M9 (Lawton)

After reviewing the Hawthorne studies video, for this week’s class discussion, what, if any, has even your experience with the Hawthorne effect on the job?

In my past work experiences, I have definitely seen the Hawthorne effect in action. The Hawthorne effect can be either positive or negative depending on the context of your work environment. I have experienced both the positive and negative effects in my past jobs. I remember at a previous job our management was monitoring us very closely and ultimately decided to take our chairs away in an attempt to boost productivity with the expectation of increased sales. This negatively impacted the team to the point where people were considering leaving. Morale was down and the exact opposite result was yielded. People just weren’t as inclined to push sales since they were forced to stand all day with minimal breaks.


2) Describe a supervisor who was a poor supervisor (un-motivating, indecisive, uncaring, etc.) — what were their characteristics or actions that made you feel that way?  

I used to work for the Food & Beverage department of a catering company. This was literally the worst experience I have ever had with a manager/supervisor. My manager was always in such a mood and could never tone her voice down so she was always yelling at her employees. She never understood that employees have limits and would constantly be putting the pressure on you to work faster and harder even though there was no incentive to do so. It was obvious that she let her feelings and personal matters affect her behavior at work. There were times where it was clear she had been drinking which put her into an even worse state. Upper management never did anything to address her since she was there for so long. She was un-motivating, uncaring, reckless, and above all rude. I am glad to no longer be apart of that destructive environment.



M7 (Lawton)

Research and find an alternative/opposing point of view to Climate Change as proposed in the Introduction.

According to an article by Matt Ridley titled “Why Climate Change is Good for the World”, there are both positive and negative affects of climate change. He claims that “if you aggregate them all, the overall effect is positive today – and likely to stay positive until around 2080.” The article goes on to say that the past century improved human welfare by 1.4 per cent of global economic output, and expecting to rise to 1.5 percent by 2025. I find this data hard to believe given the current situation of the world. For example, the rising sea levels due to polar ice caps melting is only causing problems to human welfare. Climate change is also affecting populations of many different species such as bees. Bees are crucial to the environment as they are directly responsible for pollinating 1/3 of the world’s food.

What environmental responsibilities do we have to the rest of the world?

We are responsible for taking care of the environment and ensuring that future generations are left with a depleted and struggling planet. Humans affect the environment more than any other species on earth. We need to be held accountable for cleaning up the messes that we create. We also are responsible for finding cleaner and more environmentally safe alternatives to the daily tasks we that we enjoy (plastic items, greenhouse gasses, etc.)

Does nature have value in itself?

Nature has tremendous value in itself as it can keep itself self-sustained. Aside from the resilience of nature, it also provides much value to us humans. It provides the food we eat, the air we breathe, and the resources necessary for our daily lives. So yes, Nature has value in itself.

Who should pay the cost for protecting the environment?

While everyone benefits by protecting the environment, the people who have the harshest impacts on it should be paying a majority of the cost. Companies & organizations who pollute and cause damage to the environment need to be held accountable. The governments who allow those companies & organizations to operate as such need to be held accountable as well.

Ridley, Matt. “Why Climate Change Is Good for the World.’ The Spectator, 19 Oct. 2013, www.spectator.co.uk/2013/10/carry-on-warming/.


M6 (Lawton)

When it comes to a large corporation dropping the ball and negatively impacting consumers, I immediately go back to the recall of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7. I used to work retail for a large cellular company here in town. During the time of the Galaxy Note 7 launch, consumers were eager to get their hands on the latest phone from Samsung. The Samsung Galaxy S series was 1 generation ahead at the time (Note 5 came out during the Galaxy s6). So samsung decided to ultimately skip the Note 6 and named their next Note product the Note 7 to be within the timeframe of the Galaxy S7.

Shortly after the release, there were reports around the globe of the battery overheating leading to the phone exploding. I distinctly remember reading reports on phones abruptly exploding in people’s pockets leading to second degree burns. I also recall seeing footage of a Jeep that was set ablaze and completely destroyed due to a Galaxy Note 7 that was left in the vehicle. Luckily there were no reports of anyone dying in relation to the Galaxy Note 7 battery issues, but there was definitely potential for casualties. i have to give props to my former employer’s quality assurance team for keeping the phones in warehouse (eventually sending back to Samsung) during that controversial period. Our company was able to avoid potential disasters.

This was a huge deal for Samsung given that they were releasing one of the most anticipated smartphones of the year. The rush to release resulted in a manufacturer defect in the battery resulting in phones being set ablaze. There were even reports of replacement phones catching fire. Eventually Samsung discontinued production of the Galaxy Note 7. It just goes show that Samsung was so eager to hit the marketplace before the competitors (Apple in this instance), that they rushed their product resulting in lawsuits, consumer injuries, and a distrust between consumer and seller. While Samsung is still a relevant entity and his since regained trust in its products, there was a time where people were wary of purchasing anything samsung.


I’ve attached video compilation of the Galaxy Note 7 which also shows some of the reports that I mentioned above.

M2 (Lawton)

After reading about normative theories, I can recall a few events in my life where I encountered some actions/decisions that some of these apply to. The event I remember the most that clearly relates to Utilitarianism happened when I was 10 years old. It was the summer of 2007 and I was enjoying my carefree summer days biking around town with my friends.

My friends were planning on staying over one night, so we decided to bike to the local Blockbuster (R.I.P) and rent some movies/games. As we were about to go head inside the store, I spotted a wallet left on the ground. I immediately picked it up to see the contents of the wallet. There was $150 dollars, credit/debit cards, and the ID of the owner of the wallet. It was at this moment, unbeknownst to me, that I made a utilitarian decision.

While I was in awe of the amount of cash that was in the wallet (that is a lot of money for a 10-year-old), my mind was thinking of what would be the most beneficial way to handle this moral dilemma. I could take the wallet and spend the money with my friends which would benefit our happiness albeit temporarily. Or I could try and locate the guy who dropped his wallet and/or give it to the Blockbuster manager to handle. I ultimately decided to find the guy who luckily was in the store with his family and return the wallet.

I decided to give back the wallet because my brother had just recently lost his wallet at the time, and it was a real headache/stressful situation for him. I thoroughly thought about the headache it would cause this guy, and possibly myself if I were to take the wallet. He would have to go about canceling his cards, visiting the DMV for a new license, buying a new wallet, etc. There was also the possibility that I could be in trouble If I would have gotten caught using his cards or money. In the end, he rewarded me and my friends with $20 (more than enough to rent movies/games) and free drinks from Blockbuster. Everyone involved in the decision left happy – my friends and me with basically free rentals, and the guy and his family with a piece of mind.

My decision to give back the wallet displays the six points of Utilitarianism. First & Second, I kept in mind what action would yield the greatest happiness and to what degrees (our questionable temporary happiness vs his more significant happiness). Third, I evaluated the possible actions according to their consequences (option to give back had little to no consequences vs option to take which had more potential consequences). Fourth & Fifth, I figured it would maximize happiness in the long run for their party and my party (didn’t take the risk based on the uncertainty of consequences). Sixth, I did not disregard my own pleasure as I was happy to give it back since something similar happened to my brother.

While these six points roughly outline the situation I was in, I made a utilitarian decision nonetheless.

M1 (Lawton)

How do we develop our ethics? What are the primary sources for us to develop our ethical position?

Our personal ethics develop from a number of sources. These include, but are not limited to culture, religion, and upbringing. Culture plays a significant part in the way we view our ethics in comparison to other cultures. While what we may believe is right and wrong, another culture may have a different outlook with their values. A culture’s common values can shape the way people develop their ethics. Religion is another source in the way certain groups of people develop their ethical positions. Christianity teaches to “love thy neighbor as thyself” which influences a person on the way they should live.

The most crucial source in the development of our ethical positions would be our upbringings. The impact of the lessons we learn in early childhood, especially from our parents, can often determine how we shape our ethics. However, this can be a double-edged sword as some parents have negative influences on their children which in turn leads to some controversial views on ethics. While these are just a few primary sources in the way our ethics are developed, they are some of the important sources to examine.