The following is contributed by a B4Ter in the Middle East.

In his book, “Prosperity”, Colin Mayer gives a high compliment to the Quakers. Did you know that the Quakers introduced the concept of fixed-price contracts? Prior to their influence, business everywhere was conducted by haggling. You may think it is fun to haggle in a bazaar or a souk if you live in the Middle East, but you certainly wouldn’t enjoy finding out that you paid more for the same household item at IKEA than your friend.

The Quakers instituted this practice because they believed that all men were equal in the sight of God. Their theology bled into their workplace practices. Because all men are equal in the sight of God, they reasoned, all men should be treated equally in the market place. Among the other practices they invented from their beliefs about God, they made a considerable impact on the world. Yet, they still valued making a profit and growing their ventures. These things don’t have to be at odds, but they understood when it was time to maximize profit and when it was time to maximize the wellbeing of stakeholders.