Web Resources and Media
A directory of organizations, some Christian, some not, with great resources for Workplace Discipleship, Ethics, and Leadership.
The Theology of Work Project, led by Executive Editor Will Messenger, former Director of the Mockler Center at Gordon-Conwell (1999-2008) is a multi-disciplinary, international team of biblical and theological scholars working alongside experienced business leaders with a stated mission “ to bring together scholars and practitioners in a coalition aimed at building consensus around fundamental truths contained in a Theology of Work consistent with orthodox historical Christianity.” The TOW Project team assigns teams of scholars and workplace practitioners to research (a) each book of the Bible to identify fundamental principles related to work and (b) twenty key topics identified by key Christian thinkers, scholars and workplace practitioners. From the resulting research, the TOW Project intends to (a) draft for ratification a covenant identifying certain universal principles of work and faith, and to unify the workplace ministry field around this covenant, following the pattern of the Lausanne Covenant and (b) construct a scaffold of Biblical truths for researchers, writers, teachers and others to build upon. In turn, they will produce books, papers, curricula, magazines, courses, seminars, sermons, workshops and other materials and events for workers. They wish to encourage the use of the research and products they generate by actively engaging in production of practical work/faith materials for end-users, helping workers perceive God’s purpose, meaning, and value in their work, and bringing Christ’s redeeming power into the fabric of their workplaces.
Founded in 1992, Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) provides socially responsible business solutions to many of the world’s leading corporations. Headquartered in San Francisco and with offices in Europe and China, BSR is a nonprofit business association that serves its member companies and other Global 1000 enterprises. Through advisory services, conventions and research, BSR works with corporations and concerned stakeholders of all types to create a more just and sustainable global economy. The BSR web site is resource rich.
The Caux Round Table believes that the world business community should play an important role in improving economic and social conditions. Through an extensive and collaborative process in 1994, business leaders developed the CRT Principles for Business to embody the aspiration of principled business leadership. The CRT Principles for Business are a worldwide vision for ethical and responsible corporate behavior and serve as a foundation for action for business leaders worldwide. As a statement of aspirations, The CRT Principles aim to express a world standard against which business behavior can be measured. The Caux Round Table has sought to begin a process that identifies shared values, reconciles differing values, and thereby develops a shared perspective on business behavior acceptable to and honored by all.
In January 2011, LeTourneau University in Texas created the Center for Faith and Work to equip, connect and mobilize Christians to live out their faith in the workplace. The Center, directed by Bill Peel, describes its three purposes as follows: (1) Equip: We offer to individuals, churches, students, faculty and the global Christian community opportunities for life-long learning and supportive resources for spiritual formation and gospel impact in the workplace. Venues and initiatives include university classes, public workshops, group studies, online resources, consulting, research and polling, plus workplace devotionals, books and curriculum. (2) Connect: We orchestrate linking opportunities for Christians in the workplace to find encouragement, prayer and fellowship with other believers. Initiatives include internships, mentoring, online communities, affinity groups, city-wide events and job-search networks. (3) Mobilize: We provide support, inspiration and resources for gospel-inspired ideas and projects that spread God’s Kingdom influence in every workplace and every nation. Initiatives include international summits, workplace-ministry tools for churches, and entrepreneurship opportunities. A regular electronic newsletter “Make Mondays Meaningful” along with the site itself is an invaluable resource.
Ecoa.org is the web site of the Massachusetts-based Ethics and Compliance Officers Association, founded in 1992. The ECOA, with about a thousand members, is the leading organization of corporate ethics and compliance officers, with a significant and growing presence among Fortune 100 companies. Based on the ECOA’s own reports at their web site, their ethics officers have many more lawyers among them than people trained in ethics. The ECOA was formed initially as a way of putting compliance programs in place in companies not only to prevent wrongdoing but because companies with such programs in place had their fines reduced by as much as 95%! One of the EOA’s current major projects is to develop a comprehensive Business Conduct Management Standard by which compliance can be measured. This “damage control ethics” is now being augmented by more holistic approaches as the ECOA expands its contacts and partnerships beyond the legal departments to include individuals and organizations trained in ethics. ECOA membership is open to individuals and to organizations for a substantial annual fee. The ECOA sponsors various conferences and courses for ethics officers. The web site makes some interesting information available to non-member visitors but it is on the whole rather meager.
Ethics.org is the web site of the Washington DC based Ethics Resource Center. The institutional roots of ERC are in American Viewpoint, founded in 1922 to help immigrants to the US get oriented to American culture and values. In 1977 the mission was refocused under the Ethics Resource Center rubric. The vision is to foster a more ethical world. ERC publishes a monthly electronic newsletter called Ethics Today. ERC sponsors research on individual ethics (especially character development), organizational ethics (especially for business), and global ethics. This is a great organization with a web site that is a gold mine of helpful information on business ethics.
Ethix Magazine was co-founded in 1998 by Al Erisman and David Gill as the primary product/service of the Institute for Business, Technology, and Ethics based in Seattle. The distinctives have been, first that the intersection of business, technology, and ethics is critically important and deserves sustained and careful attention. The second distinctive was I trying to create an inclusive forum for conversation, where both technology critics and technology enthusiasts could meet, for example. The centerpiece of each bimonthly issue is an interview of some mover and shaker or leader in business, technology, and/or ethics. Essays on technology and ethics, case analyses, and reviews of significant books are other staples of Ethix. Since 2003, Erisman has been the Executive Editor and driving force behind this one of a kind resource. The archives of interviews, essays, and reviews are an amazing free resource at www.ethix,org.
The High Calling is an online collection of resources helping connect faith and work. Mark Roberts produces a wonderful daily meditation you can get in your inbox and that’s just the beginning.
Ibe.org.uk is the web site of the non-profit Institute for Business Ethics, established in 1986 in London. Part of the value of this site is that it provides a perspective from outside the USA. Most of the concerns are common to businesses in most parts of the world, of course. The IBE web site provides some simple, very concrete outlines and strategies for companies wishing to formulate and implement ethics policies, procedures, and codes. The IBE sponsors various seminars and discussion groups and publishes material on various business ethics themes. The IBE view of ethics tends to focus on dilemma and crisis resolution rather than on broader issues of mission, values, and corporate culture, but this is a good organization with something to teach us.
The Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University is one of the preeminent centers for research and dialogue on ethical issues in critical areas of American life. The center works with faculty, staff, students, community leaders, and the public to address ethical issues more effectively in teaching, research, and action. The center’s focus areas are business, health care and biotechnology, character education, government, global leadership, technology, and emerging issues in ethics. Articles, cases, briefings, and dialogue in all fields of applied ethics are available on this site.
MISSION:WORK is a place where conversation happens about work and faith. We cover topics ranging from daily life in the workplace, to what the Bible says about work and vocation, to economic systems and their relationship to Christian beliefs, to how to know if God is calling you to a specific job, to how the local church can better equip workers. We draw on content from several other websites pondering these issues, including Theology of Work Project, The High Calling, the Oikonomia Network, Acton Institute, and the Kern Pastors Network, to find stories, testimonies, tips, biblical wisdom, and challenges for individuals, businesses, pastors, and civic leaders as we work to create a society where God’s economy brings human flourishing for all.
Founded in 1980, the Society for Business Ethics (SBE) is a non-affiliated international association of scholars and others interested in business ethics. Membership in SBE is open to scholars and professional from all disciplines who specialize in business ethics, and to anyone else seeking the benefits of membership. The Society conducts an annual meeting for the presentation and discussion of new research; issues a newsletter with information of interest to members; supports the publication of the Ruffin Series in Business Ethics; and produces the scholarly journal Business Ethics Quarterly. Probably the most valuable feature at the SBE web site is the “Business Ethics Resources Page” which provides links to dozens of business ethics centers, publications, and programs.