The Need for Deeper Roots: Making a Mission-Driven Case for Poverty-related Issues in Business Education

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Michael Naughton
Rachelle de la Cruz

Abstract

We begin with the argument that if universities are to form and educate future business leaders with a disciplined sensitivity to those who suffer from both material and spiritual poverty, they will be most successful when they draw upon a mission that has a deeper root system than generic values or instrumental rationality. Recognizing that mission-driven perspectives need to be particular to the university, we provide a rationale of how Catholic universities, of which there are approximately 1,800 worldwide, can organically connect business- and poverty-related issues with their deepest convictions. When rooted in the specifi c wisdom of their tradition, Catholic universities are able to provide a multidimensional notion of the good that business does (good goods, good work, and good wealth) revealing the breadth of business’s contribution through a multilayered understanding of prosperity and poverty (material/moral/spiritual). Drawing upon these insights, we connect with actual business courses in the fi elds of marketing (good goods), management/organizational behavior (good work), and finance/accounting (good wealth).

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Author Biographies

Michael Naughton, University of St. Thomas, Minnesota

Michael Naughton, Ph.D., is director, Center for Catholic Studies, and Koch Chair in Catholic Studies in the John A. Ryan Institute for Catholic Social Thought, University of St. Thomas, Minnesota.

Rachelle de la Cruz, University of St. Thomas, Minnesota

Rachelle de la Cruz is research intern, Center for Catholic Studies, the John A. Ryan Institute for Catholic Social Thought, University of St. Thomas, Minnesota.