grounds upon which they can communicate and cooperate.  What follows is a foray into these multiple shifts in consciousness that can inform and cultivate (or have already) a productive relationship between religion and business, so that they may cooperatively engender more socially and ecologically tenable business practices the world over. Click here to read Swidler’s introduction…

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II. Multiple Shifts in Consciousness

A. A Pedagogical Shift

1. In “Business Ethics and Social Responsibility Education: Shifting the Worldview,” Robert A. Giacalone and Kenneth R. Thompson assert that a critical shift in business management education is needed.  The authors argue that most business management programs are infused with an organization-centered worldview (OWV), which places the profit-making viability of a business at the center of all considerations.  Even when ethics courses are added to the curricula of these programs, the efforts of such courses are undermined by the OWV itself.  As an alternative, the authors offer a human-centered worldview (HWV) that takes seriously and places centrally social and ecological concerns.  They state that in a human-centered worldview “the relative importance of people and profit motives is inverted, such that people’s well-being is the fundamental goal against which all issues of profit are gauged” (271), and, they argue, it must underpin the entire pedagogy of business management programs so that students can be equipped with a more ethically holistic education and worldview when they enter and/or advance in the business world.  Click here to read the full text…

2. In “Smith, Friedman, and Self-Interest in Ethical Society,” Harvey S. James Jr. and Farhad Rassekh argue that Adam Smith’s concept of self-interest and Milton Friedman’s notion of corporate responsibility are misunderstood, particularly as they are written about and taught in most business ethics textbooks and courses.  The authors select Smith and Friedman as their focus because of the central place their theories hold in our contemporary world.  As such, it is vitally important that educators, students, and business people understand Smith and Friedman’s theories accurately, especially so as to avoid a misreading that would legitimate unethical behavior.  James and Rassekh illustrate that neither Smith nor Friedman consider self-interest to be synonymous with selfishness; rather, they see self-interest as an other-regarding disposition that operates within accepted norms and laws, while they view selfishness as narrow individual greed that operates at the expense of others.  For Smith, justice underwrites the operation of self-interest; for Friedman, it is freedom that informs such an orientation.  In short, James and Rassekh argue that both Smith and Friedman advocate for a more socially-responsible form of economic activity than is generally attributed to them in business ethics textbooks and classrooms.  Thus, a pedagogical shift is required in this regard as well.  Click here to read the full text…

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B. An Ideological Shift

1. In “The Focus on Wealth Creation: Need, Clarifications, and Challenges,” Georges Enderle offers an understanding of wealth creation that is innovative, complex, and morally relevant to our current global economic realities.  First, he clarifies his focus by noting that he is not talking about wealth accumulation or its possession, nor is he referring narrowly to the mere making of money.  He instead uses the modifying term “creation” intentionally, to emphasize wealth’s generative and life-affirming capacities.  He thus highlights both the private and public aspects of wealth creation; its necessary distributive requirement; and, finally, its non-monetary manifestations, such as spiritual uplift, health improvement, and nature preservation.  Wealth creation in this configuration is an organic process that attends to social, spiritual, material, and ecological needs rather than the mere accumulation of riches.  Noting the ideological shift required, Enderle states: “Generally speaking, the enormous challenges of creating wealth require a shift in motivations that shape the cultures of companies, countries and the world.  But such a shift cannot take place unless it is internalized and advanced by individuals” (11).  Indeed, such a shift requires an ideological transformation in the way we think about the wealth of individuals, corporations, and nations in a global society where justice is left wanting.  Click here to read full text…

2.      In the “The Next Big Idea,” Muhammad Yunus provides readers with a preview of his next book, Creating a World without Poverty.  The “next big idea” is what he calls a social business, or, rather, the idea of a social business—a cognitive shift in the way business is understood and undertaken.  He offers two social business models.  The first is a business enterprise that is cause-driven rather than profit-driven.  It still operates with investors, products and/or services, consumers, markets, expenses, and profits, but instead of aiming to maximize profits as its main operating principle, it operates with a “social benefit” principle, whereby it aims to achieve social improvement.  The second type of social business is one owned by the poor, marginalized, disenfranchised, and/or otherwise oppressed, and aims to maximize profit.  The social good elicited from this second model of social business derives from its ownership, which is shared by the poor or a disadvantaged group; profits are then distributed among the owners.  Regardless of which social business model pertains, though, Yunus has faith in its idea and implementation.  He states: “I believe it has the potential to change our world in a fundamental way, liberating the creative energies of millions of people and helping produce solutions to our most serious social problems” (277).  It is only in our attempts to re-think business practices and goals, though, that such a transformation is possible.  Click here to read the full text…

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C. A Dialogic Shift

1. In “Ecology and the Market-State: Why Democracy Needs Religion,” David W. Haddorff argues that a healthy, integrated, democratic state is comprised of a plurality of civic associations, with equal opportunity to exert their socio-political efficacy through government institutions.  He suggests that such an egalitarian model does not characterize the current U.S. state, where the ideologies and practices of the market prevail, creating a market-state, rather than a democratic one.  In order to remedy this imbalance—or, the under-integration of civic institutions in the state—Haddorff calls upon the civic associations of religion and business specifically.  He claims that religious language and worldviews provide a corrective to those of the market, on the one hand, and that business goals actually depend upon democratic capitalism rather than “autocratic capitalism,” on the other (509).  Understanding their common and mutually-beneficial goals, then, religion and business can work together, through the government, to mitigate market abuses and excesses of power.  What Haddorff poses is a dialogic opening, wherein religion and business can envision themselves as co-crafters and co-guardians of a more fully integrated democracy.  While this essay focuses rather narrowly up the role of Christianity in the U.S., its basic precepts can be applied to other religions in a global context.  Click here to read the full text…

2. In the “Introduction” to his text, The Ethical Imperative: Why Moral Leadership Is Good Business, John Dalla Costa shares with his readers some of the ideas and experiences that impressed him the most as he was in the process of writing his book.  First, he shares some of the responses elicited from friends, colleagues, and even strangers when he informed them that he was writing a book about “business ethics,” ranging from dismissive to indignant, from skeptical to encouraging.  What was common among them, though, was that people were not indifferent; they invariably held strong and heartfelt opinions regarding the relationship between business and ethics, reinforcing for Dalla Costa the importance of the topic he had selected for the book.  Furthermore, having been a corporate business man himself, Dalla Costa began to realize in his research that social ethics often impact business leaders through a process of shifting social consciousness, whereby evolving moral sensibilities progress from marginal social spheres, to social movements or campaigns (often through religious bodies), to more conservative spaces such as boardrooms or businesses.  Finally, as Dalla Costa wrote the text, he was studying theology formally and was therefore introduced to theological works that influenced his way of thinking.  These experiences combined to prompt Dalla Costa to undertake the dialogical experiment of “mixing business with theology and economics with ethics” (9).  The result of this alchemy is a global business ethic for a global economy, which he offers in The Ethical Imperative.  Click here to read Dalla Costa’s introduction…

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III. Interideological Dialogue

A. Setting the Stage

1. In “What is Dialogue?” Leonard Swidler answers his own question by first explaining what dialogue is not.  That is, he explains that dialogue—or, more specifically interreligious and interideological dialogue—is not “reinforcement,” wherein two or more people share the same perspective of truth and then augment their own ideas about that truth.  Neither is dialogue a way of “debating,” in which opposing interlocutors consider themselves to have a monopoly on truth and then proceed with an agenda to convert the other.  Interreligious and interideological dialogue is instead “a two-way communication between persons who hold significantly different views on a subject, with the purpose of learning more truth about the subject from the other” (1).  He then goes on to delineate the historical contexts within which such dialogue arose, noting the importance of various epistemological shifts in consciousness over the last several decades that created the space for dialogue, as it rests upon the notion that truth/knowledge is always partial and contingent.  He also addresses important issues, such as who should dialogue, what kinds of dialogue exist within the accepted framework, what goals pertain, what means are available, what subjects lend themselves to productive dialogue, and when dialogue is productive (and when it is not).  Altogether, though, he offers that dialogue always takes place within a larger paradigmatic appreciation for the value of human life and the rights that should be accorded therein.  Click here to read the full text…

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B. Interreligious and Interideological Dialogue on Business

1. “An Interfaith Declaration: A Code of Ethics on International Business for Christians, Muslims, and Jews” was launched in May of 1994 at St. James Place in London.  It was the result of ten year’s worth of interideological dialogic labor exerted by participants, who gathered periodically to engage one another in their different approaches to “production, distribution, employment, money, materialism, spirituality, and wealth creation.”  Such participants included royalty, business leaders, bankers, philosophers, as well as Jewish, Christian, and Muslim clerics and theologians.  Through their work together, they concluded that the code should focus on their religions’ Scripturally-based, shared concern for four principles: justice, mutual respect, stewardship, and honesty.  The Declaration, then, begins with an explication of their common understandings of these values, providing relevant Scriptural passages from the three religious traditions to substantiate the basic claim of their collective endeavor: that Judaism, Christianity, and Islam have a common ethical heritage that can inform, guide, and improve the standards of international business behavior.  As such, specific guidelines follow the section on shared principles.  In the Guidelines section, the Declaration highlights three different strata of the business environment—the global political economy, the specific policies of a business, and the conduct of individuals at work—and outlines specific recommendations for incorporating the shared values in each of these distinct areas. Click here to read the full text…

2. “The Caux Round Table Principles for Business” is a 1994 production of the Caux Round Table, a group of influential business leaders who began meeting in Caux, Switzerland in 1986 to engage in dialogue about how corporate business could play a positive, peace-seeking, and stabilizing role in society.  The introduction to the document provides the orientation from which the principles are constructed; it states: “Business behavior can affect relationships among nations and the prosperity and well-being of us all.  Business is often the first contact between nations and, by the way in which it causes social and economic changes, has a significant impact on the level of fear or confidence felt by people worldwide.”  Given this recognition of the highly influential character of business—particularly as it becomes more globally integrated—the principles bear in mind the need for corporations to be a means for positive social and ecological change.  Offered as advisory guidelines, the principles address notions of justice, trust, respect for law, support for multilateral trade, respect for the environment, and avoidance of illicit operations.  They also define the various stakeholders of a corporation—as customers, employees, owners/investors, suppliers, competitors, and communities—delineating the various responsibilities that inhere with each group.  Click here to read the full text…

3. In “Shareholders Who Answer to a Higher C.E.O.” Leslie Wayne reports on a particular kind of interideological dialogue taking place between Roman Catholic Nuns and the corporate executives of weapons-producing companies.  Recognizing the highly influential role that such corporations play vis-a-vis governments and society—and the role that religion can play in mediating that influence—nuns of various orders are meeting with corporate executives and investors to craft ethical codes of conduct.  Indeed, one such nun, Sister Valeria Heinonen, states: “These companies have an overwhelming influence wherever they operate, and I don’t think religious bodies should be separate from that.”  One major goal of the nuns’ campaign is to limit the sale of weapons to at-risk countries where child-soldiers and cycles of armed violence are common.  Furthermore, the nuns recognize the potential power that corporate codes of conduct could have in influencing the government: if military contractors are collectively unwilling to engage in weapon sales to an at-risk country, it may give the government pause and may even change policy—at least that is the hope of the activist nuns.  Regardless of whether they are meeting with immediate success, though, the nuns recognize a need for religion and business to be actively engaging each other, and they are acting upon that conviction by partaking in serious dialogue with influential business leaders. Click here to read the full text…

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C. Interreligious Dialogue on the Global Economic System

1. “A Declaration for Just Trade in the Service of an Economy of Life” is the result of a four-day ecumenical conference held in Stony Point, New York in 2004.  Canadian, Mexican, and U.S. Christians from various denominations gathered at the conference in order to dialogue about the global economy and address some of its deleterious practices, policies, and implementations.  Recognizing the current regime of free trade as unjust, the participants compiled twelve principles for fairer trade, along with policy recommendations for governments to enact them in the interest of increased justice.  Such principles include a recommendation that trade and investment agreements ensure the respect and dignity of all persons and the inalienable rights of indigenous communities, that they privilege sustainability and poverty reduction over non-sustainable short-term gains, and that they honor the responsibility of national governments to provide for the welfare of their citizens.  They also encourage greater corporate responsibility and accountability, subject to the trade and investment agreements within which they operate.  In each of their recommendations, the participants at the Stony Point conference recognize the need for religion to have a voice in the way the economy is organized; they state: “In God’s gracious economy, there is enough for all to enjoy abundant life if we but share.  In organizing the global economy, God has entrusted us with a vocation as stewards of the common good, serving our neighbors and caring for the earth.”  Click here to read the full document…     

2. “Indigenous Peoples’ Seattle Declaration” is a collective statement made by representatives of Indigenous peoples from around the world who went to Seattle, WA during the Third Ministerial Meeting of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1999.  Recognizing the WTO as a major purveyor of trade liberalization and export-oriented economies that disproportionately—and negatively—impact Indigenous communities, the Indigenous representatives at the gathering met to discuss and propose alternatives.  In their declaration, they highlight areas of concern in agriculture, forestry, mining, and other natural resources.  They also make specific recommendations for revising trade agreements so that protective measures can be put in place to ensure the livelihood of Indigenous peoples everywhere.  While they feel threatened and marginalized by the current economic order, they also feel that the world has much to gain by engaging them in dialogue.  As such, they state: “Our sustainable lifestyles and cultures, traditional knowledge, cosmologies, spirituality, values of collectivity, reciprocity, respect and reverence for Mother Earth, are crucial in the search for a transformed society where justice, equity, and sustainability will prevail.”  This too is an invitation for further interreligious and interideological dialogue.  Click here to read the full text…

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IV. A Social Business Ethic in Action

A. Canon, Inc.

In 1987, when Canon, Inc. celebrated its fiftieth anniversary, the company restated its governing principles under the concept of kyosei, which in Japanese means “coexistence,” “living together,” or “symbiosis.”  Operating with a kyosei corporate philosophy means that Canon directs its corporate activities toward bettering society and the environment; it aims for a cohesive and symbiotic relationship with the world.  The notion of kyosei was developed by the former President of Canon, Ryuzaburo Kaku, who was also instrumental in the development of the Caux Round Table mentioned above.  Kaku sees kyosei as an other-regarding principle that undergirds the operations of those corporations that assume global social responsibility.  He lays out some basic responsibilities that such companies have in ameliorating social and ecological imbalances in the world, in implementing honest business practices, in finding innovative ways to understand and produce wealth creation, and to engage in fair competition.  Through its Kyosei Initiative, Canon Inc. exemplifies the infusion of business and ethics addressed in the above readings.  Click here to read the full text…

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B. Grameen Bank

Grameen Bank is a micro-lending institution that loans small amounts of money to poor women and men—though, primarily women—in an effort to alleviate destitute poverty in rural Bangladesh.  It was begun in1977 by Muhammad Yunus, who believes that the poor have the same entrepreneurial spirit as those with greater access to financial capital, yet they often do not have the opportunities to exercise it.  By eliminating the notion of collateral from their banking practices, Yunus and Grameen Bank have been able to lend more than 4 billion dollars to more than 2 million families in Bangladesh, so that they might exercise their enterprising capacities.  Grameen was not born overnight, but is the product of many years of trial and error and efforts toward improvement, yet all along it has operated upon the notion of trust and belief in the dignity of the poor.  Furthermore, as Grameen grew over the years, Yunus developed a greater appreciation for the vital role that business can play in bettering society and the environment.  As such, Grameen Bank and all of its enterprises reflect the kind of marriage sought between business and ethics addressed in the above readings.  Click here to read about the Grameen pilot project… 

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V. Suggested Further Reading

Bibliography

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