Theonomous business ethics

Payman Tajalli*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this paper I engage the theonomous ethics of Paul Tillich to argue that morality is a matter of conviction and concern not determination of right or wrong, and moral imperative is not about doing what "right" is, rather it is the self-actualisation of individual through her intersubjective relationships. The motivational force behind self-actualisation stems from the strength of one's hold on "ultimate concern", and not the content of "ultimate concern" that maybe referred to by various names including God. The ultimacy and unconditionality of "ultimate concern" gives morality its religious character and imperativeness. The paper suggests that business should provide an environment in which individual's moral motivational force can be strengthened through removal of the impediments that weaken one's hold on "ultimate concern".

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-73
Number of pages17
JournalPhilosophy of management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021


  • Business ethics
  • Existentialism
  • Paul Tillich
  • Theonomy
  • Ultimate concern
  • Moral motivation


Dive into the research topics of 'Theonomous business ethics'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this