Mirror of Justice

A blog dedicated to the development of Catholic legal theory.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Call for Papers: "Building Institutions for the Common Good: The Purpose and Practice of Business in an Inclusive Economy"

My colleagues at the Ryan Institute have put out a call for papers for a conference next summer that is sure to be of interest to many MOJ readers.

The Tenth International Conference on 
Catholic Social Thought and Business Education

and

The Sixth Colloquium on Christian Humanism in Business and Society

 

"Building Institutions for the Common Good:

The Purpose and Practice of Business in an Inclusive Economy"

 

University of St. Thomas

St. Paul - Minneapolis, Minnesota

June 21-23, 2018

The common good is a prominent principle and one of the pillars of the Catholic social tradition.  Its origins in Judaism and Hellenistic philosophy were taken up by the early Christian community and reinforced by Christ's commandment of charity, forgiveness, and service. As suggested by its ancient roots, the principle is not exclusive to Christian faith; other religions and philosophical traditions uphold it too. Still, sharing an appreciation for the concept does not remove the important work about the meaning of the common good and its operational and institutional significance in business.  

Scholarly reflections on the common good vary in correspondence with the whole range of existing philosophical, economic, political, and social positions. This is certainly true among leading voices in the development of Catholic social thought -- Jacques Maritain, Neo-Thomism, civil economy, personalism, and Catholic liberalism, among others. What has not been as developed is a tradition of thought that engages the common good with the purpose and practice of business.  This conference is set out to make a contribution in this area.  

As business and its impact have moved into virtually every country and culture on the planet, so have questions about its role in regard to human well-being and to what society holds in common. This makes the common good a subject for reflection in the education of all future business professionals.  There may be as well a particular opportunity and benefit for reflecting on the common good in the context of business education in Catholic universities. Uniquely prepared to address the idea of the common good from a theoretical perspective, Catholic business education is also uniquely positioned to reflect on it as a moral principle for leaders and as an aspirational principle for a business mission.    

This conference on "Building Institutions for the Common Good: The Purpose and Practice of Business in an Inclusive Economy" welcomes participants from multiple disciplines and perspectives ready to engage in a constructive dialogue on the common good and how a growing number of people can participate in the market economy and finance in an equitable, stable, and sustainable way. We take the common good within the Catholic social tradition as our starting point in this discussion.

We are looking for papers in three tracks: broad, organizational and theoretical treatments of the common good; the common good in relation to individual disciplines (marketing, personnel management, strategy, etc.); and curriculum design, materials, and pedagogical approaches for addressing the common good in a business context.

Track One - Exploring the Common Good, Its Meaning and Its Capacity to Inspire and Sustain Ethical Institutions

It is relatively easy to criticize what does not work and even necessary to do so. The much more challenging task is to build a humane and flourishing society. Catholic social teaching has examined property, free and ethical markets, businesses, the rule of law, and the legal protection of workers as some of the institutions that are essential in creating institutions that work. However, the best institutions falter if they are undercut by a lack of individual conscience and social virtue. Thus, Catholic social teaching also repeats demands for virtuosity: structures and institutions alone are not capable of solving the problems that beset society

Topic areas:

  • Theological and philosophical visions of the common good;
  • Markets and the common good;
  • The purpose of business and the common good;
  • Property and the common good;
  • Law and the common good;
  • Interrelation of the common good with other principles of Catholic social teaching;
  • Business and its social and moral frameworks;
  • Business, family life, and the common good;
  • Social value and the responsibility of business;
  • The common good in business ethics;
  • Religious and wisdom traditions on the common good;
  • Philosophy of business and the common good.

Track Two - Exploring the Common Good and Its Relevance for Specific Fields of Management

Principles that are discussed on an abstract level can remain bloodless and unsubstantial. Not infrequently the abstract principles, like the common good, become clear by application in concrete circumstances. We welcome papers that explore the meaning and relevance of the common good in specific fields of management and business, especially (but not exclusively) if they discuss the institutional dimension in fields such as the following:

  • marketing;
  • strategy and governance;
  • managing people in the organization;
  • finance;
  • operations;
  • compliance and regulation.

Track Three - Providing Curricular Materials, Processes, and Ideas that Reflect the Significance and Practical Wisdom of Business and Leadership Reflection on the Common Good

Topic areas:

  • Case studies that address breaches and/or success in managerial efforts to create business cultures that address social justice and institutionalize approaches that work;
  • Experiential exercises that examine the question of the common good;
  • Video or computer-based approaches that enhance teaching about the common good;
  • Literature and cross-disciplinary activities that highlight questions of the common good.

In the area of curriculum development, we are specifically looking for syllabi, background notes, and teaching notes that engage the Catholic social tradition and the disciplines of business and liberal education. For examples, please see

http://www.stthomas.edu/cathstudies/cst/curriculum-dev/biz-ed/


Call for Paper Proposals:  

The selection committee is looking for submissions that engage one of the three tracks described above.   Please send a one to two-page single spaced proposal which includes the following: thesis/purpose, outline of paper as well as a one paragraph biography that includes institutional position and affiliation, recent publications, research interest, practical experience.  The best papers will be published. Papers eligible for publication must be in English. Presentations in workshops must also be delivered in English. 

Call for Abstracts and Workshops:

In addition to the classic formula for presentations (max. 25 minutes each: about 15 minutes for the presentation itself and 10 minutes for discussion), workshops in groups may also be proposed, with brief talks and an immediate discussion of ideas. We will admit arguments that seek to find connections between the other participants and small groups already engaged in a specific topic. Presentations of professional activities and educational experiences are also welcome. 

Conference Background Papers and Annotated Bibliography:

Conference background papers and an annotated bibliography for this meeting will be available for your reference by June 1, 2017 at http://www.stthomas.edu/cathstudies/news/commongood/. The annotated bibliography will be periodically updated.

 

Send proposals by November 1, 2017 to: Fr. Martin Schlag at cathsocial@stthomas.edu.

Conference Organizers:

  • The John A. Ryan Institute, University of St. Thomas
  • MCE (Markets, Culture and Ethics) - Research Centre of the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, Rome
  • The Veritas Institute, University of St. Thomas

Conference Registration fee: $350. Registration will begin October 1, 2017 at http://www.stthomas.edu/cathstudies/news/commongood/.

 

 

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