Ralph D. Winter observes:
Every society needs many basic functions and services. They need a banking system. They need fully reliable channels of raw materials and finished products. Curiously, they need guidance in the production of many things they have never seen and for which they can see no use…Yet in all of this there is absolutely no substitute for honesty and reliability. Honesty is so rare that the absence of integrity alone is the chief drag in many societies. There will always be room for integrity and good will, for the one who keeps his word (2005, 113-14).
Thanks to all our contributing authors who represent university academia, scholars and practitioners in international development, with each presenting a unique perspective from his/her area of expertise and research, thus adding to our understanding of transformational business in international development. In this issue on Transformational Business, we have included articles representing both biblical/theological reflections of how business brings transformation of lives within the kingdom framework and contextual case studies of church/community based business, including research in contextual business leadership dynamics.
Tom Steffen, Professor Emeritus of Intercultural Studies of Biola University, examines the lives of seven biblical figures in an attempt to define the interrelationship between the Great Commission and the Great Commandment found in both Testaments,” thus providing guidelines for the Great Commission companies.
Brian Albright, Associate Professor in the College of Business and Management at Hope International University, uncovers business leadership dynamics through his case studies of faith-based business leaders in Sub-Saharan Africa and addresses important issues concerning the relationship between spiritual and social goals in business.
Young Kook Park, WCIU Ph.D. associate, seeks to establish a biblical foundation for BAM that, he thinks, is important for holistic cross-cultural ministry.
Alvin Mbola, lead consultant of Micro Finance and Livelihoods at Kileleni Africa Limited, recognizes the failure of many current microfinance models to “appreciate the complex relationship that exists between men and women within the household,” which often results in “power and financial conflicts within households thus jeopardizing the well-intended goals of microfinance.” Through cross-section studies of five microfinance organizations in Kibera slums, Alvin identifies “disempowerment components” of women in the household that requires a “reconciliation based model” to serve as a warranty for the empowerment of financial wellbeing and gender equitability.
Norman Soo, WCIU Ph.D. associate, contributes a reflection in Chinese on the interrelationship of faith and personality factors of decision-makers to transformational business. He highlights the faith factor in business leadership as essential to the vitality of transformational business.
We are also republishing an article written by the late Dr. Ralph D. Winter, founding president of William Carey International University, in which he addresses the issue of business in international development: “When Both Business and Mission Fall Short.”
As always, you are welcome to join the dialogue, discussion, and debate through commenting on the articles and blog postings, and sharing insights on your own social networks.
Winter, Ralph D. 2005. “When Business Can Be Mission: Where Both Business and Mission Fall Short.” IJFM 22:3, 110-17.
Read the whole issue here.