Sister Helen Elford: Business Can Succeed Only in a Successful Society

«Only in collaboration between the public and businesses, which will be built on the principles of human dignity ,can we get results that will have a positive effect both for the first and for the second Sister Helen Elford said during a discussion on the calling of business leaders and the social mission of businesses.

Thinking about the principles that should guide business, Sister Helen Elford, who is the head of the international research project Ethics and Social Responsibility, said that in today’s world one cannot build a successful business, when the society around it is unsuccessful. So in this case, business must also take responsibility for the social processes that take place around. The main core, which it has to use is the principle of human dignity and the common good. Thus, according to Sister Helen Elford, it must show efficient work, create sustainable wealth and distribute it rightfully so.

«One must work for a good cause or for results which not only the individual business owners or certain groups feel, but which are useful for many sectors of the population. And it can give a much better effect. And in business there is a lot of talk about this too. But here it was more supported by specific things that relate to our values​​,» said the head of the Lviv Business School Sophia Opatska.

However, entrepreneurship cannot hide behind charitable work when its work is guided by injustice principles toward employees and society.

«Charity must properly distribute wealth, and not be a mask to create a good reputation. Can a benefactor to society be someone one who does not pay adequate salaries to his employees or who evades taxes? Charity should be part of the overall picture of virtue,» summed up Sister Helen Elford.

As for social responsibility, Sister Helen also noted that the Catholic Church in its activities must think about how to assist businesses to serve and help the lower strata.

Ideas about the calling of business leaders to bring the current economic and financial world to the principles of human dignity and the common good, the Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome and advisor of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace Sister Helen Elford outlined in her book «The Vocation of Business Leaders,» the Ukrainian translation of which was presented for discussion.