Steve Jobs and Ethical Philosophical Explanations

Ethics in the most basic terms refers to the philosophy of morals. This discipline provides basis on which individuals make decisions; before one takes a given action, he or she must deliberate on expected outcomes to know whether the action is right or wrong.

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Morality is relative, what a given society would consider moral could not be moral to another society. This relativity in the definition of the philosophical term makes its understanding and undertaking a lot more complicated. But in the management of a workplace, there seems to be a single guideline of how firms require their staff to handle themselves. However, in the process of such profit-generating activities, diversity would affect how they handle either their clients or colleagues at the workplace. These two greatly affect the outcome of transactions they carry out for the firm. Steve Jobs is an epitome of an ethical individual.

Several philosophical theories have been created by great historical philosophers to explain the whole concept of ethics, especially at workplaces. Below is a discussion of some of these models and how they reflected on Steve Job’s life.

Virtue ethics is one of the theories espoused upon by Socrates and Aristotle. This theory considers self-knowledge as being necessary for success and naturally an essential good (Peel, 2002). At the workplace, an employee must first understand himself or herself. In the process of this self-understanding, one evaluates themselves to realize the things that they have for a long time considered normal and how they would be perceived by those around him. Most importantly, the individual is to consider how his mannerism is likely to impact the productivity of the firm.

Self-understanding plays a key role in determining the type of employees that the firm hires. The human resource department in every organization is mandated with the recruitment of people; this is an undertaking that requires a lot of psychological understanding. An employee must possess all the qualities required in the workplace. The determination of this reflection solidly lies on the personalities at the department of human resource. Hiring individuals who do not understand themselves and the prospective clients of the firm would lead to malpractices in the firm that would consequently result in failures.

The reputation of the firm is of great value for its performance. How people perceive a given organization goes a long way in determining whether it succeeds or fails. The reputation for which a given firm is known can be developed by employees that the firm hires. Theft and embezzlement are one of such features that leads to direct loss of the firm’s funds and soils the reputation of the firm. An employee who steals the firm’s funds is the one without ethical values; such an employee puts his own interest first and gives himself the instinctive consideration that ought to have been directed at the well being of other employees that the firm has. Such employees are said to be selfish of being a vice in many societies. A selfish person is the one who has not carried out the self-evaluation and considered the effects of their actions, especially on how their actions would impact those around them. In public institutions, people embezzle funds which are bad because such funds are meant to benefit the general public. A single person gains millions of dollars while an entire society that ought to have benefited from the money through road repair are forced to go for another complete year on a pothole thronged road (Dyche, 2001).

Stoicism is yet another philosophical explanation of human behaviour. The Stoic philosopher, Epictetus, explains that the greatest good that one can ever do is gratification and tranquillity. This theory would be used to further explain negativities thefts’ acts and embezzlement in institutions. An individual who risks his life stealing from the firm that has employed him is the one who is not doing good to both the firm and himself.

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Those who ascribe to this belief call for self-acceptance of a person’s self. With acceptance comes loyalty, and one who has accepted himself will appreciate the role that he plays for the firm. People send their applications enthusiastically for different positions in a firm, and once they qualify for these positions and are hired, stereotypes begin arising around the job descriptions they are hired to undertake. The negative stereotypes would affect productivity, and employees who undertake assignments grudgingly would not give effective result to the firm. This sluggish attitude comes as a result of a lack of self-acceptance and tranquillity. Employees who have understood themselves and are at ease with their responsibilities in the firm are easy to manage as they require little supervision. Furthermore, these individuals are contented with the pay packages that the firm offers them and they can not engage in any acts of corruption or trade any of the firm’s credentials to unauthorized persons (Newell, 2003).

In most organizations, there is a unilateral flow of information. Decisions are made by the board of governors, and the daily production decisions are made by the chief executive officer or the managers. These decisions are communicated down to the junior staff members hierarchically. Employees who understand the philosophy of stoicism would not nag their managers and would not question the information given provided the official modes of communication are employed. They move with agility and complete the tasks required out of them.

Customer relations require lots of restrain and decorum. These two principles can only be understood by individuals who have ethical values. Respect is a fundamental value in the manner an employee handles a client, especially new clients of the firm. The manner in which one is treated in the firm would go a long way in determining whether he comes back to seek the firm’s services or not. Most business ventures exist to make profits and for sustainable profit generation, one would need and effective customer loyalty list. The attainment of a loyalty list would not materialize if the customer relations desk treats customers who make enquiries at their desk carelessly (Kellar & Michael, 2012). Every customer who makes a phone call to the company is unique and expects unique type of service. This makes the phrase “a good service” relative. What one client considers good would not be good to the next client. However, the customer relations officer is expected to satisfy all these individuals.

Security is vital for survival of all business ventures. The security of work place can easily be jeopardized by employees of the firm. It therefore calls for high ethical standards of the staff members. Employees can leak information of the firm to outsiders who can in turn use the information to black mail the firm and extort it millions of dollars. Those who are satisfied by the operations of the firm would not leak such information to a third party. Employees should derive satisfaction from the positions they hold in the company. However, job satisfaction is influenced by a number of factors; the management is partly to blame in case employees do not find their current positions satisfying. The policies that govern the work place must be competitive yet humane enough to offer satisfaction to all the employees of the company.

Model of information flow in a firm
Model of information flow in a firm

The general environment within which the employees work would be very fundamental in determining whether employees are satisfied. A work environment in which nobody notices the effort put by every employee to enhance productivity would demoralize the same employees. Managers must, therefore, take keen interest in the firm’s daily activities staff.

Recognition is a great motivator to humans and it does not necessarily require material gifts but pleasantries as words of gratitude can motivate one to feel a sense of belonging to the workplace. With the sense of belonging instilled in the employee, there is a great likelihood of them developing a feeling of loyalty to the firm and they can passionately defend the undertakings of the firm. Such an employee would never leak out information of the firm to outsiders.

Secrecy and confidentiality are an attribute of ethics at the work place that must most definitely be up held. No client would appreciate a firm that easily leaks out the details of his transaction to any other person. This is also related to security. It is, therefore, a requirement that every employee who comes into contact with the client in the process of the transacting business keeps the details of the transactions as secretive as it would be possible. Some customers would request for privacy owing to the uniqueness of the operations that the firm runs and the type of relationship that they have with the firm. Such request must be respected and necessary filing system put in place to handle them. However, care must be taken so as to ensure that malicious clients do not collude with the firm through confidentiality and anonymity requirement to dupe the general public (Anderson & Carol, 2002).

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In retrospect, ethics is a requirement of morality that is rife in every aspect of human life. Steve Job’s explanations and life offer general guidelines on morality and ethics. He believed in tranquility and truthfulness; virtues that ethics espouses to self satisfaction and comes from deep within. They are also key attributes that Steve was proud of. This meant that he could hardly indulge in derogative actions that would soil his dignity. He explained that satisfaction originated from two different channels. It comes from individuals, majorly determined by the beliefs of the person and their goals in life. The other way is derived from the work place. This is normally of more value as the work place offers employees a ground to realize his or her dreams and life objectives. The work place satisfaction is a responsibility of the management. Conditions which the management put in place largely affect how employees perceive their places of work. This determines whether they are satisfied with the firm or not. Should they be satisfied, they act with decorum and restrain. However, if the opposite is the case, then they would be tempted to engage in dubious undertakings that would taint the firm’s reputation. Managers are, therefore, responsible for the levels of ethical standards in their firms.

My greatest role model has indeed been Steve Jobs. The aspect and explanation of self satisfaction is absolutely convincing and is greatly relevant to the type of life I would like to live. I am an adult, however, my life reflect events that happened with me as a child and as a young man. I believe that finding me aligned to Steve Job’s explanations on morality and ethics would not be hard, I was born from self respecting parents and was thus brought up in the same way. Self respect and self satisfaction are some of the attributions that Steve Jobs held dear in the course of his life. That would make me grow into a highly principled man; principles define an individual’s personality as Steve Jobs offered in his exemplary life.

I believe in respect to the authorities and would carry out my duties as required without nagging at managers. The satisfaction that I will build around myself will be effective. Before applying for a position I would consider my qualifications and thereafter apply for those positions that are of similar stature to my academic credentials. Lack of satisfaction arises when one begins to feel under utilized. With that catered for, I would ensure that any other factor that would affect my comfort at the work place, is raised with the necessary head of department and a solution to my discomfort is found within the appropriate time. Lack of communication has always been the cause of complains in places of work. But should there be effective channels through which the managers listen to the grievances of their subordinates, instances of dissatisfaction would not occur.

Fundamentally, should I find a work place unsatisfactory and try my best to change it but fail, then I would simply resign from my position and seek employment elsewhere. This is better than staying put in an exploitative place as it would prompt one to begin engaging in malicious deals which would contradict the societal norms.


Anderson, K. and Carol K.( 2002). Customer Relationship Management. New York: McGraw- Hill.

Dyche, J. (2001). The CRM Handbook: A Business Guide to Customer Relationship Management. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Addison-Wesley.

Kellar, G. and Michael W. (2012). Satisfaction and repurchase intention: B2B buyer-seller relationships in medium-technology industries. Academy of Information and Management Sciences Journal, 14.2, 55-69.

Newell, F. (2003). Why CRM Doesn’t Work: How to Win by Letting Customers Manage the Relationship. Princeton, NJ: Bloomberg Press.

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Peel, J. (2002). CRM: Redefining Customer Relationship Management. Woburn, MA: Digital Press.

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