What’s wrong with believing that business should be “value-neutral”?
One problem is that this theory ignores the fact that all human action – including business decisions – has a moral dimension. According to Dr. Andrew Abela, the founding dean of the Busch School of Business and Ordinary Professor of Marketing at the Catholic University of America, pretending that business is entirely separate from ethics leaves a moral vacuum in the marketplace which is ripe for dangerous ideologies.
As Abela writes at Faith and Business, many companies have filled that moral vacuum with “a pseudo-morality that is little different from Marxism with a hip name (‘wokeness’)” instead of embracing responsible solutions:
“An authentic morality of business instead recognizes that the social contribution of a business lies in its production of goods, services, employment, and profits, all while respecting the human dignity of all of its stakeholders. Firing employees, pressuring states and municipalities, or de-banking customers, because they affirm ideas that are contrary to pseudo-morality are not actions that respect human dignity.”
And as Abela points out, JPMorgan Chase’s recent instances of de-banking as an example of how businesses who follow this pseudo-morality violate sound business ethics:
“It’s wrong for Chase, as a bank receiving a host of privileges from the government and taxpayers, to require people to surrender their fundamental beliefs as a condition for doing business. Freedom of speech and religion are essential parts of human flourishing, because every person is born with the capacity to recognize the truth and the freedom to embrace it. By de-banking people, a powerful company that ought to serve society is instead taking actions that cause people to fear voicing their opinions, practicing their faith, and participating in the democratic process.”
While businesses like Chase are getting business ethics wrong, Abela commends David Bahnsen’s shareholder action and Viewpoint Diversity Score’s Business Index for steering companies towards a better path that respects human freedom instead of promoting divisive political agendas].
“Business leaders who want to promote human flourishing must stand up against corporate violations of free speech and religious freedom and embrace practices that respect everyone. The Business Index offers Chase and other major companies an opportunity to correct course and better serve society. Everyone who cares about morality in the marketplace should applaud this effort.”
Read Abela’s full article here.