First Blog Post


1) If many problems of our world are actually structural issues, like war, marriage or the metropolis, how does an individual solve the problem?
Answer: The individual must possess the sociological imagination. We must look past our personal troubles and trace the linkage among all individuals’ troubles. These issues are structural, but they are made up of a bunch of individual troubles combined. Therefore, in order to resolve these problems, one must understand the connection between the individual and society, history and biography.


2) In Business ethics, why can trust be thought of as a ‘double-edged sword?

Answer: When you think of business ethics in general, usually a business is ethical for its costumers to trust them and start a relationship with them. A costumer will usually trust a business based on past history and if their ethical standards match up. In this sense, trust is a good factor of business ethics. It benefits the customer and the business. But as seen in the financial crisis of 2008, trust in a business does not always yield favorable consequences. In the article, it mentions that many of these companies and organizations were ones that we trusted and that were supposed to protect us; but they let us down and acted unethically. If you think about it, a business can put on a ‘face’ of being ethical and gain trust and support from many people but then results in unfavorable consequences. The financial crisis showed that trust can also be harmful in business ethics.


3) If people view ethics and morality as a social norm, why are there ethical issues in our society?

Answer: The problem with a social norm is that it is commonsense for a certain society. And not everyone in that society may agree with the norm. It brings us back to the concept that a society is made up of a bunch of different individuals. Similar to above where structural problems are made up of individuals’ troubles combined. Therefore, after doing some research, Dr. Resnik says that is about interpreting these social norms. It requires research of ethics and to adhere to ethics in research. Therefore, providing a public display of support for ethics and research.

5 responses »

  1. wmw014 says:

    I also asked a similar question in my blog post in regard to how one should look at their present circumstances or problems in life. As you stated from Mills’ article, in order for one to properly look at their present circumstances in life they have to make the connection between the individual and society, and history and biography. You make a great point that if one is to identify a solution to a structural problem they have to make these connections. If these connections are made, then the structural problem one is encountering can be looked at from several angles from which it is more viable that a solution will be identified.

  2. lwt003 says:

    In regards to your third question, I agree that most societies view ethics as a social norm but I would argue that not everyone defines ethics in the same way. As I mentioned in my blog post, there is no one person to universally draw the line between what is ethical and what is not. Due to this, a lot of the “gray” area is debated and many individuals will do something that they believe is ethical and others believe is not. There is however an interesting question as to why people do things that are blatantly unethical. Perhaps they believe they can get away with it, or have no regard for ethics. Either way it is an interesting topic.

  3. srp008 says:

    In response to your second question, big business if facing a huge problem in terms of trust. Companies that we once upheld as making our lives easier and more efficient, were, like you said, responsible for the entire financial crisis. Companies have burned their bridges with consumers so much, that it seems if they are not environmentally conscious, misleading in advertisements, or creative with tax, we deem them to be untrustworthy and unreliable. We say many companies like General Motors and others that received a bailout had a sort of “ostrich effect” where they just bury their head in the sand, fly their private jets, and wait for everything to get better every time something goes wrong. So how can we trust a company when we find them to be incapable of changing their strategy? Also the fact that we the people are better informed and can easily access information via news and social networks, we hold higher expectations from our businesses than ever before. Not only do we expect our business to act appropriately, but we now expect them to make strives toward better society as a whole.

    • Jordi says:

      Ostrich effect. Nice!

      The way you point out trust in a company also fits in to my comment below where trust may have different meanings depending on the economic context.

      In some ways, a firm is much more than “just” the leaders. And I think people get that intuitively. At the same time, it becomes a simple way to sort companies into “good” or “bad” for the average person to use the actions of the leaders to infer about the whole firm.

  4. Jordi says:

    1) That is definitely why people need SI.

    2) I find the ways we use trust interesting. I also think it is important to start to specify kinds of trust where we are talking about economics and management. Trust in a regulator to do their job may be conceptually a different kettle of fish than trust that a business partner will not engage in deception. Given these differences, rethinking the practical side of ethics for building trust may be in order.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s