26th Annual Colleagues in Jesuit Business Education Meeting

Experience level: 
Intended Audience: 
Tina Facca-Miess, Nicholas Santos, SJ, Christopher Fovozzo, Megan Lane, Olivia Panichi, Eleanor Cleveland, Peter Stopinski

Inspiring Morally Courageous Leaders: Assessing Business Ethics with the Integrative Justice Model

This work is a collaborative endeavor between faculty, and graduating seniors, soon to be Jesuit alumni. Given the theme of “The Next Quarter Century of Jesuit Business Education: Looking Forward!” we present evidence of students’ ethical preparedness when exposed to the Integrative Justice Model (Santos and Laczniak, 2009). The IJM is a normative ethical framework for evaluating justice in economic exchange, with a particular eye on the impact of one’s business decisions upon the impoverished or otherwise marginalized consumer. The co-authoring students competed in and won the 2023 International Business Ethics Competition, hosted by Loyola Marymount University. The students directed their business case to the International Association of Jesuit Universities (IAJU), comprised of nearly 200 universities, founded in 2018 by the Society of Jesus to oversee multiple academic networks within Jesuit education. The IAJU oversees and advises the International Association of Jesuit Business Schools (IAJBS) and the Colleagues in Jesuit Business Education (CJBE) to reach Jesuit educators around the globe. Jesuit education is grounded on the principles of ethical reasoning and societal justice based on St. Ignatius of Loyola’s teachings. Jesuit institutions, therefore, have a duty to promote a framework that will encompass his teachings and create morally courageous leaders who upon graduation, will go into the business world and make a positive impact. Students need frameworks to address today’s complex ethical issues. Throughout a Jesuit education, talk about “ethics” has been delivered in curriculum through business and ethics classes. A “group of people deserve justice” or a “decision in business is ethical” or “Enron was an unethical company” is heard a lot. How can a student in a Jesuit school really determine how “ethical” a decision really is? The IJM provides a framework to assess business decisions based on five key characteristics that create a just and fair marketplace: authentic engagement with non-exploitative intent, co-creation of value, investment in future consumption without endangering the environment, representation of all stakeholders' interests, and long-term profit management vs. short-term profit maximization. Business leaders and students can assess the ethical implications of their decisions while considering economic, social, and environmental justice, and Catholic Social Teaching (CST) principles of respect for human dignity and the common good. The United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) addressed include #4 Quality Education, #12 Sustainable Consumption & Production, #16 Peace, Justice & Strong Institutions, #17 Partnerships for the Goals. We provide evidence of students’ responsiveness to the IJM as an ethical decision-making tool, and means to implement the SDGs. Applying the IJM, Jesuit educators can develop morally courageous business leaders who create a culture of transparency and accountability within companies by prioritizing the impact of their decisions on others, especially the poor or marginalized. By promoting morally courageous leadership and aligning Jesuit institutions with a shared framework for business ethics, we can create a more just and sustainable future for all. Moreover, we can collaborate on a shared promotional strategy to attract and give hope to the youth, inspire them during their Jesuit business education, and accompany them throughout their career.