6 Quotes from Top Business Leaders and their Sociological Meaning

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Top business leaders may not be social scientists and sociologists but their long journey to success and experience in building their empires have given them some sociological wisdom and theories in their minds on what works or fails in the field of business. They may not have articulated exactly the type of theories and insights they use in the quotes, but they are nevertheless very sociological and empirical from a sociologist’s point of view. Let us examine and analyze sociologically the following quotes from well-known global business leaders:

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This quote emphasizes that media business needs visionary leaders. In sociology, the type of leader with vision is usually the charismatic leader. The German sociologist Max Weber basically classifies leaders into 3 types: Charismatic, Traditional, and Rational-Legal. The charismatic leader is one with extraordinary talents and personal traits. His talent includes a vision of the future.

It is proven that today’s great business leaders are people who think and see ahead of their times. They have the talent to spot opportunities which ordinary entrepreneurs cannot see. Charismatic leaders are creative and innovative people who are willing to break traditions just to actualize their visions. Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and Jack Ma, to name a few, are examples of charismatic business leaders. In contrast, the traditional leader is usually a conservative person who only follows the tradition and culture of what is handed down from the past to the firm, while the rational-legal leader is one leads only to the laws and policies of the company.

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This quote emphasizes that the customer is the ultimate boss in business. Without customers, the business cannot survive and grow. The resources and capital of the business firm must be used wisely to serve the customers. Managers have no business in the company if they cannot provide the best products and services to the customers.

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This quote stresses that one must take risks in business but only if it is a good cause, if it can lead to a good life, presumably for the customers and the public. A business firm and its leaders cannot takes risks if what they do are contrary to law, custom, and needs of the public. It cannot engage in shady deals and corruption just to increase its profit. Some companies, for instance, pollute rivers by dumping their wastes at the expense of the inhabitants and environment.

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Bill Gates may not be a sociologist, but he knows that life is not equal. It is part of urban society’s social stratification where people are classified according to wealth or social class and according to their skills and level of education or social status. In a capitalist society, the social structure always favors and rich and entrepreneurs, while the poor and workers are oftentimes exploited and forgotten.

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This is a very good observation by Jack Ma. Not many people can see that complaints are actually gaps in the system and opportunities for the business firm to grow and even create new products and services to address them.

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Jack Ma, because of his vision and long experience in business, is correct. The right people for the job or task in the company are not necessarily the best ones. The best people are actually difficult to train in the company. They usually have a strong sense of entitlement. They tend to be good at commanding rather than obeying people who know the needs and problems of the company. That is why, aside from the necessary qualification, the employees must possess the right attitudes, values, and personalities which are consonant with the company’s mission-vision. A business firm is a system with interdependent parts and functions. It requires a teamwork. If the firm hires the best people rather than the right employees, it can result in disharmony and systemic dyfunction which are not good for business.

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6 Quotes from Top Business Leaders and their Sociological Meaning

books billionaires GIF by Product Hunt

Top business leaders may not be social scientists and sociologists but their long journey to success and experience in building their empires have given them some sociological wisdom and theories in their minds on what works or fails in the field of business. They may not have articulated exactly the type of theories and insights they use in the quotes, but they are nevertheless very sociological and empirical from a sociologist’s point of view. Let us examine and analyze sociologically the following quotes from well-known global business leaders:

Image result for quotes from top business leaders

This quote emphasizes that media business needs visionary leaders. In sociology, the type of leader with vision is usually the charismatic leader. The German sociologist Max Weber basically classifies leaders into 3 types: Charismatic, Traditional, and Rational-Legal. The charismatic leader is one with extraordinary talents and personal traits. His talent includes a vision of the future.

It is proven that today’s great business leaders are people who think and see ahead of their times. They have the talent to spot opportunities which ordinary entrepreneurs cannot see. Charismatic leaders are creative and innovative people who are willing to break traditions just to actualize their visions. Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and Jack Ma, to name a few, are examples of charismatic business leaders. In contrast, the traditional leader is usually a conservative person who only follows the tradition and culture of what is handed down from the past to the firm, while the rational-legal leader is one leads only to the laws and policies of the company.

Photo Credit: azquotes.com

Image result for quotes from top business leaders

This quote emphasizes that the customer is the ultimate boss in business. Without customers, the business cannot survive and grow. The resources and capital of the business firm must be used wisely to serve the customers. Managers have no business in the company if they cannot provide the best products and services to the customers.

Photo Credit: rdcooperr.us

Image result for quotes from top business leaders

This quote stresses that one must take risks in business but only if it is a good cause, if it can lead to a good life, presumably for the customers and the public. A business firm and its leaders cannot takes risks if what they do are contrary to law, custom, and needs of the public. It cannot engage in shady deals and corruption just to increase its profit. Some companies, for instance, pollute rivers by dumping their wastes at the expense of the inhabitants and environment.

Photo Credit: Pinterest.com

Image result for quotes from top business leaders

Bill Gates may not be a sociologist, but he knows that life is not equal. It is part of urban society’s social stratification where people are classified according to wealth or social class and according to their skills and level of education or social status. In a capitalist society, the social structure always favors and rich and entrepreneurs, while the poor and workers are oftentimes exploited and forgotten.

Photo Credit: danieldigest.com

Image result for jack ma quotes

This is a very good observation by Jack Ma. Not many people can see that complaints are actually gaps in the system and opportunities for the business firm to grow and even create new products and services to address them.

Image result for jack ma quotes

Jack Ma, because of his vision and long experience in business, is correct. The right people for the job or task in the company are not necessarily the best ones. The best people are actually difficult to train in the company. They usually have a strong sense of entitlement. They tend to be good at commanding rather than obeying people who know the needs and problems of the company. That is why, aside from the necessary qualification, the employees must possess the right attitudes, values, and personalities which are consonant with the company’s mission-vision. A business firm is a system with interdependent parts and functions. It requires a teamwork. If the firm hires the best people rather than the right employees, it can result in disharmony and systemic dyfunction which are not good for business.

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How to Manage Rumors in the Workplace

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Nature of Company Rumors

“[W]orkplace rumors are systematic and can be spread faster than the organization’s formal communication channels. Mishra (1990) further states, “the grapevine is also capable of penetrating even the tightest security because it cuts across organizational lines and deals directly with people in the know” (p. 52). Organizations should not ignore rumors in the workplace that have the potential to harm its brand/image. This being said, organizations need to take responsibility and address rumors in the workplace before the situation becomes out of control.

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Rumors abound in office conversations. Although 90% of employees are usually passive listeners, 10% take gossip seriously and are said to be active links in the passage of information (Hunter, 1983). Rumors in the company may contain different types of topics. But rumors in the workplace tend to focus on three most prevalent categories: on the quality of someone’s work, tenure (whether or not someone’s keeping their job] and personnel changes.

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Rumors are outcomes of interpersonal relationships. Research indicates that rumors among employees result from an organizational structure that frequently exposes employees to role conflict and ambiguity. Thus, a company with a “toxic” organizational culture can be prone to office rumors. The higher is level interpersonal conflicts in the company; the higher would the level of office rumors. In addition, employees experience rumors because of conflict between the instrumental and expressive functions that they perform (Rosnow, 1983)” (Akande and Odewale, 1994, p. 28).

Despite its destructive force in the workplace, a major percentage of employees considered the grapevine as the main source of information about organizational affairs. Since it is perceived by employees as a personal type of communication, it frequently has a strong impact on them than formalized channels of communication. The grapevine is much more flexible than formalized channels of communication. It is also a rapid source of informal news. After a “news” event occurs in an organization, the grapevine makes information available almost immediately (Akande and Odewale, 1994, p. 28).

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The existence of rumors during crises and uncertainties is a fact of life. “The good news is that preventive and remedial actions are possible, allowing professional communicators to minimize or even to stop the damage from rumors. Effectively preventing or controlling rumors requires an understanding of the psychological and sociological factors that drive people to listen to, pass along and believe rumors” (Doorely & Garcia, 2007).

How to Deal with Rumors in the Company

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There are essentially three ways to manage rumor in a company (Koller, 1992). The first is to try “to wait them out.” Some rumors dissipate over time and do little harm. Only rarely are rumors serious enough to require action. Second, if waiting fails, the rumor must be publicly refuted. When the rumor is refuted and also made to look unreasonable in public it negates its “news value” (Shiburani, 1966). This strategy is the most straightforward and aggressive. The company (or other target) names the specific rumor and discredits its usefulness and the credibility of its source through an advertising campaign, a press conference or highly publicized event such as one used by a company while denying the accusation of promoting Satanism (Pettijohn, 1987). This technique is effective in making people disregard those still interested to pass the rumor along. Third, truth or authentic information should be released or positively advertised as swiftly as possible. The last point strives to associate the target of the rumor with positive features such as the company’s traditional commitment to quality, excellence and consumer satisfaction. For instance, a Canadian brewery has used this strategy in strengthening the link between its company and positive features, while simultaneously at the same time dissociating the company and the rumor that is it owned by a Pakistani shareholder. Kaferer (1990) has suggested alternative, but not empirically acceptable, rebuttal strategies, such as creating counter-rumor and spreading disinformation” (Akande and Odewale, 1994, p. 28).

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If rumors seem to threaten the business organization, there are basically two ways to deal with them. The first is to try to prevent them. The supervisor must recognize that rumors have definite causes, most anchored on the lack of information about things important to employees and on the insecurity and anxiety that go with them. Whatever the cause, it must remember that rumors are received and transmitted by people in terms of their biases. Thus, the general theme of the rumors may be maintained, but the details are often altered to serve vested interests.

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The second is to try to vanquish rumors if they already affect productivity, community relations, or interdepartmental cooperation (Keith, 1975). “In refuting a rumor, a manager or supervisor should release the truth as quickly as possible. If a rumor is not subdued or quashed quickly, employees will interpret later events in the light of the rumor” (Akande and Odewale, 1994, p. 29).

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