Tone-at-the-Top Lessons from Abrahamic Justice

47 Pages Posted: 20 Nov 2015 Last revised: 4 May 2017

See all articles by Dov Fischer

Dov Fischer

Brooklyn College, Murray Koppelman School of Business

Hershey H. Friedman

City University of New York - Department of Business Management

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Date Written: April 26, 2017

Abstract

Abraham’s “leadership by example” provides a template for business leaders to implement a tone at the top based on a balance of Tzedek (righteousness) and Mishpat (legal judgement). The former expresses the generosity of spirit required of leaders, while the latter expresses the sound judgement in conformity with both ethics and enacted law. We relate the two constructs to several contemporary theories of justice and jurisprudence. We also relate the development of Abrahamic Justice in the Jewish tradition from antiquity through Maimonides in the middle ages. We draw insight from this tradition to answer a contemporary business ethics question: Do corporate managers violate their fiduciary duty to shareholders if they refuse to engage in legal tax avoidance?

Keywords: Abrahamic Justice, civil religion, corporate tax avoidance, distributive justice, integrated reporting, justice as fairness, Maimonides, spirit of the law

JEL Classification: M14

Suggested Citation

Fischer, Dov and Friedman, Hershey H., Tone-at-the-Top Lessons from Abrahamic Justice (April 26, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2692363 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2692363

Dov Fischer (Contact Author)

Brooklyn College, Murray Koppelman School of Business ( email )

2900 Bedford Avenue
Brooklyn, NY NY - New York 11210
United States

Hershey H. Friedman

City University of New York - Department of Business Management ( email )

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