Power structures create a system of influence between individuals

Power structures create a system of influence between individuals within a selected group. There is a dominance hierarchy. These structures bring people under a rule and individual perception and the way they see themselves under the influence of others. The effect of power may bring resistance or self-facilitating decisions within the power. Focusing on different ethical concepts, the paper evaluates a leader’s opinion and action to establish the moral point of their action. In this case, the focus is on a business leader of Amazon, Jeff Bezos who is well known for his work and the performance of the organization he leads. Despite, his success he has attracted few critics in his work performance which tries to question his moral standards in the performance of duties as a leader and the relationship with employees. Though the company claim that 94% of its workers consider the company the best place of work several cases has been filed to the National Labor Relations Boards where workers have claimed their rights had been interfered with. The leader, Jeff Bezos ethical stand is analyzed below by analyzing his stance on several issues brought to the public about employees’ problem within the company.
According to Foucault concept suggest that freedom is informed by reflection. The centre of good and right in an ethical matter is an individual ability to express their freedom through reflecting on several activities (Michel Foucault). In power structures, the influence and dominance of people should be left to free will and that it is regarded as moral. Through the set rules and societal beliefs, individuals make themselves subjects to their leaders on free will through practices of self-discipline and restraints. So, Foucault judgement on right or wrong in power structures in the society is the ability of subjects willing accepting to follow the leader without being forced into doing it.
Focusing on the article, “Amazon is finally realizing it has a labor problem” show the leader’s position and relationship with its subjects. The leaders bring attention to the news reports that criticize the organization because they put employees in desperate situations. So he believes that not to be true because the survey of the employees reveals otherwise. As stated, “When we survey fulfillment center employees, 94% say they would recommend Amazon to friend as a place of work.” (Newton, 2021). The quote shows a direct answer to the news reports that have been questioning and demonstrating Amazon as a place of work where employees are mistreated and provided with poor working conditions. Through reflection on the activity and the survey, Jeff Bezos believes that Amazon is the best place to work as many employees are happy and they would recommend others to their organization. The employees are left to have free choice of the best working place other than Amazon and still chooses to work for the organization. As a result, the leader believes all the claim that their employees are desperate and treated like robots are not accurate. The free will of people choosing the best workplace and continuously selecting the organization demonstrate the activity of freedom that binds Jeff to believe that their workers are happy and freely working for the firm.
Further, Foucault ethical view also focuses on the courage that binds a leader, to tell the truth (Michel Foucault). The act of telling the truth may be risky and free. As stated earlier, autonomy is key to the ethical standard and performance of a leader and it is achieved when the leader focus to tell the truth and truth becomes the goal. The aspect of truth in the determination of self-moral stand rates the leaders who pursue the truth to be moral. Also, Jeff Bezos pursues the truth by relating to the current survey to inform his standpoint on the employees. He also believes that they are in need to continue improving the organization to be the best working place and safer for the employees. As suggested by the article, the company recognizes there is a problem but not to the extent demonstrated by some news report. The acceptance of the truth about the problem in this instances shows pursuing the truth and making it a practical goal for the leader. In his letter to shareholders, Jeff stated, “…it’s clear to me that we need a better vision for how we create value for employees a vision for their success” (Newton, 2021). The statement was a highlight of accepting that more needs to be done to create value to employees unlike dismissing the complaints. It was a victory for pursuing the truth, accepting the problem and focusing on getting a solution. Therefore, his action is right and adequately responding to the shareholders without turning a blind eye on the matter.
Simply, Foucault’s ethical concept draws its stand from the Kant theory of self-legislation. Similarly, the Kant theory of self-regulation requires autonomy which means that moral obligation coexists with freedom. Kant theory of ethics focuses on the means not the consequences of the action. So, people must bring themselves to a rule. So, through autonomy and self-regulation, a person brings themselves to conform to rational principles. Equally the leaders’ need to bring themselves to conform to certain principles to show ethics in their stance and decision making. Jeff Bezos in this recent letter to shareholders it an example of self-regulation.
In addition, Sophocles ethical concepts as revealed by Antigone reveals the conflict of social beliefs and the rule of law (Berge, 2017). Creon subjects his action to the King’s rule while Antigone a female highly regard the divine rules that govern a society. As compared to Foucault, Antigone is antagonistic and shows how the rule of law plays part in society and its inability to conform to the divine moral values strongly held by the society. As leaders try to have a moral standard that governs their action, they may never be able to harmonize the different stances on law and justice (Berge, 2017). For instance, Creon stance focuses on the rule of law while Antigone focuses on the societal norms and values which guides his moral point of view. Therefore the harmonization of the two is unattainable.
Equally, the stand of Jeff Bezos can be analyzed in the antagonistic aspects which he thinks he is performing better but on the other hand getting critique from people who define morality from divine rules. As a businessman who has a reputable image, following the rule of law makes his leadership. As stated he had been dismissing the employees’ harassment claims from Media sources. The stance was guided by the rule of law which only tries to create civilized order that reduces the chaos of nature. The leader fails to get the moral point of view of employees and the stakeholder view of a better working place. The critics have a different view that could be guided by the divine rules which make the leader be seen acting unethical. As he claims that employees have choices to work in other organizations, he is guided by the law and the policy which gives them the right to do so. The fact that they are not going for other choices makes the leader think the employees are satisfied by the work they are performing. In that case, there are fewer focus divine rules that lead to such claims.
In conclusion, Jeff’s stand on acknowledging the need for improvement and better performance in improving the workplace portrays an ethical stand. As a leader, he explains why he thinks the employees are comfortable with the current situation because despite having the freedom to work elsewhere they have freely accepted to work for Amazon. Employees freely subject themselves to the influence of this leader. Also, acceptance of improving the standards and safety issues show the aspect of truth. So, Foucault believes self-regulation coexist with morality while Sophocles suggest that such harmonization cannot be attained because of the societal values corroding with the rule of law. The law and policies are reductive and fail to focus on the extensive nature of morality.
Newton Carsey, (2021, April). Amazon is finally realizing it has a labour problem. What Jeff Bezos’ final letter to shareholders reveals about the company. https://www.theverge.com/2021/4/16/22386992/amazon-is-finally-realizing-it-has-a-labor-problem
Michel Foucault: Ethics. Retrieved From: https://iep.utm.edu/fouc-eth/#:~:text=Ethics%2C%20Foucault%20says%2C%20is%20the,practices%20or%20practices%20of%20self.&text=That%20is%20to%20say%2C%20it,good%20one%20ought%20to%20pursue.
Berge L.V, (2017).Sophocles’ Antigone and the promise of ethical life: tragic ambiguity and the pathologies of reason. Law and Humanities. V.11(2). Retrieved From: https://doi.org/10.1080/17521483.2017.1362180

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