But correlation does not necessarily mean causation. In a study for the US National Bureau of Economic Research, the economists Luigi Guiso, Paola Sapienza and Luigi Zingales looked at the relation between religious attitudes and social and economic values. Displaying one’s religion (and politics) at work and on ads is like wearing one’s underwear on the outside of one’s clothing. by Detlef Gürtlerillustrations by Olaf Hajek, Read more about the topic Whatever part Shintoism played in Japan's business boom – or didn't, as the case may be – it is still worth posing the question: Does religion matter? Far below average were the college degree quotas of Christian niche beliefs such as Baptists or Jehovah's Witnesses. It could well bring your business down. Depending on where you are operating, using religion can turn people away. Like it or not, religion can lead to acrimony. The team's research also showed that different religions have different effects on people's attitudes. So the difference between "paradise" and " nirvana" is more than just religious: A Buddhist conqueror would fight his battles not for his religion, but in spite of it. 1) In the United States religious organizations produce substantial economic revenue, provide substantial social capital through its civic and social networks, and foster human capital growth in its citizens. And they will purposely go out of their way to avoid companies … I couldn’t agree more about keeping businesses secular. The German sociologist argued that the Protestant work ethic was an important factor for the birth of capitalism in Northern Europe. There’s already a precedent set for religious discrimination, and for those who want to display their faith it isn’t good news. Filippo Fontana; Curious about the contents of our newest Think:Act magazine? You may think that you would never exclude anyone from working for your business because they don’t believe the same things do you. Sometimes you may decide that you want your products and services to include your religion. Economists Maristella Botticini and Zvi Eckstein are convinced that this had a major influence on Jewish economic and demographic history in the first millennium: "The Jewish farmers who invested in education gained the comparative advantage and incentive to enter skilled occupations during the urbanization in the Abbasid empire in the Near East and they did select themselves into these occupations." In the case of many companies, it’s simply easier to restrict all talk of politics and religion. In global business, religion is a key factor in how global teams work together, schedule meetings and more. Praying to God alone is unlikely to change the fortunes of your business, but the sense of purpose and other values embedded in various religions can be a dynamic, if not a spiritual, force for good – and they may even provide a competitive advantage. By definition, many people feel excluded if an organization is heavily Christian and they are not involved in that world. Florian Lang; A 2016 study by Pew Research Center on religion and education around the world saw Judaism in a strong lead (with more than 13 years of schooling on average) followed by Christians (nine years), Buddhists (eight years) and Muslims and Hindus (both with less than six years). There have been many instances of this actually working and small businesses having to pay out thousands. With education as an early indicator for economic trends, a shift of economic success is predictable: from predominantly Christian countries to regions with a high number of Buddhists and Hindus. 4 Business Lessons That Can Be Learned from Uber, 6 Reasons to Interview for a Job Every Year Even if You Are Happy With Your Current One, Image: Positioning: 5 Strategies to Stand Out From Your Competitors, Image: Key Activities and Your Business Model, Image: Key Personality Types That Work Well Together, Image: Reply Email Samples for Different Situations (Several Examples), Image: 10 Ways to Show Your Ability to Handle Pressure at Work. Start a Small Business: Here’s How! Observant Catholics support private ownership twice as much as Protestants, while Muslims and Hindus tend to be strongly against competition. Global thought leadership to help you navigate complexity, Subscribe today to our comprehensive Roland Berger highlights. Børge B. Bredenbekk; Your comment may not appear immediately. Frank Herfort / Institute; Our Partners, Matthias Buente and Peter Magunia, provide insights of the current hospital study and summarize key findings of the survey of 150 largest Swiss hospitals in a joint webinar. American clergy man and author Maltbie Babcock once said, “Business is religion, and religion is business. I believe that religion and spirituality is intensely personal and should be kept out of the workplace and marketing. What looks like heaven on earth when the beliefs of the workforce are homogenous can turn into a hell of a nightmare as soon as employees and/or management belong to different religions. I find it completely inappropriate and I steer clear of businesses that display religious beliefs, Bible verses, etc. So even if religion can be a driver of growth for smaller companies, it will be more like a limit of growth for bigger ones. The Muslim expansion all around the Mediterranean from the 7th to 9th century AD was mainly driven by religious zeal, just like the crusades of the Middle Ages or the conquests of South America in the 16th century: The Holy Cross of Santiago promised victory (not to mention gold) to the Spanish adventurers. Hiring someone based on religion, or making religion the dominant factor in a private business, is a roadblock to talent acquisition and can open you up to being sued. Martin Luther even favored schools for girls – an incredibly progressive idea for 16th-century Europe. Camille Kachani; Subscribe here to receive our Think:Act magazine and the latest news from Roland Berger. Martin Schoeller / August; It may be difficult to accept this, but if you want to put profit as your main driving force, it’s time to leave the religion at home and concentrate on getting things done. In business, religion can also be a dynamizing factor. In history, though, religion has not always settled for peaceful competition. There are many people with an extreme reaction against religion. "The expansionary element is not typical for all religions," says the German anthropologist Dieter Haller. And as merchants the Jews invested even more in education – literacy and numeracy are the key preconditions for building up trading networks. There are a lot of entrepreneurs who identify themselves with a religion – from the Catholic Brenninkmejier family running the C&A retail chain to Islamic banking or real estate agents with links to Scientology. This increase in diversity will definitely happen when a company starts to grow beyond the cultural sphere of its origin – and then it's too late to take religion, faith and/or mythology out of a company's DNA. "When institutional beliefs and individual beliefs are congruent, harmony is the resultant corporate climate," Pattanaik says. All Rights Reserved. Join over 100,000 of your peers and receive our weekly newsletter which features the top trends, news and expert analysis to help keep you ahead of the curve. He sees it as a feature of religions that define themselves as approaching an ideal or paradise, like Islam or Christianity: "This kind of teleologic or goal-driven thinking is dynamizing moral behavior and economic action. There is a thin line between harmony and polarization whenever religion enters into secular affairs. You may have thought that a limited liability company is a smart move and you want to bring your personal faith into the product. They could be part of the same religion and yet they still have great disagreements on certain issues. Religion does have the power to help and heal. Religious people trust others, the government and the legal system more, are less willing to break the law, and are more likely to believe that markets' outcomes are fair. 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