Short-Answer Question 1:
A new team of management has taken over. As a result, organizational changes from a country-club style leadership where everyone does whatever they want has changed to a more mechanistic, structured, top-down management style.
What ethical issues should the employees consider and how should they go about addressing these?
Make sure to address an ethical issue in the post. An answer of no ethical issues will not earn credit on the essay.
Short-Answer Question 2:
You work for ABC Company that does a lot of business overseas. ABC Company has sent their best team, of which you are a part, to do a presentation to a new highly important client, XYZ Company. The team is led by a female that has done more international presentations than anyone else in the company, who has been with the company since its inception, is highly recognized throughout the industry, and the one person who has mentored you throughout your career at ABC Company. As the team patiently waits to begin their presentation, a member of XYZ Company’s management informs you that the meeting will not begin, and the XYZ Company’s management will not come into the room, until the female team member leaves. It quickly becomes apparent to you that the XYZ Company’s management team believes females should not be in the workplace.
Does this situation cause any ethical issues?
What options should you consider in the handling of this situation?
How do you approach your team members?
Your team members ask you for your advice on how to proceed. What are your recommendations?
You will want to address all four questions fully in your essay.
need three Referrences or more
BUSINESS & WORLDVIEW
Kahlib J. Fischer, PhD © 2011
We understand that not all of our students are practicing Christians and who therefore may be uncomfortable providing a Biblical perspective in their assignments. On the other hand, most of our students are in fact practicing Christians, who may not have a fully developed Biblical worldview when it comes to understanding business concepts. We therefore hope that this document will achieve two goals:
1) Help students better understand the relevance and indeed the preeminence of Scripture and Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior in the realm of business; and
2) Provide useful and understandable points of application for leadership and business behavior, including the primary and secondary functions of business
CHRISTIANITY AND THE WORLDVIEW TEST
A worldview is the intellectual, emotional, and perhaps even spiritual framework by which we apprehend reality and assign meaning to life. Everyone has a worldview; it may not be very developed, but nevertheless, everyone is approaching life based upon one. We believe that a worldview based upon Biblical truth is the most logically sound and meaningful approach to understanding and living life.
There are certain intellectual and philosophical criteria that
can be used to test any worldview, and we want our students to understand how and why the Christian worldview
uniquely meets those criterion and therefore passes the worldview “test” in the following ways:
• Epistemology (the study of what is true): God revealed through nature, his Word, and Christ, the Living Word of God; a worldview that starts with random chance or an impersonal, cosmic force does not have any place for a logical understanding of what is real or meaningful. There is no “meaning” behind anything; it is just random chance.
Incidentally, if there is a God who reveals absolute truth, then we must reject the postmodern belief that all truth is relative and that absolutes do not exist (which is itself an absolute statement).
•Ontology (the study of what it means to be human): we are made in God’s image, and Christ affirmed our value by becoming fully human and dying for us. Meanwhile, a worldview that starts with random chance or an impersonal, cosmic force does not have any place for humans who have free will or who can make meaningful choices; on the contrary, humans are merely a product of their physical-only environment or the forces of fate and/or fickle gods.
•Axiology(the study of values): perfect love and justice were fulfilled in Christ’s sacrifice. On the other hand, a worldview that starts with random chance or an impersonal, cosmic force does not have any place for values like love or justice since those things cannot exist in a physical-only world where there is constant change and randomness. A cosmic, universal “other” cannot articulate meaningful values since it is not sentient.
THE BIBLE: WHY DO WE USE IT?
We also want our students to understand why we hold the Bible as the ultimate source of truth. First of all, it bears
witness to the God described above, whose character and creation pass the “worldview test”. Secondly, we take note that this collection of Biblical books was not “canonized” in an arbitrary or fickle manner: multiple authors over numerous time periods were used to convey a coherent message about a God who is triune, perfectly loving, and perfectly just. Moreover, the Bible was canonized in a democratic fashion, not by political or church fiat. Leaders
wrestled with the usefulness of various books of the Bible by evaluating the core ideas in light of the message of the Gospel.
It was this process of working through what should be considered part of Holy Scripture that has lead us to the Bible we use today. We view the Bible to be inspired by God and inerrant in its message because it affirms the
Gospel of Jesus Christ and bears testimony not only to his sacrificial work on the cross and subsequent resurrection but also to the very saving power that comes from that sacrifice and resurrection. The Old Testament points to and prophecies of him and the New Testament fulfills and carries out his message.
HOW SHOULD WE READ THE BIBLE?
Therefore, how should students in our courses be expected to use the Bible for assignments? First, students should
find the major themes and ideas of Scripture and then from those principles, evaluate business ideas, scenarios, and situations. This is known as exegesis . On the other hand, isogesis should be avoided, which involves taking a particular verse from Scripture out of context, and forcing an application into a business concept or scenario.
WHAT ARE THE MAJOR THEMES AND IDEAS OF SCRIPTURE?
The following ideas could be said to be the major themes in Scripture:
1)God’s Sovereignty: A sovereign, loving, righteous God existed before time, as a triune being. God enjoyed perfect fellowship in the presence of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit, three in one. As such, God didn’t need man; but instead created man as an act of selfless love.
2) 2)Imago Dei and Free Will: God created man in his own image, giving man the freedom to choose to love and obey, and to enjoy creativity and ownership in work and life.
3) 3)The Falland Pride: Man rebelled, choosing the false promise that he could be as powerful and all knowing as God, and sin, death and evil resulted. Work became hard and painful.
4) 4) Salvationand Faith: Jesus Christ took on flesh to save mankind—fulfilling God’s perfect sense of love and justice. All who put their faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior will be saved: their sin has been paid for by Christ’s work on the cross. Faith is a major theme of Scripture—in the Biblical context it means acknowledging that we are not good enough to earn God’s favor apart from Christ or strong and intelligent enough to do the right things and overcome evil apart from Christ. In their pride, Adam and Eve made the mistake of believing they could be strong enough, smart enough and good enough to be as God, but they were wrong. That is why we need to put our faith in Christ and what he did for us on the cross. This idea is explained in Scripture in four ways:
a) Justification: Christ’s sacrifice was the perfect legal remedy for sin—both God’s justice and love were fulfilled in the cross. As fully man, Christ took the punishment that man deserved. As fully God, and therefore perfect, Christ was able to be a blameless sacrifice and substitute for mankind.
b) Redemption: Through Christ, we have been redeemed from the slavery of sin—Christ was the ransom for us
c)Propitiation: God’s wrath was satisfied through Christ because it was directed at Christ
d) Reconciliation: we are brought into the family of God through Christ. In turn, we are brought into fellowship with God, both now and for eternity. We are also brought into fellowship with one another, in the journey of faith, which will eventually culminate in our eternal destiny in and with Christ.
5)Covenantal Behavior: We are in covenant with God and with one another through Christ. This means that we are called to practice hesed (loving fulfillment of all duties), mutual accountability, active dialogue and participative decision-making with all covenantal members, and servant leadership.
HOW DO THESE THEMES APPLY TO BUSINESS IDEAS?
God’s Sovereignty and Imago Dei: Because we are made in God’s image, work is redemptive and an act of worship
, despite the presence of sin and evil. Work existed before the Fall; therefore, business itself can be sacred if done to honor the Lord.
The Fall and Pride: because of the presence of evil, business can often be done for the wrong reasons—greed, the lust for power, and materialism can all be sinful motives for business activity. Because we want to be like God—i.e., we want to be in control—we seek wealth, status, influence and control at the expense of loving God and loving others. This leads to ethical violations, exploitation of others and the environment, and a worldview that puts material possessions over eternal values and outcomes.
Salvation and Faith: If we are putting our hope in Christ, we will be living for eternity and seeking to obey God’s word. Rather than leaning on our own intelligence, we make business decisions with much prayer. We wait on the Lord as we make decisions and seek to align our decisions with God’s truth. That doesn’t mean we don’t think and analyze business data, but rather that in doing so, we acknowledge that we don’t know it all and that we need the Lord to help us. Moreover, we know by faith that we can trust the Lord to guide us. This saves us from two extremes: rushing decisions due to blind arrogance, impatience, and greed, and the “paralysis of analysis” wherein we over-analyze and procrastinate in decision-making because we are afraid of making the wrong decision. But if we are really trusting the Lord, we acknowledge that we will never possess all of the information we need to make a perfect decision; we do the best we can to make the right decision and trust the Lord with the outcome.
In our decision-making, we also avoid ethical gray areas—we do the right thing for the right reason, making sure that we don’t seek ethical shortcuts just because we can get away with them. This keeps us from exploiting people, natural resources, etc. But doing the right thing and avoiding gray areas takes faith that God will meet our financial needs. By faith, we will avoid gray areas even if it also means walking away from opportunities to make more money.
Covenantal Behavior: We are called to be in covenant with God through Jesus Christ, and in turn we are called to be in covenant with one another. This includes business activity, meaning we should work as a team and that we should seek to serve one another. This is true of leaders and employees as well as from one department to another—we should all seek to be accountable and care for one another, and to listen to each other’s perspectives and concerns.
SPECIFIC BUSINESS FUNCTIONS:
ECONOMICS, GLOBALIZATION & INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS
•Because we acknowledge that man is made in God’s image, we believe that economic systems should maximize each person’s unique gifts, so that they can glorify God with their profession and calling. So long as they do not exploit customers, the community, or the environment, government should encourage any economic productivity that allows for maximized freedom and creativity in worshiping God with personal gifts. Accordingly, we support a free market approach to economics.
•On the other hand, we reject the idolatry that often comes with profit and materialism, and in acknowledging God’s sovereignty, we recognize that everything we own and use is from him. Radical Christianity, therefore, requires aradical use of material possessions and profit to care for the poor and the community.
•However, we believe this type of care should de-emphasize government regulations and forced redistributions of wealth—an approach embodied by socialism/Marxism. We reject the former because government regulations, at best, only limit evil; they don’t remove evil, and in only limiting evil, laws and regulations often restrict human freedom and creativity. These same laws and regulations also encourage illicit alliances between the rich and powerful, as big business and other special interest groups seek to curry favor with lawmakers. We reject the latter because a forced redistribution of wealth is not only stealing, but also does not truly deal with the internal heart attitudes such as greed and avarice, which are in fact, inherent to every human being, and not just the wealthy. In fact, a forced redistribution of wealth can actually encourage class envy. So while we acknowledge that government has authority from God (Romans 13), we also believe that only God can change the heart of man. Government must not encourage greed, favoritism, or class envy; nor should it encourage the illicit alliances mentioned above.
•In fact, a covenantal approach requires a view of sphere sovereignty, where no one institution in society has all of the power or too much power. Individuals and families are protected from exploitation when businesses, government, nonprofit organizations, churches, etc. all share power with one another and are accountable to one another in their
respective spheres of authority and responsibility.
•Corporate Social Responsibility: On a related note, we recognize that we are in covenant with our employees, customers and communities, so within the confines of making a profit, we seek to care for our environment and our communities.
Globalization & International Business:
•We live in a changing world in which globalization has increased economic activities among nations. It is an uneven force which has lead to outsourcing in some nations like America and increased prosperity for many third world nations.
•In this process of change, we reject the notion that nations must explicitly rely on tariffs and favoritism to protect their domestic businesses because this stifles the freedom and rights of the consumers. This can lead to a difficult time of adjustment as nations like America seek to recalibrate their business focus, but fair competition leads to the best products and services being produced at the most reasonable price for the people, and it forces businesses and nations as a whole to do what they are best at in the global economy. Tariffs and other protective measures, on the other hand, may help domestic businesses in the short term but only end up hurting the entire economy in the long term
•Businesses seeking to operate in the international arena must abide by Biblical truth rather than seeking to manipulate international law or rely on bribery to establish new business relationships. Businesses must also avoid exploiting workers and the environment in the countries in which they operate.
LEADERSHIP & MANAGEMENT
•We define leadership as the ability to influence others for God’s glory and for their good. This can be done in a variety of organizational and interpersonal contexts. We reject the notion that leadership is defined by position, prestige or the trappings of power. Rather, we seek the leadership embodied by Christ, who in perfectly obeying the Father, laid his life down as the ultimate sacrifice and served others. As such, Christ is the ultimate example of
leadership in general and servant leadership in particular.
•We believe that while Christ is an excellent example of leadership, he is also more than that. As Lord and Savior he can free our hearts from the prideful desires for power, control, and greed, so that we can truly serve others we lead.
•As leaders, we realize that people are made in God’s image, so we treat them accordingly. We allow them to give insight into decisions being made, and we participate with their personal and professional development on the jo
b. We are humble in our leadership and seek to serve others rather than seeking to be served.
•We also realize that everyone has the potential to be sinful, so we don’t play favorites and we walk through Biblical conflict resolution in a manner that deals with issues openly and directly, focusing on the dispute itself rather than on personal vendettas, name-calling, gossip, or slander.
•As leaders, we seek to look towards the future, and we motivate followers through covenantal behaviors like active dialogue, mutual accountability and participative decision making as we create and articulate the organizational vision.
PRIMARY FUNCTIONS OF BUSINESS
Product Development and Marketing: we seek a holistic approach to marketing. We reject marketing hype that misleads customers, and internally, when making marketing decisions, we engage all relevant employees—including the sales staff, product development team, marketing staff, etc. in a covenantal, holistic solution which leads to the best designed and marketed products and services.
Operations Materials Management/Supply Chain Management: we recognize that we were called by God to “take dominion” of our business processes, which means that we should be diligent to ensure that our businesses processes are efficient and effective. But in doing so, we never put efficiency above effectiveness—the moment our processes sacrifice customer and employee care in the name of increased profit and efficiency is the moment that we need to make changes.
SECONDARY FUNCTIONS OF BUSINESS
IT: Information Technology is used to improve business productivity, but IT solutions are made in a way that engages employee feedback so that solutions work well when implemented.
•We seek to ensure that everything we do is above the board ethically and in keeping with legal requirements. We avoid ethical gray areas.
•We also seek to deploy training programs and support services that truly care for and develop employees. Ideas like flextime, work-life balance policies, and equitable pay are all incorporated.
•Our conflict resolution strategies and our performance evaluation processes let employees know exactly where they stand and provide employees with clear, constructive points of feedback for improvement, in keeping with covenantal principles and the model of conflict resolution articulated in Matthew 18. We avoid vendettas and favoritism. But we also ensure that problem employees are dealt with in a manner that protects the company and keeps productive, motivated employees engaged.
•Because we recognize that humans are made in God’s image, we don’t treat employees like worker drones—we discourage work aholicism, and we view business as just one part of life and our act of worship to God: family, church and community involvement are also important and we allow our employees the time for all of those things.
Accounting: Because we seek to avoid ethical gray areas, we run our businesses according to sound accounting practices, making sure that everything is done decently and in order. We do not use accounting to “cook the books” but rather we seek to go beyond the letter of the law in doing the right thing.
Finance: We pursue financial decision-making based upon the wisdom and counsel of many wise leaders. We don’t rush decisions based on greed and impatience, but on the other hand, we understand the importance of short-term financing decisions that improve our bottom line while at the same time planning for the future. As good stewards of God’s resources, we seek to use business resources in the most efficient manner possible for both long-term and short-term financial planning.
We believe that the Christian worldview as articulated by Scripture is the most logical and meaningful worldview upon which to base our lives and our thoughts and actions about business. We believe this because the written Scripture, which itself was achieved in a thoughtful and fair manner, despite including the contributions of numerous authors and contributions over many years, still provides a coherent and consistent message of a God who pursued and is pursuing mankind through Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. In summary, Jesus Christ is the solution for all that we long for in terms of meaning, values, and life itself, and the words of Scripture as such are relevant to every area of our lives, including business.
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