In this issue of Ethix we focus on a single topic: religion in business. Religion is the area where issues of right and wrong are discussed, and hence a critical factor in business ethics. Thus this special issue fits within the Ethix framework.
The feature conversation is with Laura Nash, Harvard author and researcher in religion and business. To expand from this conversation, we feature essays (or in one case an interview) with a Jew, a Buddhist, a Muslim, and a Christian. While it is clear these religions are very different, it is also clear that there are some common themes as they relate to business. These similarities could provide a basis for healthy collaboration in dealing with business ethics.
While we have attempted to get a balanced perspective representing diverse religious views, we also recognize two shortcomings in this issue. First, two major religious views are missing: Hindu and Secularist, in addition to many other religious viewpoints. Perhaps people from these backgrounds will add their voice at a later time. Second, it is difficult to find one person to represent any religious view, and other adherents may disagree with the views presented here. One voice may not be enough. We intend to post other viewpoints on our website at www.ethix.org.
In spite of these shortcomings, we believe the writers and interviewees have done an excellent job of identifying key issues in this volatile intersection from their diverse perspectives.
Next issue, the standard features in Ethix will return.
At IBTE, we believe:
- Newspaper headlines give evidence of far too many ethical failures in business
- Business ethics is much more than staying out of the headlines—it should be a major factor in focusing the mission
- Technology is the major force for change in business today, leading to business situations with no policies, rules, or experience
- Understanding technological change will help us anticipate future ethical problem areas and a more positive business use for technology
- There are many business success stories, and we can learn a great deal from companies that try to do it right
- Even the best of businesses and business leaders may fail, sometimes causing people to reject an otherwise good example
- We can learn from a good practice even if the business or business leader may fail in some other area
Through Ethix we offer:
- Discussions with great (but imperfect) business leaders who demonstrate good practices and who have helpful insights
- Stories of failures and recovery plans
- Novel aspects of technology that have a transformative influence on business
- Relevant books and media reviews, problem cases, key items from the press, and forums on popular issues