Pilant's Business Ethics

Business Ethics Blog

Tag: Ethics (Page 1 of 15)

What’s the Business Ethics? Should the Employees in Video Stores be Movie Buffs?

ill_p560What’s the Business Ethics? Should the Employees in Video Stores be Movie Buffs?

It seems like a good idea – knowing the product – being able to understand questions – give good recommendations. But they are not always move buffs. Sometimes, they know very little about films at all.

For me personally, this isn’t much of a problem, I am a film buff, myself and know what I want to rent or buy. Of course, sometimes they think they’re film buffs. I’m sorry, one recommendation, Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry, is never going to be a classic.

But let us return to the question: Should the employees in video stores be movie buffs? I think they should at least have some rudimentary knowledge because of something that happened to me.

Now, I live in the Bible belt and here among many there is a certain pride in not being cultured, knowledgeable or educated. One day I wander into a video rental place and have a look around. There’s a couple of John Wayne films that I had seen when I was in my teens that I wanted to watch again as an adult. So, I’m back there in the shelves looking for Rio Bravo and El Dorado, when I come across the film, Even Cowgirls Get the Blues.

I had seen Even Cowgirls Get the Blues. I don’t remember where. It may have been on cable or a friend rented it. I think it’s a pretty good film but generally I don’t watch lesbian films. Now I have seen a lot of films involving lesbians but this isn’t quite the same thing. The film is not a lesbian film so much as it is a LESBIAN film. It shouts and screams and at the top of its lungs proclaims that it is a lesbian film. Okay? LESBIAN!!! And as for rating, it’s a hard R. How hard? Think of steel or diamonds.

I immediately see a vision in my mind of a Bible belt family just home from church about to watch what they believe is the usual redemptive tale of a white hatted cowboy slaughtering bad guys or Native Americans and winding up with the appropriately virginal school teacher who cannot restrain her ardor for a man who kills so casually. And instead the family gets to learn about female sexuality in a new and controversial way.

So, I, a good citizen and business ethics teacher (which means I can’t so much as eat a grape in the supermarket – a student might see me) carry the film up to the front and ask the clerk to move it from Westerns.

The conversation goes like this.

“You say this film isn’t a Western?”

“That’s right.” I reply.

“Does it take place in the West?”

“Well, yes it does.” I admit.

“Are there actual cowgirls in it?”

“Well, they do wear chaps.” I was not willing to disclose the absence of other clothing.

“Then why should we move it?”

“Look, just watch it, okay?” I give up, not willing to explain the significance of Uma Thurman’s outsized thumbs.

He gives me that look which means “I will go through the motions of appearing to take your concerns seriously but as soon as you leave this is going back in the Westerns.”

And it was back there the next time I came in.

As business ethics go, this is a small problem, no matter how traumatized the formerly happy middle class family that sees it, may become.

And of course, I did my ethical duty, so I can feel good about myself. But maybe, just maybe it would be a better world if the sales clerks in video rental places knew more about films.

James Pilant


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Pilant’s Business Ethics Gets a Facelift!!

Pilant’s Business Ethics Gets a Facelift!!

076A2090I have revised the web site to improve your viewing and reading experience. My new upgrades put me on the cutting edge of blog design. I am looking forward to another year of blogging and I hope you come along for the experience.

I try to look at business ethics from a macro point of view. It is not just the individual act that must worry us but the international and national effects of corporate policy and unethical behavior. We live in a time of massive power shifts, large economic units competing with nation states for political influence and control. We live in a time where the rules that govern our behavior are under challenge. There are those that believe that religion, the great philosophies, and the moral beliefs of the large population are irrelevant. They believe that each moral decision must be considered under all circumstances by individuals.

No. Some things are wrong, evil per se. You don’t have to analyze them. You don’t have to consider them in the light of all the circumstances. You have an obligation to act responsibly to every other human being. We all have a duty to our nation and our fellow citizens. What’s more, religion is a guide in many people’s lives and is relevant. The great philosophies like virtue ethics will always be effective and intelligent guides to human behavior. And there is a wisdom that resides in the general populations about ethics matters.

My writing is along those lines and I don’t have any apologies for not writing about these issues in a purely academic style. There is a certain pleasure in being plain spoken.

Nevertheless I believe as time goes by that as I learn more about the subject in an academic format that my writing may turn more in that direction. We’ll see.

My thanks for your kind patronage!!

James Alan Pilant


Business Ethics and Films, Assignments for this Semester, BLAW 1

Business Ethics and Films, Assignments for this Semester, BLAW 1

Each of these assignments is worth 8 points. You are to first write a brief intro explaining the plot and including the best line from the film that you can find after the first ten minutes. You will use for the second paragraph the five sentence paragraph format found in the syllabus.

I want you to watch the entire film. I’m trying to teach you something of importance that will last your entire life.

Each link is to an online video of the film which is totally free. If you have a service like Netlfix or Hulu and you can get the film there that will be fine.

The question I want you to answer is listed beneath the film.


My Man Godfrey

According to the film, what moral principles does Godfrey believe in? What does he say about what he wants to accomplish?


Love Affair

Charles Boyar has two choices in the film. Which does he choose and why? You may add a paragraph explaining what you would have done under the same circumstances.


His Girl Friday

The Editor (Cary Grant) often (continually) uses unethical actions to gain his ends. What is he trying to accomplish? Is he a good man?




According to the film, does the heroine cravenly seek money and position? In a nation heavily influenced by neoliberalism, aren’t we supposed to use the free market to maximize our gains?


Jane Eyre

What are the circumstances that make it possible for Jane to rise in social class? Do women have an advantage over men when it comes to social climbing? What does Jane want?



Rebecca is given a place in high society. How does she adapt? Would you have made the same decisions?



Watch the film and answer this question, would it have been better if Higgins had left her in the gutter?


Bodyguards and Assassins

This is the first of fifteen parts. It was difficult to find and I had no luck finding it in English in a full movie.

What is the difference in the motivations of the rickshaw driver as opposed to the rich merchant?

Watch the film – I’ve had partial analysis that demonstrated a lack of basic knowledge of what was in it. This is a major cinematic experience. Treat it with the reverence a great piece of film making deserves.


Cyborg She

Watch the film and answer the following question: How much does money as a goal count in our hero’s life? Is there anything more important to him?


Japan Sinks

In the film, the Japanese react as a people (as a whole) to the upcoming disaster but are saved by an individual’s sacrifice. Is there a conflict between solidarity of the population and the importance of the individual? Also what if he had acted with the morals of a Wall Street Banker, shouldn’t he happily abandon his country and his friends while cashing in on the underwater salvage of Japanese treasures?



Who does best in the story, the Royalists, the Communists or the lovers?


After the Rain

Would you want to be this man or his wife? Why? What kind of person is he? Tell me, does his wife’s words explain what he is? Why or why not?


Father Brown, the Detective (1954)

Why isn’t Father Brown exclusively focused on stopping the theft? What are his motives in this movie? Please explain.


Last Holiday

How does the pursuit of money balance out against imminent death? Listen to the lead character. What does he say? Does his view point change over time?


Young Mr. Lincoln

What is Lincoln after? Where does his ambition take him? Watch the film and from what Henry Fonda playing Lincoln says about himself and what he wants to do, describe his ethical motivations.


The Mark of Zorro

Why doesn’t our hero remain in Spain? After all, there there he has money, status, popularity and access to a high level of culture and entertainment.

Watch the film and discover from what he says, what his motives are.

From around the web.

From the web site, Media Ethics in the Morning.


Despite being released over 40 years ago, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying provides a humorous, musical commentary on ever-present ethical issues that arise in the workplace such as corporate greed and dishonesty. ..

Dimon Screwed Up, Got a Raise Anyway!

Dimon Screwed Up, Got a Raise Anyway!

I apparently misunderstand the theory of the free market. I thought that successful performance was to be rewarded. And that disastrous or failing performance was to be penalized. But I am mistaken. For Jamie Dimon, failure is not failure, disaster is not disaster, life is good all the time – great job if you can get one!

Business ethics!! Do you reward constant business ethics violations? If you count settling multiple regulatory settlements in the billions of dollars as business ethics violations which apparently JPMorgan’s board does not, it might make you uncomfortable. Apparently in the mind of JPMorgan, business ethics is a matter of opinion, right?

Once again, I have another negative example to show my students. Instead of virtue being rewarded I have an example of rampant misconduct involving incredible amounts of money being rewarded. It makes my job more difficult.

But it’s not just me. Everyone who values justice, everyone who believes in right and wrong, everyone who believes in the value of business ethics, is being slapped in the face by this decision.

It is a blatant reward for misconduct and incompetence. It’s wrong. It’s destructive. It’s the wrong example for every human being on this planet.

Do we live in such a morally bankrupt system that not only do we have to suffer massive financial lawbreaking but watch it being rewarded too?

James Pilant

Jamie Dimon gets raise despite JPMorgan’s massive regulatory fines – Salon.com

JPMorgan Chase’s “punishment” was short lived. Last year, following the egregious “London Whale” scandal — a multibillion trading loss by the bank (which led to $1 billion in regulatory fines) — Dimon’s salary was cut in half to a measley $11.5 million.Wall Street memories are evidently as short as its pockets are deep. Dimon is getting a raise again. The New York Times reported:

JPMorgan’s board voted this week to increase Mr. Dimon’s annual compensation for 2013, hashing out the pay package after a series of meetings that turned heated at times, according to several executives briefed on the matter.

… JPMorgan’s directors may have decided that Mr. Dimon, as his peers may, should get a raise, but to ordinary Americans — and possibly to regulators — the decision to increase his compensation may seem curious given the banner penalties that federal authorities have extracted from the bank. It is not unheard-of for chief executives to lose their jobs when their companies have been battered by regulators.

via Jamie Dimon gets raise despite JPMorgan’s massive regulatory fines – Salon.com.

From around the web.

From the web site, A Means to an End.


I guess either Jamie Dimon, his personal attorney or someone from chase noticed my latest blog post Taking What’s Ours Part 6 .

Our Attorney along with the Federal Judge in Indianapolis received a notice Friday morning December 20th that a petition had been filed against us in New York by Jamie Dimon’s personal attorney.

What was the petition?

It was a cease and desist petition to keep us from talking and writing about what we were doing to Chase Bank any further.

The Judge placed a conference call with our attorney and Jamie Dimon’s attorney.

The conversation was recorded and on the record.

Dimon’s attorney proceeded to tell the Judge and our attorney that his client was at fault for all of this and that we could continue seizing assets until we had ALL of our money. Mr. Dimon just didn’t want us to write about it anymore.

The Judge proceeded to tell Mr. Dimon’s Attorney that the case was in his Federal Court and that he wasn’t going to allow a petition to hinder our Freedom of Speech.

This was a failed attempt to silence us and we will continue writing about our experiences.

I would like to thank Mr. Dimon’s attorney for admitting your client was at fault for all of this on the record. I’m sure this will prove valuable to us with any future lawsuits we have against Chase and your client, Mr. Jamie Dimon.

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Chris MacDonald Discusses Religious Accomodations

Chris MacDonald Discusses Religious Accomodations

Chris MacDonald, a celebrated expert in business ethics, discusses the ethics of religious accommodation. As always, his posts are well worth reading, and I believe you will find his site educational and relevant.

James Pilant

When is Accommodating Religious Requirements Unethical? | The Business Ethics Blog

Two questions arise.

First, should religious requirements be accommodated at all? There is broad agreement, I think, that reasonable efforts should be made to accommodate religious belief and practice. It would be a bad thing, in a society that believes in freedom of religion, to tell people that adhering to their religions means exclusion from university or healthcare or for that matter from employment. It is generally (though not universally) believed that religious commitments are particularly deep and meaningful ones, central to a person’s self-identity, and so limiting someone’s expression of their devotion to their religion is significantly worse than, say, interfering with their interest in watching their favourite TV show.

Second, if we are willing to accommodate religion, what specific kinds of requests ought not be accepted? The usual route is to say that only “reasonable” accommodations must be made — not ones that disrupt operations, or that impose onerous costs, or that jeopardize safety. So, modifying dress codes to accommodate religious dress requirements is generally OK. Allowing people a few minutes during the day to pray is OK. And so on. But anything that would jeopardize health and safety (e.g., a religious head covering that precludes the wearing of a safety helmet) doesn’t have to be accommodated.

When is Accommodating Religious Requirements Unethical? | The Business Ethics Blog.

From around the web.

From the web site, DEXTERHINKSONSBLOG.


The dean who approved a York University student’s request not to meet and work with female classmates on religious grounds is defending his decision, but expressing “sincere regret” that he felt he had no other choice.

Speaking out for the first time in a letter to colleagues obtained by The Globe and Mail, Martin Singer, the dean of arts, says he ordered the student’s request be granted only after “care, consideration, and concern.”

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Moral Intensity

How moral intensity and ethical decision making differs between uk business students and accounting professionals? | The WritePass Journal

Moral Intensity

Moral intensity relates to the issue itself and to every unique situation Shaub (1997).  Consequently Jones (1991, p372) described moral intensity as being “a construct that captures the extent of issue-related moral imperative in a situation”.  Ethical dilemmas tend to be evaluated within the context of the situation; hence an evaluation of the situation is imperative in understanding if a situation is ethical or not Dewe (1997).  The conception behind moral intensity has often been related to the criminal justice system; in that your punishment is proportionate to the severity of the offence you commit Davis et al (1988).  According to Jones (1991) moral intensity is a multidimensional construct and he identifies six characteristics that make up the moral intensity model.

How moral intensity and ethical decision making differs between uk business students and accounting professionals? | The WritePass Journal

At what point does moral or ethical problems trigger action? Or even concern or notice? The moral intensity with which a subject is perceived may be the key to determining the trigger.

Environmentalists could be said to have more moral intensity about over use of pesticides than farmers. Farmers probably find the issue of genetically enhanced seeds more of a serious issue than the general public, and so on …

In an ideal situation, the most critical issues of danger and damage to societal order would generate heightened levels of moral intensity so that reactions to moral violations would be quick and effective.

But moral intensity has also been a force for destruction – religious wars, persecution and torture have all flowed from situations where “moral” intensity was at its worst.

It’s a concept worth pondering and important in business ethics, since without that trigger provoking action, most business ethics problems would just continue unaddressed moving onward by simple inertia.

What I have excerpted above is one view of moral intensity. I am going to list some other blog perceptions of the issue below.

James Pilant

From around the web –

From the web site, The Harvard College Anscombe Society: (If it is possible to be more pretentious, I am unaware of it.)

Moral rhetoric is the culture war’s current weapon of choice, but the culture war’s real meat lies in the orthodoxies that compel the moral intensity at the front lines. We cannot adequately understand how the culture wars evoke such moralistic passion until we recognize the authority of these orthodoxies. Effectively, two camps wage the culture war: the secular orthodoxy, composed of those who identify with the medley of feminism, pluralism, liberationism, and multiculturalism, and the traditional orthodoxy, wed to Judeo-Christian values. As the incessant unrest over Roe v. Wade illustrates, the intrinsic disparities between these orthodoxies render them philosophically incompatible.

From the web site, Scientific.net: (This is an abstract for a paper.)

Weblogs, or blog, are rapidly becoming a mainstream technology in the information world. By June 2008, Technorati, an internet search engine, was indexing 112.8 million blogs and over 250 million pieces of tagged social media. Blogs allow millions of people to easily publish their ideas and millions more to read and evaluate and comment on them. When bloggers write things on their blog they became public. Although bloggers use blogs for many different functions and would likely provide many different definitions of blog (Stutzman, 2004), as we have seen, many bloggers perform journalistic functions.

From the web site, Lev Lafeyette:

Moral intensity is the degree that people see an issue as an ethical one. Influences on moral intensity include magnitude of consequences, social consequence, concentration of effect, temporal immediacy and proximity. The magnitude of consequences is the anticipated level of impact of the outcome of a given action. The social consensus is the extent that members of a society agee that an act is good or bad and the probability of effect is the rise and fall of moral intensity depending on how likely people think the consequences are. Temporal immediacy is a function of the interval between the time an action occurs and the onset of consequences. Proximity refers to the psychological or emotional closeness the decision-maker feels to those affected by the decision. Concentration of effect refers to the extent to which consequences are focused.Enhanced by Zemanta

An Introduction To Business Ethics

An Introduction To Business Ethics

This is my thoroughly acerbic intro to my business ethics class.

Business Ethics is the study of what is right or wrong in the world of business. We are going to explore your views of ethics. While you will learn about many ethical systems, the emphasis of the class is upon your ethical development.
It is possible that you live in a moral vacuum. You could have no beliefs whatever as to what should or should not be done. However, this possibility is so rare as to be almost impossible.

More likely is that you have been influenced by society and have accepted the viewpoints of those around you. You float in a sea of belief systems absorbing what is “normal” and usually what is comfortable.

Some, a good number, have been educated into a moral system. The most common system would be that of a religion although other systems of ethics which can be found in organizations as diverse as political parties, charities, and organizations such as Ala-non. These other systems vary dramatically in the depth and importance of ethics in them.
The few remaining individuals will have actively considered what is right or wrong. Some have reflected on these issues a great deal; others less.

The intent of this course is that you actively consider your ethics as they relate to issues in business.
You move from moral vacuum, society’s choices, religious systems, organizational beliefs and your own reflections to a highly active consideration of ethical choices.

There is no rejection here of any system of ethics. It is quite likely that individuals will find in our attempt at developing a moral framework a ratification of their previous beliefs. It is likely that the strongest choice for many will be a religious system and those that have worked to develop their own judgment will usually find their search to have been significant.

Hopefully, all students in the class will develop their system of ethics in some sense. However, if a student begins the class with a system of ethics or an absence of such a system and finishes with no change, which will have no effect on the grade received.

What we will study

We will begin by exploring religious codes of ethics. Many religions, in particular Protestant and Catholic Christianity, Judaism and Islam have created sets of rules that apply directly to morality in the business context.

From there we will journey through the often confusing field of philosophy. We will discuss the impact of the major schools of thought on business ethics.

We will look at legal obligations of duty, fair dealing and care.

After this comes current thought, in particular American philosophies of business ethics.

We then investigate the issues of crime and ethical issues concerning business. A focus on particular moral issues concerning individual business fields like accounting.

Ethics programs and their implementation are next followed by human rights concerns and the last chapter concerns social responsibility.

Business ethics is a relevant and vital subject, but this field of ethics had been full of difficulty.

Business involves large sums of money, interactions between humans at different levels of power, interactions between one business and others, and interactions between business and government.

Some businesses have stolen incredible amounts of money, caused or contributed to the death of millions of people, damaged the fabric of the world economy, colluded with other businesses to set prices or drive other businesses out of existence, bribed government officials, evaded taxes and by giving an impression of constant criminality and dishonesty damaged the social fabric of many nations and poisoned their relationships with other countries.
Business ethics has been taught in the United States for about forty years. It has been a disaster. Corporate scandals so huge as to threaten the world’s financial systems have occurred several times. The more mundane corporate crimes ranging from tax evasion to the participation in causing injury and death are so commonplace they require little discussion.

Most of the individuals in these crimes were educated in business schools with business degrees probably the most common, the MBA. They had business ethics as a course. The fruit of that teaching is evident. There is no fruit. There is no positive result.

It can be claimed that business ethics has had some immeasurable effect that cannot be calculated. If that is a justification for having this course why don’t we teach a wide variety of other classes that might be effective. Is that how a business school is to be run: in the hope of a course being useful? Perhaps we should seek business success with Ouija boards, séances, and voodoo curses?

If we admit that current business ethical teaching is a failure. What can be done?

First, let’s have a look at our current textbooks. They contain many fascinating elements. First there are thought problems at regular intervals. A student is told in this thought problem that he is in position of having dire financial problems and at the same time he is confronted with an ethical problem involving a superior. If he does the morally correct thing, it could result in dismissal and the end of a career. If he does the wrong thing, he will keep his job and the risks are quite low that he will be caught. The student will of course give the proper response to the teacher. But he has already digested the principal lesson of the example. Don’t make waves. Don’t risk your career. When you get out into the real world you are going to have real financial pressure and if you lose your job, there will be consequences for the rest of your life.

How about that section on ethical systems, a vital part of the text? After all most of us attempt to work out our problems through with ethics code we already have and this is usually one common in our society. In most textbooks, there will be several pages perhaps even a large part of a chapter explaining the base elements of philosophy. This is so the eager business student has a good grasp on normative as opposed to descriptive ethics. You see that normative ethics is a system in which you try to figure out what is right or wrong. Descriptive ethics involves studying the current systems of belief or lack thereof. You see if we taught what was right or wrong we might offer students moral choices. But we give it a quick pass and offer students the choice of doing whatever is being done now, a convenient way of avoiding any moral choices at all. You see telling students what is right or wrong means forcing our ideas on them rather than allowing them the total freedom to act without any direction at all.

Then there comes the heart of the matter, a discussion of ethical systems that can range over as much as two to three pages. In one textbook which will remain nameless, Christianity is give two entire paragraphs, although there are reliable reports that a considerable number of Americans claim to live by its tenets. We then discuss utilitarianism and Kantian ethics. Occasionally to amuse myself at the beginning of the semester, I ask the class how many of them live by utilitarian ethics. After a long period of silence, I try out Kant and the categorical imperative. Would you believe that our students don’t seem to make any of their moral decisions based on this thought? They don’t even seem to know what these things are! But if you ask about that Christianity thing, the one with two paragraphs, many of them react. Then you will find several students who are trying to figure out what is right or wrong in their own minds developing their own philosophy. And last you will always find two or three students who believe that money is the only measure of morality in this world, a descriptive ethic.

Our intent here is to explore the world of business in view of the many ethical systems that deal directly with business moral issues and there are more than a few. We also intend to look at your own moral development over the course of your life span.

Most importantly we will learn to consider morality and ethics as an active endeavor. You don’t put judgment in the back of your head as to what is right or wrong, you think about it actively. You have to think about what is right before the issue comes up or many times you will simply not realize the moral implications of your actions. You have a world to win, fight for it.

James Alan Pilant


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Teaching With Film – Business Ethics – Professional Ethics- People Will Talk with Cary Grant

Teaching With Film – Business Ethics – Professional Ethics- People Will Talk with Cary Grant

People Will Talk = Click this link and you can buy it at Amazon.com for (currently) $11.97 new or $4.95 used.

Teaching With Film – Business Ethics – Professional Ethics- People Will Talk with Cary Grant


People Will Talk is a great film for teaching. The story of an eccentric doctor played by Cary Grant who has an even more eccentric friend offers many ethical conundrums. Jeanne Crain is the love interest in the film. During the first half, she is troubled and a largely passive character. I was waiting for my intrepid students to call me out on this, since I am a vigorous supporter of powerful women characters but somehow they missed this. When she became a more vibrant and powerful character in the second half, I would’ve been justified but my prepared defense was unnecessary.

Should a doctor disclose all pertinent facts to a patient? Professional Ethics

Is concealing your qualifications immoral?Professional Ethics – Business Ethics

Is using any means including those outside the current science to heal moral or immoral? Professional Ethics – Business Ethics

Is the comfort of patients more important than the calls of procedure and timeliness on the part of the nursing staff?

What attitude should be taken toward unmarried mothers? Ethics

Is attempting to dig up the dirt on a colleague immoral? Professional Ethics – Business Ethics

Is living off of your relatives wrong all the time? or is it wrong depending on the circumstances?Ethics

At what point is a crime “paid for?” Ethics


Can a kiss equal a marriage proposal? (A good proportion of my class says no. I differ.) A matter of curiosity

Is a story more effective as persuasion or a presentation of facts? (Bet you have that one figured out.) A matter of what I believe – the class tends to go along with me.

Does a movie (especially a good one) explain a moral problem more clearly than a lecture (although they get a brief one anyway!)?

I observe my classes carefully and I use some of the same films each year. But I experiment with new ones each year as well. This was a new one. It was a great success. The class was delighted with it and paid careful attention. Their assignment was to write down all the moral conundrums they observed. We are going to discuss them tomorrow.

James Alan Pilant


Does Teaching Business Ethics Matter? From the Ethics Sage

Does Teaching Business Ethics Matter?

Are Ethics Courses Failing to Produce Ethical Business People? – Ethics Sage

The bottom line is there is no way of knowing whether business ethics education has made a difference. A graduate of a prestigious school might commit fraud in the future, but it doesn’t mean business ethics has failed them or even all students. Organizational pressures and the culture of a firm can create barriers to ethical behavior. The key is to find a way to work through the obstacles and voice your values.

Are Ethics Courses Failing to Produce Ethical Business People? – Ethics Sage

(I should mention that a great deal of this posting dealt with the “Giving Voice to Values” curriculum and the work of Mary C. Gentile. I have visited the web site for this curriculum and liked what I saw.)

I guess you could ask if classes in art, history or music are effective? It’s hard to measure the results once you wander even a little distance from the hard sciences, and even they have trouble coming up with hard data at times. Many of the most important subjects like leadership are difficult to teach and have results hard to measure. Ethics is no different. We “cast our bread on the water” and hope for it to return.

James Pilant

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Islamic Business Ethics!

Business Ethics – Mufti Menk – YouTube

Mufti Menk explains the rules of a good bargain.

I have taught business ethics for some years now and I have tried to emphasize the application of religion to the field. Several Protestant denominations have strong codes of business ethics, and the Catholic Church has an vast array of teachings on the proper conduct of business from a moral standpoint. However, both Judaism and the religion of Islam have a lot to say about business ethics. I have been impressed by the Islamic take on what constitutes proper business conduct.

This brief video is eloquent and beautifully explains the concept of “blessings” in business dealings. Blessings in this teaching are the benefits of the bargain. They are not to be concentrated on one side of the deal but both parties are to share in the prosperity brought about by business deals. I was delighted with the concept and I hope you enjoy it too.


Kaaba at night (from wikipedia)

In these days, when many are willing to judge all practitioners of Islam as militant radicals, it is important to recognize the basic morality of the religion and the benefits it has brought hundreds of millions of people. Among those benefits is a strong well taught set of rules for Islamic business ethics.

James Pilant

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