Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

Religious Approaches on Business Ethics: Current Situation and Future Perspectives

Domènec Melé


The Business Ethics Movement began in the mid-1970s. For the first two decades philosophical theories were dominant, but in recent years an increasing presence of religious approaches, in both empirical and conceptual research, can be noted, in spite of some objections to the presence of religions in the business ethics field. Empirical research, generally based on psychological and sociological studies, shows the influence of religious faith on several business issues. Conceptual research includes a variety of business ethics issues studied from the perspectives of different religions and wisdom traditions such as Judaism, Catholicism and other Christian denominations, Islam, Buddhism and Confucianism, among others. There are several reasons suggesting that religious approaches on Business Ethics will be increasingly relevant in the future: 1) the importance of religion in many countries worldwide and increasing interest in academia, 2) a lower acceptance of rationalism and secularism, 3) the reasonability of theological developments of religions that can be presented along with philosophical approaches, 4) an increasingly interconnected and globalized world that fosters a better knowledge of other cultures in which religions play a great role, and 5) the prestige of some religious leaders as moral voices on social issues, including corporate responsibility.

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