Journal of Undergraduate Research


religious principles, stakeholder perspective, natural union


Marriott School of Management




The purpose of this research is to provide moral (normative) underpinnings for a stakeholder perspective of business management through the consideration of commonly-followed Christian religious principles. Religious principles are a rich and pervasive source of normative values, but in the corporate world moral values have long been ignored or subordinated—leading to what scholars have called the “divided life”, embracing moral imperatives outside the workplace while ignoring them within (Naughton & Alford, 2012). Ghoshal (2006) criticized this mindset, blaming it’s propagation on a view of management inspired by “amoral theories…[thus freeing individuals] from any sense of moral responsibility” (p.76). The traditional normative theory of the firm argues that managers should focus solely on shareholder value when making decisions. Stakeholder theory, on the other hand, broadens the interests of a firm, instructing management to consider all groups or people that affect or are affected by a firm (Freeman, 1984)—though primary stakeholders (i.e. those with the most risk—employees, customers, local communities) are of most relevance. Thus we set out to analyze the congruence between each perspective (i.e. shareholder, stakeholder) and ten common Christian principles.