The authors Rae and Wong discussed
in their textbook, Beyond Integrity,
the value of morals in business. In chapter 1 the book discusses how morality plays
a huge part in business. Most people make moral decisions in 1 of these 5
Ethical egoism: The belief that actions
that advance one’s own self-interest are moral.
Utilitarianism: The belief that morality
is judged by the actions that have the greatest balance of good consequences
over harmful consequences.
Deontological systems: The theory that
moral duties are based on what is inherently the right thing to do. The consequences
of the actions are not a factor in the morality of the decision because moral
obligations come from principles and not ends.
Emotivism: The belief that personal
feelings are the determinant of what is right and wrong, meaning what is moral
depends on his/hers personal beliefs.
Virtue theory: The belief that there is
more to morality than doing the right thing. Morality is judged not by the person’s
actions but by a person’s character.
Rae and Wong explain that
although there are many different ways people make moral decisions, no one way
is necessarily better than the other and sometimes multiple moral decisions are
used at once. Biblical scriptures place a heavy emphasis on the moral character
of the individual, an individual’s virtues and principles should exemplify that
of Christ Jesus. Aside from having a Christ-like moral code, Christians should
be humble, open, teachable, and respectful of the ethical convictions of
goal of chapter 1 was to emphasize a cooperation’s mission to be the motivator
and guide to ethical decision making. Respect the beliefs and values of
everyone in the diverse work place. Lastly, following through with
organizational reforms to minimize recurrence of the problem.
Ethics in Business: Tensions and Challenges
chapter 2, Rae and Wong go on to discuss how many businesspeople feel an uneasy
tension between their own personal moral values and those that seem to saturate
business dealings. The thought that financial success may only be achieved through
abandoning moral beliefs is one of the most troubling aspects of a business
career. To act honestly or compassionately, people may fear a great
disadvantage with their competitors. Research has found that most individuals live
with two sets of values, one for “private life” and one for work.
would say that the simple solution to solve this issue of no morality in the workplace
is to instill Christian morals into business. Carr claims that a “sudden
submission of Christian ethics by businessmen, would bring about the greatest
economic upheaval in history.” He believed that the economy would actually fall
apart, since it is structurally dependent on untrustworthiness and deception
for its survival.
the Bhide and Stevenson article trust and honesty is more prevalent than not in
the commercial realm. Though it is said “honestly is the best policy” many
refrain from telling the truth because of the benefits produced by straying
from the truth. Chapter 2 points to different cases where not being truthful
was rewarded or rarely punished. Even with these findings they conclude that
the trust necessary to form relationships within a business is still alive,
because for many people in business, honesty is a matter of one’s own conscience
and moral beliefs than strategy.
Engagement in Business
in chapter 3, Rae and Wong allude to the fact that in this day and age
Christian involvement in business is still viewed with suspicion. Most believe
that Christians in business real motives are to benefit the church. This is
because most Christians involved with business claim to only be involved for
evangelical reasons. Christians do this because there is little evidence to
explain how business activity by itself can do the work of God, “kingdom” work.
Current negative portrayals of people in business contribute to the suspicions
of business being spiritually suspect.
authors ask the question of how should we engage business, given these
troubling issues? First we must fix the issue that alludes to there being a
huge gap between the thought messages of the church being opposite the message behind
business. Research has shown that there is some degree of overlap between
Christian values and most common business practices. Depending on the actual
size of the gap of separation a method of engagement between the two can ensue.
and Wong in chapter 3 shed light on ways in which business and Christianity overlap.
Business activity can help fulfill the creation order given in Genesis 1:26 –
28. “The command contains community ordering and cocreativity with God as key
components. Second, business is one of many means in which God provides
for His people.” Business provides different services and goods, creates
employment opportunities, and with market capitalism’s unique ability to create
new wealth, may be the best means of mitigating poverty in the world.
Chapter 3 does a great job or acknowledging
the unmoral practices in today’s fields of business, God’s work in transforming
and redeeming the world he created. Christians are now faced with a significant
responsibility to participate in business (and other parts of culture) in order
to positively contribute to God’s transformative plan.