Handbook of Research on Islamic Business Ethics
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Handbook of Research on Islamic Business Ethics

Edited by Abbas J. Ali

The complex relationship between society and business is vividly captured by ethical standards and obligations. This is especially pertinent in the Islamic world, where religion plays a key role in both social and commercial interactions. Many people see the presence or absence of ethical commitments as an indicator of whether business actors uphold their social responsibilities, and there is an increasing recognition of the significance of ethical value for business. This Handbook explores the interweaving relationship between Islamic business ethics and the market, and examines the critical role that ethics can play in ensuring that business thrives. By offering theoretical perspectives on research it goes beyond the conventional treatment of Islamic ethics, and asks what is important for the various market and social actors in the business world to behave in a morally responsible manner.
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Chapter 4: Religion, virtuous conduct, justice, vocation and the ethics of hard work: a descriptive view of Islamic sociocultural systems and economics

Hasan Shahpari and Tahereh Alavi Hojjat


Contemporary attentiveness of social scientists to the organization of work, structure of value and economy can be traced back to Max Weber whose interest included, among other issues, the role of work ethics in society. Essentially, Weber’s essay on ancient Chinese, Indian and Jewish religions entitled ‘The Economic Ethics of World Religions’ can direct us to the intersection between religion and economics or multiple forms of religion, family and work. Weber’s initial interest in the influence of the Protestant ethic on economic activities was influenced by his challenge of Marxian views. Bendix, in his exposition of Weber’s works (1977), noticed that Weber shifted away from this emphasis because some religious beliefs are indifferent to economic activities or discourage them. However, all religions endeavor to give ethical guidance to the worldly activities of their followers, whether or not that guidance includes an explicit ‘economic ethic’ (Bendix, 1977, p._257). The Weberian standpoint on the connection as well as the intersection of religion and economy is an archaic subject to the contemporary individual of a business school. Influenced by the concept of division of labor, religious topics are expected to be confined to the territory of the department of religious studies, just as history belongs to the department of history and business to the school of business.

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