Vol. 1 & 2: Making Capitalism Work for Everyone


The Centre for Enterprise, Markets and Ethics (CEME) is delighted to announce the publication of Making Capitalism Work for Everyone – Vol. 1 & 2, edited by Richard Turnbull and Tim Weinhold.


Volume 1 can be downloaded here and Volume 2 hereAlternatively, you can order paperback copies via contacting CEME’s offices at: office@theceme.org





Richard Godden: “Why Business Matters to God” by Jeff Van Duzer

Why Business Matters to God” is addressed to Christians. Jeff Van Duzer, now Provost of Seattle Pacific University and formerly Dean of its School of Business and Economics, suggests that Christians in business “have often been made to feel like second-class citizens in God’s kingdom” (page 9). His aim is to counter the attitudes that underlie this by affirming the intrinsic value of business work “as work full of meaning and importance to God”, whilst at the same time challenging what he describes as the “dominant business paradigm of the day” (page 9). The result is an excellent, well-argued and thought provoking book that should be read by all Christians engaged in business.

Van Duzer undertakes his task by using a theological framework, considering in successive chapters the implications for business of the biblical accounts of creation, fall, redemption and consummation.

From the creation story, he concludes that the material world matters to God, that human beings are called to steward God’s creation and that we are made to work (i.e. that work is not a punishment or a necessary evil). He notes that society has many institutions (e.g. families, churches and governmental bodies) and asks “which aspects of the creation mandate are best suited for business to handle?” (page 41). He points to the role of business in the creation of wealth and concludes that the intrinsic purposes of business are “to provide the community with goods and services that will enable it to flourish, and … to provide opportunities for meaningful work that will allow employees to express their God-given creativity” (page 42).

At this point, the reader may feel that the account of business is too rosy but this issue is squarely addressed in the next chapter, which considers the implications of the fall. Here Van Duzer parts company with the more extreme free market enthusiasts (both Christian and non-Christian) by stressing that “the market will not usher in the kingdom of God” (page 75) and suggesting that the market mechanism is an aspect of common grace that mitigates some of the consequences of the fall. He stresses that we cannot “equate market forces with God’s perfect will” (page 79).

Having done this, Van Duzer reverses the logical theological order and leaps on to consider what the biblical account of ultimate salvation (“consummation”) can teach us that is of relevance to business. In doing so, he heads into stormy theological waters as he assesses the relative merits of adoptionism and annihilationism as an explanation of how God’s new heaven and new earth will be inaugurated. He sides with the “cautious adopters” (page 94) but those who don’t take this view will be pleased to hear that it is not central to his argument and he acknowledges that “any conclusions we may reach must be held lightly” (page 83). This result is that this part of his analysis is less fruitful than other parts of it.

He next considers redemption and suggests that business must “concern itself with redemptive as well as creative work” (page 114), whilst accepting that it is operating within the “messy middle” (page 118). In this context, he rejects both the cynicism of those who suggest that “Business ethics is an oxymoron” and the optimism of those who argue that “Good ethics is good business” in the sense that there will always be a bottom line benefit for those practicing good ethics.

Van Duzer recognises that our attitude to business will turn to a considerable extent on our view of how Christians should engage with the world (what he calls our “posture of engagement”) and also upon our attitude to institutions of all kinds in the modern world. He devotes an “excursus” to each of these issues, of which the first is particularly helpful. It adopts Niebuhr’s typology (“Christ against culture”, “Christ of culture”, “Christ above culture”, “Christ and culture in paradox” and “Christ the transformer of culture”) and demonstrates how our answers to several key theological questions are likely to determine which type of cultural engagement we adopt and, specifically, our view of the role of business.

The final quarter of the book is less well structured than it might have been and parts of it would have better merged with the earlier chapters. None-the-less, it contains some worthwhile discussions of important issues such as business sustainability (in the broad sense) and, most importantly, the role of profit and enhancing shareholder value. Van Druzer recognises the essential instrumental role of profit but denies it any greater significance, specifically rejects the notion that the maximisation of profit or shareholder value is a primary goal of a business.

Although published under the IVP Academic banner, this is not an academic work. It does not interact extensively with other literature and it has no bibliography, although it makes good use of footnotes that may suggest further reading.

It is a short book and could not possible consider all of the angles on its subject. None-the-less, it would have been helpful had Van Duzer considered questions that arise from his dethroning of profit and shareholder value: Might this result in a loss of focus on efficiency and thus reduce wealth creation? How can managers be rendered accountable for the delivery of goals that cannot be quantified or otherwise clearly measured? If shareholders in a public company appoint and remove them, will the directors not always focus on the maximisation of shareholder value? Who might enforce any broader directors’ duties? Van Duzer is a lawyer by background and his views on these issues would be interesting.

Despite the final chapter’s focus on “making it real”, many readers may be left wondering how it is possible to translate Van Duzer’s vision of business into practice in a secular Western business context. This is a significant issue. However, the purpose of this book is to provide a Christian conceptual framework for business not to analyse in detail its implications in relation to day to day management. Addressing these implications would require another book and perhaps the only significant criticism that can be levelled at Van Duzer is that he hasn’t yet written it!


“Why Business Matters to God” was published in 2010 by InterVarsity Press (ISBN 10: 0830838880). 201pp.

Richard Godden is a Lawyer and has been a Partner with Linklaters for over 25 years during which time he has advised on a wide range of transactions and issues in various parts of the world. 

Richard’s experience includes his time as Secretary at the UK Takeover Panel and a secondment to Linklaters’ Hong Kong office. He also served as Global Head of Client Sectors, responsible for Linklaters’ industry sector groups, and was a member of the Global Executive Committee.

Richard Godden: “With Liberty & Justice for Whom?” by Craig M Gay


With Liberty & Justice for Whom? is an analysis of the views of conservative Protestants about capitalism. It was written a quarter of a century ago and its focus is on U.S. writers. It is thus dated in parts and, in any event, many outside the U.S.A. will feel that Gay’s analysis is not wholly applicable to their context. Some will also find tiresome its almost obsessive quoting of other scholars, which betrays its origin as a doctoral dissertation. Nonetheless, the issues raised by it are of long-term general significance and, whilst Anglo-Saxon evangelicals are likely to benefit most from reading it, it could be read with profit by other Christians, those of other faiths and, indeed, anyone who wishes to consider the reasons why people who apparently share a common religious or philosophical starting point disagree so vehemently about economic and societal issues.

Gay divides evangelical intellectuals into three groups: the left (which, he suggests, essentially regards capitalism as oppression); the right (which, he suggests, has primarily engaged in the defence of capitalism against the critics of the left); and the centre (comprising those “whose appraisals of capitalism are neither wholly negative nor entirely positive” but who regard capitalism as a “cause for concern”; page 116). He examines the views of many people within each group, considering the essentials of their economic and political views as well as the way in which they use the Bible to support these views.

The first two-thirds of the book is largely descriptive, albeit interwoven with comment and evaluation. Gay then moves on to analysis. He believes that it is “clear that capitalism as such is not the only thing at issue in this debate but that the various evangelical factions are contending for entirely different socio-cultural visions of American society” (page 161). However, he points out that the difference between the competing views “is not a matter of competing moral and ethical paradigms but of disagreement on the question of whether capitalism promotes or prevents the realisation of the norms and values they hold in common” (page 166).

Gay attempts to use the “new class” theory of the Austrian born American sociologist Peter Berger in his analysis. He argues that those on the evangelical left are reflecting their membership of this new class (broadly those engaged in what he calls the “knowledge industry”) whilst those on the right reflect the attitudes and interests of the old middle class (occupied in the production and distribution of goods and services). He suggests that both evangelical groups have engaged in a process of “cognitive bargaining” with the secular world and, in particular, in their analyses, have compromised the more transcendent, or “other worldly”, elements of evangelical faith. He also asserts that “Both the evangelical left and right have succumbed to an ideological abuse of Scripture and a de facto (and occasionally explicit) confession of the ultimacy of economic life” (page 203).

Many of Gay’s assertions and suggestions are contentious. For example, he admits that his use of the new class theory is “provocative, to say the least” (page 203). Furthermore, one may question whether his categorisation of evangelical views (which he admits is arbitrary) is helpful. Is the analysis assisted by lumping Theonomists and Christian Reconstructionists together with Brian Griffiths and Peter Hill? Do those in what Gay terms the “evangelical mainstream” (whose views are moderately right of centre) really have much in common with the views of what he terms “progressive evangelicals” (whose views fit much more comfortably with the left wing analysis)? Gay observes that the “evangelical centre” has no economic programme, which suggests that it is not a real category worth examining. It might have been better had he examined the extreme right, the moderate right and the left (which Gay recognises is a more coherent group than the others).

Gay was doubtless conscious of the danger of being accused of criticising everyone else’s views without offering a view of his own but he wisely avoids entering into the detail of the economic and theological debate. Instead, he offers suggestions as to a way forward in the debate, which are set out in a 33 page “Epilogue”. Unfortunately, this part of the book is disappointing There is little to object to in what he says but the language used, particularly in the first part of the Epilogue, is less clear than might be desired and, overall, his suggestions do not add much to the debate. Furthermore, although he seeks to avoid taking sides, those on the evangelical left are likely to feel that he is in fact laying the foundations of an essentially right of centre viewpoint without fully justifying his position.

These are significant failings but they should not put anyone off reading this book. It provides a wealth of food for thought and challenges: Why is it that evangelical economic debate so closely mirrors the corresponding secular debate, albeit with the addition of Biblical analysis? How much of the evangelical contributions to economic debate derives from the Bible, how much from secular assumptions and how much the compromise with the groups in which the relevant authors move or a reaction against these groups? To what extent are arguments caused by a disagreement as to whether criticism of the existing economic order is to be based on a comparison with an ideal or a comparison with practically available alternatives? Should the debate focus on the detail of capitalist economics or will progress only be made if the underlying assumptions and issues relating to our concept of society are addressed? Specifically, are those debating capitalism and other economic models guilty of a failure to examine whether terms like “liberty” and “justice” are being used by everyone in the same sense?

These questions are well worth considering and, by raising them in the context of a detailed analysis of the spectrum of evangelical opinion, Gay provided and, 25 years on from his book’s original publication, continues to provide an excellent foundation for further thinking.

“With Liberty and Justice for Whom?” was reprinted in 2000 by Regent College Publishing (ISBN 10 1573831328).

Richard Godden is a Lawyer and has been a Partner with Linklaters for over 25 years during which time he has advised on a wide range of transactions and issues in various parts of the world. 

Richard’s experience includes his time as Secretary at the UK Takeover Panel and a secondment to Linklaters’ Hong Kong office. He also served as Global Head of Client Sectors, responsible for Linklaters’ industry sector groups, and was a member of the Global Executive Committee.

Martin Schlag: Business in Catholic Social Thought

The Centre for Enterprise, Markets and Ethics (CEME) is pleased to announce the publication of Business in Catholic Social Thought by Martin Schlag.

The publication can be downloaded here. Alternatively, paperback copies can be ordered by contacting CEME’s offices via email at: office@theceme.org or by telephone at, (+44) 0186 5513 453.




Andrei Rogobete: Business Values must be practiced, not preached

This is an excerpt of a speech given at the GSM Annual Conference on the 12th May 2016.


I would like begin by saying it is an absolute pleasure to be with you today. I was originally born in Timisoara but I have lived for most of my life in the UK – so it’s always great to come back home and see my family and friends.

In the brief time that I have at my disposal I hope to convince you of the importance of ethics and moral behaviour in our Globalised world of Business.

Most economists and news agencies like to claim that we are currently living in the “post-financial crisis era”.

But I would like to argue that at heart of the financial crisis was not just a crisis of finance but a crisis of morality – with reckless behaviour driven by greed and the pursuit of ever faster and larger profits. This was well illustrated in the gross and artificial subprime mortgage bubble in the United States.

Despite this challenge, the free market remains the most effective form of wealth creation: more people have been lifted out of poverty in the last century than any other time in recorded history. The United Nations reports that extreme poverty has been reduced by over 50% since the early 90s. A market economy gives people hope, purpose, and a genuine sense of achievement – but clearly we have a remaining problem: human greed and misconduct.

What would a solution to the problem of greed look like? Should the Government impose higher taxes and regulations on the private sector? Should the penalties be so high that no company would risk illegal or corrupt activity? Would a highly regulated market protect consumers without slowing innovation and growth? These are approaches that have been tried and tested, and failed time and time again.

It is my belief that we need a free market economy, but one that is built upon a foundation of ethics and moral values.

In business we are often encouraged to look forward – And rightly so. Whether it’s planning for a new product or service, it is crucial to be forward-looking in the world of business.

However, we must also be aware of the past. History is a blessing because it shows what works, and what doesn’t.

If we are not aware of the events that have occurred in the past, we end up repeating the same mistakes over and over again – And sadly, that is often the case.


It is for this reason that I would like us to take a look at the Quakers of 17th Century England. Here we will see how deep-rooted values played a critical role in business success.


But who exactly are the Quakers?

The Quakers were a group of English Puritans that emerged in the midst of the Civil Wars of the 17th Century. It was a time of fertile ground for the emergence of new ideas in the political, social and religious spheres.

One man named George Fox was a substantial provider of such new ideas. Very much a product of his time, George Fox became deeply disconnected with the teachings of the Church and its approach to faith. More specifically, the fundamental clash with the Established Church came when he advocated the notion that each individual can have a direct relationship with God without the need of ordained clergy.

Born in a ‘middle-class’ family, Fox grew up in an environment of tough religious discipline and Christian teaching.  However, Fox went beyond the formalities of doctrine and his faith a deeply personal affair – one that would dictate his path in life.


But how did the Quaker’s faith shape their business values??

  1. The first and fundamental belief is that all humans are of equal value.

Equality of value should not be confused with uniformity. Clearly, human beings are different, each unique in their own traits. However, historically Quakers believed that “There is that of God in everyone”.

This belief effectively translated into a practice of equality and respect within the workplace in stark contrast to the customary hierarchy of the time. A ‘flat’ organizational not only allowed Quaker businesses to be effective organizations on the inside, it also enabled them to build long-lasting relationships on the outside.

The reputation Quaker businesses established in society would go before them in the marketplace, almost guaranteeing their success in building a network of trust and ultimately, ensuring profitability.

  1. The second core Quaker belief is in a genuine, personal relationship with God. 

In claiming that each individual can have a direct, personal relationship with God, the Quakers found themselves under systematic persecution from the Church and State. However, it was their personal faith that guided their moral business code of conduct.

  1. The third and final core belief is love and respect for one’s neighbour. 

This core Quaker belief is rooted in a strong sense of community with other human beings – all sharing together in God’s creation. This led Quakers to organize in fellowships and large groups where they would meet regularly and share in the faith that united them.

For business, it translated to a great sense of responsibility and stewardship toward their entire business ecosystem. Whether work or private, a sense of collective responsibility and respect entered all aspects of life.


So were the Quakers successful in business?

Highly Successful. Here are some examples..

Barclays – UK’s largest retail bank

Lloyds – Major UK bank

Clarks – UK’s largest shoe manufacturer

Cadbury – Major chocolate manufacturer

And others…


However, what happens when companies forget about upholding the ethical values the proclaim to believe in?


CASE : Volkswagen

One example that I’m sure you are all familiar with is the Volkswagen Emissions Scandal.

Although not a Quaker business, the Volkswagen emissions scandal was arguably the defining corporate story of 2015. It came as a shock not only because millions of customers were deceived (11 million according to VW), but rather because the culprit was the ‘peoples-car’, Volkswagen.

The Volkswagen group has over 550,000 employees and a presence in more than 150 countries worldwide. Over the decades the Volkswagen brand has established a global reputation of reliability, robust ‘German’ engineering, and value for money.

VW built a reputation of being a brand that you can wholeheartedly trust. The company prided itself on upholding the very highest ethical values and business practices.

The Emissions scandal caused colossal damage to the Volkswagen Group. Like the Barclays LIBOR scandal, the damage was both financial and reputational.

If on the Friday, the 18th September 2015 VW’s shares were trading at 161 euros per share; by the end of Monday, the 21st September Volkswagen’s share price dropped to 111 euros per share, losing almost 30 per cent of its market value. That’s close to a 30-Billion-euro devaluation in one day of trading. Fig. 1.2 illustrates the share price plummeting.

It is a big price tag to pay for something that other car manufacturers like BMW, Toyota and Mercedes have been able to comply with. Therefore, we can only conclude that it is not an issue of technological knowledge but an attempt to maximize profit through illegal business practices.

As damaging as the financial costs are, the reputational damage even worse. It will take years for Volkswagen to win back trust from its customers and the general public. As Warren Buffet once said, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently”.

The Volkswagen Emissions scandal is a clear example of a company failing to uphold an ethical culture and paying the price for it.


So then, what are some lessons that we can learn from the Quakers and the example of Volkswagen?


  1. Purpose is greater than profit

Purpose trumps profit. The successful business of the 21st Century is one that sets its aims above profitability. While profit is crucially important, the objective of financial profit should become the result of a purpose-driven business model. The Quakers set up businesses in obedience of God and fair treatment of others. Their main objective was not just profit.

But it is not only Quaker businesses that were successful because they were driven by purpose. Arthur Guinness, the founder of Guinness Beer wanted to help alleviate the severe alcoholism in Dublin so he introduced a lighter beer as an alternative to gin or the other strong spirits. Henry Ford envisaged a nation on wheels and in 1908 he introduced the first mass-production car, the Ford Model T.

The vast majority of long-term, successful businesses have one thing in common: they are driven by a purpose that goes beyond profit.


  1. Moral values must become an intrinsic part of the business

Companies must truly uphold a set of moral values in the pursuit of achieving their purpose. In the global marketplace of the 21st Century, a company’s set of values must be seen as a critical part of the long-term business plan.

Values must be practiced, not just preached. They must be truly lived out in the day-to-day activity of the business.

Chief executives and senior managers have the responsibility to influence the rest of their staff and employees. They must strive to embody of the company’s culture and shared values.


  1. Companies that fail to implement an ethical culture will suffer

Businesses that fail to implement a sense of morality will sooner or later, have to pay the consequences.

This is mainly due to two global forcesglobalization and the widespread use of social media.

In this sense the rapid growth of social media can be seen as an effect of technological Globalization. Social media has become a global platform of discussion and sharing of information at lightning speeds. It has brought millions of people closer together regardless of geographical distance. It has democratized information, giving tremendous collective power to online communities – A power that can expose morally corrupt companies.


I would like to end on saying that ultimately, a business should not promote a moral culture simply out fear of social media or the online backlash – it should because it is the right thing to do: for the long-term prosperity of the business, as well as the wider society it operates in.


Thank you!

Andrei Rogobete

Andrei Rogobete is a Research Fellow with the Centre for Enterprise, Markets & Ethics. For more information about Andrei please click here.

Ethical business is good for society and for profit

Are values and profitability incompatible?


Values have taken a central role in the debate about how private companies ought to conduct business in the post-recession era.

The idea that businesses should go beyond the narrow measures of shareholder value maximization and embrace a wider role of a ‘responsible citizen’ that cares about the society it operates in, is certainly not a new one. The 16th to 18th centuries saw the Quakers establish household brands such as Barclays, Lloyds, Cadbury and Rowntree. They were successful precisely because ethical behavior and a deep understanding of their responsibilities were the foundation of how they conducted business. Far from hindering profit, these companies understood that responsible behavior actually increased profitability (for more on Quakers in business, please see here). In the post-recession era, the idea of a values driven company (whether encompassed within traditional models such as Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) or more recent development such as ‘B’ corporation certification) should therefore not be seen as simply an operational cost, or an add-on necessary only for PR purposes, but as a critical part of the long-term business plan.


But what exactly do we mean by Corporate Responsibility? Given the rather elusive nature of the concept we can easily find ourselves lost in the myriad of ideas that come to mind. However, CSR is effectively a management concept whereby companies integrate moral, social and environmental concerns in their business operations and interactions with stakeholders (adapted from the UN Industrial Development Organisation, 2015). By stakeholders we mean all actors that come into contact with the business itself, from internal stakeholders such as employees and owners, to external stakeholders such as customers, creditors, the government and so on. Ultimately, Corporate Social Responsibility is a business management strategy that holistically takes into account a company’s entire operational ecosystem.


From a more theoretical and rather traditional standpoint, one could argue that the odds are stacked against any significant CSR-related engagement. After all, it was Milton Friedman who famously claimed that “There is one and only one social responsibility of business — to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits so long as it stays within the rules of the game, which is to say, engages in open and free competition without deception or fraud.” (New York Times, 1970).


Most business schools around the world have adopted Friedman’s notions defining the purpose of enterprise solely in terms of ‘maximizing shareholder value’. We’ve heard this definition many times before and at least for the time being, it provides us with a clear purpose of what all private sector entities should ultimately be aiming for, i.e. making profit.


However, it is within this pursuit of profit that divisions begin to arise. The goal itself has an embedded sense of urgency that could (and has done in the past – prior to the financial crisis) compromise future returns in exchange for short-term gains. So at the very least the concern should be with long-term shareholder value. More importantly, how is shareholder value to be defined? Contrary to popular belief, Milton Friedman did believe that ‘CSR’-type expenditure such as local community investments, employee training or involvement in charitable activities are justifiable since they contribute to the long-run interests of a firm, whist also generating corporate goodwill (Hernandez-Murillo, 2014). It is therefore crucial that perception surrounding CSR or similar spending is changed from being seen as a cost, to an investment, a commitment to the medium and long-term goals of a company. Academics sometimes refer to this as ‘profit-maximising CSR’, whereby the firm’s ethically-driven activities are aligned with the firm’s self-interest (ibid). It ultimately leads to a win-win situation whereby both the firm, as well as the stakeholders gain from the strategy.



This leaves us with two questions that seek to answer CSR alignment on one hand, and real impact on the other. In other words: 1. Is the strategy aligned with the overall aims of the firm? And 2. Is it achieving the desired impact?


Nike, the shoe and sports clothing manufacturer is a perfect example of a CSR strategy that was not just limited to charitable donations or environmental issues, but was brilliantly in tune with the overall strategy of the firm.


Known as ‘NIKE +’, the company shifted its focus from promoting its products to helping its customers. “Instead of putting up another campaign of billboards with celebrities saying ‘buy our shoes’…NIKE + actually helps you become a better runner” (Levick, 2012). Through products such as the Nike FuelBand (a wristband which monitors your physical activity) and personalized customization through Nike iD, the firm is effectively trying to say “we care more about you and your personal fitness goals than we do about advertising our products”. This was a serious customer focused strategy which contributed – alongside the traditional CSR values type activity – to show the company strategically interested in aligning itself with the interests of its customers. Profitable too.


The result? Nike’s share price almost doubled over the last 24 months from $64 per share to $115 per share while its closes competitor Adidas, dropped from $84 to $64 over the same period of time. Of course, one could argue that there are other contributing factors to the success of Nike and apparent decline of Adidas, but the commitment and focus on a morally-guided strategy of placing the customer’s interests first have clearly paid off.


Values, corporate responsibility and profitability are not juxtaposed as alternatives – they are two parts of the whole. A concept such as CSR and its wide-ranging type of activities and approach to business should therefore not be seen as a cost, but a crucial part of the long-term business plan. As a strategy that holistically takes into account the entire business ecosystem and if aligned correctly, it can produce tremendous results indeed.


Andrei Rogobete

Andrei Rogobete is a Research Fellow with the Centre for Enterprise, Markets & Ethics. For more information about Andrei please click here.


Newsletter – Summer 2014

A message from the Director,

Quaker Capitalism and virtuous companies

I am fRichard%20Turnbullweb#1# (2)ascinated that in the early years of the industrial revolution some of the great businesses were established by Quakers – not least the first iron foundry established by Abraham Darby.

There were many others, Cadbury, Rowntree, Clarks’ Shoes, Barclays and Lloyds. Why was this so? The answer lies in some combination of moral integrity, culture, networks and spiritual commitment or purpose. I am not suggesting we all become Quakers but rather that there are lessons, both commercial and moral, which we could usefully learn. Later this year we will hold a day conference on this subject, considering the lessons for today, including debate around trust and corporate structure – join the mailing list, contact the office or watch the website for details!

Too often in our debates about enterprise, ethics and society we use ‘binary’ terms. So, for example, ‘profit’ is set up against ‘people’ or ‘competition’ against ‘fairness.’ However, these dichotomies (capital versus labour is another one) are invariably simplistic. Profit may also enable people to flourish, through the provision of goods and services as well as employment. Competition may increase fairness by allocating resources for consumers at lower prices and ensuring efficient production. The impact of enterprise in an economy cannot not be reduced to an ‘either-or’ but affects many people and their livelihoods, from entrepreneurs to consumers. The encouragement of enterprise is essential especially through what is usually termed the ‘supply-side’ of the economy. This means a fair reward for the entrepreneurs who take risks, encouragements to invest and to employ and taxation regimes that incentivise.

From an ethical perspective however the responsibilities extend more widely. Companies, large and small, have a significant impact on wider society. Do virtuous companies exist or just virtuous individuals? A virtuous enterprise might be described as one which not only behaves well or acts properly but which acknowledges and acts upon its wider role in society, even challenging that society itself in the direction of virtue. Companies and individual business people can have an enormous impact upon their local communities for the good. They can indeed act morally commercially, but also, through their actions they can, in a free economy and a free society, shape virtue itself, through service, philanthropy and example. However, to do so, they must be fashioned and led by moral individuals. Values are at the heart of both virtuous enterprises and individuals; the restoration of commercial trust will have direct commercial benefit but will also benefit society itself.

Research, publications, events

We are committed to a research agenda to think deeply about business, ethics and responsibility. As well as other
events on this page the future focus includes:

– A CEME publication on Quakers in Business.

– Autumn events (and publications) in London on the Social Value of Capital Markets and The contribution of Catholic thinking on the market.

– A Conference in London on Quaker Capitalism: lessons for today.

– Plans for a conference in 2015 on ‘Capitalism in the 21st Century’.


Restoring Ethics to Banking

We were joined, in January, by civic guests including the Lord Lieutenant for Oxfordshire and the Thames Valley Police Commissioner, together with over a hundred civic, university and business guests at Harris Manchester College to hear the Chief Executive of Barclays, Antony Jenkins, outline his vision for the restoration of trust. Antony detailed the challenge faced by Barclays, the problems of transforming the culture in an authentic way in such a large institution as well as genuine issues the bank still faces. Antony noted the importance of being a steward of the original vision of the bank’s Quaker founders. There followed an extensive time for questions – many topics from remuneration to lending to small businesses were covered – then dinner and a short response and vote of thanks from the Bishop of Oxford.

To view our latest research please click here.


Enterprise not Aid?

How can private equity and social venture capital be effectively harnessed in economic development? Dr Kim Tan will explore whether this approach is more effective than inter-government aid. Professor Alex Nicholls of the Said Business School and Penny Fowler of Oxfam will respond.

25th June 2014, Said Business School Oxford from 6pm. Places limited. Email office@theceme.org for invitation.

To view our latest Events and Picture Gallery click here.


The Ethics of Usury

A seminar in London heard the Revd Dr Ben Cooper reflect upon the teaching of the Old Testament on the charging of interest. He argued that in order to assist the poor it was not only permissible but essential to charge interest on loans particularly for investment rather than consumption. The availability of credit and wealth creation is essential to the relief of poverty.


Lord Shaftesbury: radical conservative? Lessons for social welfare today

A talk by the Director, sponsored by CCLA Investment Management Limited.

12th June 2014, 4.30pm – 7pm, London. Email office@theceme.org for details.


How can you help us?

We aim to both educate and transform. We seek to change opinion and make a practical difference. Our passion is for an effective, enterprise economy shaped by ethical values so that the world can be a better place.

We are an independent Centre, and rely entirely upon donations to fund our work.

In the UK donations can be sent payable to the Centre for Enterprise, Markets and Ethics, 31, Beaumont Street, Oxford OX1 2NP. We will supply a Gift Aid form and higher rate taxpayers can claim further relief via their tax returns

US citizens can send donations, payable to CAF America, for the benefit of ‘The Centre for Enterprise, Markets and Ethics’ (‘the CEME Fund’) to CAFAmerica, 1800 Diagonal Road, Suite 150, Alexandria, VA 22314 with the donor advice available from www.theceme.org or office@theceme.org. This is tax deductible.

Please advise us of any donation so we can thank you promptly and properly.

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