Catholic social teachings refer to the principles, ethical values and practical wisdom applied by Catholics and by businesses to maintain and develop their business while keeping to an acceptable level of integrity in their business activities (Domenec 154). Catholic social teaching is the reflection of social and theological issues that take place in the church; Catholic social teachings include the works of academics and professionalism based on the perspective of Christian faith. Some of the notable Catholic Social Teaching Principles that should be applied to the business operations of an institution include; Care for God's creation, the preferential option for the poor, the dignity of work and the rights of workers, Solidarity, Rights, and Responsibilities and Call to Family, Community, and Participation. These principles are applicable throughout the business model and when carrying out the daily business activities in the cooperation, in manufacturing, marketing and business interaction with other organizations. An evaluation of how business corporations can exemplify the Catholic Social Teachings principles is presented with reference to International Business Machines (IBM).
Participation of IBM IBM is one of the biggest world employers and is directly involved in some activities that correspond with Catholic Social Teaching Principles (Basanta, Panda, and Mohanty 74). Though involvement in activities that are considered CST principles may not be directly profiting, they presumed to be decisive when determining the general image of the organization to the community which is also a significant factor in business development
Care for God's Creation
Care for God's Creation is one of the seven principles of Catholic social teaching, as outlined by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. This can be applied by an organization by being conscious of their environment, meaning in the office on how they treat their employees and how their activities impact the natural environment in terms of waste management.
International business machines are conscious of their generation and disposal of waste. The waste they produce can be classified as hazardous or non- hazardous. Hazardous waste generated by IBM is either recycled, incinerated, regulated landfills and treatment. Disposal of waste. Hazardous waste released by IBM is either recycled, incinerated, regulated landfills and treatment. The organization recycles non-hazardous wastes like paper, wood, metals, and glass. Waste is also controlled by prevention of generation as the best option where possible. The control of the production of waste and safe disposal is considered care for God's creation because the waste produced if dumped into the environment without control would damage the environment hence causing injury to the organisms that depend on the said ecosystem to survive. IBM is also involved in land reclamation through regulated landfills; this ensures the availability of more land for farming. IBM also supports the disposal of other firms, IBM-owned waste returned at the end of the leased period.
The dignity of work
The dignity of work and the rights of workers; as prescribed by Catholic Social Teachings, refer to fair dealing with employees and being accorded fair working environment. The Catholic Social Teachings advocate for appropriate treatment of organization employees. They are allowed fair compensation for their input, performance appraisals and promotions in the firm. It is also the responsibility of the employees to work by the organizational rules and avoid damaging the general image of the organization (Erin 126). The Catholic Social Teachings advocate for employee organizations that will allow them to voice their grievances or opinions in the workplace. (Domenec 158) IBM ensures its employees work in a safe environment as provided by the law and meets standards. All their employees are accorded equal chances in opportunities including those with disabilities. Employees are also of diverse races and skills.
The dignity of work is encouraged through fair dealings with other companies and enabling an ethical working environment. IBM deals fairly with the government through voluntary disclosure and reimbursement in case of any violation of the procurement laws. IBM also ensures timely filing of its taxes as per the government laws in the area they are operating from. When dealing with suppliers, IBM guarantees reciprocation of the supplies and ensures that doesn't affect the quality of their production hence cushioning the customer in the process. The preferential option for the poor, this means to support the poor and the less fortunate in the society. As one of the Catholic Social Teachings, a firm should direct some of its resources to help the poor in the community as a sign of solidarity with them (Erin 114). This may include through donations or programs that encourage growth and economic empowerment of the poor. This can be done by providing them with opportunities and resources to better their lives. Corporate Social Responsibility is commonly applied by organizations in their interaction with the external environment and the promotion of the wellbeing of the society in which it operates. This is also advocated for in the Catholic principles which encourage improvement of the social status of the society.
Preferential for the Poor
IBM does the preferential option for the poor through the provision of services and materials to the needy in countries they operate. Providing Medical aid, technology to schools, training and equipping individuals with life skills is some of the few ways that IBM is directly involved in developing and uplifting the status of the needy in the Us and all over the world through strategic integration. Supporting the needy however should not be done to attract preferential treatment to the firm or be used as an ace when the organization is carrying out other daily businesses, these activities should be done with transparency and in consideration to the company. The business should neither fail due to over supporting the needy. The support should be within the means of the organization.
Solidarity is also one of the principles of Catholic Social Teachings; this means support of one another and agreement in action. Organizations should strive to build good relations with other organizations and the community they are based. Since organizations are interdependent in their activities, solidarity with one another ensures business development and advancement in either organization. Solidarity can be created between parties if both parties have a common goal and unified actions. IBM has ensured its unity with its suppliers through fair compensation and ensuring minimal exploitation. Through corporate social responsibility, IBM also promotes cordial relationship with the community, also involving the community in the organization through employing its members ensures they are supported (Domenec and Martin 189). Solidarity with the government has been ensured through compliance with laws that govern business and daily operations in the organization. Employees provide support due to the fair working environment they are presented with, the fair wages they are accorded and their inclusivity in making business decisions that directly affect them or the organization. These have positioned IBM in solidarity with its community, business partners, the government and employees.
Application of CST
Despite the principles not being directly profitable to the organization, International Business Machines has ensured that they implement the suggested teachings from Christianity and the law. This promotes business attainment of high moral ethic standard that attracts support from its community. The Catholic Church recognizes and appreciates when a business makes a profit, but this should not be done at the expense of others. Thus, The Catholic Social Teachings provide organizations with simple principles that enable the business to thrive while being conscious of the environment and its community. These principles also ensure businesses have good relationships with respective parties. The Catholic Church also recognizes the importance of companies to the community hence providing ethical guidelines that ensure the business does not fail in the process. These are encouraged by, rather than the principles being followed as laws they should be incorporated in the daily undertakings of the business. Institutions should encourage their employees to maintain their moral standards when carrying out business on behalf of the business.
Organization employees who are Christian are expected to incorporate Christian teaching when undertaking their responsibility. Catholic social teachings provide general stipulations that should be followed; employees should learn these to apply them when carrying out their duties to ensure the organization, the community, and the government all benefit from the undertaking (Domenec and Martin 217). Thus, ensuring neither parties are negatively exploited. When formulating organization code of conduct, organizations should consider using the Catholic social teaching principles to direct their formulation since they cater to all the parties that will be involved in the business undertaking. Catholic Social Teaching principles account for all parties that may be involved in either way because they are all-inclusive. These teachings are based on every one being responsible for what is expected of them.
CST provides details on how each one has a role in maintaining dignity, Option for the Poor and Vulnerable reminds everyone in their purpose of supporting the less fortunate, The Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers portrays the importance of the economy working for the community rather than exploiting the population, Solidarity reminds everyone that it is expected of them to take care of the other and care for God's Creation advocates for proper exploitation of resources as the stewards of creation.
Organizations that have successfully implemented the Catholic social teachings should also ensure that they introduce the principles to other related organizations in the similar or different field.. Either directly or by influencing them by showing the benefits they get by practicing the principles. Christians in management and decision-making positions should also ensure that Catholic social teachings principles are implemented in the daily business running in their organization (Domenec and Martin 176). Leading by example can also be a suitable method of encouraging implementation of these principles in all organizations. The Catholic Church should lead its Churches based on these principles; their success will inspire others to implement the rules. Christian employees should shun away from unethical practices when carrying out their business; this will foster the application of ethical practices by colleagues in their operations.
Training can also be carried out by the Catholic Church to teach organizations the importance of practicing good business ethics. Catholic churches should carry out business with organizations that practice good ethical morals based on the Catholic social teaching principles. Training will encourage wide implementation and create awareness about the principles. This will widen the influence. Organizations that apply the Catholic social teachings principles gain support from the community because of the good ethics they practice. Communal support impacts positively to the business; and may reflect in a more extensive customer acceptance rate. Ease of doing business with other firms will arise from the fair treatment of all suppliers; this will give the organization a better environment to run its' activities hence faster...
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