Experience level: 
Intermediate
Intended Audience: 
All
Speaker(s): 
Richard Nielsen
Authors: 
Richard P. Nielsen, Professor Carroll School of Management Boston College richard.nielsen@bc.edu

Quaker and Ignation Business Ethics

Abstract Quaker and Ignatian Business Ethics Adrian Cadbury, the Quaker former CEO and Chairman of the Quaker founded business, Cadbury Schweppes PLC. (2003), observed that: “The Society [of Friends, Quakers] was founded by George Fox in 1650. His revelation was that the divine presence was within….This inspired him to preach that there was, in his words, ‘That of God in every man’ [similar to the Ignatian “In all things” foundational principle, H. Egan, S.J., 1987]….They saw life as a whole; religion was not just for Sundays [or charity]. One of the Queries Quakers are asked to consider, is: ‘Do you maintain strict integrity in your business transactions and in your relations with individuals and organizations?’.... Another belief was the importance of arriving at decisions by agreement [similar to the Ignatian practice of communal discernment, M. Sheeran, S.]. ,1983). Voting could mean that the views of minorities were disregarded and overridden. The aim was to arrive at a ‘sense of the meeting’. In industrial relations , which was my field in the firm, it often meant considerable time spent in debate and argument, it also meant that decisions once arrived at could be implemented quickly and with commitment….The encouragement to look for a better way forward, rather than accept the world as it is, stemmed from the belief that you should follow the Divine Light within yourself. It made Quakers ready to challenge accepted practices and to innovate.” This paper considers the following points: (1) There were once many large Quaker businesses such as Barclays Bank, Lloyds Bank, Cadbury Schweppes, Sony (a Japanese Quaker founder), Lever Brothers (Unilever), Waterford Crystal, Wharton-Bethlehem Steel, Imperial Oil, Price and Waterhouse, Strawbridge and Clothier, and many others, but there were few Quakers then and few today; (2) Quaker business ethics practices and innovations are described; (3) Today there are many Quaker schools, universities, and NGOs with Quaker origins such as Bryn Mawr College, Cornell University, Guilford College, Haverford College, Johns Hopkins University, Swarthmore College, the Wharton School of Finance and Commerce of the University of Pennsylvania, and many others; (4) The foundational Quaker epistemology, ethics, and politics principles that drive Quaker business ethics are discussed; (5) Similarities to Ignatian epistemology, ethics, and politics are analyzed particularly with respect to the foundational Ignatian and Quaker principle that there is that of God [from a theological perspective], or, that of goodness, truth, and beauty [from a philosophical perspective] “In all things” (Nielsen, 2017a) and “communal discernment” (M. Sheeran1983); (6) The decline of Quaker business ethics epistemology and politics within Quaker businesses, universities, and schools is considered (2017b); (7) the question is asked about whether there may be a similar decline of Ignatian business ethics epistemoly and politics within Jesuit educational institutions; and, (8) the question of what can be done to revitalize and/or strengthen Ignatian and Quaker business ethics epistemology and politics within Quaker and Ignatian institutions is addressed. The example of the Ignatian and Quaker inspired Andre Delbecq and the Quaker inspired Adam Curle as professors and in their universities are considered throughout the paper. References Aristotle. 2008. Aristotle: Protrepticus. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, Cambridge Classical Texts and Commentaries. Aristotle. 2004. The Eudemian Ethics. On Virtues and Vices. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, Loeb Classical Library. Aristotle. 1981. The Ethics of Aristotle. 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