Best Comments Awards!

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Since we put so much emphasis on creating thoughtful discussion on this blog, I figured it was about time we awarded some of our fellow Blorg heads for the most thought provoking and enlightening comments over the past few weeks of posts.

Best in-class Concept Connections: Molly on “Multiple ways to attain a high share value”

“Slowly but surely our society is beginning to recognize the negative consequences associated with organizations placing dominant emphasis on shareholder value. Although it took the collapse of Enron, Worldcom, Lehman Brothers and the recent economic recession to help get the point across, people are beginning to make strides to help organizations be motivated by more than just profit. I think that business schools could play a large role in this effort. The styles of leadership being taught at those institutions during Enron’s time were centered around shareholder value. A study was conducted where students were asked if they believed that the sole purpose of business was to maximize shareholder value. Upon entrance into a business program 62% responded yes. Upon graduation that statistic reached 82%. I think a curriculum change needs to be made where the future leaders of America learn how to run a business founded in integrity, honesty and morality and to keep our planet’s interest as a top priority.”

Most Discussion Provoking: Mike1290 on “12 zeros gone and Zimbabwe continues to struggle”

Obviously, there are financial reasons why modern countries and companies are disinclined to invest in African countries, but if, perhaps, the UN stepped in, something could be accomplished. Unfortunately, with their current reach, today’s UN would not even attempt such a feat, but I think the time is coming where the UN needs to expand their domain and take on a larger role in solving the world’s problems. I would like to see the UN basically create a new country out of Africa, with current African countries becoming states or something equivalent. Starting with the most populated areas, the UN would introduce a military presence and slowly reclaim areas from the warlords and corrupt governments. Well that’s what I’d like to see, in a nutshell, and I think that this would be the most efficient way to restructure Africa.If anyone else has any ideas about how to fix this problem, I’d love to hear them.

Best Devil’s Advocate: Heartless Capitalist on “Child Labor in India: Can organizations make a difference?”

I think this post brings up some important issues, but is it really the responsibility of the company to invest in social welfare. What benefits does this give them? In the case of public corporations, they are in effect spending money that rightfully belongs to the shareholders. By providing education, health care, or other social services, these companies also risk elevating the population to a level where they can command higher salaries. This will be directly passed on as price increases to the consumer. Our Nike sneakers and North Face jackets will cost twice as much! This seems like a doubly whammy to consumers in western nations such as the US. Our dividends are being skimmed at the risk of labor cost increases. The one argument that could be made for these programs, especially in India, is that we will end up with an over-educated workforce willing to perform higher level tasks for less money than their western counterparts. One only has to look at the growth in India’s business services sector to see this partially in effect already. Maybe cheaper IT mgmt, accounting services, call centers, and software programming is worth the trade off?

Best Reply to a question from Jordi: EJ on “Chilean Earthquake spurs Economic Growth?”

I found the TED database after some snooping around on google. I tried searching some of our library’s databases, but I wasn’t able to initially find any up to date export data.

I would agree that GDP is flawed as a measure of prosperity in regards to individuals. Chile’s business structure will probably reap most of the benefits of the increased GDP while the citizens may struggle to rebuild their personal lives. After a major disaster, I suppose all the government can do is rebuild the cities and infrastructure (which increases the GDP) to give citizens a foundation to repair their lives. Rather than current prosperity, GDP seems to represent a positive future outlook in a situation like this.

From an open system perspective, it is important for Chile to focus on repairing its natural resource harvesting and trade systems. Chile is very rich in natural resources, most importantly copper, so its economy relies heavily on exchanging resources with other countries. Chile’s economy cannot recover and grow unless the country can take in resources from the natural environment and exchange them with foreign environments.