THE IMPACT OF RELIGION ON BUSINESS ETHICS
supervisor: Shcherba A.V.
Dnepropetrovsk National University
We live in age of innovation, growth of free markets,
and world economy. New government authorities, world’s business leaders and
up-to-date technologies being players on global scene form business relations
and set standards throughout world-wide business communication. More
civilizations have started cooperating together creating one globalized
communication system. Nevertheless, during creating the one universal system of
business communication each civilization follows its unique philosophy of life
understanding and usually this understanding of life is being formed by
urgency, market and social forces are also rewriting the roles and responsibilities
of business. Modern businesses are expected to be responsible stewards of
community resources working towards the growth and success of both their
companies and their communities. We are convinced that markets become free or
remain free if their players are responsible and respect the basic values of
honesty, reliability, fairness and self-discipline being basic of their business
ethics. Most people involved in business sector – grading from a small business
owner to employee, or even CEO of a multinational – eventually face ethical or
moral dilemmas at the workplace. Ethical content of business behavior has been
a matter of public concern for a long period of time. Nowadays we observe
different approaches to solve ethical dilemmas and try to reveal new refined
possibilities to avoid delicate questions of modern everyday updating business
rules. Arising from my research and as they say “cogitations poenam nemo patitur”( lat. Law – nobody is responsible
for thoughts) we assert that each community has its own business culture. In fact, this culture has been formed by
various factors among which almost the highest position is under religion. That
is why various religion views influence on business ethics in our modern world.
Many beliefs have a source – “code of rules” and many businesses rely on these ethical
guidelines, which correspond with ethical standards of local communities.
into considerations so extent relgious influence on business ethics, We would
like to emphasize on 4 basic world’s religions: Christianity, Judaism, Islam
the basis of this theology is the Old Testament
and the New Testament. The
Christian in commerce should not desire “to get another’s goods or labour for
less than it is worth.” One must not try to obtain a good price for his own
wares by extortion. If one is buying from the poor, “charity must be exercised
as well as justice;” purchaser must pay the full price that the goods are worth
to him. Moreover, purchaser shouldn’t admit suffering of the vendor because he
cannot stand out for his price, but vendor should offer a loan or persuade some
one else to do so.
Jewish business ethics:
Judaism, which relies on the Torah for its written
law, has had a great impact on marketing and business ideology. Jewish culture,
values, and ideas have penetrated into many aspects of modern life including
modern market. Some points examined in this paper include: honesty on the
market, fair pricing and business relations.
honesty on the market.
Merchants are prohibited from falsifying weights and measures, owning a
dishonest weight by the Torah.
"If you sell something to your neighbour or buy something from your
neighbour’s hand, you shall not cheat each other." Similarly, if an
individual is unaware of true value of an item and wishes to sell it, one must
not take advantage of the seller’s ignorance and underpay. Price stability is
of great concern to the Talmud.
business relations. Employers are
required to pay employees on time. Indeed, business ethics occupies such an
important place in Jewish Laws, culture, and tradition that the Talmud has as
the very first question to an individual at the final judgment: "Were you
honest in your business dealings?"
Muslim business ethics:
For Islam, the basis of these laws
is the Qur'an.
Islamic teachings strongly stress
on observance of ethical and moral code in human behaviour. Muslim
ethics include avoidance of people’s exploitation through lending them money at
interest and prohibitions against false advertising.
Under Islamic Laws, if a vendor sells an item by making false claims about it,
customer has the right to have the transaction cancelled.
Buddhist business ethics:
Buddhist business code and professional ethics are closely tied with respect
for environment. Essentially, according to Buddhist teachings, ethical and
moral principles are run by examining a certain action, which has to avoid any harm.
Therefore some Buddhist texts emphasise on the role of
enlightenment - one of the elements which prohibits occupations associated with
violence (such as arms dealing).
is worth pointing out that each religion has its own prejudices. Nevertheless,
the main idea of each of them is that faith should give rise to a commitment to
create favorable environment at work. That is why our modern society can not
exclude the impact of religion on modern business and should be aware and
respect differences in values in various communities. So while there are global
ethical norms, we also have to show respect to different values of each