Business as a Calling

Business as a Calling - BALW-20105 Professor Murphy Michael...

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BALW-20105 Professor Murphy 3/10/11 Michael Novak’s non-fictional writing, Business as a Calling , explores the issue of morality within business. Novak’s central point throughout his writing states morality as a necessity within business, and when morality is not met, it more often than not results in business and personal injury (Novak 8). Novak, in defending his theory that morality is necessary in business, spells out his “seven plus seven,” which is a list fourteen corporate responsibilities. Novak breaks up his fourteen responsibilities into two groups: internal responsibilities and responsibilities from outside business. The more requirements a business meets, the more moral that business is, and according to Novak, the better suited that business is to be successful. The first seven responsibilities deal with the internal dealings of a business. Novak’s first responsibility is to satisfy customers with goods and services of real value ( Novak 139). Novak discusses how this may seem like an easy feat, but in reality many businesses do not realize what is actually needed to please its customers, who at the end of the day are the ones who dictate what they want. The second responsibility is to make a reasonable return on the funds entrusted to the business corporation by its investors. Novak places this as his second responsibility because he believes that one must have the first responsibility in order to obtain the second. His third responsibility is to create new wealth. New wealth is necessary, but not always the easiest of tasks. Novak says if new wealth is not created by business, then who will produce it? (142). When businesses are not creating this new wealth, it isn’t doing much good, and just sending itself into debt. The business’ fourth responsibility is to create new jobs. One of the most important
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responsibilities of a business, creating jobs also creates opportunities, and creating opportunities is a necessary part of a successful democracy. Also, the creation of job opportunities helps rid economic downfalls. The fifth responsibility of business is to defeat envy through generating upward mobility and putting empirical ground under the conviction that hard work and talent are fairly rewarded.
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