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Journal Articles Journal of Management Development Year : 2010

The practical wisdom of the Catholic social teachings


Purpose - This paper aims to focus on business education, which should not exclude strains of religious ethical traditions, e.g. Catholic social thought, and the practical wisdom embodied in them. Design/methodology/approach - Recent traditions of social Catholicism starting from the Papal Social Message Rerum Novarum (1891) are summarized. Consequences for management development are drawn. Findings - The recent tradition of social Catholicism developed as a result of a broad cultural process of adaptation of Christians to the emerging social context of a modern society. New types of ethical orientation have been developed, sometimes in strong opposition to contemporary ideological concepts such as socialism, materialism, or elitist capitalism. Even in the globalized environment of the twenty-first century these orientations are of continuing relevance, e.g. in organizational behavior, in business and society relations, and in basic concepts of corporate responsibility. Practical implications - Religious ethical traditions embody elements of "practical wisdom" that are threatened by extinction in the global practice of management development. The current financial and economic crisis - also addressed in a recent document of Pope Benedict XVI - should also be perceived in that perspective. Originality/value - A business ethics evaluation of Social Catholicism and its practical wisdom is executed.

Dates and versions

hal-00537072 , version 1 (17-11-2010)



Eric Cornuel, André Habisch, Pierre Kletz. The practical wisdom of the Catholic social teachings. Journal of Management Development, 2010, 29 (7/8), pp.747-754. ⟨10.1108/02621711011059185⟩. ⟨hal-00537072⟩


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