When Smith argues that society has lost sight of values, he is talking of ethical values. However, even people or firms whose conduct doesn't appear to reflect ethical values have values of some kind. Four kinds of values are at play in organizations today:

  • The values of the robber barons

  • The values of the hardball strategists

  • The values of the pragmatists

  • Genuinely ethical values

6.1.1. The Values of the Robber Barons

At one end of the spectrum are organizations run by robber barons—firms whose only value is to crush the competition by whatever means. For robber barons, nothing is too precious to be set aside for the sake of winning—even legality. This might include Andrew Carnegie sending armed ...

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