Business Issues and Ethical Resolutions (Conclusion)

Published March 6, 2015 by Mayrbear's Lair

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In today’s highly competitive market place, strategic business leaders in the online gaming environment are having to consider more than just the legal aspects involved in their decision making process. According to Boatright, many corporate bosses have discovered that reliance on the law alone can prove to be disastrous (Boatright, 2009). In this situation, leaders in the online gaming industry must consider that although the commercial use of sex, violence, and gambling are accepted in the US, it is only accepted in certain markets that are clearly identified for mature audiences. Therefore, adding a new element to a successfully established product can in fact, introduce more restrictions in their marketplace. The question these leaders face is whether to include adult content, which will most likely to change their share of the market place, especially if the management team does not conduct extensive market research or create a focus group to test out this new strategy. On the other hand this new tactic may open other markets on a global level where the restrictions are less binding.

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The bottom line is that each individual leader needs to identify where the majority of their profits are being generated to help them make the best decision to achieve their goals. Once leaders have gathered data from a screening process, they will have a better indication of what aspects each market responds to, which puts leaders in a better place to make the most effective decisions. In conclusion, because of the wide diversity in beliefs, morals, and principles that vary from market to market, what some consider immoral in one country, may be perfectly natural to others from another region. Leaders need to determine the culture of the territory they wish to distribute their products in so that in the long run, their decisions do not conflict with the legal and ethical values of their marketplace so that their organization can continue to enjoy success without losing their integrity.

That’s a wrap for today. Until next time … stay organized!

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Live one day at a time emphasizing ethics rather than rules. – Dr. Wayne Dyer

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For more information on Media Magic’s digital publications, or to purchase any of our Business Life audio book titles, please visit amazon.com’s new feature called “Author Central” to view:

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References:

Boatright, J. (2009). Ethics and the Conduct of Business (Sixth ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.

Ferrell, Fraedrich, & Ferrell. (2013). Business ethics and social responsibility (9th ed.). Mason, OH: Cengage Learning.

 

Business Issues and Ethical Resolutions (Part 1)

Published March 4, 2015 by Mayrbear's Lair

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The negotiating process in a business arena is complex because all parties involved want to achieve positive outcomes. In the business market, law and ethics help create guidelines that will govern corporate operations. In his book, Ethics and the Conduct of Business, Boatright (2009) contends that laws tend to prevail in the public arena, and ethics are considered more of a private issue. In other words, laws that are clearly defined help establish enforceable rules that corporate bosses adhere to, while matters of an ethical nature, on the other hand, are based on personal opinion, moral values, and ethical principles (Boatright, 2009). For example, one legal issue company leaders that run popular online games may have to face are the consequences of adding adult content in a forum where a considerable amount of minors have access to. The ethical issue they will face is whether it is moral to expose gaming products that include adult matters like sex, violence, and gambling, to a community that also consists of individuals who are underage.

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Each individual’s principles will play a big part in the decision making process. In their book, Business Ethics and Social Responsibility, Ferrell et al. (2013) contend that ethical principles are based on the values people develop as norms which are widely accepted socially, like accountability, authenticity, trustworthiness, and honor (Ferrell, Fraedrich, & Ferrell, 2013). To remain successful in a highly competitive industry, company leaders in the online gaming industry, often contemplate difficult decisions, like adding intimate adult issues to popular games whose members also include minors. In this situation, their dilemma is based on whether the decision maker feels comfortable introducing this aspect to the game. In the US market, for instance, leaders must decide whether they believe their demographic is ready to embrace this aspect in their gaming forum. The stakes are high because the consequences can have a dire effect on the company’s revenues, which in turn, will affect the employees whose jobs are at stake if the decision turns out detrimental.

On Friday we will conclude this discussion on resolving ethical business challenges by taking a closer look at the factors leaders must contemplate when making tough choices. Until then … stay organized!

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Ethics is knowing the difference between what you have a right to do and what is right to do. – Potter Stewart

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3 organizational management business skills publications nov 2014

For more information on Media Magic’s digital publications, or to purchase any of our Business Life audio book titles, please visit amazon.com’s new feature called “Author Central” to view:

Mayr’s Author Page

References:

Boatright, J. (2009). Ethics and the Conduct of Business (Sixth ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.

Ferrell, Fraedrich, & Ferrell. (2013). Business ethics and social responsibility (9th ed.). Mason, OH: Cengage Learning.

Personal Ethics VS Business Ethics

Published March 2, 2015 by Mayrbear's Lair

Ethics

As a rule, most people have a set of values and principles that help guide them throughout their lives. As an individual becomes educated and because of life’s experiences, however, these rules can change, evolve, and are adapted to help make sense to our own perceptions of reality. In the book Ethics: A Very Short Introduction, Blackburn (2001) contends that human beings in general are ethical animals who judge, evaluate, compare, admire, make claims, and justify their actions (Blackburn, 2001). In most cases, leaders must draw from their own principles and values to help them make the best decision for the organization they represent.

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Laws are created to enforce rules and regulations so that there is a model in which citizens can shape their behavior and choices. For example, stop signs at small intersections communicate traffic laws to help people avoid harm. In Business Ethics and Sustainability, Ng’s (2012) research purports that laws provide a starting point and offer the minimum standards to help individuals understand proper and improper behavior. However, these laws are inherently different from morality issues (Ng, 2012). For example, it is not illegal to engage in extra marital affairs, but society deems that this behavior is morally wrong.

Morality is considered a society’s norms and values. Ethics consequently is the identification and analysis of moral values and how they are applicable in any given situation. In a business arena, although personal ethics can help guide decision makers – managers face many issues that require both knowledge and wisdom to help them to analyze the ethical and legal aspects of a situation. In short, today’s leaders must use their personal judgment based on their own moral values and principles to make the best decision for their company. A wrong decision can affect the future success of an organization and the people that rely on the company for their livelihoods.

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As each situation rises, employers face making decisions on an ethical course of action they can rely on and in some degree must pull from the rules of right conduct they employ in everyday life. In the book, Ethics and the Conduct of Business, Boatright (2009) suggests that managers need to identify the appropriate level for a decision because ethical problems may have no solution on the level at which they are approached (Boatright, 2009). In other words, sometimes ethical problems can be solved only by displacing them to a different level because some difficult situations cause distress that can only be resolved by looking at some less than perfect response from a lower level.

For example, as a survivor of abuse, when I first entered the workforce as a young adult, I did so from a place of low self-esteem and self-efficacy. At that time, I did not have the tools to make the best choices when questionable situations arose with respect to issues of morality. Because I was conditioned to respond from a place of “survival” in a supporting role, rather than respond with the knowledge and wisdom, of a seasoned leader, I did not have the training to make the best choices. In some cases, rather than do the right thing and report the unethical situations, because of job security I remained silent. However, as I matured and received higher levels of education, I developed healthier levels of confidence and self-esteem. When unethical situations arise now, I am one of the first to expose the situation to help bring about positive change. I realized that by keeping silent, I was only enabling the misconduct of others.

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Employers that embrace a Utilitarian approach to ethics with the mindset that the “behavior justifies the means to an end” set themselves up as separatists and create situations that can result in a fatal disaster the kind the ENRON community faced. In that situation, executives believed that in order to continue creating high levels of profit, their illegal and immoral behavior was justified because of their utilitarian views.

In their publication, Business Ethics and Social Responsibility, Ferrell et al. (2013) remind us that values are used to help develop norms that are socially accepted and include integrity, accountability and trust (Ferrell, Fraedrich, & Ferrell, 2013). These are examples of values that help guide people to make better decisions, which in turn build trust from employees, consumers, shareholders, and the public. By adopting high levels of ethics and moral values, people live better lives based on respect, gratitude, and appreciation, while taking responsibility for their actions. In the long run, organizations that adopt ethical practices experience higher levels of success. That in itself is reason enough to engage in a code of ethics that embrace best practice policies.

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”Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody’s going to know whether you did it or not.” – Oprah Winfrey

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For more information on Media Magic’s digital publications, or to purchase any of our Business Life audio book titles, please visit amazon.com’s new feature called “Author Central” to view:

Mayr’s Author Page

References:

Blackburn, S. (2001). Ethics: a very short introduction. New York, NY: Oxford Press.

Boatright, J. (2009). Ethics and the Conduct of Business (Sixth ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.

Ferrell, Fraedrich, & Ferrell. (2013). Business ethics and social responsibility (9th ed.). Mason, OH: Cengage Learning.

Ng, T. (2012). Business ethics and sustainability. Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Obiter Dicta.

Do You Love Your Job?

Published February 27, 2015 by Mayrbear's Lair

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(Original Post May 2013)

Leaders encounter a variety of challenges when it comes to hiring new employees. In my book, Breaching Communication Barriers (2013) I reveal that communication skills are one component that can influence what we understand about the companies we work at as well as how to respond to and work with fellow staff members more productively (Berry, 2013) In addition, during times of downsizing, employers rely on existing staff members to step in to pick up the extra work load. This creates an overworked crew who tend to lose motivation which often results in lower quality performances and lower productivity, not to mention does nothing to boost personnel morale (Arthur, 2012). But what does it take for employers to find people that are passionate and will be committed to their companies?

At many organizations, new recruits engage in grueling training techniques provided by the educational system established at the firm. Employees in some companies for example, describe unconventional recruiting methods that resemble those offered in military institutions with boot camp like conditions. In these kinds of arenas recruits are being inundated with training techniques and massive amounts of information. In addition, they are expected to fully commit to every aspect of the organization. Employers implement these methods to arouse passion and motivation in new hires. It also weeds out those who cannot keep up with the curriculum.

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Organizations, in the meantime, do what they can to create more appealing cultures. For example, companies whose climate includes a leniency on dress code and scheduling, produce a welcoming atmosphere where employees are a bit more relaxed about their appearance. Another alluring aspect is the flexibility to schedule their own work hours. In addition, organizations that offer a platform for socializing is highly favorable among staffers. As a result many have established hospitable areas, events, and activities for colleagues to convene. Some include a fully equipped kitchen to encourage socializing. Other organizations cultivate a climate that reflects an ethic of “work hard, play hard,” which can be very appealing to a more youthful age demographic.

Working in an environment with people who are passionate about their organization is a highly motivating factor that attracts certain kinds of individuals as well as charismatic leaders who lead by action. In other words, managers that walk their talk and are not afraid to roll their sleeves up to work right along with staff members inspire higher performances from staff members. An organization that is focused on supporting staff members future and career growth, provides fair compensation, encourages open communication, and offers employee benefits are all appealing employer components that provide value to the people that serve to help these leaders achieve organizational goals.

Organizations that employ a huge staff, look to attract the best recruits possible because it is essential to their success. The recruiting methods successful companies employ seek top notch candidates with very similar techniques implemented in the most successful MLM organizations, like World Ventures. Leaders that engage in effective strategies can tap into an individual’s passions to motivate and inspire actions that will drive their success. Employers are required to do their homework first and foremost in seeking new candidates. This means building a reputation and becoming an employer that people want to work for. In addition the most effective leaders understand that the significant components they seek in employees are value, loyalty, and commitment. Knowing this, they build their recruiting strategies geared to achieve finding people who can meet those criteria. Executives and HR Units must keep their recruitment strategies current and employ the best techniques to attract top level performers (Hayes & Ninemeier, 2001). These are a few tactics organizations use to find and retain top level personnel that are passionate about their work.

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Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life. -Confucius

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For more information on Media Magic’s digital publications, or to purchase any of our Business Life audio book titles, please visit amazon.com’s new feature called “Author Central” to view:

Mayr’s Author Page

References:

Arthur, D. (2012). Recruiting, interviewing, selecting & orienting new employees. New York, NY: AMACOM

Berry, M. A. (2013). Breaching Communication Barriers (Vol. 2). (C. Angela, Ed.) USA: Kindle Direct Publishing.

Hayes, D., & Ninemeier, J. (2001). 50 one-minute tips for recruiting employees. Seattle, WA, USA: Crisp Publications, Inc.

The Law and Ethics

Published February 25, 2015 by Mayrbear's Lair

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(Original Post August 14, 2013)

Ethical theories help individuals to decide what is morally right. The concepts of right and wrong are determined by the group to which one belongs to. Geisler (1989) suggests that ethics is defined in terms of ethnics or what the community deems as morally right and that each society creates its own ethical standard. Similarities that exist between different social groups for instance, result from common needs and desires rather than universal moral prescriptions (Geisler, 1989). In a business environment, leaders must rely on their own views of morality and ethics to assist them in the decision making process. However, there are times when a leader is confronted with making a decision and is required to determine whether it is more important for the organization to engage in ethical practices or lawful ones. For example, many lenders in the mortgage and loan industry approved home loans for individuals who were not qualified. These practices were justified because of loopholes in the legal system. In this case, executives acted under the notion that their conduct was well within the parameters of the legal framework, and skirted past the ethics issue.

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Leaders that find themselves in situations such as this, where they confront challenges that require them to make a choice that is lawful or ethical can draw from a variety of philosophical theories to help them make the most effective decision that will benefit the organization and their stakeholders. Seaquist (2012) outlines the following philosophical theories that help guide the decision makers: (a) ethical absolutism, religious fundamentalism, utilitarianism, deontology, ethical relativism, Nihilism, virtue and justice ethics (Seaquist, 2012). For example, if a leader in the mortgage and loan industry relied on the religious fundamentalism of Christianity, the executive would look to God’s will as to what is right or wrong to help guide their actions. This philosophical style is similar to the ethical absolutism, in that right and wrong concepts are absolute and do not change. Religious fundamentalism relies on the doctrines of truths laid out by the prophets and interpreted from Biblical scriptures. In this respect, an executive’s views are defined on a Christian’s perspective of ethics based on God’s will, which is absolute. From this philosophical view, an executive may choose to assist families that are at a disadvantage for making a first time home purchase, and engage in business practices they deem lawful, even though it may be considered unethical. In this respect, as a Christian, the individual’s choice is to find a way to help others first which in God’s eyes is good, even though the behavior, in the eyes of the financial institution they represent may consider it unethical.

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A leader, on the other hand, that draws conclusions from a philosophy that embraces ethical relativism, rejects the concept of absolute moral values. In my book, Ethics in the Real World (2013) I point out that leaders that have no one to answer to can become dangerous individuals (Berry, 2013). The reason is that many of these leaders operate with a focused tunnel vision to achieve their goals and avoid conforming to ideas that moral judgments are finite. Huemer (2005) postulates, that ethical naturalism and intuition also play a role that can influence individuals. Ethical naturalism for instance holds the view that right and wrong can be identified by whatever promotes human welfare and happiness. Ethical intuitionism, on the other hand, refers to a philosophy that some things (actions, states of affair, etc.) independently consist of one’s attitudes towards various situations (Huemer, 2005). This view embraces an attitude that at least some moral truths are known intuitively and subject to individual interpretation. In other words it is generally understood that some moral truths are known directly and not through the perception of a person’s five senses, or based of other truths. Like the ethical relativism philosophy, they deny the existence of absolute moral principles. Leaders that conform to this kind of philosophy are focused on following the parameters of the laws and although are concerned with ethical values, do not place it as a priority in the decision making process. For example, an executive that embraces this philosophy may approve a loan to the tobacco industry to make a huge profit for the organization, even though it may be deemed unethical to support an industry that hides the harmful effects of their products. In conclusion, each leader must decide for themselves the kind of leadership style they intend to embrace and how they run their business efficiently. Hanh (2012) reminds us that business leaders do not have to sacrifice happiness or their values, to make a profit (Hanh, 2012). Business leaders that cultivate an ethical climate will automatically operate their organization within the framework of the law and incorporate this attitude into their codes of conduct. This effective leadership strategy is more likely to ensure an organization’s long term success.

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Corporate executives and business owners need to realize that there can be no compromise when it comes to ethics, and there are no easy shortcuts to success. Ethics need to be carefully sown into the fabric of their companies. – Vivek Wadhwa

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3 organizational management business skills publications nov 2014

For more information on Media Magic’s digital publications, or to purchase any of our Business Life audio book titles, please visit amazon.com’s new feature called “Author Central” to view:

Mayr’s Author Page

References:

Berry, M. A. (2013). Ethics in the Real World. USA: Kindle Direct Publishing.

Geisler, N. (1989). Christian ethics. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Publishing Group.

Hanh, T. (2012). Work: How to find joy and meaning in each hour of the day. Berkeley, CA: Parallax Press.

Huemer, M. (2005). Ethical intuitionism. New York, NY: Palgrave MacMillan.

Seaquist, G. (2012). Business law for managers. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.

Coming Soon …

Published February 23, 2015 by Mayrbear's Lair

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For more information on Media Magic, our digital publications, or to purchase any of our accelerated learning Business Life titles, please visit our website at:

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Mayr will return with new posts next week. Until then … stay organized!

Corporate Leadership (Conclusion)

Published February 20, 2015 by Mayrbear's Lair

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Leadership Styles

An individual’s leadership style also plays a significant role in shaping the corporate culture and motivating ethical conduct. Glanz (2002) reports there have been many studies conducted to help determine the best leadership styles. Most conclude that effective leaders exhibit varying degrees of the following virtues: (a) courage, (b) empathy, (c) judgment, (d) impartiality, (e) enthusiasm, (f) humility, and (g) imagination (Glanz, 2002). The best leaders, however, continue to expand their knowledge, re-examine outdated business strategies, maintain smooth operations and high production levels, and motivate staff confidence. In his book, Leadership Aikido, John O’Neil (1999) introduced six concepts to achieve victorious leadership skills without harming others. These concepts were inspired by the martial arts tradition of Aikido. He ascribes the following six practices that enable leaders to assess and develop their fullest potential: (a) cultivating self-knowledge, (b) practicing the enigmatic art of planning, (c) speak the language of mastery, (d) allowing values to drive the decision-making process, (e) changing the outcome of failure to one of success, and (f) abiding by the law of unintended consequences. This method of leadership embraces the elements of aikido to help executives identify and overstep five major obstacles that impede progress: (a) failure to grow emotionally, (b) failure to make creative decisions, (c) failure to empathize, (d) failure to manage ego, and (e) failure to overcome boredom and alienation (O’Neil, 1999). Leaders that continue to develop effective leadership skills will most likely achieve higher levels of organizational success.

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The Decision-Making Process

The decision-making process also plays an integral role in how leaders influence corporate culture and motivate ethical conduct. Hanh (2012) posits that because leaders can get into difficult situations, they must have the ability to handle strong emotions in the workplace in order to maintain effective relationships. To achieve this they must keep communication open and become cognizant to avoid the creation of a negative or repressive work culture. The most successful leaders incorporate practices that help manage strong emotions and become educated on how to utilize these strategies in good times before strong emotions arise. This strategy offers leaders the ability to respond in a more skillful fashion and incorporate effective methods during a crisis (Hanh, 2012). For example, Hanh’s Plum Village organization has developed a culture that incorporates three positive influences of power to guide their code of conduct. They are love, understanding, and letting go. The leaders at Plum Village posit that these three influences of power help in the decision-making process because they are used as effective tools that focus on the release of suffering. Their strategies of operation are designed in a way that does not incorporate punishment or destruction. In addition, they conduct their business practices in a manner that protects the environment and all living things.

Leaders that incorporate ethical choices and learn corporate social responsibility operate a business free of worry and fear concerning their future because their business practices support the stakeholders and the environment rather than exploiting or depleting them. Leaders that possess the ability to listen to their own pain and to that of others are capable of finding solutions for transformation. The most successful leaders learn that ethical leadership can help them realize their goals with the support of their stakeholders. In short, leaders that continue to learn to take care of themselves first, have better knowledge of how to take care of others. This is one effective strategy that ethical leaders use to establish a culture that embraces harmony and respect; one that encourages employees to feel pride and joy.

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Conclusion

Organizations like Plum Village that focus on creating a culture of happiness have produced a community that stakeholders are motivated to invest in. Hanh (2012) posits they have created a model that does not focus solely on profit. They also cultivate a climate to create joy and happiness (Hanh, 2012). Businesses should not have to sacrifice happiness to achieve high levels of profit. Organizations that are destructive, engage in fraud, and operate without regard for stakeholders do not enjoy longevity. Leaders in this arena cultivate an atmosphere of discontent and anxiety. Executives on the other hand, who focus on cultivating a climate that motivates ethical conduct without compromising their ability to profit, are more likely to succeed and maintain the confidence and support of their stakeholders. For a workplace to function successfully and harmoniously there must be a code of behavior that everyone is willing to accept. The most effective method of making sure this is accomplished is for leaders to make it a part of their organization’s culture. The most successful do so by setting an example and participating in a leadership style that reflects ethical behavior. They must also include strategies to incorporate supportive speech and engage in actions that bring content and cheerfulness to themselves, their organization, and the community at large. The findings of this research conclude that leaders who engage in ethical misconduct and cultivate a culture of deceit will achieve disastrous results like Enron unless they embrace effective leadership skills that have the power to shape a corporate culture that supports and motivates ethical conduct.

Well, that’s it for this week! Have a great weekend everyone and stay organized!

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Enlightened leadership is spiritual if we understand spirituality not as some kind of religious dogma or ideology but as the domain of awareness where we experience values like truth, goodness, beauty, love and compassion, and also intuition, creativity, insight and focused attention. – Deepak Chopra

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3 organizational management business skills publications nov 2014

For more information on Media Magic’s digital publications, or to purchase any of our Business Life audio book titles, please visit amazon.com’s new feature called “Author Central” to view:

Mayr’s Author Page

References

Boatright, J. (2009). Ethics and the Conduct of Business (Sixth ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.

Chopra, D. (2012). Spiritual Solutions. New York, NY: Random House, Inc.

Ferrell, Fraedrich, & Ferrell. (2013). Business ethics and social responsibility (9th ed.). Mason, OH: Cengage Learning.

Glanz, J. (2002). Finding your leadership style. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD).

Hanh, T. (2012). Work: How to find joy and meaning in each hour of the day. Berkeley, CA: Parallax Press.

O’Neil, J. (1999). Leadership Aikido. New York, NY: Three Rivers Press.

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