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Management & acting beyond the call of duty


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Management & acting beyond the call of duty

  1. 1. Management and ActingBeyond the Call of Duty Author: Antonio Argandoña Presenter: Rashi Saxena
  2. 2. Scope of Presentation Authors views on:• Effect of ethics• Ethics in extreme situations: Czech history• Can a manager be “too ethical”? – Be ethical come what may – Heroic behavior vs. Leadership
  3. 3. THE CASE OF CZECHStory of Three-Time Capitulation
  4. 4. Dilemma 1:• Eduard Benes and Munich Pact• Choices: – National honor vs. human lives – Fight or Yield (to dictatorship)??• Decision made: Capitulation• Reasoning: – Inevitable: now or later – Entailed human sacrifice on refusal to yield
  5. 5. Dilemma 2:• 1948, Eduard Benes• Choices: – to oppose leaders of Communist coup supported by Soviet Union, OR – Withdraw without resistance• Decision made: Withdraw• Reasoning: Bloodbath, inevitable defeat
  6. 6. Dilemma 3:• Soviet Union‟s invasion of Czech Republic, 1968• Choices: Sign the Moscow Protocol OR not• Decision: – Protocol signed; legal occupation and “normalization” of Czech
  7. 7. If past had to be relived now…PAST VS. PRESENT
  8. 8. Havel• Dilemmas can‟t be “judged” by anyone who hasn‟t faced it – Not yielding: more ethical – Capitulation: more realistic• The 3 dilemmas were not parallel – Different people – Different experiences – Different conditioning – Different decisions
  9. 9. Author• Experience is part of prudence. The 3 dilemmas: – Had similar consequences – Were connected
  10. 10. Negative Learning Process• Unintended takeaways from a learning experience that are inaccurate, misleading, or even harmful• Each surrender diminished Czech‟s future (perceived) ability to defend – Loss of faith in people – More vulnerable to enemies
  12. 12. Beyond economic/political arguments…• Singularity: – None of us will ever know what would have happened if other choices were opted for – No conditional “what-if” scenario• Ethics is a way of being, not just about ONE decision• Decisions are “just” decisions – There are bi ethical, economic or political decisions; these are dimensions of every decision
  13. 13. Politics and Morals• Difficult to counter-pose• Not un-connected• Both are omnipresent “Politics without morals is bad politics”
  14. 14. Decision and Evaluation Factors• Depth influences foresight• Choice between two evils – “When choosing between two evils, I always like to try the one Ive never tried before” (Mae West)• “What would I do…”“…if I was as unaware”?• Havel: – Weigh, Consult, Reflect – “I would probably not have taken the decision that they did”
  15. 15. Responsibility• Decision making is NOT a collective responsibility• It is shared-but-equally personal responsibility of each individual of the team
  17. 17. • Dilemmas of an entrepreneur – What extent should/can they go “beyond the call of duty”? – Is it unethical to be too ethical?• Ethics of responsibility vs. Ethics of conviction• Analogy with Czech: – Czech: loss of human lives – Entrepreneur: financial losses, unemployment, etc.
  18. 18. Ethics of responsibility vs. Ethics of conviction• Ethics of conviction: – Observing the rule because rule must be observed – May result in less ethical behaviors• Ethics of responsibility: – considers heroic/too-moral decisions as immoral• Moral learning: – Heroic behaviors can be morally justified
  20. 20. • Ethics of Goods, Norms and Virtues: – Ethics has a negative component: don‟t harm your customers to the limits beyond which it is harmful – Ethical Minima characteristics of Ethics of Norms• Ethics of Excellence – Do good – Do better – Create jobs – Improvise
  21. 21. • Duty of Human Welfare (Havel): – Not as obvious as not stealing – Not as supererogatory as „beyond call of duty‟• Duties of management: – Guessing the nature of good • Not as a game/bet • As a moral obligation – Managing a company‟s demands • Considering all stakeholders • Justify external and internal missions – Duty to manage well • Good manager vs. Not-bad manager
  22. 22. A Good Manager…• Considers what people need – Not what they prefer• Considers people alive today – And those not-yet-born• Does not seek the approval of collaborators, allies, stakeholders, etc. – But wishes to enable them to act on these principles
  23. 23. Continued…• “If you only judge by actions, such a manager will fail” – Because evaluation parameters (objectives) are different• “Such a manager will be an excellent leader even if no one acknowledges it” – Doing the job well not only contributes to success, it is a kind of success “whether or not the company succeeds”
  24. 24. Manager-Leader• Is trusted by subordinates – He/she will always do best for the company • Professional competence is not a priority – Subordinates may not always understand “why?”• Internal virtues command trust• Trust brings capability to take „right‟ decisions – Even if difficult, even if „heroic‟
  26. 26. • Theories deal with standards, possible approaches, not absolute ethics• Ethics is subjective and situational, practiced by efforts to apply virtues• Heroism can be: – Spectacular: as seen in tragic dilemmas (Havel) – Simple: being dutiful everyday – Inter-relationship exists• Manager-Leadership is discrete-heroism that enables you to take exceptional decisions when required
  27. 27. THANK YOU!