Lifesizing in an Era of Downsizing: An Ethical Quandary

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Abstract

ABSTRACT

Corporate executives, at the behest of Wall Street, have embraced the heresy of upsizing short-term shareholder profits by downsizing the long-term work force. This restructuring of corporate America, which views the corporation as an investment organization rather than a social organization, has created an ethical quandary by removing from the equation a sense of larger-purpose. This paper proposes a new paradigm, LIFESIZING, to address the issues raised by this ethical quandary. The paper will explore the effect the creation of fictitious personhood (Corporations, Government, Wall Street, Unions, etc.) has had on the concept of personal responsibility and common good when responsible individuals are but transient members of such a legal entity. It will briefly recap the history of downsizing, the practice of treating workers as an expense rather than a capital asset, stakeholder theory, and the rise of a “me-first“ culture. It will then define and apply LIFESIZING to both the individual and the corporation in an attempt to provide a sense of balance missing from current discourse.

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