The Distinctive Vocation of Business Education in Catholic Universities


Ethics and Business Law, Veritas Institute

Date of this version


Document Type



business education, Catholic social teaching, ethics, faith and culture in academia, mission and identity, culture of materialism


Catholic business schools need a process to shape their operations intentionally in light of the Catholic moral tradition. Recent developments in Catholic health care suggest a model they might follow. This model uses a method known as the Self-Assessment and Improvement Process (SAIP), which helps leaders deploy moral principles within organizations. The SAIP method builds on lessons drawn from total quality management to extend a longstanding moral discipline— the examination of conscience—from the realm of the individual to that of an institution. This article outlines an SAIP-based assessment process for Catholic business schools. The process identifies salient intersections between key leadership tasks and Catholic social principles, and enables leaders in Catholic business education to examine how well these principles have been integrated within their school’s operating policies and processes. The assessment helps Catholic business schools grow into their vocation over time and promotes greater accountability for this development.

Published in

Journal of Catholic Higher Education

Citation/Other Information

Goodpaster, Kenneth E. and T. Dean Maines. 2012. "The Distinctive Vocation of Business Education in Catholic Universities." Journal of Catholic Higher Education (31) 2. 193-212.

A version of this article was presented as a paper at the 8th International Symposium on Catholic Social Thought and Management Education: Renewing Mission and Identity in Catholic Business Education, held June 18-20, 2012 at the University of Dayton, Dayton, OH.


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