How does one complete the following assignment: Choose three articles from an online business magazine based on the key words ethics, distributive justice, servant leadership, altruism, or virtues,...

How does one complete the following assignment: Choose three articles from an online business magazine based on the key words ethics, distributive justice, servant leadership, altruism, or virtues, then summarize the content, combining the content to provide a cohesive point/topic related to the key term and answers the following questions:

  • How are these topics relevant for workers today?
  • What does the new information contribute to our understanding of ethical leadership?
  • What is the role of communication in these processes?
Expert Answers
Tamara K. H. eNotes educator| Certified Educator

As we are limited in space, below are a few ideas to help get you started.

To complete your assignment, you'll first want to choose a topic that interests you among your given key terms, "ethics, distributive justice, servant leadership, altruism, or virtues." No matter which key word you decide to choose, you will definitely have a large supply of articles to choose from. Searching in CNN Money under the key word "ethics" alone, we see beyond 10 pages worth of articles to choose from. Since this is a large assignment requiring you to synthesize information in three articles and reflect on all three, it will be helpful for you to take this one step at a time. Pick your first article; read it over; and apply the directions and questions of the assignment to that one article, then do the same for the other two, saving the step of synthesizing information for last.

The first article to appear in the list in CNN Money is titled "5 Economic Myths that Just Won't Die" and is as good a place to start as any. Your first step is to summarize the article. To do that, zero in on any key points, especially think about why the article is interesting. The article is interesting because it concerns worries over the lack of work ethic among America's youth, the absence of leadership within corporate America, and an insufficient school system, and these are worries that have been raised within recent years. However, the article also argues that these are problems society has run into before and has turned out just fine. The article asserts that Plato himself even "complained about the lack of respect and discipline among youth" (Lewis). Essentially, the article asserts that these concerns are really just based on various forms of bias and should not be taken seriously.

Your next step is to use the one article to answer your list of questions before moving on to your next two articles. Looking at your first question, we can see that the article would be relevant for workers today for two reasons:

  1. If the reader agrees that America's youth needs a greater work ethic, especially if that reader is a young person, then the reader can stop and start to reflect on his/her ethics and consider how he/she can behave more ethically in the workplace in the future. The same would apply for a corporate leader. A corporate leader can also stop and reflect on his/her actions and decide how to make improvements if the leader agrees that improvements need to be made.
  2. If the reader decides to agree with the writer's own perspective, which is that these types of worries concerning work ethic and leadership are really just based on prejudices, then the reader can begin to relax and not fret about the future.

Looking at your second question, we can see that the article actually will not contribute a great deal to our understanding of ethical leadership if the reader walks away from the article agreeing with the writer that these concerns are really all just hype. Ethical leadership is the ability to govern, or lead, based on knowing what is right and wrong. Essentially, the article asserted that there is nothing wrong with youth ethics or leadership that has not been wrong before, which really doesn't give us a whole lot on which to base improvements on. The article only expects us to understand that these concerns are based on bias and wants us to believe that we can make ethical leadership choices just as easily if we recognize these concerns as biased.  

If you decided to write on this point, you would then pick two more articles that reflect on the same topic. Continue the exact same process of summarizing each individual article and seeing how to answer each of your questions based on each individual question. Looking at things separately will give you a greater basis and understanding to see how all three can be related as a whole. Then, to synthesize your articles into one summary, think about how they each address your topic as a whole, then think about how they can be used to address your questions a whole. For example, each article will give you new things to think about concerning ethical leadership, so all you have to do is list each new concept concerning ethical leadership. You may even compare and contrast your points. For example, since this article argues that our problems in society really aren't problems, another article may argue that they truly are problems. You can then decide which one is correct and give evidence for your argument.

But the place to start is by looking at three articles on the same topic individually before considering them as a whole. As even Euclid argued, the whole is only equal to the sum of its parts.