The Responsibility Project
The Responsibility Project
In viewing a short film Table Guardians in The Responsibility Project website, organizational issues were displayed. The short film acted out a community coffee shop that different groups of individuals came and gone. An early aged male engaged in conversation with a mid-aged female requesting that she oversee his belongings and table while he quickly went to the copy shop a block away and ensured her that he will return quickly in a matter of minutes, 10 minutes; 12 minutes max. The women, although partially hesitant, agreed to watch over his table and belongings that included a personal computer and writing supplies. As time passed, several individuals attempted to make use of the crowded coffee shop table; however, the women overseeing the table informed those individuals that table was taken and the young man will soon return. After the women waited for over an hour guarding the table, she was asked if she was leaving her table by another women and she explained to her that she would have been gone, but she is overseeing the table across the way for a gentlemen.
The women offered the exchange of overseeing the table for her table and she gladly accepted. After the exchange of four other overseers of this table, the gentleman finally returns. The fourth individual overseeing table doesn’t allow the gentlemen to easily recover his table and personal belongings. She informs him that the table is taken and belongs to a gentleman that will be coming back. He tries to explain that he is that gentleman and that he is back. She then requests proof of identity for the gentleman to recover his goods. Throughout the films entirety, it shows the communities ethical and moral reasoning of treating others as you wish to be treated by not leaving the gentleman’s personal belongings unattended as given word by a complete stranger initially. The integrity was kept throughout the exchange of overseers. The coffee shop employee kept his interests as a stakeholder by making the right decision to protect the employers’ expectations by stating that he is not able to take responsibility of watching the table.
By doing so the employee alleviated any possibilities of liability to the employer. It was also noted in the short film that the consumers in the coffee shop showed ethical reasoning by respecting the issue at hand that the table was taken and not causing conflict in the coffee shop although the tables were filled and that table was sitting empty unattended. The end of the short film showed the same situation appearing to repeat itself; however, it is unknown whether or not it will end the same if it were in a different community. Also the outcome will depend on the ethical and moral interests for individuals involved. It could result in stolen or damaged goods.
External social pressures have an influence on organizational issues. For instance, if this community discussed previously in the busy coffee shop had different ethical and moral interests in the community, the gentleman leaving his personal belongings may not have been comfortable in leaving his belongings with a stranger nor would he have asked. It was the gentleman’s belief that his belongings will be in safe keeping. The gentleman was apparently comfortable with outside factors of his community’s environment and the people; therefore, comfortable with the individual in the coffee shop to oversee his belongings. The coffee shop does not function alone, it is the outside of the business that influences how business is carried out inside. The guardians of the gentleman’s belongings were polite and moral by overseeing his belongings. It was morally and ethically wrong for the gentlemen to have left his belonging with an individual for longer than he had given his word for.
The coffee shop employee responded ethically to the women who wanted him to oversee the table while working by stating he could not take responsibility while working. External social pressures can create a downside to organizations if social critics are not considered in organizations because consumer’s today is more “socially” aware. By organizations considering social pressures, this may assist in gearing their organization or business on the right direction for success. Concerning personal decision making, external social pressures may change decisions by simply the pressures of another outlook on the situation. An organization can simply apply pressure to have someone select their organization by offering free tutoring to an enrolled student or a business offering free gym membership for a year with purchase of insurance plan. Social pressure comes in numerous forms.
The short film Table Guardians did not clearly show any legal issues per say; however could have resulted a legal issue if the employee decided to watch the gentleman’s belongings while working. Instead, the employee stated that he was could not oversee the table because liability reasons. Should the employee decide to watch table and the gentleman’s belongings came up stolen or damaged, it would have been a liability to coffee shop owner. The employee made the ethical decision.
Overall, the short film addressed responsibility ethically, morally, and legally. Ethically is protecting concepts of right or wrong. Morality is more of the personal characteristics of interests and decision making. Ethics and mortality are subjective because no two individuals think alike. The legal system retains general humanities ethics; otherwise, we will suffer the consequences.
The Responsibility Project. (2008). Retrieved from http://responsibility- project.libertymutual.com/films/table-guardians#fbid=S14kx8DovBx
Subject: Decision making,
University/College: University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 21 October 2016
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