Entrepreneurship and Prosperity Gospel. A Business and Corporate Ethical Perspective on Neo-Pentecostal/Charismatic Economy in Ghana
The research is exploratory in nature. It has seven Neo-Pentecostal/Charismatic churches, their pastors and their ancillary philanthropic and profit generating institutions such as educational setups and social service agencies as subject of study. The churches, all headquartered in the Accra metropolis of Ghana, include the International Central Gospel Church (ICGC), Lighthouse Chapel International (LCI), Royalhouse Chapel International (RCI), Action Chapel International (ACI), Perez Chapel International (PCI), Global Revival Ministries (GRM) and Harvest Chapel Ministries (HIM). Focusing on these churches as religious-economic enterprises and their pastoral agents and institutional managers both as entrepreneurs and as ethical leaders, the work will dedicate a special attention to internal entrepreneurial structures of the churches and their para-institutions and to the message of prosperity that serves as a success-factor in the NP/C religious-economy. Consequently, the work will rest on the three hinges of church economy, ethical concepts and ethical conduct.
In the project, I will seek to answer questions bordering on all that is entailed in Neo-Pentecostal/Charismatic (NP/C) entrepreneurship in Ghana and the ethical concepts contained in and produced by the economic message and activities of the churches. Postulating that NP/CCs do not only have normative ethics but likewise their own economic ethics, a central objective of the research is a pursuit of a Business and Corporate “Ethic” that could be viewed not only as springing out of the economic actions of the selected churches and their leaders – the so-called ethics of doing –, but also as specific and unique to Neo-Pentecostal/Charismatic Churches, so that one could speak of Neo-Pentecostal/Charismatic Business and Corporate Ethics.
As an empirical research that applies a mixed methodology, the work will rely on qualitative data sourced from interviews, literature and media content analysis and from diverse ethnographic studies including participatory observation and online ethnography. With the research towing the line of the so-called empirically informed ethics and with economic ethics boiling to the three core factors of honesty, persistency and consistency (cf. Boatright 2014, Tanner et al 2010), the work will use a quantitative tool to assess these three factors in the economic and ethical conduct of the churches, their pastors and para-institutional managers. Purpose of this is not to prove how ethical or unethical the economy of the churches is, but rather how robust and significant the discovered ethical concepts are in the entrepreneurship of churches in the NP/C domain.
With this work, I hope to contribute to scholarship on African Pentecostalism and Charismatics from Business and Corporate Ethical point of view, shedding light on the ethical motivation and challenges in Neo-Pentecostalism/Charismatics in Ghana today.
* Boatright, J. R. (2014). Ethics and the Conduct of Business (7th ed.). Essex: Pearson.
Tanner, C., Brügger, A., van Schie, S., & Lebherz, C. (2010). Actions speak louder than words: The benefits of ethical behaviors of leaders. Zeitschrift für Psychologie/Journal of Psychology, 218(4), 225-233.