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Alexandry Vladimirovichy and
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their engagement.
Corporate Enterprise and Judeo-Christian Morality

How are business and the Judeo-Christian morality compatible? For most of the contemporary economists and businessmen the goal of capitalistic corporate enterprise is the maximization of the profits. In my opinion, Judeo-Christian morality passes their ends as justice, peace, and truth during more than two thousand years, but in each era throughout the time Christians have had different means to accomplish these goals. In the article “Corporate Enterprise and Christian Ethics” a successful entrepreneur, Jan Erteszek, proves that the Christian morality is compatible with the business enterprise by using his firm as an example. I think that enterprise may or may not be compatible with this morality. It depends on a management plan and on the social condition of the workers.

What are the principles of Judeo-Christian morality? Mr. Erteszek summarizes that Christian principles are work for the glory of God and dignifying man, trust, and helping the disadvantaged. Also, leaders are serving the community, and those who contribute are entitled for the rewards which for our time means productivity, of growth [Erteszek, p.324]. The weakness of these statements is that the work for the glory of God became number one principle only in the end of the Medieval time among particular members of the Christian church, Calvinists in Western Europe and later in the New World. Moreover, the role of community, requirements for leaders, and entitlement for rewards differ from region to region. The Christians of the US, Great Britain, Russia, and Georgia emphasize different principles due to their different economy, climate, history, and culture.

In my opinion, truth, justice, and peace define better Judeo-Christian morality then what Mr. Erteszek wrote. About 200 C.E. in the Jewish Oral Law it was written that “by three things is the world sustained- truth, judgement, and peace.”[ Maimodies p.26] These ideas are expressed in the Middle Ages by Thomas Aquinas as well as by Christian leaders during the Enlightenment period and in modern times in different countries.

What are the applications of these principles in business? As a direct application of the entitlement of the reward’s tenet Mr. Erteszek concludes that “one would take a dim view of those who prosper by manipulation, such as tax accountant and merger and acquisition lawyers, as opposed to those in business who are producers and add to the gross national wealth.” [ Ertezsek p.325] How can he divide on useful and useless accountants and lawyers? It is the same as to call a grain producer a useful member of the society and a rice producer a harmful member of the society. Moreover, the author does not count that in modern times the national wealth of the country is the summation not only of the agricultural and manufactured goods, but also of the amount of service received. Therefore, legal manipulation can be a contribution to the wealth of the economy. Accountants and lawyers are people from the service sector of the economy, and an increase of this sector is an indicator that the wealth of the nation is increasing. Accountants and in particular lawyers receive a lot of post secondary education. Therefore, the wage of an assembly worker who needs to be only physically strong is low relative to the wages of lawyers because the wage is equal to the workers’ marginal product produced. Although an assembly worker produces a lot of manufactured goods, he has a high school diploma, and he does not use a lot of brain at work. The result of high education of professionals and the brain consuming nature of their work is a high marginal product.

Mr. Ertesek is inspired from preaching of the present Pope, John Paul II. He concludes that the goal of the firm is the integrity of the workers, such as satisfaction of their physical and spiritual needs. Therefore, he applied these principles in his company. All his employees are investors, full time workers, participants in the management of the firm. Moreover, workers have an expectation to contribute to the company for a long period of time. He believes that the integrity of the workers as a business goal should be applied in each Christian enterprise in order to achieve availability of food, full employment, good environment, peace and prosperity.

I like Erteszek’s global goals but consider this unrealistic for some reasons. Christians constitute only 16 percent in the world and their numbers are decreasing. Moreover, the diversity of Christians will not allow them to consider the preaching of the leaders of one branch of Christians, the Catholic Church, as their standard of living. Therefore, these global issues like full employment, good environment, and peace can’t be solved by the small group of Christians.

When is the integrity of workers possible? Good indicators of workers’ integrity are sense of community, closeness of the people to one particular neighborhood and at the work; the same education, ethnicity, spiritual needs, and sometimes age. Under these conditions coworkers meet each other at church and recreational activities and on parents’ meetings. Group decision makes their norms and values similar to each other.

When does the integrity of workers maximize profits in a real world? Examples of Japanese firms, Basque coops, the Volvo Company, and the common venture enterprise of Mr. Erteszek prove that logic and creativity of workers as well as their integration of workers in the decision making process is a profit maximizing solution. The New York Times [p.32] writes that in the Volvo Company 20 auto workers are responsible for putting together an entire unit of the car. In northern Spain workers are the owners of the coops where any problem is solved where it arises. Use of the creativity of the workers and workers’ decision making in Japan are part of the structure of the firms.

Christian principles are not as clear as Mr.Estesek presents. The applications of these principles in business differ in each era and differ from region to region. Integrity of the workers and maximization of the profits at the same time are possible under specific social conditions of the workers and their participation in a common project like car unit or management plans. Click Now 2 FREE books from! 200MB 10GB Web Hosting - $9.95/Month Discount Medical Supplies Magazines are great gifts