Authenticity/لصحة as a Criterion Variable for Islam and Roman Catholic Theology of the Workplace Analysis

Charles T. Tackney, Imran Shah

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Purpose: Authenticity (as-sehah) serves as a criterion or predictor variable for the purpose of a comparative theological investigation of employment relations parameters in light of social teachings from Sunni Islam and Roman Catholicism. Authenticity finds initial, shared significance in both religious traditions because of its critically important role in judgments concerning the legitimacy of source documents. It also stands in both traditions as an inspirational goal for human life.
Design/methodology/approach: Particular issues of theological method for cross-cultural analysis are addressed by the use of insight-based critical realism as a transcultural foundation. Workplace parameters, the minimal enabling conditions for the possibility of authentic employment relations, are then identified and compared. The authors explore shared expectations for authenticity enabling conditions in terms of the direct and indirect employer: those national laws, systems and traditions that condition the functional range of authenticity that can be actualized within national or other work settings as experienced in the direct employment contract.
Findings: The study found remarkable consistency in the minimal conditions identified by Roman Catholic and Sunni Islam social teachings for the prospects of authenticity in employment relations. These conditions addressed seven parameters: work and the concept of labor; private property; the nature of the employment contract; unions and collective bargaining; the treatment of wages; the relationship between managerial prerogative and employee participation; and the crucial role of the state as indirect employer. Practical implications: Specific minimal or threshold conditions of employment are described to ensure the prospect for authenticity in modern employment relations according to religious traditions. These include just cause employment conditions, unions and collective bargaining support, some form of management consultation/Shura, a living wage and a consultative exercise of managerial prerogative.
Social implications: The study offers prescriptive and analytical aid to ensure assessment of circumstances fostering authenticity in employment relations.
Originality/value: The method and findings are a first effort to clarify thought and aid mutual understanding for inter-faith employment circumstances based on Roman Catholic and Sunni Islam social teachings through a transcultural foundation in cognitional operations. The criterion variable specification of authenticity conditions offers a fully developed basis to support further empirical research in management spirituality, corporate social responsibility and enterprise sustainability.
Translated title of the contributionAuthenticity as a criterion variable for Islam and Roman Catholic theology of the workplace analysis
Original languageEnglish
JournalManagement Research Review
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)907-932
Number of pages26
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Authenticity as a criterion variable in employment relations
  • Consultation/Shura in management practice
  • Management practice
  • Religion
  • Theology of the workplace

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