Mission, Vision, Strategy: Discernment in Catholic Business Education

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By virtue of its divine vocation, Catholic business education must be mission driven. In reality, however, mission drift and failure to maintain distinctiveness are widespread among Catholic business schools (CBS). Many believe that a trade-off between academic quality and Catholicity is unavoidable, and opt for accommodating the expecta tions of particular stakeholders rather than those of the Church. A model of strategic planning based on Aquinas’ theory of human action is proposed that keeps CBS focused on mission, vision, and strategy. Differently from other procedural models of decision making, this model relies on interplay between acts of the intellect and of the will. Application of these insights in the planning process of CBS, which is understood as a process of discernment, should then lead both to better performance and, particularly, a greater fidelity to mission. It also provides an op portunity for CBS to gain distinctiveness.

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