Friday, December 19, 2008
LEADERSHIP AND SELF - DECEPTION : GETTING OUT OF THE BOX / ARBINGER INSTITUTE-A BOOK REVIEW by Rajashekhar Devarai & J .Padmavathi
LEADERSHIP AND SELF - DECEPTION : GETTING OUT OF THE BOX / ARBINGER INSTITUTE-A BOOK REVIEW by Rajashekhar Devarai & J .Padmavathi
"We should look long and carefully at ourselves before we consider judging others"(Moliere,1666).
1.1 Ever since the conduct of Hawthorne experiments which lead towards the historical finding of Hawthorne effect during 1920s and 30s by Elton Mayo and other Harward researchers at Western Electric Co. , there is a steady increase in the studies correlating productivity and creativity to that of human/ social relations at work. Applied: Sociology, Economics , Political Science and Psychology have contributed a lot deciphering the hitherto mysterious/unknown factors which contributed substantially for industrial productivity. The importance and relevance of the knowledge base of Social Sciences need not be over emphasized in many fields, be it in productivity, creativity or Technology. Of late people skill organizations and scholarly consortiums with professional manpower specializing in Business, Economics, Law, Education, Management, psychology, Sociology, are very effective in extending solutions to institutions and organizations on a turn key project basis. One of such organizations is The Arbinger Institute whose recent book titled , "Leadership and the Self Deception ..... " is under special focus here for a review. The institute has classified the title under Business/Psychology.
1.2.IMPORTANCE OF THE THE STUDIES ON SELF
The concept of "self' is very unique in Philosophy and in all sciences and social sciences whose focus directly or indirectly is on Human Nature. It will be very useful to readers of "Fashion and Beyond" in the context of this book review, to have meanings and conceptual clarifications of the concept of self
and its various manifestations. These conceptual clarifications and meanings assist to understand the stand point of the book under review.
Generally speaking self refers to the individuals conception of him/herself "Self is that aspect of the personality consisting of the individuals conception of himself. The way a person perceives himself is a result of his experiences with other people, the way they act toward him, and the impression he gets of their view of him"(Scot,1988).
1.2.2. Self Betrayal :
Based on Oxford Dictionary of synonyms and antonyms(1999), Self Betrayal could be defmed as traiting on oneself, being false on oneself, Conspiration on oneself.
1.2.3. Self Deception: Synonyms to the word self deception are: bluff, cheat, deceit, fraud, lie etc. (Oxford Dict. Of Syn. & Ant : 1999). Self Deception according toMartin,M.W(19995) is, "a purposeful action to avoid unpleasant truths and painful topics (about oneself or the world); it is an unintentional process of denial, avoidance, or biased perception; it is a mental state resulting from such action or process, such as ignorance, false belief, wishful thinking, unjustified opinions, or lack of clear awareness. Thus parents tend to exaggerate the virtues of their children, lovers disregard clear signs of unreciprocated affection, overeaters rationalize away the need to diet, patients dying of cancer pretend to themselves that their health is improving. Philosophers and thinkers likeJoseph Butler, Kierkegaard, Hiedegger, Sartre, and Fingarette have substantially dealt on the concept of Self Deception" (Martin, 199 5).
1.2.4. Looking glass self:
The Term was introduced by C.H.Cooley(Mind, Self and Society) in1902. Looking glass self is a persons' perception of himself as determined by the way he imagines he appears to others. It is the conception of self that is formed as a consequence of the attitudes other people have toward him. (Scot,1988)
1.2.5. Generalized Other :
" A generalized and integrated conception of the expectations, attitudes and meanings of a group, an abstract social class, or the other significant persons in a social situation, that has been incorporated in the thinking of an individual and helps to determine his behavior. A person develops a generalized other through the process of social interaction, first by taking over the attitudes, expectations and points of view of significant other persons." G.H.Meads contribution is also is note worthy in this
1.2.6. "I": A hypothetical aspect or phase of the total self corresponding to what the individual regards as the unique aspect of his self. The term was used by G.H.Mead who suggested that the "I" and the "Me" together constitute the personality or self.(Scott,1988).
1.2.7. "Id" : In Freudian theory, the aspect of the personality that consists of unorganized, innate, instinctual impulses seeking immediate gratification. (Scott, 1988).
2.Focus of Management Consultancies and the realm of Self:
It is quite interesting to note that there are organizations which are ready to tackle human relation and people skills problems of a wide range of industries and institutions. It is note worthy that an Institution like Arbinger works at the level of "self analysis" for interpreting the results and productivity of an organization.
2.1 Though the concept of Self, Self Betrayal and Self Deception are quite old as for as their coverage in philosophy and social sciences is concerned, their usage in solving practical problems of institutions and organizations is some what novel and interesting. The contents of the present work are relevant at individual, family, group and organizational level.
2.2.The book Leadership and Self Deception is chapterized into the following heads like : Self Deception and the Box, How we can get in the box, and How we get out of the box. The narration in the book runs in the form of dialogues between Senior executives Bud, Kate, and Lou of a company named Zagrum and a new entrant named Tom. They explain how self deception comes on the way of organizational progress by giving their own individual experiences. The instances and incidents brought out in this narration or more appropriately novel are meticulously worked out to be relevant and to the point. The Arbinger team equates some one under self
deception to be in "the box".
2.3. The Contents of the book can be summarized in the following points :
l.Self betrayal leads to self-deception and the "the box";
2.when you are in the box you cant focus on results;
3.your influence and success depends on being out of the box.;
4.you get out of the box as you cease resisting other people;
5.don't try to be perfect, do try to be better;
6.don't look for others boxes, do look for your own;
7.don't accuse others of being in the box, do try to stay out of the box yourself;
8.don't give up on yourself when you discover you have in the box. Do keep trying.;
9.don't deny you have been in the box when you have been. Do apologize, then just keep marching forward, trying to be more helpful to others in the future.;
10.don't focus on what others are doing wrong. Do focus on what you can do right to help;
ll.don't worry whether others are helping you. , do worry whether you are helping others.
3. To sum up Self Deception may be encountered by any individual. It starts with self betrayal leading towards being in the "BOX" and the individual will have a distorted view of himself and others around. The material brought out in the book is relevant to individuals in all walks of life including their family life and work place. Once the demon of SELF DECEPTION is rampant, both the individual and organizational progress will be in doldrums.
4. THIS WORK (LEADERSHIP AND SELF DECEPTION PRODUCED BY THE ARBINGER INSTITUTE) IS "A MUST READ" PIECE FOR ALL THOSE OF US, WHO HAVE NATURAL INCLINATION FOR KNOWING THE SECRETS, MYSTERIES AND WHIMS AND FANCIES OF OUR SO CALLED BEHAVIOUR, WHICH HOLDS THE KEY TO UNDERSTAND AS TO WHY WE BEHAVE THE WAY WE BEHAVE TOWARDS OTHERS AND AS TO WHY OTHERS BEHAVE TOWARDS US THE WAY THEY BEHAVE. DEFINITELY IT WILL BE A STEP FORWARD IF WE ATTEMPT TO UNDERSTAND HOW AND WHY WE BETRAY OUR OWN SELF AND HOW AND WHY WE GET INTO THE TRAP OF SELF DECEPTION AND GET INTO THE SO CALLED "BOX". WHAT A RELIEF TO FEEL THE EXPERIENCE OF GETTING OUT OF THE "BOX", AND WHAT A DELIGHT TO LOOK AT THE WORLD THAT LOOKS ENTERELY DIFFERENT ONCE WE ARE OUT OF THE BOX. THE PURPOSE OF THIS REVIEW IS BEST SERVED IF IT RAISES THE CURIOUSITY OF ADMINISTRATOR, TEACHERS, DESIGNERS AND TECHNOLOGISTS, SCIENTISTS TO READ THE BOOK.
5.The Arbinger Institute
The Arbinger Institute , a Management training and consulting firm and Scholarly consortium ,responsible for the contents of the book, was founded to translate the teams important work on self-deception - and its solution - into practical effect for individuals, families, and organizations worldwide. To cite from the book, "self deception is at the heart of the organizational failures. It is the reason many organizational problems seem so intractable - at their core they are self-deceptions; they resist solution." Members of Arbinger apply their energies to helping organizations reduce people problems and increase bottom-line results. They do this by helping clients implement Arbingers three phase Results System. Phase I of the system is introduced in this book. The change work of the institute is lead by philosopher Terry Warner and Duane Boyce, Jim Ferrel, and Paul Smith contribute to the deliberations as Managing Directors.
The Arbinger Institute www.arbinger.com 800-307 -9415
6. Bibliographic details and source of the book:
Leadership and Self Deception/ Arbinger Institute.-San Fransisco : Berret¬Koehler Publishers. 2000.
Berret-Koehler Publishers.Inc.450 Sansome Street, Suite 1200, Sanfransisco, CA 94111-3320. Tel: (415) 288-0260, Fax: (415)362-2512. www.bkconnection.com
1) Moliere.1666.Le Misanthrope. Quoted on pageno.318 IN ~ollins Concise
Dictionary .-Glassgow:Harper Collins.
2) Scot,W.P.1988.Dictionary of Sociology.-Delhi:Goyal Saab.
3) Oxford Dictionary of Synonyms and Antonyms. 1999. OUP :
4) Martin,M.W.1995. IN The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy /Robert Audi.-Cambridge : Cambridge Uni. Press. -----00000----
Rajashekhar Devarai, M.A., MLI.Sc., Head Librarian-Resource Centre and Centre Coordinator-Fashion and Beyond: National Institute of Fashion Technology, Madhapur, Hyderabad-500032, India. Tel:+91-040-23110842(office), +91-040¬23001998(Residence).
J.Padmavathi, B.Sc.,MLI.Sc., LA-Resource Centre, National Institute of Fashion Technology, Madhapur, Hyderabad-500032.India. Tel: +91-040-23110843 (office), +91¬040-27561519(residence ).
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Friday, May 9, 2008
Devarai, R. S.2008. "Biotechnolgy, IPRs and Biodiversity/M.B.Rao and Manjula Guru.,New Delhi: Dorling Kindersley (Pearson Edn), 2007,pp229,Rs.6oo" : A Book Review.- Akruti Journal of Infrastructure.- 1(3)April 2008.,pp250-251.
It is indeed a challenging task to author a book on the three contemporary topics, viz., ‘Biotechnology, IPRs and Biodiversity’ together placed in relation to each other. The authors M.B.Rao and Manjula Guru claim to have brought out their diverse and multidimensional deliberations on the topics cited above in unison and in interaction and inter relation with each other. One can notice ample of literature on the topics of Biotechnology (BT), Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) and Biodiversity (BD). This literature cuts across disciplinary boundaries, covering various issues with diverse facets. The topics BT, IPR’s and BD have become so common in the media and professional literature, that these have become part and parcel of common sense and conventional wisdom.
It is in this background that the authors in one go, have attempted to analyse the details of the concerns and commitments of the developed and developing countries about issues pertaining to Science, Technology, Policy, social/survival issues directly or indirectly related to BT, IPRs and BD. The book is spread out in ten chapters. Chapter 1 covers the topic ‘biotechnology’ with emphasis on its positive and negative impacts on society. In Chapter 2, the authors give an overview of disastrous effects of Genetically Modified Food (GMFs) and the laws enacted by various countries in this regard for mitigating their harmful effects. Chapters 3 and 4 deal with biotechnology, patent law and the role played by Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) for the conclusion of a ‘binding agreement’ on the conservation of Plant Genetic Resources. Authors lay a special emphasis on the fact that the FAO’s role in this regard did not yield desired results due to opposition of the developed countries. Rao and Guru dwell on issues and concerns like : the need to preserve biodiversity, agreements on the conservation of Flora and Fauna and protection of ecosystems/habitats, backgrounds which led to the signing of the historical Convention on Biodiversity (CBD), The Cartegena Protocol on Biosafety etc in Chapters 5-10. All through the chapters, the authors skillfully glide from science, social science, social work, law to technology easily with ample of comfort to explain the general concerns pertaining to BT, IPR & BD.
The text is a good blend of the experience, exposure and credentials of the authors. Mr. Rao is an advocate and a senior bureaucrat. Ms.Manjula Guru is an advocate at Delhi High Court. She is a member of the American Association of Agricultural Economists. Both of them have number of papers and publications to their credit. The authors are successful in educating the reader on BT, IPR & BD. They have tried to highlight the critical issues like biodiversity laws, vested interests of the developed countries on IPRs and Patents, marginalization of the indigenous people, vested interest of MNCs etc which are a matter of great concern to both developed and developing countries. The authors have crisply brought out the fact of USA not signing the CBD. They have highlighted USA’s concerns over its MNCs and their ‘Biotechnology business’, than about the concerns and issues of developing countries.
By and large the book is a narrative and probably a result mainly of the reading, scholarship and experience of the authors. No study or survey seems to form the base of the deliberations by the authors. Nevertheless this book on Biotechnology, IPRs and Biodiversity is a welcome addition to the already burgeoning list of books in this field. The authors’ efforts are appreciable., as they are successful in sensitizing and raising the curiosities of the readers to know more in this regard.
JAIN’S SEZ MANUAL 2007 by Abha Jain, India Investment Publications, New Delhi, April 2007, pp 410, Rs. 470
Indian Special Economic zones (SEZs’) are zones within the territory of India that operate on a global paradigm of business practices, regulatory framework and enjoy the freedom to do business and trade without government restrictions. They have access to all the advantages pertaining