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Discrimination

Published September 11, 2013 by Mayrbear's Lair

Discrimination

Laws and doctrines help establish the choices that determine the rights of citizens in society regardless of gender, race, or age. Palumbo and Wolfson (2011) explain that many social systems emerged from ancient roots that were cultivated to treat people differently based on the race or sex. In addition, although evidence suggests early matriarchal traditions existed, patriarchal models have dominated Western civilization for millennia (Palumbo & Wolfson, 2011). In fact, the rise of patriarchy produced the manifestation and institutionalization of male dominance over family and society as a whole. Furthermore, men held power in all important facets of society. In short, a patriarchal system has been enforced, cultivated, legitimated, and perpetuated in a variety of manners throughout the ages and supported by religion and laws. In modern society, however, these practices are now viewed as a form of discrimination that federal government agencies like the EEOC, oversee based on Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

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Discrimination in the workplace is an ongoing issue in the evolution of humanity. According to Seaquist (2012) discrimination in a business environment affects not only the individual, but the climate of the company as a whole (Seaquist, 2012). A leader’s best defense, as in any legal issue, is to keep meticulous records, develop effective strategies and policies to discourage discrimination and incorporate systems to monitor behavior that include checks and balances. The challenge, however, that most leaders face, is that there are many forms of discrimination; it is not isolated to race, age, or sex only. In fact, discrimination can appear in the form of class, level of academics, religious preferences, and even based on the kind of pet an individual has. Discrimination in short is a concept that creates separation and distrust in people because it focuses on their “inequalities.”

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Many of the founding fathers of this country believed that equality is the ideal that is at the core and fiber of every human being. Fredman (2011) in the meantime, asked us to contemplate the following concept: “When one person is like another, does that entitle them to be treated alike?” For example, for centuries it was commonly accepted that women were not like men and therefore deserved fewer rights. This concept still exists today in many countries. The same premise is used to deny rights to people of color, ethnic groups, sexual orientation, disability or age. Although one can agree or argue whether individuals are different or alike, many still contemplate as to whether they should or are entitled to be treated equally. This would suggest that the treatment of equality is predicated on the principle that justice is inconsistent. This paradox is evident when we accept that equality is formulated in different ways contingent upon the specific concept that is applied. This explains how the consistencies or inconsistencies of two individuals that appear to be alike, are in fact different in terms of things like: (a) access to power, (b) opportunities, and (c) material benefits that manifest in unequal outcomes. Therefore, an alternative view of inequality emerges that is based on perception of justice that is concentrated on balancing maldistribution (Fredman, 2011). This is one way to explain how discrimination continues to thrive and exist.

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Some employers, however, engage in certain kinds of discrimination to justify their business practices. For example, many of the employees hired as cocktail waitresses in certain environments are employed based on a certain attractive look, age, gender and physical features. The reasoning behind this is that it is part of their marketing strategy which is aimed at a dominant male clientele. Although this can be construed as discrimination, EEOC mandates also protect an employer’s right to choose how to run their business and the marketing strategies they deem effective for their industry. As long as a company can produce evidence to support their business is based on profiting by hiring a certain group, whether based on attractive looks, religion, age, gender, or other criteria, the business can engage in this practice legally and within the framework of employment laws. In other words, a business owner can operate an establishment, hire a specific type of employee for specific duties, and the EEOC will not consider it discrimination as long as the employer can provide substantial reason and evidence to support their justification in doing so, that is consistent in their industry. Ultimately, it is the job of each and every business leader to make sure they are familiar with the business laws that govern their industry to ensure that they are not violating any statutes with respect to employment and discrimination laws.

References:

Fredman, S. (2011). Discrimination law. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Palumbo, C., & Wolfson, B. (2011). The law of sex discrimination (Fourth ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.

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

Constitutional and Legal Underpinnings of Business Law

Published August 12, 2013 by Mayrbear's Lair

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It is important for business leaders to comprehend the legal parameters in which to operate a business effectively. In other words, business leaders that have a grasp on the law will benefit from that knowledge. The role of the US Constitution, for example, plays as significant part in comprehending the law and protecting citizen rights. Business leaders that learn to interpret and comprehend the provisions it consists of will be ahead of the game in operating a successful organization. The Fourth Amendment is the focus of this post because it is a noteworthy component in the section of the Constitution known as the Bill of Rights. The Fourth Amendment was created to protect US citizens and their possessions. Schulhofer (2012) contends that prior to the establishment of the Fourth Amendment American Colonists were subjected to abusive searches that consisted of authorities plundering their businesses and rummaging through their documents and possessions (Schulhofer, 2012). Other infractions of the Fourth Amendment involve violation of rights by the abusive power of authorities who take advantage of people that are uneducated for instance, or may not be aware of their rights as a citizen. Individuals that have immigrated from foreign countries, for example, and are unable to communicate effectively, in many cases are taken advantage of and discriminated against. The Fourth Amendment is designed to protect US citizens from having their property searched or seized without the authorities having reason and/or obtaining a legitimate warrant to do so.

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The Fourth Amendment benefits citizens and their businesses because it protects them from unwarranted searches and having their possessions confiscated. On the other hand, the Fourth Amendment also benefits authorities because it gives them the right to search and seize evidence from individuals or businesses suspected of illegal conduct that may bring harm to the public at large. Clancy (2008) purported that with respect to any case that involves Fourth Amendment issues the following question must be addressed: does the government activity (whether search or seizure) invade the individual or their business interests that are protected by the amendment (Clancy, 2008). In other words is the activity warranted or not? For example, in today’s world, technological innovations in communication and the internet are creating cause for alarm with respect to the rights of citizens under the Fourth Amendment because of the astounding surveillance capabilities of the government to collect private information and data in the name of national security post the 911 terrorist attack. The questions modern citizens face today is whether this invasion of privacy is an infringement on their Fourth Amendment constitutional rights.

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Furthermore, the act of a search or seizure is very degrading for an individual to experience. In fact, Taslitz (2006) disclosed that the original Fourth Amendment of 1791 was constructed to tame political violence. The truth is, that the early colonists not only complained about taxation without representation, they were outraged that the enforcement of these tax laws were conducted by searches from authorities without evidence of any wrongdoing (Taslitz, 2006). In short, search and seizure were the core issues that motivated the revolutionary war! Authorities that conduct seizures and raids have consciously engaged in an act that strips individuals of their rights and privacy. It is imperative that any authoritative figure who engage in such activity do so legally to prevent the violation of an individual’s US Constitutional rights or robbing any person of their dignity in doing so.

The Fourth Amendment

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

References:

Clancy, T. (2008). The fourth amanedment: Its history and interpretation. Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press.

Schulhofer, S. (2012). More essential than ever: The fourth amendment in the twenty-first century. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Taslitz, A. (2006). Reconstructing the fourth amendment: A history of search and seizure. New York, NY: New York University Press.

Organizational Experimentation

Published May 6, 2013 by Mayrbear's Lair

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Unprecedented changes in the global marketplace have helped ignite a revolutionary reformation in the design of organizations as a result of the many challenges executives confront. For one thing, organizations are reevaluating the distribution of power and how information is shared.  Firms are expanding and changing their boundaries.  Partnerships and alliances, for example, have become more significant. Flexibility and a high quality of production and service is one competitive objective that organizations seek to achieve. To provide a menu of high quality choices organizations are creating more autonomous teams of workers. As a result, leading experts in corporate design are examining the best methods to create speed, variety and flexibility to expand the company over time and international boundaries to help prepare them for the next century (Bowman & Kogut, 1995). One method organizations employ to help redesign their firm is experimentation.

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Garvin (2000) contends experimentation is an uncommon practice in most organizational settings other than in the R&D and market research divisions. For experiments to have a lasting effect, the primary objective of making one’s case as the preferred position must change. For experimentation to really be effective, organizations must learn to adapt a more open perspective and consider all opposing views. In other words, leaders must embrace knowledge as conditional and outcomes as speculative. In an organizational context, experimentation takes on several definitions: the act of attempting something new or proving it; a temporary system, a practice or series of events that are examined in order to discover something unidentified, where procedures are carefully and intentionally constructed to produce intelligence, wisdom, and productivity that translates into profits and growth. This is typically conducted through a preplanned series of trials, errors, and comparisons (Garvin, 2000).

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An effective organizational experiment should include the following components: (a) pre-experimental planning, (b) data collection, (c) initiative and objective development, (d) experiment execution, and (e) post experiment analysis (McClain & Smith, 2006). As a former employee in the mortgage and loan industry, a growing number of clients at that time, communicated an interest in foreclosure property investments. This was a new arena for our organization, so our leaders decided to investigate and explore this market further.

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Initially a simple experiment was launched to discern how lucrative this market was. An employee traveled to and from the County Recorder’s Office collecting and logging Public Notice information manually in a ledger book. This information was later transcribed and transferred to an electronic format and stored on the company’s server for examination. In addition, analysis and feedback from the employee collecting the data was taken into consideration to formulate a plan and design a software program to create a more efficient cost effective system to retrieve and process the information as investors rapidly consumed the reports we offered. To keep up with consumer demand, the next phase of the experiment involved the inclusion of paying a monthly fee to access the County Recorder’s data from our company’s server. Once the new system was in place and the software program was designed, data was retrieved from the home office, without the employee losing travel time. This new method proved more cost effective. The information could now be retrieved and analyzed immediately, transferred and dispersed into reports in unprecedented time, giving our organization a competitive edge with investors. Within a year’s time, websites emerged offering the data as well for even quicker assessment. As a result of the experimentation and with so many available resources to collect and process this information, our organization established a new Foreclosure Finder Service division that focused serving clients with special interests. Our leaders were cognizant, that for real innovation to occur, active approaches like the experiment we conducted, are essential for organizations that want the upper hand in a competitive marketplace.

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References:

Bowman, E., & Kogut, B. (1995). Redesiging the firm. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, Inc.

Garvin, D. (2000). Learning in action: A guide to putting the learning organization to work. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.

McClain, B., & Smith, D. (2006). Experimentation in a collaborative planning environment. Monterey, CA: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.

Social Change

Published January 21, 2013 by Mayrbear's Lair

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Most experts agree that we tend to think about social change in three ways: (a) as a result of significant events such as a war or a terrorist attack like that of 911, (b) in a macroscopic level suggesting that wide-scale trends enable us to view patterns, and (c) in social institutions that affect the lives of the population as individuals, groups, families, in various situations, and in work settings (Harper & Leicht, 2011). So what drives these changes? Journalist David Bornstein (2007) simply states it is the barriers that were once impeding that is disappearing and at a staggering rate (p. 6).

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One of the three areas of social change that continues to have significant impact is that of education.  According the article Social Change (n.d.), experts agree that education is a powerful platform for bringing about changes in society.  Although changes appear to come slow, they are constant and tend to have an enormous impact than those brought on by revolution, incursions, or any other unforeseen events.  French sociologist David Emile Durkheim purports that social change in education is important for the younger generation (Social Change, n.d.).  In the 1960s, President Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson shared these sentiments and asked the federal government to shift their focus toward education when they lobbied Congress for more federal aid and the creation of new programs.

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Studies reveal that the majority of the middle class have received higher levels of education following high school.  A trend toward greater tolerance of religions, cultures and politics is widespread partly explained by the increasing levels of education in America.  Individuals for instance, that continue to expand their levels of knowledge, tend to be less fearful of others with different views.  We can illustrate this by observing sects of devout Christians who believe persons outside their religious faith are condemned to an afterlife of misery, cruelty and suffering.  This information is very confusing to Christian youngsters educated in the traditional brick and mortar school systems where they are exposed to multiculturalism and the variety of belief systems apart from their own as they bond with fellow classmates.  The classroom is where young learners are exposed to a hodge-podge of input that can be very confusing from what their church teaches or is viewed as the norm in their family environment.  It is up to each individual to discern between that of what they are taught in their spiritual practices to the experiences in the classroom intermingling with peers of different faiths.  These experiences in an educational environment can encourage children to expand their views as they begin to comprehend each other more and ponder the new information.   With higher levels of education, friendships that are built and the sharing of views with others from various spiritual belief systems can encourage more tolerance and understanding.

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Religions greatly differ from one society to the next; each one is sacred and beautiful, with their own set of moral rules.  Social change is ushered when the structural properties of a social system evolve that determine the degree of inequality and power (Noble, 2000). Education is one avenue that can tear down the walls of prejudice and misinformation. The more individuals are educated and empowered on specific topics like religion, government, and history, the more understanding and tolerance we can hope to expect and experience as a society.  Social change is a redeeming feature in human society and education is one key component that continues to help shape and steer mankind’s ever evolving world.

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References:

Bornstein, D. (2007). How to change the world: Social entrepreneurs and the power of new ideas. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Harper, C., & Leicht, K. (2011). Exploring social change American and the world (6th ed.). Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Social Change. (n.d.). Retrieved January 6, 2012, from Questia.com: http://www.questia.com/library/sociology-and-anthropology/social-organization-and-community/social-change

Noble, T. (2000). Social theory and social change. New York, NY: St. Martin’s Press.