It turns out that modern corporate life is a justification in and of itself for people to be self-interested “jerks”…
While I’m not sure I fully agree (idealist that I am), some researchers at the Stanford Graduate School of Business have studied the phenomenon.
The operative passage from researcher Jeffrey Pfeffer, a professor of organizational behavior at Stanford GSB:
“People need to take care of themselves,” Pfeffer says. “They need to stop looking for this mythical Santa Claus that’s going to be nice to them.” To the suggestion that this was a depressing assessment of cubicle life, Pfeffer responded, “what I find more depressing is instances when people misplace their faith and trust in organizations—when people who think their company will look after them meet horrible consequences.”
Amen to the concept of horrible consequences waiting in the wings for those who don’t align the values they espouse with the values that their organization upholds. Amen to that indeed.
It’s an interesting and quick read, in any case.