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Vendor: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: 2011
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Can the concept of "Spiritual Capital" actually ensure a company's success?
Critics of capitalism view big businesses as insatiable masters of the universe with little regard for the public. They label those who create wealth as greedy, malicious, and unscrupulous. Doing Virtuous Business answers these charges head-on. In this insightful and original book, Theodore Roosevelt Malloch presents the bold idea that the creation of wealth by virtuous means is the most important thing that can be done for society.
Doing Virtuous Business explains the true purpose of business and illuminates the connection between a free economy and religious liberty. Drawing from the notion of "social capital," which has been developed by generations of scholars, Malloch adds the concept of "spiritual capital" as a foundation for social progress and also a necessity for responsible and successful enterprise. He details the virtues that sustain a business and a free marketvirtues that build up a network of trust, which is critical to the global economy.
Malloch reveals that a company's soul determines its "spiritual capital," an equally imperative foundation to success. From Wal-Mart to IBM, Malloch demonstrates how companies that operate on ethical models informed by spiritual traditions have outperformed their competitors. This book is a welcome moral defense of free enterprise and a sensible guide for achieving the ideal of virtuous business.
Besides making the world a better place, Malloch argues, virtuous enterprise makes companies far more successful and profitable than they otherwise would be. He presents case studies of virtuous business in the Judeo-Christian tradition as well as statistical analysis demonstrating how companies that operate on ethical models have outperformed their competitors over the long run.
Sophie and MommaAge: 18-24Gender: female2 Stars Out Of 5Long tiresome readNovember 19, 2012Sophie and MommaAge: 18-24Gender: femaleQuality: 2Value: 3Meets Expectations: 1I was rather excited to read this book as I had started dabbling in a little bit of business as a Mary Kay Consultant. As I jumped into this book, I had expected a book that would help grow a business and have Biblical truth in governing the affairs of my business. It was a bit of a tiresome book to read, and at most, I got a few basic principles out of it. I was however surprised at how the author utilized a number of different religions. It seems for Malloch, author of Doing Virtuous Business, being a Christian is a rather vague term. He uses a variety of religious and non religious people and examples to prove or to explain a point. I would have rather have Biblical facts and values and then examples, but the way he came up with his points was somewhat sporadic and based on what people have done or said.
However from a non biblical point of view, sure I'd say that this book was alright. It had great ideas on having a business that strives for being great and good and not just merely money hungry.
Ultimately It was just not my cup of tea. I felt like it was really hard to read, and really felt like I could have read the Bible and get more out of the bible in dealing with my business than by reading this book.
Disclosure: I received a free review copy of this book from Booksneeze in order to share my honest opinions.
Annie KateCanadaAge: 45-54Gender: female4 Stars Out Of 5Striving for virtue leads to profit as wellOctober 11, 2011Annie KateCanadaAge: 45-54Gender: femaleQuality: 4Value: 4Meets Expectations: 5We've all heard the idea that business is about being greedy, exploiting workers, and destroying the environment. Well, Theodore Roosevelt Malloch, Yale researcher, disagrees.
He has written Doing Virtuous Business: The Remarkable Success of Spiritual Enterprise to show that successful business depends on a civilization's â€˜spiritual capital', the sum of values and ideas, derived from religion, that defines a people's conscience and behaviour. Although immoral companies can succeed for a while, companies and business people that embrace virtue tend to do better in the long run. None of this is theoretical, because "_in business you _ are thrust into moral relation with others in ways that require a far more robust and serious morality than is needed to survive in some cushioned state bureaucracy or in a comfortable academic chair."
Malloch presents and defends his ideas in 6 meaty chapters, frequently citing examples of companies and businessmen.
First he defines spiritual capital, explaining both what it is and what it isn't.
Then he discusses virtue, what it means, what it is, and how it's expressed.
Spiritual entrepreneurship, based on faith, hope, and charity, is fundamental to meeting the challenges of the new global economy.
The â€˜hard' virtues (leadership, courage, patience, perseverance, and discipline) obviously benefit business.
What's surprising is that the â€˜soft' virtues (justice, forgiveness, compassion, humility, and gratitude) also increase business success.
Finally Malloch outlines and answers criticisms from the cynic, the Christian, and the pragmatist.
In conclusion he states that although occasionally "there is a short-term cost to doing business virtuously in the global economy, there is also a significant long-term benefit, both personal and commercial.
It is important to note that the essence of spiritual capital, and the virtue that results from it, is not that it benefits business. Rather its essence is the deep faith commitment that leads a person or company to strive for goodness rather than only profit; surprisingly such companies often do better than those that strive only for profit. Though Malloch is Christian, he emphasizes that all religious traditions generate spiritual capital.
While I wonder about some of the â€˜virtuous' companies Malloch lists, I appreciate learning about the concept of spiritual capital. I found this book difficult and time consuming because it is so full of ideas that are new to me, especially in the fields of business and philosophy. In fact, an occasional paragraph could leave me pondering for a few weeks. On the other hand, it was an illuminating glimpse into a very important part of our world and has left me better equipped to understand our society.
While this book is written for adults, understanding the concept and value of spiritual capital and the resultant virtues can be important for young people as well. If your homeschooled student is interested in business, politics, or philosophy, this would be a very helpful book.
Disclosure I received a free review copy of this book from Booksneeze in order to share my honest opinions.
PeterMidland, MIAge: 25-34Gender: male4 Stars Out Of 5Doing Virtuous BusinessOctober 9, 2011PeterMidland, MIAge: 25-34Gender: maleQuality: 5Value: 4Meets Expectations: 4Contained within the pages of this book are treasure troves of wisdom focusing on the benefits of spiritual capital in doing business. In each chapter, different companies are analyzed to find out what made them as successful as they are or to identify where the business went wrong and brought disaster upon itself. This book does much more than simply state the need for business ethicsâ€”it spells out the benefits for virtues such as faith, hope, and charity and what can happen to businesses (or people) who lack the qualities that invoke trust from others. Other characteristics that must be cultivated are leadership, courage, patience, perseverance, discipline, as well as the softer virtues of justice, forgiveness, compassion, humility, and gratitude.
I would recommend this book to everyone who interacts with other people in their line of work (which would be just about everybody). There's a saying, "those who don't learn from history are destined to repeat it." Reading this book will help the reader learn from the CEOs who made wise choices and avoid the mistakes of those who went down the wrong path. In the back of the book is a lengthy appendix of businesses who have done the right thing, including the likes of Chick-Fil-A, IBM, Habitat for Humanity, Wal-Mart, and others. After reading this book, I'm more likely to give my business to a company that possesses and practices the spiritual capital discussed in the pages of this book. I think you will too, after you give it a read.
Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of Doing Virtuous Business through Book Sneeze, in exchange for my honest review.
EszterEuropeAge: 25-34Gender: female4 Stars Out Of 5I like this bookSeptember 13, 2011EszterEuropeAge: 25-34Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 4Meets Expectations: 5I am interested in Christian entrepreneurship, and this book was great for me to understand how Christians should think about business.
Some Christians say that business cannot go along with faith, others tend to put away their faith when doing a business.
My best quote from the book:
"This book has not been about the pursuit of wealth but the obtaining of it. ... Christ's image of the camel and the needle's eye reminds us that to enter the kingdom of heaven we must die, and that when we die we leave our riches behind. The image, so chilling at first, is in fact a reminder of a truth that we must all bear in mind: the place of wealth is here below, and it is how we use it that matters in the eyes of God."
The writer talks about virtues that are needed in Christian business:
The most important components in spiritual entrepreneurship is faith, and then there is hope and charity.
hard virtues: leadership, courage, patience, perseverance, discipline
soft virtues: justice, forgiveness, compassion, humility, gratitude
I liked the stories in the book about business men who did their business using their virtues and succeeded in a spiritual and (not always) earthly way and about people whose only goal was success and wealth and finally could not use their wealth properly.
Chicago, ILAge: 35-44Gender: female3 Stars Out Of 5Doing Virtuous BusinessJuly 23, 2011Chicago, ILAge: 35-44Gender: femaleQuality: 3Value: 3Meets Expectations: 2I want to commend Theodore Roosevelt Malloch for his efforts to bring the qualities of honor, integrity, and credibility back to the workplace, as well as for the emphasis on using one's business as a tool to produce positive change in the world. Relying on a myriad of religious teachings, "Doing Virtuous Business: The Remarkable Success of Spiritual Enterprise," challenges leaders of corporations and non-profits alike, to manage all aspects of business according to the following principles:
(1) Start with a mission that is above yourself and personal gain; one that promotes fairness and creativity in the workplace.
(2) Lead with a blending of the Cardinal Virtues (temperance, courage, justice, wisdom), Theological Virtues (faith, hope, charity), Hard Virtues (leadership, courage, patience, discipline, perseverance), and Soft Virtues (forgiveness, compassion, humility, gratitude).
(3) Purpose to make charity an integral part of any business model so that lives may be for the better (locally and globally) and the world a better place as a result.
While Malloch is not anti-profit and disapproves of government regulation in market affairs, he argues strongly against greed and personal gain as primary motives for business management. Clearly articulated as a theme throughout Malloch's work is a challenge to return to the days when people--customers and employees alike--matter above profit, when demonstration of the "Golden Rule" was commonplace behavior on the showroom floor, when respect and honesty marked the decorum in the conference room and marketing campaigns, and all was so because of a genuine concern and care for fellow man.
The author provides a host of real-life examples in his discussion of the Virtues of successful corporate leaders, conscientious employees, and companies that have stood the test of time using solid virtues as the guiding force of their mission (I found the portions of inspirational stories my favorite part of the book).
So ends the positive assessment, and really, for the points listed above, "Doing Virtuous Business" is worth the read. My struggles with the text occur in identifying with the author's political identity. Based on various comments throughout the chapters, I assume the author is conservative, a free market capitalist, in favor of corporate manageability without government oversight, and who feels the academic system in America has been taken over by the "Liberal agenda." Malloch is quick to slam "the Liberals" yet fails to expose "the Conservatives" for demonstrating the same behavior, and demonstrates a sorely inadequate understanding of "Social Justice." I do not identify as a Republican, I feel little attachment to conservative talking points, nor do I feel the role of Government should be "hands off" the market, and as a graduate of a strong liberal arts institution I can say that critical thinking skills are alive and well in academia today--students are spoon fed very little. I feel you out to call expose what the "Left" and "Right" hand are doing, and please don't get me started on the fear (and ignorance) surrounding the term "Social Justice" in the Christian community. Given our differences of opinion, I struggled through some of the content present, for I found some digressions out-of-place and inappropriate.
Did I experience moments in which I wanted to throw this book across the room? Yes, a few. Will the political differences deter me from recommending this book? Nope. Will I read this again? Yes. And the reason being the material, concepts, and virtues presented are important to wrestle with. We have reached a critical point in American culture, in our world, where the moral influence has shifted. Too many stories fill the media of corruption, hostile takeovers, and the mismanagement of time, trust, and treasure by those in Executive positions. One of the points Malloch drives home is that we each have a choice: we participate in creating and shaping our present and future, personally and professionally. In the context of the corporate sector, the author maintains that change does not happen from the top down, it begins with the individual. We each have an important role to play, whether employee or CEO, in re-shaping the culture of work environments. "Doing Virtuous Business" opens a dialogue and offers a space to reflect on the qualities and characteristics essential for operating a successful enterprise that is mutually beneficial, financially successful, and has a positive impact on society.
I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneezeÂ®.com <http://BookSneezeÂ®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.