Today’s Topics Whistleblowing Meaningful Work
Whistleblowing • Recall the case of General Dynamics and the LTV brake (p. 129) • Should the engineer involved have blown the whistle? • Did he?
What, exactly, is whistleblowing? • The action of an employee or former employee who makes public information about a product or practice that threatens to produce harm to the public or to individuals. • An attempt by an employee or former employee to disclose (perceived) wrongdoing by the organization.
A Few Distinctions: • Internal External • Personal Impersonal • Current Alumni • Open Anonymous
ALL Whistleblowing is Morally Problematic Because: • It is contrary to the duties of loyalty and trust • It violates the social norm against ‘ratting’ • It subject the whistleblower to serious risks
Conditions that Justify Blowing the Whistle: • The threatened harm must be serious. • The threat has been reported internally. • Internal reporting has produced no changes.
Conditions that REQUIRE Blowing the Whistle: • Documented evidence that the product or practice poses a serious, likely danger to the public • There is a good reason to believe that ‘going public’ will result in changes in the organization.
James Challenges DeGeorge’s Criteria as Too Strict: • Would Ford engineers, using DeGeorge’s criteria, have been required to blow the whistle on the Pinto? Maybe not. • Don’t we have a duty to warn people of risks, even though they may ignore our warnings? • Yes, this is simply supplying them with relevant information.
The presumption should be in favor of disclosing relevant information, with some constraints and restrictions.
What Is the Meaning of Work? • Old testament--Work as punishment. • St. Paul--Work is a necessary evil. • Calvin & Reformation--Work defines character. Work is a calling. • Today--It is a curse to be unable to work.
Work and Self Definition and Self Identification • The Labor Theory of Value • The Evil of Non-Productive Work • “Real Work” versus Knowledge Work
Alienated Labor and the Unhappy Worker • Labor/Management relations, the need for unions • Alternative models
Work As a Good • Extrinsic (Instrumental) goods • Intrinsic goods
Work, Time and Leisure • Modern work and poorly spent time (meetings) • “Doing your job” and “wasting time” • Work time, wasted time, leisure time • We need to study leisure and learn how to relax
Management Responses to the Need for Meaningful Work • Our Workers Are Our Most Valuable Resource • Modern Workers Want Interesting, Challenging, Rewarding Work
TQM, QWL, Quality Circles, CQI, ISO 9000 Are All Responses to the Problem of Making Work Meaningful
TQM • Gives workers a voice in the company • Extends growth and participation in the company • Lets the people who know the job manage the job
Divisiveness Results from TQM Strategies • Plants within a company are pitted against one another • Workers within a plant pitted against one another • QWL is a preferred tool of union busters • QWL is disguised trickle down
Is “Meaningful Work” a Myth? • Do workers desire “meaningful work? • Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs--Is Self-Actualization Everyone’s Goal?
Most Workers Like Their Jobs • “More interesting,” “more challenging,” and “less boring” are not the things they would change • 85% DO NOT identify with their work
Meaningful Work Satisfies the Needs of a Narrow Cross Section of Workers--Members of the Symbolic Analytic Class