Six Practical Principles for Business from the Catholic Social Tradition

The University of St. Thomas will be closed for the Easter holiday April 6 to 9. This post comes from UST's John A. Ryan Institute, which explores the relationship between the Catholic social tradition and business theory and practice by fostering a deeper integration of faith and work. Opus Magnum will return with new posts on April 10.

BUSINESS AS A CALLINGThe principles of respect for human dignity and pursuit of the common good are the foundations of the Church's social teaching. Joined with the six practical principles of business, they can offer more specific guidance on the three broad business objectives.

Meeting the Needs of the World through the Creation and Development of Goods and Services

1. Businesses that produce goods which are truly good and services which truly serve contribute to the common good.
2. Businesses maintain solidarity with the poor by being alert for opportunities to serve otherwise deprived and underserved populations and people in need.

Organising Good and Productive Work

3. Businesses make a contribution to the community by fostering the special dignity of human work.
4. Businesses provide, through subsidiarity, opportunities for employees to exercise appropriate authority as they contribute to the mission of the organisation.

Creating Sustainable Wealth and Distributing it Justly

5. Businesses model stewardship of the resources - whether capital, human, or environmental - they have received.
6. Businesses are just in the allocation of resources to all stakeholders: employees, customers, investors, suppliers, and the community.