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Business Ethics for Executives: A Christian Decision Guide Paperback – August 17, 2016
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From the Author
Business decisions greatly affect the lives of employees,customers, suppliers, and society at large. In pursuit of profits, businesses may underpay and overwork employees, use unethical sales techniques, sell dangerous products to vulnerable consumers, cut costs so it harms people, and take other questionable actions that while legal, do not conform to the highest ethical standards.
It doesn't have to be this way. That is why we wrote the book: to influence the decisions made by executives for the better.
"The book focuses on the core business decisions executives make every day, not just those usually thought of as ethical decisions," says co-author Peet van Biljon. "We examine each business decision through both an economic and an ethics lens, and provide the reader with practical guidance."
"We are inviting business leaders into a conversation," says co-author James C. Sprouse. "The book provides a theological and ethical platform for looking at business issues in a way that is both new, and yet based on age-old wisdom."
Whether it is providing a framework to navigate the challenges of automation and globalization, or advocating for fair employee compensation and reasonable work hours, "Business Ethics for Executives" connects the world of modern business with that of faith.
From the Inside Flap
How can traditional Christian teachings help corporate executives make ethical business decisions? That's what Peet van Biljon and James C. Sprouse address in their new book.
Satisfied that they are working forlegal businesses and already adhering to corporate and professional ethical standards,too many executives separate their work lives from the practice of their faith.
Business decisions greatly affect the lives of employees, customers, suppliers, and society at large. In pursuit of profits, businesses may underpay and overwork employees, use unethical sales techniques, sell dangerous products to vulnerable consumers, cut costs so it harms people, and take other questionable actions that while legal, do not conform to Christian values.
It doesn't have to be this way. In this new guide you will learn and be challenged to make better choices based on Biblical values. By placing detailed analyses of core business practices side by side with Biblical texts and guidance, this book identifies many potential areas for improvement.
Whether it is providing a framework to navigate the challenges of automation and globalization, or advocating for fair employee compensation, Business Ethics for Executives connects the world of modern business with that of faith.
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
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Consider also religious conflicts, and the many with no declared faith (“nones” on the rise, per Pew Research).
And now consider the courage and humility to put “Christian” in the title of a book today.
The authors of Business Ethics for Executives: A Christian Decision Guide are not afraid. They know from personal experience the peace that comes from following the commandments of the God of Abraham, and the teachings of Jesus Christ, believed by many (including this reviewer) to be the only Son of God and One with Him and the Holy Spirit. These authors seek to bring that same peace to the many men and women making tough decisions in the work force today.
While this new book may be of greatest interest to the 2.2 billion people who identify themselves as Christians, it will also be of interest to those of other faith traditions – especially those in the Abrahamic tradition of Islam and Judaism. (Indeed, one of the authors, Rev. Sprouse is a scholar in the Torah and Talmud.)
Business Ethics begins with an important disclaimer. It will not teach readers how to talk about their faith. In fact, the authors point out that when we evangelize in this way, we set our colleagues up for disillusionment. The sermon that matters most is example. Accordingly, this book aims to help us not so much preach but rather live our faith in the workplace.
Very much like the Holy Bible that inspires its authors, this book offers its wisdom in a variety of formats including historical (with facts and figures about specific business scandals ranging from Castle Cheese to Volkswagen); prophetic (with future-oriented insights about broad trends such as automation and globalization); narrative (with both modern-day and ancient parables); and instructional (with helpful summaries of the book’s driving principles—such as the two-by-two matrix in the beginning, showing sinfulness and holiness at X and Y axes for individuals and companies; or the table at the end, showing choices between God and Mammon).
At the end of the book, the authors recap the story of the Hebrew Daniel, who kept his faith despite challenges, and then address a parting message to readers:
“God has sent you into the world to work for him. And God does not make mistakes. There is a reason you have the position you currently have in your organization. It is all part of God’s plan for you and for his kingdom. Today, like Daniel, you are in the right place at the right time.
“The choice of what do next is yours. Whom will you serve, God or Mammon?”
As for me and my house, I will serve the Lord. That is why I bought several copies of this book, and recommend it to anyone seeking to know, love, and serve God everywhere, including in the workplace.
One of the things that impressed me most about the book was how it expertly addresses the real-world pressures in today's business world (it is not at all naive), and how it challenges the reader in a compelling way. Unlike happy-clappy talk suggesting that by doing good, you will do well (financially), this book says: perhaps in some instances, but that isn't the point. The point is that you should do good in order to do good. If you aren't making any sacrifice to do the right thing, are you really doing the right thing?
In describing the business world of today, Peet van Biljon evidently draws from his own impressions very much at the center of that world with the most elite of global consulting firms. He also draws from highly credible business sources and scholarship and provides references.
The book is hard-hitting and very readable. I can honestly say (and I had better be honest about a book with this title!) that I had a hard time putting it down.