Business Professor Publishes Book on New Management Model | Benedictine College

Business Professor Publishes Book on New Management Model

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Benedictine College announces the release of a new business management book entitled, Nothing is Free – The Price Only Business Leaders Can Pay to Protect Free Markets, authored by Dave Geenens, Director of the College’s School of Business. The hard-cover version of the book (ISBN #978-0-9768210-2-1) will be available beginning on September 1, 2014, on and retails for $24.95.

“The core premise of the book is that the level of government intervention into a free market is inversely proportional to the level of virtue practiced in business,” Geenens said. “The more virtue practiced in business, the less likely government is to intervene and damage the rule of law and restrict liberty.”

Geenens began work on the book after reading Pope Benedict XVI’s Encyclical, Caritas en Veritate, in which the pontiff called for a “profoundly new way of understanding the business enterprise.” Geenens’ response is this book, in which he develops a new model for understanding and doing business that connects the dots between virtue and value creation, while protecting free markets. 

According to Geenens, a fundamental prerequisite for a free market economy is a moral filter through which to respect human dignity and serve the common good.  Yet entrenched management practices of publically-traded companies, in particular, focusing primarily on shareholder returns and stock prices, render this prerequisite nearly invisible.

“Catholic social teaching is very clear about expectations of business leaders and those responsible for the financial markets, though many business leaders fear the implication of having to compete in a free market with a ‘soft’ approach to business and management,” he said.

In Nothing is Free, Geenens develops and illustrates a Virtues-Centered Business Model in which the choice to practice virtue is the catalyst for increased value creation.  By connecting the dots between the practice of virtue and increased value creation and competitive advantage, he mitigates the fear of those who know virtue is important to management practice, but fail to act on their belief because the practice of virtue is hard to reconcile with the singular focus of maximizing shareholder wealth. 

Nothing is Free tells the story of Rebecca Morton, CEO of Cupcakes and Coffee, Inc., who takes her company public, only to feel the intense pressure that comes from a declining stock price and the reality of facing her pre-conceived notions about the purpose of business.  She meets an unlikely person who becomes her confidant and assists her on her journey of discovery that yields an entirely new way to think about business and business leadership.  The realistic fiction genre is easy and entertaining to read, though it has as its core detailed footnote references to Catholic documents so the reader, if they so desire, can read for themselves the instruction of the Church as it relates to business, business leaders, and free markets.

Patrick Lencioni, renowned management consultant and author of The Advantage and The Five Dysfunctions of a Team endorsed the book sharing, “Dave Geenens has done something amazing by combining business, ethics, and political theory into one fascinating story.  Every leader, and certainly those interested in Jesus, will be impacted deeply by this book.”

Gary Hamel, noted author of The Future of Management, notes, “What ultimately constrains the performance of your organization is not its operating model, nor its business model, but its management model.”  Geenens hopes the model and truths presented in this book will provide a fresh look at management that invites virtue into business leadership, increases value creation, while protecting the benefits of a free market.

Andreas Widmer, author of The Pope & The CEO, states in the Foreword for Nothing is Free, “I am confident that reading this book will leave you more self-aware, intentional and effective as a business leader and as a human being.”

Founded in 1858, Benedictine College is a Catholic, Benedictine, residential, liberal arts college located on the bluffs above the Missouri River in Atchison, Kansas.  The school is proud to have been named one of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report as well as one of the top Catholic colleges in the nation by First Things magazine and the Newman Guide.  It prides itself on outstanding academics, extraordinary faith life, strong athletic programs, and an exceptional sense of community and belonging.  It has a mission to educate men and women within a community of faith and scholarship.