reading this thread makes me realize what the pattern of what a BS CEO is. Sandeep Vij is a BS artist. Companies need leaders with real depth who have done real things that leads to real progress. This guy is a hype monster. find some distance between your wallet and him.
so how is everyone feeling about the soul of ceo vij? companies need a soul but before that they need fundamentals and a business. when you have a loudmouth and a soul in charge, it drives volatility in the market. people value the company on the messenger and not the message behind it. when the message is missing, the messenger is more important and that's the story of hiring this spiritualist to mips. there are no fundamentals for mips-its a dead company.
Ultimately, the job of a corporation is to make money. However, that doesn't mean that it can't or shouldn't have a soul. There are always lines that should not be crossed.
So what happens when cigarette smoking declines in the US? Should the tobacco companies decide that profit is more important than ethics and just push their products harder outside of the US? That's what a profit-first, profit-only organization would do. Would the tobacco companies even survive if they decided that smoking is bad and stopped selling cigarettes?
I'm not going to suggest any more or less legislation in that area, but the point is that there are plenty of companies in existence now that have dramatically changed their business model. Coca Cola didn't go out of business when they stopped putting cocaine into their drink a century ago.
Sometimes ethics are forced upon companies by consumers or the government and sometimes companies live by high ethics on their own. Regardless of whether it's by choice or by law, companies do exist and thrive with a soul. In fact, it's probably much less expensive to put ethics into your corporate culture by choice than let it be forced in by law.
In the extreme of doing business without soul, you get Enron type debacles or Bhopal type disasters.
It's nice to be agreed with, but I am by no means certain that a corporation cannot be both ethical and successful. If a company must be unethical to be successful, then something is drastically wrong, and Polaroid and Kodak are strange outliers indeed. What is a corporation? Better question: who is a corporation? A group of men and women who make decisions. If they routinely make unethical decisions, then they don't need to run a corporation, they need to go to jail.
@Junko: thanks for turning our attention to something other than pure technical discussion in EE Times forums.
I have to agree with many sentiments commentators but I ask this question: if you keep the 'soul' discussion perspective to a global one (as we are compelled to now a days), do you folks think that businesses in countries like China, India , Brazil and others, view employees the same way as MIPS claims it does? If they did, do you think they can survive?
I would have to agree with the views of @BobLacovara and @Doug.Plumb. It is self-contradictory for corporation to be both successful and ethical.
Dr. MP Divakar
When there's no place for ethics in business, then "business" is no better than the socialist state you seem to fear. You will be ruled not by parasitic socialists, but by boardroom thugs. (The only difference is this: in the one you will be miserable, lacking a job or future, in the other, miserable in a dead-end job.) If you doubt this, have a look at the EU. It is largely controlled by its businesses; there's no doubt about this. The result is that much of the EU has a negative population growth (excluding mid-eastern immigrants), and is well on the way to a form of cultural suicide. If you doubt that a corporation can be both successful and ethical, do a bit of reading yourself: I recommend to you the history of Kodak, and also the history of Polaroid, in particular, the actions of Land and his company when he discovered that his products were aiding the South Africans in their concentration camp approach to questions of color.
"Much of the frustration we hear from our engineering audience is this: companies don't realize the value of the great "people" (engineering) assets they have. "
I am indeed amazed at the way bright Engineers are treated by their executive managers in companies in the US and much of the Western World. Often, the assumption that these Business school graduates have is that there is a limitless supply of bright Engineers in the world, and that these should be kept in their places and used for whatever markets dictate to meet financial targets. So far, this has been true thanks to over-supply from India and China in particular, as well as from other parts of the world. But as these places develop, they will keep more of their talents, and supply will become scarce. We'll see what will happen then...
I think relatively small companies can talk and behave in this way, and I am all for it. However, with success comes growth, and with growth comes bureaucracy and hierarchy, and with that companies start to lose their identity and ethos (or "soul" as Sanddep call it). The key is in keeping one's company just small enough to keep its indentity and ethos, and big enough to fend off the big sharks. Easier said than done of course :-)
Business is a form or warfare and there is no place for ethics. Its a place where the virtue of selfishness is the best ethic - except when government gets involved and the glad-handering champagne socialists big government private-public partnerships start trading who they know for super high salaries that have no connection with competence or actual productivity. Read Atlas Shrugged - everyone should. Ayn Rand does a great job of describing corporate corruption and the nature of society today in her 1930's novel.
A Book For All Reasons Bernard Cole1 Comment Robert Oshana's recent book "Software Engineering for Embedded Systems (Newnes/Elsevier)," written and edited with Mark Kraeling, is a 'book for all reasons.' At almost 1,200 pages, it ...