"Leading by purpose?"



Elmar Nass (Kölner Hochschule für Katholische Theologie)


Ökonomischer Erfolg durch sinnstiftende Unternehmensführung unter theologisch-ethischem Anspruch


For some years now, the concept of “purpose” has been making a steep career in the corporate world. But the question of “purpose” also addresses a theological-anthropological topos. The PhD project "Leading by purpose?" is therefore intended to clarify the conceptual content of the "purpose" at the interface of business management logic and theological business ethics, and to investigate the relevance of the extent to which theological business ethics can be understood from an economic perspective.
Theology and ethics that are interested in people and the world in which they live thus make a contribution to the space of questions and discourse outlined above, not only applying (only) previous social doctrine in a new way, but also – and this is the innovative aspect of this doctoral thesis – dealing with the anthropological, fundamental theological and ethical foundations and phenomena of current transformation processes in a completely new way and bringing their genuine theological categories of thought into the discourse. In this line of thought, the economic logic of purpose forms the framework that, through theological plausibility checks and continuation as bridgework, leads to a critical synthesis of successful purpose formation, which promises economic success through meaningful management under theological and ethical standards.
Thus, for example, under the above-described problem, virulent aspects and new postulates of meaning and value of human work, of fulfillment and happiness in working life, of self-realization and one's own failure, of freedom, of recognition and intersubjectivity, of responsibility for oneself and others, of trust could be analyzed, critically deconstructed if necessary, and theologically plausibilised and contextualised. In doing so, the implicit theological-ethical requirements are to be translated into the business discourse and the importance of a methodically broad and complementary approach becomes apparent in order to ensure the relevance of ethical and the success of economic perspectives on the purpose of a company.