Large corporations could benefit highly from tactics taken to combat group-think and institutionalized ideas which run counter to corporate mandate. Perhaps the greatest evidence of this comes in the form of a Harvard Business Review article, “Disruptive Technologies:Catching the Wave”. Though the article specifically discusses the problem of group-thinking, research and design, the methodology suggested in the article could contribute to healthier corporate environments.
Too often, newcomers with great ideas about corporate procedures are told that the reason an activity is done a certain way is that “we’ve always done it that way. ” Having a system in place to challenge those presumptive behaviors can lead to longevity in the business world and better ethical practices in general. How then does a company encourage re-evaluation without undermining itself? The authors of “Disruptive technologies” suggest having a separate entity responsible for new product development that is kept complete away from existing established patterns in the company operations so that it is not corrupted by them.
(Harvard Business Review, March, 2002) To be fair, this approach could work in most corporations as well, if modified. An internal audit, not financial but operational, could be conducted within the firm. By having the audit conducted by mid-level managers instead of by the upper management, employees would be more likely to contribute to the discussion of how things should be accomplished. By identifying one employee and then placing him in a position to audit a completely different department, the company could be assured that its procedures are seen with fresh unbiased eyes.
This system will only work, however, if a company allows complete transparency in its operations and if management means exactly what they say they mean. Too often the internal corporate culture runs contrary to the written code of conduct. For example, in many work places, the official policy requires that worked must be documented every minute. Meanwhile, the unofficial policy requires that the work has to be done or people lose their jobs – through it all, there is no approved overtime.
These policies are contradictory, but all too common. One key, then, to preventing group-think is to have procedures honestly and thoroughly reviewed by someone who has never done the job and who has no vested interest in the manner in which it is currently being done. Another key is to promote transparency in management. The company must say what it means and mean what it says, even in discussing matters that are generally avoided such as increases in overtime rates or approval for additional manpower.
There is no express right to privacy in a strict view of the laws that make up the Constitution. The right to privacy was a creation of the Warren Court and was a justification for judicial action which in reality fell outside of the realm of the things covered by the Constitution, specifically Roe V. Wade. At that point in history, the Supreme Court argued that the rights guaranteed by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights were not inclusive of all rights the individual could and should have. Privacy was at the top of the list of enumerated rights.
Given the Warren Court’s view, there could be an argument that Garden city law requiring video surveillance of cybercafes violated basic rights to freedom of expression and to privacy. However, what is more intriguing is the dissenting judge’s opinion regarding the role of the internet as a means of free speech and freedom of the press. The concept that the internet is an open forum for the free discussion is one of the drawbacks that researchers face when using the internet for academic reasons.
So then respecting the internet, as the judge suggested, as a forum for free speech and free press is not an unappreciable argument. However, what the judge fails to address is the reason for videotaping people while they are exercising these freedoms. American law has long held that a person could be held responsible after the fact for the things that they publish. As long as there is no prior restraint, there is no reason to view the use of the video cameras as a violation of the rights to free speech or freedom of the press.