The Distinctive Vocation of Business Education in Catholic Universities

Main Article Content

Kenneth E. Goodpaster
T. Dean Maines


Catholic business schools need a process to shape their operations intentionally in light of the Catholic moral tradition. Recent developments in Catholic health care suggest a model they might follow. This model uses a method known as the Self-Assessment and Improvement Process (SAIP), which helps leaders deploy moral principles within organizations. The SAIP method builds on lessons drawn from total quality management to extend a longstanding moral discipline—the examination of conscience—from the realm of the individual to that of an institution. This article outlines an SAIP-based assessment process for Catholic business schools. The process identifi es salient intersections between key leadership tasks and Catholic social principles, and enables leaders in Catholic business education to examine how well these principles have been integrated within their school’s operating policies and processes. The assessment helps Catholic business schools grow into their vocation over time and promotes greater accountability for this development.

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Author Biographies

Kenneth E. Goodpaster, Opus College of Business, University of Saint Thomas

Kenneth E. Goodpaster is David and Barbara Koch Endowed Chair in Business Ethics at the Opus College of Business, University of Saint Thomas, MN

T. Dean Maines, Opus College of Business, University of Saint Thomas

T. Dean Maines is President of the Veritas Institute at the Opus College of Business, University of Saint Thomas, MN