A Better Way to Think About Business Ethics: How Personal Integrity Leads to Corporate Success by Robert C. Solomon presents an argument for a better way to think about business by the extensive application of Myths and metaphors in the best way possible. This piece of work by Solomon has been lauded in the business field as one the best in the analysis of the role of ethical practice in the success of an organization. Solomon intricately employs the combination of myths and metaphor within business to produce one the best works on the critical analysis of ethics.
In this powerful work, Solomon introduces myths and metaphor by illustrating the role of these two figurative languages in various fields of study such as physics, law and politics. The five myths and metaphors that have been extensively used by Solomon in this work include the metaphor of Mayhem, Vision and Civility, Better Fear than Love, the myth of Entrepreneur, the myth of Profit Motive and the Language of Dehumanization (Solomon, 1999). Through marketing, Solomon has explored these metaphors in the demonstration of deep understanding of ethical perspectives in the murky world of business. In the Language of Dehumanization, the author insists that that achieve meaning and identity, the critical factor is to separate money from the core business and eliminate it as a consideration. The language of dehumanization defines a list of issues that have been operative in business but have been eclipsed by the human desire to make money. Solomon sympathizes with individuals who cannot see the critical point of working except for the reason to make money. The point is that all the activities they are involved in their entire work life are then useless and meaningless.
The sad truth which is at the same time a fact on how not to think about business is that the image of materialistic selfishness eclipses the many positive virtues in business and business people. These positive virtues include their pride in products and services, there relationships with their co workers and customers and their dedication to their work (Solomon, 2010). The Language of Dehumanization in business one metaphor on how not to think about business in that whole process as described by Solomon is “art of the deal” is what is celebrated, as opposed to the efforts in the production and distribution of quality products which at times ate lifesaving (Solomon, 1999). The all talk about money in business is dehumanizing. Whereas Solomon insists that business is an exemplary activity that encompasses mutual and genuine needs, desires and demands, the whole talk about money leaves out the critical components of personal attachments and obligations. This then gives great attention to our financial dealings that form the pillars of our lives. The danger of dehumanizing business is that we fall into a trap of dehumanizing policies, strategies and institutions in business.
The second Metaphor, Better Fear than Love describes the rough world of business environment that demands more than resilience. Solomon describes the whole world as unfair, rough, under which only the ruthless can have the tenacity to survive. In describing as a brilliant consultant, there is the caution that people would do best with what they want to hear and can practically put to good use. The Machiavellian ideologies were later replaced by Aristotle conception of Honorable statesman that melded ethics and politics (Benjamin, 2007 and Burnes, 2009). Solomon therefore explores the metaphor better fear than love and relates it to the corrupt Italian empire at the time of great development and expansion by other European nations. In this respect, Solomon intones a better way to think about business must encompass ore fear than love in business field.
The myth of Entrepreneur is projected by Solomon as virtues that are critical to the success in business. Within this Myth, Solomon maintains that ethics is paramount for long term business survival and success of an individual. One of the reasons is that ethics of character requires so much defense and explanation in entrepreneurship in the modern days and in the words of Solomon seem to be of great concern and constitutes traits considered as critical virtues or vices in business. In the analysis of this metaphor, Roth (2003)intones that “in keeping with his conviction that virtue and profit must thrive together, Solomon both examines the ways in which deficient values actually destroy businesses, and debunks the pervasive myths that encourage unethical business practices.” Solomon therefore projects the point that an entrepreneurial mindset refers to aspire and devise the organizational setup by introducing a ground-breaking business approach as a trademark in the market.
In philosophical business sense existentialism, axiology, pragmatism, and ethics are the key magnets that influence the nurture of entity’s persona and establish the organizational behavioral and management structure (McNamara, 2008 and Koter, 1996). However, in today’s ingenious and methodical business era the achievement of standard business environment and market standing is not only hard, but in some cases impossible for an un-resourceful business approach. Therefore, the entrepreneurial psychology refers to the psychological study of the current business practice its implementation and making the business according to the most appropriate business concepts and current business practices and ethics (DuBrin, 2004). A better way to think about business ethics is to underline the myth of the entrepreneurial.
Solomon insists that the myth of Profit Motive has remained the major driving engines of all business. To achieve a perfect balance between the Myth of Profit Motive and think better about business, a business man must embrace the catalogue of business virtues. For the Myth of Profit Motive, it is paramount that a businessman understands the discipline of business psychology which provides valuable knowledge and insights that assist business managers in the understanding of people’s behavior in business. As projected by Solomon, such knowledge equips a business manager with relevant information in regard to human behavior when faced with challenges in business and management context. The psychological understanding of different personality traits has the capacity to affect the workplace because some differences can be perceived by other employees as negative and thus cause discomfort to others. This would not only affect the spiritual culture of the organization but may also affect the primary collective responsibility and team work within the organization that would eventually weight down on the motive of profit (Benjamin, 2007).
Last, the metaphor of Mayhem, Vision and Civility is geared towards the understanding that business must have a vision; for the vision to be realized, business man must wade through the mayhem of business environment and arm himself with the ethical sense of civility. According to Solomon, Competition has gone global and the market and industry dynamics have necessitated the need for companies to make concerted efforts streamlined towards ensuring that high quality goods and services are offered in the market at competitive prices. This has resulted in the adoption and implementation of several tools and strategies geared towards the aforementioned goals attainment (Anderson & Anderson, 2001). One of the strategies that have been soundly embraced by a multitude of companies is the adoption of high ethical standards within the operational culture of most organizations that have lead to a paradigm shift towards best codes of conduct and ethics. The myth of Mayhem and civility has thus expounded on the rush to entrench ethical standards within the culture of business while at the same time manage the mayhem of the business environment.
Solomon presents a long list of virtues that are critical to the performance of business. The three most pivotal business virtues in my analysis of the work of Solomon include charisma, determination and ambition. I believe charisma forms a critical success virtue in business because a business leader must have the capacity to influence others in taking a positive view that supports his stand in business management. This is critical in the areas on dealing with change and change management that have been known to form part of parcel of daily management activities in business (Haberberg & Rieple, 2008). Solomon therefore presents charisma as a critical virtue and reinforces its importance by charisma has the capacity to enhance and solidify the relationships between the management and the employees.
Potavin (2006) describes a true leader as one who maintains an uncompromising adherence to an internalized, but otherwise generally accepted code of moral values; who adheres to utter sincerity, honesty, and candor in all communication; and who avoids deception, expediency, artificiality, or shallowness of any kind in all situations . In addition to the above, Potavin (2006) explains that a true leader must have vision, open to change, create other leaders, value the contributions of others and possess the element of integrity. A deep examination on the life and management leadership style and virtues presented by Solomon reveal that achieve the above status, the critical virtues of determination and ambition must form part of business culture. This involves the recognition of contributions of various employees and takes the critical role of team work into consideration. In conclusion, both determination and ambition determines both specific and broad objectives of organization and has such must form part and parcel of organizational culture.
Without our past, our future would be a tortuous path leading to nowhere. In order to move up the ladder of success and achievement we must come to terms with our past and integrate it into our future. Even if in the past we made mistakes, this will only make wiser people out of us and guide us to where we are supposed to be.
This past year, I was auditioning for the fall play, "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof." To my detriment I thought it would be a good idea to watch the movie in order to prepare. For two hours I studied Elizabeth Taylor's mannerisms, attitude, and diction, hoping I could mimic her performance. I auditioned for the part of "Maggie" feeling perfectly confident in my portrayal of Elizabeth Taylor, however, I was unaware that my director saw exactly what I had been thinking. Unfortunately, I didn't get the part, and my director told me that he needed to see "Maggie" from my perspective, not Elizabeth Taylor's.
I learned from this experience, and promised myself I would not try to imitate another actress, in order to create my character. Perservering, I was anxious to audition for the winter play just two months later. The play was Neil Simon's "Rumors," and would get the opportunity to play "Chris," a sarcastic yet witty role, which would be my final performance in high school. In order to develop my character, I planned out her life just as I thought it should be, gave her the voice I thought was right, and the rest of her character unfolded beautifully from there. My director told me after the first show that "Rumors" was the best work he'd ever seen from me, and that he was amazed at how I'd developed such a believable character. Thinking back to my first audition I was grateful for that chance I had to learn and to grow, because without that mistake I might have tried to base "Chris" off of someone I'd known or something I'd seen instead of becoming my own character. I utilized the memory of the Elizabeth Taylor debacle to improve my approach to acting and gave the best performance of my life so far.
Memories act as both a help and a hinderance to the success of someone. Many people advise you to learn from the past and apply those memories so that you can effectively succeed by avoiding repeating your past mistakes. On the other hand, people who get too caught up with the past are unable to move on to the future.
Elie Wiesel's memoir Night perfectly exemplifies the double nature of memories. Wiesel, a Jewish man, suffered heavily throughout the Holocaust and Night is rife with horrific descriptions of his experience. These memories help to spread the view of what life was like. Through recounting these memories, Wiesel is able to educate world readers about the atrocities committed in hopes that the same blatant violations of human rights are never repeated again. Through reliving the Holocaust through his writing, Wiesel was inspired to become proactive in the battle for civil rights. Some would point to his peaceful actions and the sales of his book and label him a success.
Despite the importance of recounting such memories, Wiesel acknowledges the damage that memories can also cause. Following his liberation from the Auschwitz concentration camp, Wiesel was a bitter, jaded man. He could not even write Night until several years later. The end of the novel describes Wiesel's gradual but absolute loss of faith throughout the experience. His past experiences haunted him for several years, rendering him passive. It was not until he set aside his past that he could even focus on the future. Had he remained so consumed with the pain and damage caused in the past, he may never have achieved the success that he has attained.
Overall, Wiesel's experiences exemplify the importance of the past as a guide. Wiesel's past experiences helped to guide him in later life, but it was not until he pushed them aside that he could move on. To me this means that you should rely on your past without letting it control you. Allow your past to act as a guide, while making sure that you are also living in the present and looking to the future.
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"Birth rates are falling in developed countries. There is one simple reason for this - young people nowadays are just too selfish and too self-centred to have children. And this is particularly true of women". To what extent do you agree with this view? Support your argument with relevant readings and evidence.
Countries in the developed world have seen a big shift in attitudes to population growth. Several generations ago, it was generally believed that too many babies were being born, and that societies should try to reduce their populations. Nowadays, however, the concern is the reverse - that birthrates are falling too low and that urgent action is needed to encourage people to have more children. But what are the causes of this trend? And how much are the attitudes and lifestyles of young people to blame? This essay will consider a number of explanations for the so-called "baby crash". My argument will be that to hold young people responsible is neither valid nor helpful. The best explanation, I believe, is to be found in the condition of increased economic insecurity faced by the young.
The birth rate has fallen dramatically in many parts of the world. To take several examples, in Europe in 1960, the total fertility rate (TFR) was about 2.6 births per female, but in 1996 it had fallen to 1.4 (Chesnais, 1998). In many Asian countries, similar declines have been experienced. Japan now has a birthrate of only about 1.3, and Hong Kong's has fallen to below 1.0 (Ichimura and Ogawa, 2000). A TFR of below 2.0 means that a country's population is not replaced, and thus there is a net population decline. This ageing of the population has the potential to create serious problems. Fewer children being born means that in the long term, a smaller proportion of the populace will be economically productive, whilst a larger proportion will be old and economically dependent - in the form of pension, health care and other social services. Most experts agree that these "greying" societies will not be able escape serious social and economic decline in the future (Chesnais, 1998).
So what are the causes of this trend and what can be done to stop it? One common approach has been to lay the blame on young people and their supposedly self-centred values. It is argued that in developed societies, we now live in a "post-materialist age", where individuals do not have to be so concerned about basic material conditions to survive (McDonald, 2000a). Thus people, especially the young, have become more focussed on the values of self-realisation and the satisfaction of personal preferences, at the expense of traditional values like raising a family. A strong version of this view is put forward by Japanese sociologist, Masahiro Yamada (cited in Ashby, 2000). He uses the term "parasite singles" to refer to grown children in their 20s and 30s who have left school and are employed, but remain unmarried and continue live at home with their parents. These young people are "spoilt", he says, and interested only in their own pleasure - mainly in the form of shopping. According to Yamada, it is this focus on self, more than any other factor, that is responsible for Japan's languishing birth rate (Ashby, 2000). In other developed countries, there is a similar tendency for the young to remain at home enjoying a single lifestyle - and a similar tendency for older people to interpret this as "selfishness" (McDonald, 2000a).
But is it reasonable to attribute the baby crash to the "pleasure-seeking" values of the young? The problem with this view is that whenever young people are surveyed about their attitudes to family, not only do they say they want to have children, they also express preferences for family sizes that are, on average, above the replacement level (McDonald, 2000a). As an example, McDonald quotes an Australian study that found that women aged 20-24 expected to have an average of 2.33 children in their lifetime. Findings like this suggest that the values of the young are not at all incompatible with the idea of having a family. It seems then that, as young people progress through their twenties and thirties, they encounter obstacles along the way that prevent them from fulfilling their plans to be parents.
Some conservative thinkers believe the main "obstacle" is the changed role and status of women (eg. Norton, 2003). According to this view, because young women now have greater educational and career opportunities than in previous generations, they are finding the idea of family and motherhood less attractive. Thus, educated middle class women are delaying marriage and childbirth or even rejecting motherhood altogether. It is claimed that women's improved status - which may be a good thing in itself - has had the unfortunate consequence of threatening population stability.
But there are several problems with this argument. For one, the lowest TFRs in Europe are found in Spain and Italy (around 1.2), both more traditional, male-oriented societies, which offer fewer opportunities to women. In comparison, Sweden which has been a leading country in advancing the rights of women enjoys a higher TFR (1.6 in 1996) - even though it is still below replacement. Chesnais (1998: p. 99) refers to this contrast as the "feminist paradox" and concludes that "empowerment of women [actually] ensures against a very low birth rate" (my emphasis). Another problem with trying to link improved education levels for women to low birth rates is that fertility in developed countries seems to be declining across all education and class levels. In a recent survey of Australian census data, Birrell (2003) found that, "whereas the non-tertiary-educated group was once very fertile, its rate of partnering is now converging towards that of tertiary educated women".
We can summarise the discussion to this point as follows:
These conclusions suggest that there must be something else involved. Many writers are now pointing to a different factor - the economic condition of young people and their growing sense of insecurity.
Peter McDonald (2000a) in his article 'Low fertility in Australia: Evidence, causes and policy responses' discusses some of the things that a couple will consider when they are thinking of having a child. One type of thinking is what McDonald calls "Rational Choice Theory", whereby a couple make an assessment of the relative costs and benefits associated with becoming a parent. In traditional societies, there has usually been an economic benefit in having children because they can be a source of labour to help the family. In developed societies, however, children now constitute an economic cost, and so, it is argued, the benefits are more of a psychological kind - for example, enjoying the status of being a parent, having baby who will be fun and will grow up to love you, having offspring who will carry on the family name etc. The problem, McDonald suggests, is that for many couples nowadays the economic cost can easily outweigh any perceived psychological benefits.
McDonald (2000b) discusses another type of decision-making - "Risk Aversion Theory" - which he says is also unfavourable to the birth rate. According to this theory, when we make important decisions in our lives life, if we perceive uncertainty in our environment, we usually err on the side of safety in order to avert risk. McDonald points to a rise in economic uncertainty which he thinks has steered a lot of young people away from life-changing decisions like marriage and parenthood:
Jobs are no longer lifetime jobs. There is a strong economic cycle of booms and busts. Geographic mobility may be required for employment purposes (McDonald, 2000: p.15).
Birrell (2003) focuses on increased economic uncertainty for men. Referring to the situation in Australia, he discusses men's reluctance to form families in terms of perceived costs and risks:
Many men are poor - in 2001, 42 per cent of men aged 25-44 earnt less than $32,000 a year. Only two-thirds of men in this age group were in full-time work. Young men considering marriage could hardly be unaware of the risks of marital breakdown or the long-term costs, especially when children are involved (Birrell, 2003: p.12).
And Yuji Genda (2000) in Japan, responding to Yamada's analysis of "parasite singles", argues that the failure of young Japanese to leave home and start families is not due to self-indulgence, but is an understandable response to increasingly difficult economic circumstances. Genda (2000) notes that it is the young who have had to bear the brunt of the decade long restructuring of the Japanese economy, with youth unemployment hovering around 10% and a marked reduction in secure full-time jobs for the young.
Young people around the world seem to have an increasing perception of economic uncertainty and contemplate something their parents would have found impossible - a decline in living standards over their lifetime. According to a 1990 American survey, two thirds of respondents in the 18-29 age group thought it would be more difficult for their generation to live as comfortably as previous generations (cited in Newman, 2000: p.505). Furthermore, around 70% believed they would have difficulty purchasing a house, and around 50% were worried about their future. Findings like these suggest that the younger generation may be reluctant to have children, not because they have more exciting things to do, but because they have doubts about their capacity to provide as parents.
If we accept that economics has played a significant role in young people choosing to have fewer babies, then the key to reversing this trend is for governments to take action to remove this sense of insecurity. A number of policy approaches have been suggested. Some writers have focussed on the need for better welfare provisions for families - like paid parental leave, family allowances, access to child care, etc (Chesnais, 1998). Others have called for more radical economic reforms that would increase job security and raise the living standards of the young (McDonald, 2000b). It is hard to know what remedies are needed. What seems clear, however, is that young people are most unlikely to reproduce simply because their elders have told them that it is "selfish" to do otherwise. Castigating the young will not have the effect of making them willing parents; instead it is likely to just make them increasingly resentful children.
Ashby, J. (2000). Parasite singles: Problem or victims? The Japan Times. 7/04/02.
Birrell, B. (2003). Fertility crisis: why you can't blame the blokes. The Age 17/01/03 p. 14.
Chesnais, J-C. (1998). Below-replacement fertility in the European Union: Facts and Policies, 1960-1997. Review of Population and Social Policy, No 7, pp. 83-101.
Genda, Y. (2000). A debate on "Japan's Dependent Singles", Japan Echo, June, 2000, pp. 47-56
Ichimura, S. and N. Ogawa (2000). Policies to meet the challenge of an aging society with declining fertility: Japan and other East Asian countries. Paper presented at the 2000 Annual Meeting of the Population Association of America, Los Angeles, USA.
McDonald, P. (2000a). Low fertility in Australia: Evidence, causes and policy responses. People and Place, No 8:2. pp 6-21.
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Norton, A. (2003). Student debt: A HECS on fertility? Issue Analysis No 3. Melbourne: Centre for Independent Studies.
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I'M GOING RUNNING TODAY. I am not concerned about my calorie consumption for the day, nor am I anxious to get in shape for the winter season. I just want to go running。
I used to dislike running. "If you don't win this game, you're all running five miles tomorrow," the field hockey coach used to warn, during those last days of October when the average temperature seemed to be decreasing exponentially. And so, occasionally, my grief-stricken team would run numerous miserable laps around the fields. At the end of these excursions, our faces and limbs would be numb, and we would all have developed those notorious flu-like symptoms; but the running made us better in the long run, I suppose. Nevertheless, I counted down the days until the end of the field hockey season, vowing never to put on a pair of running shoes again. Then I surprised myself by signing up for outdoor track in the second half of sophomore year. I was foolish to have believed that I could ever escape this insidious and magnetic addiction。
Anyone would have thought that I'd be off the team in a few days, but the last week of January caught me splashing through puddles of melted ice, and February winds nearly blew me off the track. I looked forward to practices this time around, to the claps and the persistent cheers of my fellow trackies. I was feeling a "runner's high" spurred by the endorphins released by exercise. But to attribute my affinity for running solely to chemistry diminishes the personal importance that running has for me。
I like running—in the cool shade of the towering oak trees, and in the warm sunlight spilling over the horizon, and in the drops of rain falling gently from the clouds. Certain things become clear to me when I'm running—only while running did I realize that "hippopotami" is possibly the funniest word in the English language, and only while running did I realize that the travel section of The York Times does not necessarily provide an accurate depiction of the entire world. Running lends me precious moments to contemplate my life: while running I find time to dream about changing the world, to think about recent death of a classmate, or to wonder about the secret to college admission
Running is the awareness of hurdles between me and the finish line; running is the desire to overcome them. Running is putting up with aches and pains, relishing the knowledge that, in the end, I will have built strength and endurance. Running is the instant clarity of vision with which I can see my future just one hundred yards in the distance; it is the understanding that these crucial steps will determine victory or defeat。
Running is not the most important thing in the world to me, but it is what fulfills me when time permits. And right now, before the sun goes down, I like to take advantage of the road that lies ahead。
2. 巧妙甚至狡猾地使用了幽默。幽默是个双刃剑，往往容易弄巧成拙，一般人在作文里会尽量避免。然而，作者却大胆地调侃道：跑步时，会去猜想大学招生的秘密 --这简直是在向正在阅读此作文的招生人员叫阵！但是，说这句话的时候，招生的人应该已经为其经历和毅力所触动，而且前面谈到河马单词，已经把作文的节奏调得轻松，这句话会让招生人员会心一笑，拉近了彼此的距离。而随后梦幻般的紧凑道白，为这篇作文留下了非常美妙的收尾。