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Almost every individual in the US believes that he or she is part of the majority. Almost every citizen believes that his or her choices are the right one. If we all believe that we are correct and the majority, why is their so much conflict in this country? The answer is simple but the solution is not. We all base our beliefs on different racial, religious, and cultural backgrounds and each one of us has been raised differently from the next.
Personal Values Every one leads and lives a different life with different ambitions, motivators and causes. These personal values, while crucial to our survival and growth, makes it difficult to obtain progress smoothly.
Milton Constance explains that our lives can be summarized as a fable or short story. â€oPersonal reality is giving meaning to imaged multidimensional experiencesâ€I (Constance, 2006). This may sound simple or foolish but it is the foundation of our learning. For centuries, we have been taught by fables, folklore and myths.
The fables stay the same but the storyteller and listener changes can explain why the story is spoken and received differently. In 1989, Luther Campbell of 2 Live Crew made nationwide news with a censorship issue. Some believed that their album should be censored and/or banned.
The media frenzy not only helped his band become a top selling national act; it made people aware of the fact that we have varying tolerances on what should and should not be made available to the public and minors.
This was not the first or last legal battle that involved a band and its rowdy lyrics, but it did cause us to discuss policies in the US. One can easily see how personal values play into ethics and decisions in todayâ€TMs world. Racial profiling, while illegal and sometimes disturbing, is happening every day. Are there more people fitting a certain racial profile caught because they are guilty or are people fitting a racial profile caught because they are being focused on allowing others to get away with crimes? This is just one of many examples that consider personal values. â€oPersons are travelers who are journeying with many paths, situations, ideas, notions, and projects in the multidimensional human-universe processâ€I (Constance, 2006)
Cultural ValuesWe do not understand each other. Christians do not understand Muslims, Americans do not understand Mexicans. People from Arkansas do not understand people from San Francisco. The question is, do we not understand or do not want to understand each other? Cultural values have played a role with us since the beginning of time. Currently, we are dealing with an immigration problem that has many people up in arms. This reminds me of the Elian Gonzalez incident in 2000. The US had a moral dilemma on its hands and was faced with two opposing policies. In 1964, the Cuban Adjustment Act had been passed allowing Cubans political asylum.
A contradictory act passed in 1994 that stated that Cubans be returned to Cuba should they be found on the high seas. Although this was not the issue, it played a major role that caused a huge misunderstanding in the nation. The local Cubans in Miami did not want the little boy brought back to his father because they new that the boy was being used as a political tool by Fidel Castro. The rest of the country, mostly unaware of Cubaâ€TMs political state, thought that the boy should be returned to his father. Whatever the position, the fact remains that those with close ties to Cuba were extremely moved by the nationâ€TMs unwillingness to understand their concerns.
This example of cultural differences explains how easy it is for small disagreements to arise. Organizational Values Organizations rely on people, people with different personal values and cultural differences. After reading the above, we should know that chaos is inevitable! Employers must contend with varied thoughts and ideas. However, these differences allow organizations to evolve into uncharted territories. The same way that we use fables to learn about our behaviors and conduct in our personal lives can be applied to the corporate world. An article titled Teaching Timeless Truths Through Classic Literature explains how students are having a difficult time grasping philosophies and practices in the corporate world. Because of that, teachers are linking corporate culture to fables and tales. The Ass and the Grasshopper becomes The Problem of Resource Immobility. The Ass Loaded with Salt becomes, Interpreting Environmental Change. (Ketchen, 2006)
Knowing that we have difficulty understanding ourselves and others, it is easy to realize why there can be conflict. Smart employers can use this conflict to their advantage. For example, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates use very different management styles. Steve Jobs used varied styles within his own organization to harbor conflict and create competition with two different product lines. If Aesop can tell us how to run modern day corporations with fables that originated around 500 B.C., we can be assured that human nature is not going to change any time soon. Ethical Dilemmas Recently NBCâ€TMs Dateline wanted to report on increased Muslim bigotry in the US. To do so, they hired Muslim imposters to attend a NASCAR event in hopes to prove their claims. At the race, there was no attention towards the actors. It was almost as if they were not even there. However, after news of the event was released, NASCAR fans, Muslims and NBCTMS peers viewed the attempt as racist, contrived and manipulative.
NASCAR fans said that Dateline depicted all race fans as racist rednecks and they have provided them a story. Muslimâ€TMs feel that Dateline is trying to invoke more emotion post 9/11 towards their religion. The rest of the media viewed it as an attempt to create news instead of report it. Whatever the cause it is easy to see that Dateline made a faux pas involving cultural and personal differences. A simple blunder like this can damage corporate images by providing negative publicity. Kathy Lee Gifford is a prime example of this negative press. She was found using sweatshop labor to make her clothing line. While she is still in business, her line took a big hit and they had to jump through hoops with damage control. By taking advantage of cultural differences, Kathy Lee increased profit but damaged her image that made it very difficult for her professionally and personally. Conclusion should the public be concerned with personal and cultural differences? If we do not accept and embrace our differences, we will never be able to fully grow and prosper. The current immigration problem is defining that in todayâ€TMs news. The country is divided on how to deal with our current immigrants and what to do to prevent more. The answer is not simple and will not be conceived over night. However, whatever the decision, we will all be drastically affected economically and culturally.
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