Practical Wisdom in Management

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Practical Wisdom in Management

Business Across Spiritual Traditions

Practical Wisdom in Management is the first in-depth case-study book to explore how practical wisdom from spiritual and philosophical traditions inspires corporate culture and leadership. The outcome of the Practical Wisdom Initiative, between The Academy of Business in Society (ABIS) and Yale University Center for Faith and Culture, it seeks to construct a bridge between the worlds of management and the spiritual and philosophical traditions.

Covering ten major worldwide religions, Theodore Malloch provides an overview of the practical wisdom of the major faith traditions for management. It includes case studies of over twenty multinational corporations focusing on their values, spiritual inspiration and business strategy. It features case studies on corporations including:

Ascension Health; Michelin; DANONE Group, Walmart; TOMS; Marriott; HSBC; Four Seasons; Guangzhou Eversunny Trading and Toyota.

It is essential reading for business leaders, researchers and students of business ethics and spirituality courses and includes full teaching guidance.

This book is a classic. Ted Malloch does a masterful job in helping the reader to understand the important role of faith in the leadership and operation of a successful business and also the necessity of "spiritual capital" for a healthy market.

Bill Pollard, former Chairman, ServiceMaster

Not since Adam Smith himself have we witnessed so forceful a treatment on the linkage between the economy and moral reasoning as we find in Malloch’s Practical Wisdom case studies.

Nicholas Capaldi, Distinguished Professor of Business Ethics, Loyola University, New Orleans

Ted Malloch shows how, through the lenses of the world's spiritual traditions, businesses can acquire a clearer picture of the world they operate in, resulting in more sustainable corporate practices both financially and ethically. This is practical wisdom in action!

Prof. Dr Claus Dierksmeier, Academic Director, Humanistic Management Center; Director, Global Ethic Institute

I consider [this] book an important first courageous exploration and an invitation for further study of these corporate cultures rooted in integrity. 

Gilbert Lenssen, President, The Academy of Business in Society (ABIS)

The owl of wisdom takes flight in this book. Malloch provides an entire framework for the values and virtues of a good corporation.

Don Soderquist, former Chairman, Walmart

If human beings are more than matter, spirituality may be a key to understanding personhood. But how business can harness the practical wisdom inspired by spirituality has barely been explored. This book makes a start and demonstrates the importance of the human spirit to thriving workplaces.

Dr Peter S Heslam, Director of Transforming Business, University of Cambridge, and of the Entrepreneurial Leadership Initiative, University of Oxford

Self-control, corporate discipline and virtue are the conditions sine qua non for capitalism. This book articulates these and provides detailed case examples from which we can all learn.

Marv Kosters, Director of Research, American Enterprise Institute

I have never seen a better outline of the social and spiritual factors responsible for stewardship of the modern political economy and its main agent, the corporation, as presented in this book.

Dr Luder Whitlock, Chairman, The Trinity Forum

If corporations have souls or spirited characters, they can now, on the foundations of this book, find spiritual grounding and practical wisdom.

Dr David W. Miller, Executive Director, Princeton University, Faith and Work Initiative

Dr Malloch’s book takes a deep look at types of capital which heretofore have not received much attention. It is well written and raises issues other educators and businesspersons would do well to address. A worthwhile read.

Ken Eldred, President, Living Stones Foundation

For decades, the message prevailed that in modern times "moral sentiments" are to be replaced by government regulations, compliance management and incentive schemes: It's the institutions, stupid! Malloch in a lively fashion shows where we got with such an approach. We destroyed self-regulating civic forces including their esteem for virtues and practical wisdom. Let's revamp the corporate culture so that the tears resulting from that cultural experiment are not shed in vain! Read these cases of wise companies.

André Habisch, Catholic University Business School, Ingolstadt

Malloch paints a vivid picture of traditionally prudent companies and markets. These companies are not characterized by a web of conflicts of interest that undermine internal controls, accurate ratings, ethics and regulatory oversight. Beyond describing a cast of characters who are exemplars, they offer hope by providing compelling suggestions for restoring virtue to companies and the global markets.

Mitchell J. Neubert, Chavanne Chair of Christian Ethics in Business; Associate Professor of Management and Entrepreneurship, Hankamer School of Business, Baylor University, Texas

Gilbert Lessen, President, Academy of Business in Society




1. Ascension Health

2. Michelin

3. DANONE Group


4. ServiceMaster

5. Johnson & Johnson

6. Walmart

7. Herman Miller

8. TOMS Shoes

9. Cummins

10. Marriott

11. HSBC

12. Habitat for Humanity


13. Four Seasons


14. Guangzhou Eversunny Trading Company


15. Grameen Bank

16. National Bank of Kuwait


17. Whole Foods Market


18. Toyota Motor co.


19. Infosys


20. Tata Group


21. Kraft

22. Timberland


About the author


THEODORE ROOSEVELT MALLOCH is Research Professor at Yale University and Professor at Saïd Business School, Oxford University. He has served on the executive board of the World Economic Forum. 

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