A Proven Way to Incorporate Catholic Social Thought in Business School Curricula: Teaching Two Approaches to Management in the Classroom

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Widespread agreement suggests that it is appropriate and desirable to develop and teach business theory and practice consistent with Catholic social teaching (CST) in Catholic business schools. Such a curriculum would cover the same mainstream material taught in other business schools, but then offer a CST approach to business that can be characterized by its relative de-emphasis on both materialism (e.g., business is not solely or primarily about maximizing financial well-being) and individualism (e.g., business should emphasize the common good rather than merely self-interests, especially of owners). Research shows that teaching management theory and practice consistent with CST alongside mainstream management theory (1) reverses the tendency for business students to become increasingly materialistic and individualistic; (2) enhances students’ critical thinking; and (3) enhances students’ ethical thinking. This article describes how a CST approach differs from a mainstream approach to management, accounting, finance, and marketing. Implications are discussed.

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