The European Business Review

LITERATURE and its Role in the Cultivation of Ethics in the Business Environment

Literature is, by and large, invaluable in one’s understanding of human nature and the world in general. It serves as a gateway to events of the past and an instrument to grasp different views of reality and to connect with our own humanity. But how can literature help in the cultivation of ethics in the business environment?

In 1957, Russell Kirk wrote, “I mean that American businessmen, like most other Americans, are deficient in the disciplines that nurture the spirit.” A lack of engagement with the humanities – “that great body of literature that records the wisdom of the ages, and in recording it instructs us in the nature of man” – has dire consequences not only for the individual, but for the business he so values.

Engaging great works of literature has instrumental and intrinsic values for those who choose to engage. Engagement with great thoughts and great characters involved in great events shape the

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