Culture, Religion and Business

SubjectCulture, Religion and Business
Semester5th semester (autumn)
Study programme:Business studies (undergraduate)
Primary language:Slovene
The course will be carried out in the Slovene language and is an elective course in accordance with the officially approved curriculum of the Undergraduate Degree Program in Business Studies.
Students must have a sufficient general knowledge, an adequate vocabulary and knowledge of Slovene language to be able to follow the lectures, to understand the study materials and to be capable of preparing practical exercises and seminar papers requiring a meaningful arrangement of contents, rational substantiation and logical reasoning.
1.           To introduce students to questions of cultural pluralism and its impact on business;
2.           To show students the influence of culture and religious values on human behavior;
3.           To familiarize students with the values included in the religious orientations of the modern world;
4.           To discuss with students, the open issues related to relativism regarding ethical values;
5.           To familiarize students with the ideas of the Social Doctrine of the Church;
6.           To familiarize students with the ethical standards that international organizations advocate as universal.
•             the ability to understand the different value orientations present in the business world;
•             the knowledge of the anthropological and basic values of the world's major religions;
•             the ability to evaluate in order to avoid cultural relativism and cultural imperialism;
•             the knowledge of the basic ethical requirements arising from the religion of our surroundings.
Learning outcomes
When he/she has passed the examination, the student will be able:
•             to identify and evaluate cultural currents in their influence on business;
•             to use basic texts and international documents proclaiming universal business standards;
•             to evaluate business methods based on the core values of their culture and the religion of their environment.
1. The impact of ideas and core values on business
•             Problems of Weber's work Protestant ethics and the spirit of capitalism
•             Christianity and Western civilization
•             Cultural (value) pluralism and two extreme positions towards it: cultural imperialism and cultural relativism
•             The starting point of the movement for a global ethic (»Weltethos«)
•             The universality of the "Golden Rule"
2. The major religions of the world, their anthropology and their attitude towards business
•             Christianity (in general)
•             Indian religions (Hinduism, Sikhism, Jainism)
•             Islam
•             Buddhism
•             Confucianism and Taoism
•             Shintoism
3. Secular theories: utilitarianism, liberalism, socialism
4. International documents on universal ethical standards of business
•             UN Global Compact (1999)
•             The Principles of Responsible Business (Caux Round Table)
•             The social teaching of the Catholic Church
•             The Holy See document: Oeconomicae et pecuniariae quaestiones (Economic and financial issues, Considerations for an Ethical Discernment Regarding Some Aspects of the Present Economic-Financial System, January 6th, 2018).
Teaching and learning activities
•             Teacher explanations
•             Conversation / debate
•             Presentation of seminar papers
Evaluation systems and criteria
The evaluation system consists of seminar work (50% of the grade) and exam (50% of the grade).
Teaching and learning material
  • Sirico, Robert. 2013. Zagovor svobodnega trga. Ljubljana: Družina.
  • Schwindt, Daniel. 2015. Catholic Social Teaching: A New Synthesis. Agnus Dei Publishing.

Recommended teaching and learning material 
•             Novak, M., 1993. The Catholic Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, New York: The Free Press.
•             Sirico R., 2012. Defending the Free Market. The Moral Case for a Free Economy, Washington: Regnery Publ.
•             Galston W. A., 1991. Liberal purposes. Goods, Virtues and Diversity in the Liberal State. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
•             Johnson J. P., Lenartowicz T., Apud S., ’Cross-cultural competence in international business: toward a definition and a model’, Journal of International Business Studies (2006) 37, 525–543.
Office hours
•             Before and after the lectures
•             By agreement