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RohinGupta

INDUSTRIAL SOCIOLOGY, ORGANISATIONAL ETHICS, AND OBJECTIVISM

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I will start working on my debut book this year.

Working title(or maybe even final title) is “REINVENTING MANAGEMENT: ORGANIZATIONAL ETHICS FROM OBJECTIVISM”.

Many or all of you are connected to the domain of the planned book. Urging you to leave relevant comments here.

Mission statement is as follows

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INDUSTRIAL SOCIOLOGY, ORGANISATIONAL ETHICS, AND OBJECTIVISM
 
Industrial Sociology” is a branch of Sociology. Sociology being its Genus that is. Sociology studies various human relationships in society by organizing them. “Industrial Sociology” in turn studies human relationships in Industrial setting. (Or in contemporary terminology, Corporate setting). Range from family or friends to National-Global citizens being different type of social relationships. And different relationships between corporate workers, or customer-supplier relationships, or government-industry relationships being examples of “Industrial Sociology”.
 
Coming to why Objectivism needs to work on “Industrial Sociology” at this stage of its development (Objectivism’s development). Before that, let’s look at where we are in the development of Objectivism. Apart from foundation work from Metaphysics-Epistemology to Art-Politics in non-fiction, Ayn Rand’s novels deeply concretize and also publicize many of her ideas. Books likeObjectivism:Philosophy of Ayn Rand and The Ominous Parallels by Dr. Peikoff look into same ideas from different perspective. Books like How We Know, DIM Hypothesis, and Ayn Rand’s Normative Ethics dig deep into various aspects of Objectivism. Clarifying things that many of us find ambiguous. If we add work of Yaron Brook, Alex Epstein, Burgess Laughlin, Elan Journo, and other such writers, the connecting links between Ivory Tower of Objectivism and Man in street grow stronger by the day, despite the movement being in nascent stage.
 
Coming to the fields involving social relationships, following thought I think offers the foundation bed rock on how Objectivism should proceed.
The symbol of all relationships among [rational] men, the moral symbol of respect for human beings, is the trader. We, who live by values, not by loot, are traders, both in matter and in spirit. A trader is a man who earns what he gets and does not give or take the undeserved. A trader does not ask to be paid for his failures, nor does he ask to be loved for his flaws. A trader does not squander his body as fodder or his soul as alms. Just as he does not give his work except in trade of material values, so he does not give the values in his spirit – his love, his friendship, his esteem – except in payment and in trade for human virtues, in payment for his selfish pleasure, which he receives from a man he can respect. The mystic parasites who have, throughout the ages, reviled the traders and held him in contempt, while honoring the beggars and the looters, have known the secret motive of their sneers: a trader is the entity they dread – a man of justice.
Galt’s Speech,
For the New Intellectual, 133
 
 
The thought has been called “trader principle”. Going into this thought, and other similar thoughts, there are two aspects to these. There is the negative aspect, where the irrational relationships cannibalize rational men. Artistically, for this aspect we can recall Hank Rearden from Atlas Shrugged. In Industrial context, an example of this are taxes for altruistic reasons (You are your Brother’s keeper). And using those taxes to fund people who strangle your business through arbitrary regulations like Anti-Trust laws. Objectivist Politics, work in the field of “Individual Rights” and “Nature of Government” specifically, focuses primarily on this aspect of “Trader Principle”. Protecting the rational man from Initiation of Force by other members in society.
 
Here however I focus on other aspect of trader principle. How can rational man, or rational aspect of any person, benefit from other rational people in society? The field that I think can cover this is“Organizational Ethics”. Specifically, this would mean extrapolating Objectivist virtues to social, Industrial setting in particular. In Corporate setting (I use Industrial and Corporate interchangeably), Honesty for e.g. can be Data based decision making, and Integrity can become Policy based decision making. Just as science is related to “Applied Science” and Technology. Similarly, Ethics will be connected to “Organizational Ethics”. Before making this connection however, I think we need to classify relationships in an Industrial setting. And this is where “Industrial Sociology” comes into picture.
 
So these relations can be intra-company or inter company. Customer-Supplier being the example of latter. Apart from Objectivism, I think society as a whole badly needs Industrial Sociology and Organizational Ethics. Even the best of companies are struggling because of the lack of proper intellectual base in these fields. Implosion of Uber due to various allegations, firing of young employee from Google for raising genuine policy concerns, conflict between CEO-Promoter inInfosys and Tata are few of the examples.
 
Many of the innovations these days happen in startups. Whether Uber or Facebook or Dropbox, ultimately however, every small successful company becomes a big business. And howsoever frustrating many corporate interactions may be; from “Power Corporations” to “Internet Service Providers” and Big Factories in China and all over the world. Fact is that Big Business is indispensable for most of us. And long term survival of humanity depends on building strong foundations for Industrial relations – developing fields of Organizational Ethics and Industrial Sociology that is.
 
To illustrate the idea, here I take Agile Model being followed in Software Development. Industrial Sociology, various relationships that is, in this model will center around Scrum Team. Scrum Team consists of Developers, Testers, Scrum Master, and Product Owner. Scrum Master and Product Owner often being part time roles of Developer or Tester. Product Owner bringing in features or bugs to be fixed by the team. Scrum Master ensuring that activities of each member are tracked every day to the nearest hour (by member himself). Both these roles also facilitating planning, review, and retrospect every few weeks, known as Sprint activities. People Managers, Product Managers, Program Managers etc. form next layer around many such Scrum Teams. Involving themselves more deeply in the time of crisis. Marketing and Sales, and further Administration teams also come into wider picture.
 
Coming to Organizational Ethics part of Scrum Team, there are specific ways in which various Individual Ethics can be extrapolated in these relationships. Using past data for estimating activities (Honesty). Or splitting complicated activity (an Epic) into smaller stories, an example of Rationality. Various Sprint activities act as input for Objectives assessment by Manager, the Organizational application of the Virtue of Justice. “Idea to Product” and “Product to Market”; Productivity in a nutshell being central driving force of Scrum Team and surrounding ecosystem.
 
When we think of Superhuman, Superman or Spiderman come into mind. This is good for artistic presentation. In reality however it’s the Big Business, people who are its “Prime Movers” to be more precise. It’s this association of “Prime Movers” that is a Real Superhuman. Due to leftist bent of mainstream intellectuals, the superhuman is struggling, and is not completely healthy. Let’s take the pointers of Ayn Rand and Objectivism to re-energize this Atlas.
 
Rohin Gupta
28th December, 2017

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On 1/2/2018 at 7:20 AM, Ninth Doctor said:

Have you studied Edwin Locke's work?  Looks like there will be a good amount of overlap.

Thanks a lot for the feedback. Got similar input from facebook forum. Following reference after further discussion.

"Handbook of Principles of Organizational Behavior: Indispensable Knowledge for Evidence-Based Management"

https://www.amazon.com/Handbook-Principles-Organizational-Behavior-Evidence-Based/dp/0470740949/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1514945994&sr=1-1

This is a collection of various essays on Organizational Ethics and Management, from people associated with Edwin Locke. Looking into the contents, it looks quite relevant. My estimate is that relationship between my planned work and these essays will be that my work will be more interlinked across chapters. Similar to relationship between Ayn Rand's essays in various books, and Dr. Peikoff's "Objectivism : Philosophy of Ayn Rand". I haven't gone into the details, but considering my evaluation of Mr. Locke from his other works, should be worth it.

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On 1/2/2018 at 7:29 AM, Reidy said:

Ed Younkins is another who has written on related topics.

Thank You for the feedback. Checked the link. Following two look most relevant

1. Objectivist Virtue Ethics in Business - http://rebirthofreason.com/Articles/Younkins/Objectivist_Virtue_Ethics_in_Business.shtml

2. Capitalism and Commerce: Conceptual Foundations of Free Enterprise 

https://www.amazon.com/Capitalism-Commerce-Conceptual-Foundations-Enterprise/dp/0739103814

 

(1.) offers good outline and guide for what I plan. So should be good reference. It gives good intermediate concepts for my proposed work. Concretization in the form of specific real life examples like iPhone development or Amazon is lacking, which I will take from other sources.

 

(2.) looks more from Libertarian perspective. Emphasizing on freedom and consequences, rather than its ethical and epistemological roots. But should give some leads on areas to focus, and how to approach various subjects.

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On 1/1/2018 at 6:35 PM, RohinGupta said:

Specifically, this would mean extrapolating Objectivist virtues to social, Industrial setting

Recognizing individual strengths.  

Multipliers: Put my friend Casey's computer work station in a room with three beginners, and the output of all three doubles.  His years of experience lets him quickly solve problems, and share short cuts to improve workflow.  In his highly competitive field of free lance CG artists, beginners are often swimming with sharks.  Casey is confident in his skill, and recognizes the long term context of investment in his coworkers skill set.  Everyone wants him on their team.  It pays off later when they recommend him for jobs with other companies.  The self interest is mutual.

Many companies develop productive work environments without realizing they have been influenced by Objectivist ethics.  You can cherry pick and highlight specific examples from highly successful, high profile companies who salt and pepper objective standards with random altruistic phrasing, yet in truth their policy's reflect respect for the incentives of each individual.  

Study various perspectives on competition.  Studies of Alpha leaders show that the Alpha exhibits a calm demeanor that is more effective managing others because they work effectively without the need to compete.  While insecure betas are in constant competition with each other, attempting to pull each other down.  

Its hard to respect a supervisor who doesn't' know how to do your job.

I imagine an objectivist would want to run their own business, but that is idealistic.  Maybe develop some interview questions to get insight into how each person in industry applies objectivist ethics to their particular field.  

Brian studies are providing new insights into how individual brains are more geared for certain tasks.

Improving radar for finding quality employees.  Some people are naturally more motivated to learn.  When choosing between two applicants, one may appear more qualified, but may not have the natural self starter motivation that will make the second applicant raise much more quickly through the company.  

 

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