Philosophy of the Business Enterprise Class

From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more.

-Luke 12:48

The integration of philosophical and religious precepts that inform business thinking and practice often does not occur on our campus, at least not explicitly as part of students’ coursework. Instead, they take an assortment of humanities offerings early in their initial careers, followed principally by business classes that rarely, if ever, reflect back on previous materials. As a consequence, some students may view them as independent with little to do with one another.

Thus, we seek to offer a co-taught course between the business school and philosophy/theology as a first attempt at integration that would have the following mission: to give students an opportunity to fully integrate the philosophical and theological roots of their early liberal arts education into their business training and practice. This course would also encourage our students to hear from and work with innovative and socially intelligent business practitioners, inviting the private sector to take an active role in the evolution of this educational vision. Accordingly, this class would have the following characteristics:

 Learning Goals:

  • Students will understand the relationship between philosophical and theological thinking and business practice.
  • Students will appreciate the value of a liberal arts education to personal and professional life.
  • Students will recognize the diversity of perspectives that informs our important life issues.
  • Students will develop a desire to become business leaders who care deeply about societal responsibilities.

Knowledge and values:

  • Students will be able to articulate novel frames that combine philosophical and theological traditions with business templates for decision making.
  • Students will be able to differentiate among alternative pathways to successful business practice by their inherent morality.
  • Students will be able to develop a life plan for interactions with other people that is consonant with their personal and professional ethics.

 Assessment:

  • Short papers following readings that are focused on integration across disciplines.
  • Class presentations that show business applications of diverse philosophical frames.
  • Long paper that models their career aspirations within a moral, contemplative life.
  • Closing assignment that requires class determination of guiding business values.

For More Information

Center for Church Management and Business Ethics
Villanova University
800 Lancaster Avenue
Villanova, PA 19085
Tel: (610) 519-6015
Fax: (610) 519-6054
CSCM@villanova.edu