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THRESHOLD/21st CENTURY

"... show me how to go"

(PART 1)

From the April 1991 issue of The Christian Science Journal


How would you describe the role of business in the late twentieth century? Over a period of five or six years, in the organization of which I am chief executive, we have been giving serious consideration to "What is the role of business?" That is, of course, particularly relevant in the South African context, where very aggressive management of businesses toward the single goal of maximizing the bottom-line profit seems to bear very little relevance to the critical needs of the South African community. And so we were challenged: If the role of business isn't solely the maximization of the bottom-line profit, then what is it? About five years ago we came to the relatively easy conclusion—relatively easy, that is, from the standpoint of Biblical priorities— that the role of business is actually the management of the resources of that business in the service of the community, either by the production of products or by the delivery of services which are useful to that community.