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As any successful marketing campaign, this needs to have the appropriate communication instruments and the most important of these would be the right channels: your own bosses, other employees (some who have no problem in recognizing the employee's qualities) or friends. Friends would hereby be included in the first category of Aristotle's friendships, the friendship of utility: one develops friendships with fellow colleagues in order to ensure that these friends develop and, more importantly, communicate, a positive image of the individual in the organization.
Part from this, one can also have a friendship of pleasure in the workplace. Team building actions or simple after work meetings for a Happy Hour could be such an example. However, there is a significant problem with both this category of friendship, following Aristotle's scheme, and with that of the friendship of the characters, the most profound form: the relationship with the office is too strong to allow these two types of friendships to develop.
Indeed, the friendship for pleasure or the friendship of the characters will have a hard time striving because of the fact that politics in the workplace continue to remain important in order for an individual to be able to be happy, that is, to be able to ensure that he is in a position in the organization that encourages him to use his intellect, to participate in the organizational activities and to be recognized for that. More often than not, because of these aspects, true, character friendships in the office are difficult to appear and, even more so, to successfully exist.
The question of justice in the workplace can be similarly tied into Aristotle's concepts, as previously presented. An unjust act, for example, would be that of launching a false rumor in the workplace. This act would be unjust, following the Aristotelian concepts, because of at least two separate reasons. First of all, it would be unjust as an act through which the individual who commits it wants to achieve a profit for himself. In that sense, second of all, it is also unjust because it wants to achieve a profit while unjustly hurting another individual in the organization. Similarly to the example that Aristotle gives, such a situation creates harm to someone with the selfish purpose of obtaining gains for oneself.
What has been pointed out here with regards to the politics and relations that are likely to be formed in the office are, in fact, smaller representations of what goes on at a larger scale in society. Ideally, man would be able to give up on his selfish approach and use his altruistic side in order to be able to be just and build true friendships.
However, how often does that actually happen? How often is someone able to renounce his objectives so as to be able to build true character relations, relations that also imply an altruistic behavior towards the other individuals and, most notably, towards friends. It is difficult to imagine that in society and even more difficult in the space of an office or an organization, where the individual subjective tendencies and approaches can often become conflicting much quicker.
Aristotle proposes a system of ethical thought that would mean an altruistic and just approach as cornerstones of the individual approaches to life and to the decision making process. In the office space, the influences on the decision making process are often exacerbated and it is often difficult to keep in mind the wise approaches proposed by the philosopher when, in fact, many of the decisions are based on the individual purposes as the main factor to be taken into consideration.
1. Nicomachean Ethics, trans. T.H. Irwin, Introduction. Hackett Publishing Company (Indianapolis: 1999).
2. Ziniewicz, Gordon L. ARISTOTLE: NICOMACHEAN ETHICS. 1996. On the Internet at http://www.americanphilosophy.com/aristot2.html. Last retrieved on October 5, 2009
3. Smith Pangle, Lorraine. Aristotle and the Philosophy of Friendship. Cambridge University Press 2002.
Nicomachean Ethics, trans. T.H. Irwin, Introduction. Hackett Publishing Company (Indianapolis: 1999).
Ziniewicz, Gordon L. ARISTOTLE: NICOMACHEAN ETHICS. 1996. On the Internet at http://www.americanphilosophy.com/aristot2.html. Last retrieved on October 5, 2009
Smith Pangle, Lorraine. Aristotle and the Philosophy of Friendship. Cambridge University Press 2002.
Ziniewicz, Gordon L. ARISTOTLE: NICOMACHEAN ETHICS. 1996. On the Internet at http://www.americanphilosophy.com/aristot2.html. Last retrieved…[continue]
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