Most people work in the private sector, and specifically for a business enterprise of some sort. When we think about workplace renewal, we should consider issues pertaining to work within business enterprises.
To be clear, when we speak of business we mean the creative process that is for the purpose of producing and delivering products and services that can be profitably exchanged with others in the marketplace. This is quite different from, for example, using political or family influence with governments to control resources and capture subsidies, or using social coercion to maintain a privileged economic position. It is business enterprise in the creative, value producing sense that has enabled people to find their way out of poverty and to generally improve their conditions.
We see four key points that need to be made in this regard. Each has at least an indirect impact on the possibility of workplace spiritual renewal in that they effective the vibrancy of the workplace and work culture and the attitude with which we approach our work lives.
1) Appreciating the value of work, especially that done within enterprises.
We believe that it is important for people to develop an appreciation for the work that they are doing, especially from a spiritual or theological perspective. To assist with this, we invite the reader to explore the Your Work as a Calling and the Markets, Enterprise, and Poverty pages.
2) The importance of economic freedom for human flourishing.
We will leave it to others to make the case for economic freedom as a cornerstone for economic well being for most people. We think the issue involves more than prosperity. Economic and other forms of freedom tend to enable people to live fuller, more satisfying lives as they are allowed to pursue their personal goals and let their creative potential flower.
3) The contribution of moral values to collaborative relationships.
Success in business and most other vocations relies heavily on collaboration and on strong collaborative relationships, which in turn depend on strong moral values. People do not want to work with people who they cannot trust; it is hard to form good working relationships if there is not at least some mutual goo will. Moreover, courage, patience, and other hard earned values contribute to the effectiveness of working relationships.
4) Entrepreneurship as a key social justice issue.
One of the tragedies of our time is represented by the restrictions (often well meaning) placed on would be entrepreneurs among the poor and the unemployed. There are many potential businesses that have been placed off limits to the small entrepreneur by regulations and other restrictions. In the face systemic unemployment and economic stagnation, government policies have made it harder for people to support themselves independently of the state and the corporations. For examples, we refer the reader to the work done by the Institute for Justice.