Religious ethics

Most business ethics textbooks use philosophical rather than religious arguments. But being aware of the religious roots of business ethics can still be useful, if only to avoid offending others with ethical approaches to commerce.

by IESE Insight
Last Updated: 23 Jul 2013

The attitudes of the world's eight major religions to business have much in common, particularly the idea of behaving in a moral way that helps others. Hinduism has a positive attitude towards business and creating wealth, but wealth is not the supreme goal. Taoism says the aim of business should not be personal success or gain, but the common good.

Buddhists search for the 'right livelihood' and are generally opposed to companies that don't care for the environment. Shintoism emphasises the benefits of business for the group, which is seen as a family. The teachings of Christianity contain warnings about serving money rather than God.

How world religions view business ethics
Domenec Mele
IESE Insight, March 2006

Review by Steve Lodge.

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