THE IMPACT OF RELIGION ON BUSINESS ETHICS

Yuriy Pertsev

Mariya Shykhova

Scientific supervisor: Shcherba A.V. Dnepropetrovsk National University

We live in age of innovation, growth of free markets, and world economy. New government authorities, worlds 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 religion.

With increasing 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.

Taking into considerations so extent relgious influence on business ethics, We would like to emphasize on 4 basic worlds religions: Christianity, Judaism, Islam and Buddhism.

Christian business ethics: In Christianity, the basis of this theology is the Old Testament and the New Testament. The Christian in commerce should not desire to get anothers 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 shouldnt 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.

                   fair pricing. "If you sell something to your neighbour or buy something from your neighbours 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 sellers 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 peoples 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: The 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).

Overall, it 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 community.