It would be hard to say that the Bible really influences business ethics unless the business owner is believer in the Christian faith. While there are certain societal influences that may get their origins from the Bible, in today’s business world, ethics are much more governed by concerns about how improper conduct would be bad for business and alienate customers.
The Bible has been considered the foundation of American culture. However, it might be hard to prove that this is still the case at this point in American society. With the separation of church and state being brought to the forefront more and more, situational ethics probably are having a greater influence on business ethics than scripture. That would seem to be true of any book considered holy by its proponents, not just the Bible.
The Bible has a considerable amount to say about interest on loans, but this has not stopped modern lending institutions from raising credit card rates above the 30% mark. It makes significant statements about being fair with weights and measures, but companies work hard to make it appear that they have not reduced the amount of product that they are selling you. This is done with creative packaging. A one pound can of coffee still looks about the same size, but inside it will only have from 12 to 14 ounces of coffee. This holds true for candy and many other goods in cans and packages.
The Bible discusses sex and lust to great length encouraging modesty and chastity. However, the vast majority of advertisements not only use sex to sell a product, would also seem to say that lust and sex with someone other than a spouse is the way to live. It does not take a genius to realize that this type of advertising is a mockery of the commandment against adultery.
Greed is considered one of the seven deadly sins. Yet, the American business model of capitalism only really works because of greed. For over two centuries, greed has been the unseen hand that guides the U. S. economy. Without it, our economic system would collapse.
This greed has caused many businesses to defraud investors, customers, and employees. Executives have spent time in jail because of this fraud and various other forms of manifested greed, such as, income tax evasion.
When businesses perform according to any type of biblical ethics, it is always because they believe that to do so would be detrimental to business. Even most so-called Christian businesses have problems adhering to the ethics of the Bible when a profit is to be made. Many such businessmen have been heard to say that religion and business do not mix.