Zarządzanie Kulturą, tom 6 (2013), nr 4 / Culture Management, vol. 6 (2013), no. 4
Bogusław Nierenberg (Jagiellonian University) A review of a monograph by Marek Bugdol entitled: Znaczenie sprawiedliwości w zarządzaniu ludźmi. Dlaczego warto być sprawiedliwym? [The significance of fairness in human resource management: Why is it worth being fair?]
I am full of admiration for Prof. Marek Bugdol, if only for his idea for a monograph entitled “The significance of fairness in human resource management: Why is it worth being fair?” Few people remember today that even Adam Smith, regarded as the father of contemporary economics was, first of all, a philosopher, who discussed many ethical issues in his works, including the most famous “An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations”. Prof. Bugdol’s work makes us aware of how essential the issue of fairness is in the contemporary world, even if it seems to be ancient history today. Meantime, the author brings it back to centre stage and presents its new meanings and a new understanding of the concept in today’s world. In addition, it is certainly to the author’s credit to propose new definitions and concepts relating fairness to the world of organizations. The beauty of Prof. Bugdol’s monograph lies in the fact that, on the one hand, it is rooted in the humanistic trend in management studies and, on the other, that it is a manifestation of the author’s vast knowledge and erudition, which is evident from the many references to the classics of philosophy and economics. For example the idea of trickle-down economics in the context of issues relating to organisational operations is indeed very enlightening. As a reviewer, I bow down to Prof. Bugdol’s extensive knowledge, and as a colleague I wish to add some other quotes that are equally accurate in discussing the issues of fairness, such as those from A. Smith’s above mentioned book regarding the “invisible hand of the market”: “As every individual, therefore, endeavours as much as he can, both to employ his capital in the support of domestic industry, and so to direct that industry that its produce may be of the greatest value; every individual necessarily labours to render the annual revenue of the society as great as he can. He generally, indeed, neither intends to promote the public interest, nor knows how much he is promoting it. By preferring the support of domestic to that of foreign industry he intends only his own security; and by directing that industry in such a manner as its produce may be of the greatest value, he intends only his own gain; and he is in this, as in many other cases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention. Nor is it always the worse for the society that it was no part of it. By pursuing his own interest, he frequently promotes that of the society more effectually than when he really intends to promote it. I have never known much good done by those who affected to trade for the public good”. Or perhaps the thought of John Maynard Keynes, the author of The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money who said “Capitalism is the extraordinary belief that the nastiest of men for the nastiest of motives will somehow work for the benefit of all”. But of course in Prof. Bugdol’s own choice of citations and references to the classics of philosophy and economics he is within his rights as to the presentation of the view of fairness he has chosen for his book. Especially that in his deliberations the author tackles various themes, also systemic, which are so close to my own interpretation of methodological matters. I would also like to emphasize the compositional and formal charm of the monograph as the author illustrates his arguments with examples, which will be an excellent tool for the students of his work in understanding and memorizing theoretical issues. The examples are thus enframed, similarly to other important theoretical points. Some of the examples are appealing, and not only in a scholarly way, like the one about Albert Einstein, who had no idea what salary he should ask when he was offered a position at Princeton University.
Zarządzanie Kulturą, tom 6 (2013), nr 4 / Culture Management, vol. 6 (2013), no. 4 Prof. Bugdol’s input to management and organisational studies is not only in rationalizing definitions and gathering dispersed information but also in suggesting an entirely new point of view on those matters which combine fairness with organizational operations, as in the examples he presents of Solidarious behaviour in an organization. I am sure that Prof Bugdol’s monograph will be helpful, not only to researchers of management problems, especially of the humanistic trend, but also to students of management, sociology, political science, journalism and social communication, who will certainly find the issues discussed in the monograph helpful in the attempt to develop a fuller exploration and understanding of this world. I also think that Prof. Bugdol’s work should be obligatory reading for all managers, enterprise owners and all kinds of decision makers in private and public organizations. Perhaps the book will help them realize that many of their actions lack moral standards. At the end of the monograph Prof. Bugdol asks: Are there any fair organizations in practice? The answer is positive, as Prof. Bugdol worked in such an organization himself. I share this opinion because I have also worked in such an organization, but unfortunately those which hardly ever stop and consider fairness and ethics are much more common.
Bogusław Nierenberg Marek Bugdol’s monograph Znaczenie sprawiedliwości w zarządzaniu ludźmi. Dlaczego warto być sprawiedliwym? [The significance of fairness in human resource management. Why is it worth being fair?] Wyd. Difin, Warszawa 2013, pp. 218.
Bogusław Nierenberg – professor at the Jagiellonian University and Opole University; head of Media Management and Economics Department in Institute of Culture, Faculty of Management and Social Communication, Jagiellonian University; deputy dean of the Faculty of Management and Social Communication, Jagiellonian University; vice-president of the Commission of Culture and Media Management at Polish Academy of Arts and Science; member of the Commission of Organization and Management Sciences of the Krakow Branch of the Polish Academy of Sciences. Member of Polish Economic Society, Polish Press Law Association, and Polish Communication Association. Author of nine scientific monographs and almost a hundred of articles and chapters devoted to media management and economics, as well as advertisement and social communication. He is also an author of two books of poems: Dychotomia uczuć and Dychotomia uczuć 2, and a collection of columns.