Business activities considerably affect the fate and survival of natural ecosystems as well as the life conditions of present and future generations. In the light of Hans Jonas' theory of responsibility we can state that business has a one-way, non-reciprocal duty caring for the beings affected by its functioning. To become a fully ethical enterprise, business is to be carried out in sustainable, pro-social and future enhancing ways. Doing ethical business is not a luxury of advanced societies. It is a requirement for modern business to survive in a world of large-scale ecological disruption and social disintegration.
The paper explores Buddhist economics as a major alternative to the Western economic mindset. Buddhism is centred on want negation and purification of the human character. Buddhist economics, developed by Schumacher, Payutto, Welford and others, challenges the basic principles of modern Western economics: (1) profit-maximisation, (2) cultivating desires, (3) introducing markets, (4) instrumental use of the world, and (5) self-interest-based ethics. Buddhist economics proposes alternative principles such as minimising suffering, simplifying desires, non-violence, genuine care, and generosity. It is suggested that Buddhist economics is not a system but a strategy, which can be applied in any economic setting.
The paper gives an interdisciplinary overview of the emerging field of spirituality and business. It uses insights from business ethics, theology, neuroscience, psychology, gender studies, and philosophy to economics, management, organizational science, and banking and refers to different religious convictions including Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, the Baha’i faith, and the North-American aboriginal worldview. The authors argue that the materialistic management paradigm has failed. They explore new values for post-materialistic management: frugality, deep ecology, trust, reciprocity, responsibility for future generations, and authenticity. Within this framework profit and growth are no longer ultimate aims but elements in a wider set of values. Similarly, cost-benefit calculations are no longer the essence of management but are part of a broader concept of wisdom in leadership. Spirit-driven businesses require intrinsic motivation for serving the common good and using holistic evaluation schemes for measuring success. The Palgrave Handbook of Business and Spirituality, edited by the authors, is a response to developments that simultaneously challenge the “business as usual” mindset.
Over the centuries, Buddhist monks applied economic models in the operations of their monasteries to make them sustainable while also observing Buddhist principles. The large variety of economic practices observed demonstrate the creativity of monastics in acquiring the resources to support their large monasteries in a way that was viewed as compatible with Buddhist ethics embodied in the Noble Eightfold Path. Researchers have analyzed the integration of faith-based and financially related monastic needs for different countries in different eras. The Buddhist economics approach as it has been developed in the last 40-50 years aims to create an alternative worldview that challenges the main underlying assumptions of Western economics. The mainstream Western economics model is originally based on the following assumptions: rational, selfish behavior; profit-maximization; competitive markets; and instrumental use of the environment. Buddhist economics is based on a different set of assumptions: dependent origination (“pratityasamutpada”), where people are interdependent with each other and with Earth; people are aware of enlightened self-interest based on interdependence and thus are altruistic; firms care about the well-being of workers, customers, shareholders, and community; and all activities include caring for the environment. With these assumptions, the Buddhist economic model has shared prosperity in a sustainable world with minimal suffering as its goal.
Authors:László Fésüs, Attila Zsolnai, István Anton and László Sáfár
The first results of the Hungarian sheep prion protein (PrP) genotyping programme are discussed in this paper. To obtain initial genotype frequency data 10 commercial (Hungarian Merino, German Mutton Merino, Merino Landschaf, German Blackheaded, Suffolk, Texel, Ile de France, Charollais, Lacaune, British Milksheep) and 4 indigenous (Gyimes Racka, Hortobágy Racka, Tsigaja, Cikta) breeds were sampled in 2003 and 2004, and the PrP genotypes were determined by microsequencing analysis with capillary electrophoresis. In all commercial breeds, a higher number of sheep were genotyped in 2005 (3648) and in 2006 (3834) within the breeding programme to increase scrapie resistance, and the estimated frequency data were compared to the initial figures to evaluate the efficiency of selection. The new developments arising from the identification of the so-called ‘atypical’ scrapie cases are also discussed.
Authors:Eszter Erika Balogh, György Gábor, Szilárd Bodó, László Rózsa, József Rátky, Attila Zsolnai and István Anton
The aim of this study was to reveal the effect of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) on the total number of piglets born (TNB), the litter weight born alive (LWA), the number of piglets born dead (NBD), the average litter weight on the 21st day (M21D) and the interval between litters (IBL). Genotypes were determined on a high-density Illumina Porcine SNP 60K BeadChip. Data screening and data identification were performed by a multi-locus mixed-model. Statistical analyses were carried out to find associations between individual genotypes of 290 Hungarian Large White sows and the investigated reproduction parameters. According to the analysis outcome, three SNPs were identified to be associated with TNB. These loci are located on chromosomes 1, 6 and 13 (−log10P = 6.0, 7.86 and 6.22, the frequencies of their minor alleles, MAF, were 0.298, 0.299 and 0.364, respectively). Two loci showed considerable association (−log10P = 10.35 and 10.46) with LWA on chromosomes 5 and X, the MAF were 0.425 and 0.446, respectively. Seven loci were found to be associated with NBD. These loci are located on chromosomes 5, 6, 13, 14, 15, 16 and 18 (−log10P = 10.95, 5.43, 8.29, 6.72, 6.81, 5.90, and 5.15, respectively). One locus showed association (−log10P = 5.62) with M21D on chromosome 1 (the MAF was 0.461). Another locus was found to be associated with IBL on chromosome 8 (−log10P = 7.56; the MAF was 0.438). The above-mentioned loci provide a straightforward possibility to assist selection by molecular tools and, consequently, to improve the competitiveness of the Hungarian Large White (HLW) breed.
Authors:István Anton, Katalin Kovács, László Fésüs, József Várhegyi, László Lehel, Zoltán Hajda, J. Polgár, Ferenc Szabó and Attila Zsolnai
The objective of this study was to estimate the effect of the thyroglobulin (TG) locus on beef quality traits in some beef cattle breeds and to investigate the effect of the DGAT1 locus on milk production traits in the Hungarian Holstein Friesian population. TG and DGAT1 genotypes were determined by polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) assay. At the TG locus TT bulls showed the highest fat percentage values in the longissimus dorsi muscle (m. longissimus dorsi); the difference between CC and TT genotypes was significant. DGAT1 GC/GC cows had the highest milk, fat and protein yield values. Due to the relatively small number of GC/GC cows the difference proved to be significant only between AA/AA and AA/GC genotypes.