Sorry for the delay — I have been busier than I had hoped this last week. Quickly picking up some points from above:

  • by ‘private’ I mean behaviour they show in their personal capacity (including as an employee towards the ‘firm’), as opposed to behaviour on behalf of the company — e.g. something like ensuring you clean up properly after doing a job, but overclaiming expenses
  • ‘employees as capitalists’: I have always found this insistence on non-human inputs bizarre and artificial. What matters is the trade-offs someone makes. If I own my own car which I use for my job it is a means of production, but if I only use my brain it is not — I truly do not see the distinction with respect to my behaviour vis-a-vis my employer or his customers, or vis-a-vis my incentives to behave in one way rather than another.
  • Likelihood of an organization improving the bottomline to the detriment of the other stakeholders, or sacrificing it to benefit them: it’s not about the likelihood, it’s about the potential. Every company could do either — they’re on a continuum where they could make less profit, or more profit. I have no idea what you do for a living, but consider this: could you choose to earn more (while sacrificing, say, time with your family eg by taking on an extra job or working overtime)? And could you choose to earn less (but spending more time with your family)? My conjecture is both apply to you.
  • business owners vs external shareholders: again, the distinction eludes me. Please enlighten me in what way the difference is material to this discussion.

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Accidental behavioural economist in search of wisdom. Uses insights from (behavioural) economics in organization development. On Twitter as @koenfucius

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