The fifth blog prompt titled “Let’s Talk About Politics, Baby” caught my attention while skimming through last semesters blogs. It is almost taboo to talk about politics among our young generation. Millennials, especially at Bucknell, are frighetened to step on each other’s toes or engage in confrontational conversation. I believe respectful confrontation is healthy. It forces individuals to engage in perspective-chaning and have an open mind about what the other person is saying. It brings new opinions to fruition and allows for a wide variety of discourse (where avenues of thought would not have been mentioned otherwise).
The blog asked readers to take a political quiz: http://www.people-press.org/quiz/political-typology/. The results showed what political party you align most with based on your responses. Some of the questions were very black and white and difficult to answer because I did not feel either described my beliefs. One particular question asked “Which comes closest to your views?” with the answers 1) Business corporations make too much profit 2) Most corporations make a fair and responsible profit. I was torn on how to answer this question because it categorizes thousands of business into two finite, exclusive categories. In my opinion, some businesses do not distribute their massive profits honestly and fairly among their employees, supply chain vendors, or towards the environmental damages the corporation has created. This only represents a portion of businesses today. Other businesses, have clear missions about being triple-bottom-line and honest throughout their corporation. Is it wrong to make massive amounts of profit if a corporation cares for its stakeholders?
Another question that made me pause asked the reader to choose between 1) Government is almost always wasteful and inefficient or 2) Government often does a better job than people give it credit. In this particular moment in our U.S. shared history with the congress and the executive branch split, I am inclined to answer our government is wasteful and inefficient. In the news, we often hear of the dynamics of our political system and the wasted energy, time and money spent on such a drastically bi-partisan system. When I think of other programs and changes our government has made throughout history, such as the New Deal and the creation of the SEC, I am again torn on how to best answer this.
The blog asks readers to consider political views and managerial decisions. Do the two relate? Are political views influential on manager’s decision-making? I would argue absolutely yes. If a manager identifies as a liberal and has strong feelings about the environment, he/she may be more inclined to measure their corporations carbon-footprint and lessen their environmental impacts. If you are a manager have different political views than a stakeholder, what is the best course of action when discussing decision-making? Discussion-based, rational conversation. Businesses are not political entities in themselves, but they is political influence surrounding business. We must be aware of this influence, be open to discussion and change, and be ready for positive-conversational confrontation.