The Stereotype of the Businessman

The Field/Action Research session I attended was about the value of big data and how to ask the right questions in order to obtain data that is valuable, however during the session the way the one of the professors described and referred to the “businessman” particularly attracted my attention, so I wanted to write about that.

He mentioned that he was a part of the Board of Directors in PAF (Parker Autism Foundation) and as he was describing the structure of the Board of Directors he made sure to make a clear difference between two different groups. One group consisted of the moms,dads and teachers and the other group consisted of “businessman”. He elaborated on the term “businessman” by saying that they came into the Board of Directors meeting that was at 7:30 am, and pulled out all different financial statements in order to find a better way to evaluate what programs work to help the kids. He basically simplified a body of people that probably consisted of diverse people with diverse backgrounds into one greedy businessman.

This reminded me of Stout’s description of the stereotypical shareholder in everyone’s heads, who cares about nothing other than maximizing his/her financial benefits. She explains how shareholders are human too, they have jobs, they have families and they do the same thing as everyone else. So doesn’t this description of the businessman simply create more negative opinions towards the world of business? Isn’t it a way of enabling more stereotypes to enter in our lives? What do we have to do, in order to disable the proliferation of such opinions and to stay away from the idea that businessman are greedy pigs who care about nothing other than money?


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