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Business as a Calling

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Why do we work so hard at our jobs, day after day? Why is a job well done important to us? We know there is more to a career than money and prestige, but what exactly do we mean by "fulfillment"? These are old but important questions. They belong with some newly discovered ones: Why are people in business more religious than the population as a whole? What do people of bus Why do we work so hard at our jobs, day after day? Why is a job well done important to us? We know there is more to a career than money and prestige, but what exactly do we mean by "fulfillment"? These are old but important questions. They belong with some newly discovered ones: Why are people in business more religious than the population as a whole? What do people of business know, and what do they do, that anchors their faith? In this ground-breaking and inspiring book, Michael Novak ties together these crucial questions by explaining the meaning of work as a vocation. Work should be more than just a job -- it should be a calling. This book explains an important part of our lives in a new way, and readers will instantly recognize themselves in its pages. A larger proportion than ever before of the world's Christians, Jews, and other peoples of faith are spending their working lives in business. Business is a profession worthy of a person's highest ideals and aspirations, fraught with moral possibilities both of great good and of great evil. Novak takes on agonizing problems, such as downsizing, the tradeoffs that must sometimes be faced between profits and human rights, and the pitfalls of philanthropy. He also examines the daily questions of how an honest day's work contributes to the good of many people, both close at hand and far away. Our work connects us with one another. It also makes possible the universal advance out of poverty, and it is an essential prerequisite of democracy and the institutions of civil society. This book is a spiritual feast, for everyone who wants to examine how to make a life through making a living.


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Why do we work so hard at our jobs, day after day? Why is a job well done important to us? We know there is more to a career than money and prestige, but what exactly do we mean by "fulfillment"? These are old but important questions. They belong with some newly discovered ones: Why are people in business more religious than the population as a whole? What do people of bus Why do we work so hard at our jobs, day after day? Why is a job well done important to us? We know there is more to a career than money and prestige, but what exactly do we mean by "fulfillment"? These are old but important questions. They belong with some newly discovered ones: Why are people in business more religious than the population as a whole? What do people of business know, and what do they do, that anchors their faith? In this ground-breaking and inspiring book, Michael Novak ties together these crucial questions by explaining the meaning of work as a vocation. Work should be more than just a job -- it should be a calling. This book explains an important part of our lives in a new way, and readers will instantly recognize themselves in its pages. A larger proportion than ever before of the world's Christians, Jews, and other peoples of faith are spending their working lives in business. Business is a profession worthy of a person's highest ideals and aspirations, fraught with moral possibilities both of great good and of great evil. Novak takes on agonizing problems, such as downsizing, the tradeoffs that must sometimes be faced between profits and human rights, and the pitfalls of philanthropy. He also examines the daily questions of how an honest day's work contributes to the good of many people, both close at hand and far away. Our work connects us with one another. It also makes possible the universal advance out of poverty, and it is an essential prerequisite of democracy and the institutions of civil society. This book is a spiritual feast, for everyone who wants to examine how to make a life through making a living.

30 review for Business as a Calling

  1. 5 out of 5

    Emily Bass

    I read this book as a part of an economics course in my undergrad school. Novak has some very thoughtful and logical insights into business ethics and I appreciated his theological viewpoints. He uses relatable analogies to tie concepts together. Some portions of the book do get long winded. Novak presents thinking processes that aim to break the typical viewpoint of men and women in business. Overall, it's an enjoyable book for what I thought was going to be an uneventful read.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Frank Kelly

    An important contribution to the discussion - which is, unfortunately, minuscule today - of why we actually work. Man was made to work. It is our role in life in order to have a life. And how we see our business, our daily work and how we interact with our co-workers is more critical today than ever. Why? Because as we all lament the collapse of society and core moral beliefs, the workplace is where we watch it all play out. Workplaces are increasingly places where we go to aspire and inspire. T An important contribution to the discussion - which is, unfortunately, minuscule today - of why we actually work. Man was made to work. It is our role in life in order to have a life. And how we see our business, our daily work and how we interact with our co-workers is more critical today than ever. Why? Because as we all lament the collapse of society and core moral beliefs, the workplace is where we watch it all play out. Workplaces are increasingly places where we go to aspire and inspire. They are where we pick up a paycheck and try to maneuver around the neurosis of various co-workers who cannot leave their screwed up family lives at home, where management has little or no ability - no, interest - in "leading", inspiring or giving of themselves to their employees. Novak's book, which was published in 1996, helps frame the issues and offers a thoughtful view of the relationship between economics, business and faith. Although some of the aspects of the book are clearly dated (and the shout-out to Enron crook Ken Lay is a bit of a shocker - but back then, who would have ever suspected) it is a very necessary read for those who wish to seek the truth of why we work and how we should work.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Hannah K

    A Great Message Supported by Good Research I read through this book with my Microeconomics class in University and it gives such a refreshing view of vocational business. By pointing out how business connects people and has the potential to create opportunities and eliminate poverty, Novak shows it is so much more than scandal and manipulation. Using examples like Andrew Carnegie, Kenneth Lay, and David Packard, there is a good balance of the positive and negative effects of Capitalism. Though so A Great Message Supported by Good Research I read through this book with my Microeconomics class in University and it gives such a refreshing view of vocational business. By pointing out how business connects people and has the potential to create opportunities and eliminate poverty, Novak shows it is so much more than scandal and manipulation. Using examples like Andrew Carnegie, Kenneth Lay, and David Packard, there is a good balance of the positive and negative effects of Capitalism. Though some sections are unnecessarily long and may be a bit dry in my opinion, Novak presents interesting business and theological insights. Overall, a great book for new generations of business professionals.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Brook

    I had never heard of Novak prior to a recent MBA course assignment, and I'm so glad I did. Very thoughtful insight that dabbles in a bit of everything. From philosophy, history and anthropology to theology, economics, and sociology, I found this to be a transversal read about a subject that requires study through many lenses.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Guy Mofley

    Can you get any deeper in thinking than Michael Novak? He is a master at twisting your brain around new ideas and putting fresh insights into old ones. I was very inspired to re-think my role in business as a calling. Something I have been aware of but not able to reconcile with some of my early views on "calling". Mr. Novak, as usual, did a great job of shaping my thoughts on the issue.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Don Bryant

    If you are in a "secular" vocation and searching to make sense of your calling that gives it a transcendent meaning, this is the book. I used this book in my college class "Living Issues." So I have read it many times and always find it compelling. It needs more use but probably has less traction because it is a not a Bible-chapter-and-verse kind of book.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Usman Chohan

    A manual on Entrepreneurship for the religiously- and spiritually-inspired. As Harvard Business Review (Oct 2013 Issue) has shown, entrepreneurs are more religiously inspired than society as a whole. This book, written in ┬▒1996, raises issues such as micro-financing, corporate social responsibility, and social enterprise well before they entered the common lexicon.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Don

    Talbot Course: Church and Society

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan

    None

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jim

  11. 5 out of 5

    Rodrigo Paredes

  12. 5 out of 5

    Dick

  13. 5 out of 5

    John

  14. 5 out of 5

    R

  15. 4 out of 5

    Marney

  16. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Adams

  17. 5 out of 5

    Blake Neal

  18. 4 out of 5

    Fausto

  19. 5 out of 5

    Josh Wood

  20. 4 out of 5

    Patricia

  21. 4 out of 5

    J

  22. 4 out of 5

    Brett

  23. 5 out of 5

    Nneka A Ekechukwu

  24. 4 out of 5

    Pyang

  25. 5 out of 5

    Stephen

  26. 5 out of 5

    Patrik Berinšter

  27. 4 out of 5

    Davis Johnson

  28. 5 out of 5

    Felicity

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ron Urwongse

  30. 5 out of 5

    Teguh

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