My current class is on business ethics and I love this class, especially given the political season we are in and the amount of money businesses are funneling into campaigns in order to lobby for less government regulation.
Perhaps the most intriguing topic thus far has been regarding the influence the organization we work for has upon our individual habits and character.
I have worked for a few places in the past where I believed that I could change the organization because of my idealism and belief that things could be different (as most of us knew, things needed to be drastically different, but that is neither here nor there).
However, over time, I found myself being shaped into an agent of the corporation, ultimately compromising my values and beliefs in order to earn favor and a paycheck.
This desire to not conform to the corporate view that I was a means to an end led me to start my own business. But even as a solopreneur, I am still shaped by my own organization of one because I work with organizations and individuals who in turn have their own culture of ethics. I am still bound by the choices made as an organization pursuing the goals of profit and growth, with an individual and social conscience.
Every time a scandal erupts or I hear stories from friends that have been let go from their jobs, I start to see the limit of individual corruption and conformity. Human beings can only be stretched so far before they are faced with a start reality: sell your soul to the company store or find another way.
Many go the long road of finding another way.
Others sell their soul.
Neither is wrong, but one is optimal to living a meaningful life.