Feuerstein Article

Some people have called Feuerstein a fool for paying his workers for doing nothing while his factory was being rebuilt.  Some have called him a saint for caring so much about his employees that he treats them like family, taking care of them until the factory is rebuilt.  Both perspectives are grounded in the belief that business owners usually do not pay out money when they do not have to.  If you believe Feuerstein is a fool, it’s because you believe he is giving away money when he should be making money.  If you believe he is a saint, it’s because he is giving a way money to help his employees.  Either way, fool or saint, it is grounded in the idea that a “good” business person is neither a fool or a saint.

To make sense of Feuerstein’s behavior, Thomas Teal has explained his actions as a long term investment in his company Malden Mills.  That is, he paid his workers for a year as a way to maximize profit in the long term.  This could be true, but Feuerstein’s actions could be interpreted in a different way.  Some believe that he loved his employees like family and so, treated them like family.

USE ONLY THE ARTICLE “NOT A FOOL, NOT A SAINT” POSTED IN MODULE 5 TO COMPLETE THIS EXTRA CREDIT. DO NOT USE THE INTERNET TO RESEARCH MORE ON WHAT HAPPENED TO FEURERSTEIN.  USE ONLY THE ARTICLE!

 

Instructions:  Read the article and explain what additional information YOU would need to know, in order to believe that Feuerstein paid his employees for a year because he cared about his employees rather than to maximize long term profit.  This assignment is tricky because you have to read between the lines since Teal paints Feuerstein as being motivated by profit.  Think about what information would convince YOU that Teal is wrong and that he is actually motivated by love for his employees as if they were like family.

Point:  The point of this is to determine how cynical one can be when it comes to believing that compassion is a motivator.  It is easy for people to believe that profit motivates but it’s harder to believe that compassion can motivate.  What kind of evidence do you need to be convinced that Feuerstein is motivated by compassion?

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Feuerstein Article

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