Spiritual Goods: Faith Traditions and the Practice of Business


Spiritual Goods: Faith Traditions and the Practice of Business

Elliot N. Dorff
Pages 347-366

Judaism, Business, and Privacy

This article first describes some of the chief contrasts between Judaism and American secularism in their underlying convictions about the business environment and the expectations that all involved in business can have of each other-namely, duties vs. rights, communitarianism vs. individualism, and ties to God and to the environment based on our inherent status as God's creatures rather than on our pragmatic choice. Conservative Judaism's methodology for plumbing the Jewish tradition for guidance is described and contrasted to those of Orthodox and Reform Judaism. One example of how Conservative Judaism can inform us on a current matter is developed at some length-namely, privacy in the workplace. That section discusses (1) the reasons for protecting privacy; (2) protection from intrusion, including employer spying; (3) protection from disclosure of that intended to remain private; (4) individualistic vs. communitarian approaches to grounding the concern for privacy; and (5) contemporary implications for insuring privacy in business.

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