When I first read the final paper guidelines, I felt a little intimidated by the open-ended nature of the assignment. So far, we’ve been given pretty specific direction; yet have still been given some freedom in constructing our topics. So, at first, this assignment seemed a little daunting. Thinking about everything we’ve read in Scott and Davis, the convoluted story of Enron, the numerous articles we have discussed – it seems nearly impossible to tie everything together under one umbrella. Then class today happened…
Our discussion today about morality versus political law and which applies to certain situations got me thinking about what truly governs any organization. Sure, it can be assumed that a formal organization is governed by a law that ensures that it operates within the limits of what is deemed acceptable and what is not. At Enron, for example, laws were broken, so the organization crumbled. Companies are regulated and audited on a regular basis, and knowing this presumably influences them to act in accordance with the law. In this regard, I refer to the law in the actual legal sense of the word. But is this what actually dictates the behavior of individuals within an organization?
What about the “laws” we read about in Scott and Davis? Those aren’t necessarily laws in the legal sense, but Scott and Davis offer several examples of how societal law governs organizations. Perhaps these laws are the primary dictators of the behavior of individuals within organizations. For example, in chapter 8 they discuss power and authority and how it is naturally achieved within organizations. Obviously I am not saying that legal laws can be tossed out the window when it comes to evaluating an organization, but I do think that laws (such as the ones discussed in Scott and Davis) that are not necessarily defined by some political entity or law-making force can have just as much control over an organization.
To get back to where today’s discussion comes in, someone raised the point today that we, as American citizens, agree to abide by a certain set of rules, simply by choosing to live here. What about as human beings? Is there an innate moral code that we agree to by being born? If yes, how does this help govern an organization? This one is interesting because if we can agree that there is some moral code that we subscribe to as human beings, it kind of implies that we have the option to “unsubscribe.” Personally I don’t think we do, but I wonder if there is any evidence out there that some people think we do. I plan to investigate how this might change an organization.
This is obviously a very preliminary idea considering it didn’t pop into my head until around 5 pm, but I just wanted to throw some thoughts down. If anyone has any feedback, criticisms, advice, etc., I welcome it and would definitely appreciate it!