Happy Earth Day!
I chose management studies because I wanted to understand what makes employers (i.e. companies) waste their resources, and especially their human resources.
I studied Strategy, HR, Finance, Marketing and Change and now think exploiting resources is not only morally wrong, but also economically idiotic. A book we used over several modules was ‘Exploring Corporate Strategy‘ by Johnson, Scholes and Whittington. I strongly recommend it in my own strategy class and to everyone interested in corporate strategy. It covers the whole range of strategic analysis and implementation tools and is excellent for an initial, and practically helpful, overview when you start studying strategic management. The weird thing is that strategy is all about staying competitive in the long run, but how do you make it in the long run when you destroy your market environment and your workforce’s ability to perform? I don’t get it.
I went on to focus on International Management, Marketing Communications and Business Ethics. International management was pretty much about taking other views seriously, marketing communications about authenticity, and ethics, well, ethics destroys everything. The shock for me came when I realised that there were people of 30, 40 or 50 years in my MBA class who had never, like: NEVER considered their values as expression of the community they lived in. I saw grown up managers shaking up their world view, realising that there are different approaches to what is right or wrong. Unfortunately, this is true for how you treat your resources, too. Although it’s funny how different approaches to ethics try to ignore how you can use them to argue everything. If you want to get started learning about business ethics, try Crane and Matten’s ‘business ethics‘. Their approach is very hands-on, which takes the intimidating part out of philosophical considerations. I still don’t know why people destroy the environment they depend on. I even developed difficulties understanding how people can ignore that there are so many more people on the planet who are affected by their individual, daily decisions.
Even if you think it’s your right to destroy YOUR environment, you have to acknowledge the right of every other society to protect their environment from being destroyed by you. So, in the long run, if you want to live a wealthy, healthy, peaceful life, it makes so much more sense to ensure and protect wealth, health and peace for everybody. For me, it is no longer a moral decision, it is economically and egoistically reasonable to behave responsibly towards our resources.
If only meat would not taste so good!