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Spiritual Goods: Faith Traditions and the Practice of Business

2001

Spiritual Goods: Faith Traditions and the Practice of Business

Dennis P. McCann
Pages 87-105
DOI: 10.5840/spiritgds200110

Catholic Social Teaching in an Era of Downsizing
A Resource for Business Ethics

The paper attempts to provide a basis for exploring the continued relevance of Catholic social teaching to business ethics, by interpreting the historic development of a Catholic work ethic and the traditions of Catholic social teaching in light of contemporary discussions of economic globalization, notably those of Robert Reich and Peter Drucker. The paper argues that the Catholic work ethic and the Church's tradition of social teaching has evolved dynamically in response to the structural changes involved in the history of modern economic development, and thus is well poised to speak to the ethical challenges implicit in the advent of a knowledge-based society. In order to test this thesis, the author sketches an approach to the ethical challenge of corporate downsizing that he believes illustrates the continued relevance of Catholic social teaching to business ethics.

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