Modern management theory and practice pay scant attention to the value or relevance of trade unions. It is believed by modern managers that the Human Resource Management department is sufficiently equipped to address employee concerns and grievances that no other form of representation is needed. But empirical evidence does not support this assertion. If anything, evidence points that top management tends to hold an upper-hand in its relation with lower-ranked employees, making a case for proper representation on behalf of the latter. History and labour tradition too matters. For example, in the United Kingdom, with a rich history of trade unions, employee voice continues to be relatively strong. But in the United States, where capitalist ideology is deeply entrenched in business and government circles, trade unions barely exist. Of course, a nation’s degree of participation in the neo-liberal program is also a factor. Indeed, the short forty year history of neo-liberalism has . . . Read More
Intelligence testing, which is an important tool for psychological screening and profiling of subjects, has attracted much criticism from various quarters. Intelligence testing, as in standardized IQ tests, have certain limitations, which render them in-comprehensive. For example, psychologists such as Daniel Goleman have introduced a new dimension to cognitive tests by recognizing the importance of ’emotional quotient’ (EQ) or ’emotional intelligence’ (EI) in order to fully measure cognitive ability. Further, many scholars have identified a race/ethnic bias in the construction of conventional tests, which make dubious the validity of their results. For example, the case of examiner bias in Scholastic Aptitude Tests in American schools is widely documented now, putting at disadvantage students from ethnic minorities like African and Hispanic Americans. (Gould, 1996) The rest of this essay will elaborate these points which question the value, . . . Read More
All people of the Islamic religion are expected to observe a set of five simple rules which are called the Five Pillars of Islam. These are, namely, “Belief, Worship, Fasting, Alms giving and Pilgrimage”. The Five Pillars act as a template for how the faithful have to conduct themselves in relation to fellow believers as well as non-believers. Taken in the right spirit, adherence to the Five Pillars will take the faithful close to Allah and ensure a blissful after-life. In the original Arabic rendition, the Five Pillars are termed “Shahadah: sincerely reciting the Muslim profession of faith, Salat: performing ritual prayers in the proper way five times each day, Zakat: paying an alms (or charity) tax to benefit the poor and the needy, Sawm: fasting during the month of Ramadan, Hajj: pilgrimage to Mecca”. (bbc.co.uk, 2009)
The first pillar, Shahadah requires that Muslims recite “There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is his messenger” (bbc.co.uk, 2009). . . . Read More
There are many Apostles and Saints who propagated the message of Christianity across the world. Among these St. Paul is one of the more prominent. Also referred to as Apostle Paul or Paul of Tarsus, this early missionary carried the message of Jesus Christ to unchartered geographies and its people. His contribution to the writing of New Testament is widely recognized. Though he started his life as a devout Jew, his acceptance of Jesus Christ as a messenger of God changed the course of not just his life but also Christianity. Indeed, during the time of his conversion, there was no established Christian doctrine and recognition of a unique Christian religion. It was early pioneers like St. Paul who helped consolidate the teachings of Jesus Christ into the Holy Bible. St. Paul’s moment of revelation played an important role in the birth of Christianity. During A.D. 30 Paul of Tarsus “had what he called an ‘apocalypse’ or, literally, a revelation. Having been a . . . Read More
In most of Shakespeare’s plays, the rulers are portrayed to be in a state of mental stress. This is particularly true with respect to the two plays – King Lear and Measure for Measure. King Lear, which is a tragedy, is full of expressions of anguish and pathos by the old king, whose mental faculties are disintegrating by the day. After dividing his kingdom between his two elder daughters Goneril and Regan (who betray his trust), the former king becomes a lonely figure disillusioned with filial love and duty. In a hasty act, he also disowns his youngest daughter Cordelia and ends up without physical and emotional security and care, barring his retinue of one hundred Knights. This situation bears very heavily upon his already weak mental condition and in this state he pours out some of the most heart-wrenching words of anguish and despair. (Beauregard, 2008, p.201) In this respect, the following observation by critic Barbara Ann Lukacs is valid:
“By . . . Read More
Richard Dawkins has contributed enormously to the general readership’s understanding of Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection. Starting from his seminal first book The Selfish Gene Theory, his writings have come to represent robust scientific logic and high literary quality. His latest contribution toward this end comes in the form of a chapter written for the book Seeing Further, which is edited and compiled by Bill Bryson. In the chapter, Dawkins tries to place the theory of evolution among other great scientific discoveries of recent centuries. He suggests that the theory is the most revolutionary, in that, it overwhelmed our previous understanding of the processes of life, death and rejuvenation. Dawkins reopens the long-running debate between random change and intelligent design and offers the third possibility, namely evolution through a “smoothly cumulative gradient of improvement”.
Dawkins then discusses with his trademark lucidity and . . . Read More
Ambrose Bierce’s short story titled An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge is one of the classics of the art form. The story could be read from three different angles. First, the political angle provided by the American Civil War of the 1860s. Second is the cultural angle, whereby the unique flavors of the American South can be appreciated. Third, the story provides rich material for studying the psychology of impending death. This essay will extend the third angle and argue that though the hallucinatory sequence experienced by Peyton Farquhar is temporally brief, within it contain profound truths about the nature of human psychology and existence.
A striking aspect of the story is the non-linear plot structure employed by the author. The story is divided into four compact parts. Chronologically they are arranged in this fashion – 2,1,3,4 – which means the background information about Farquhar’s allegiance to the confederate cause is placed next to the event of his . . . Read More
David Irving is one of the most controversial modern historians. Born in Britain in 1938, Irving has written many books about the Second World War and its leaders. For example, he has written detailed accounts of Adolf Hitler, Winston Churchill, Goebbels, etc. In his books, he focussed on the military aspects of the war. But he created many controversies by associating himself with extreme Right-wing ideology. Even in his accounts of Second World War, there is a bias toward Hitler, his antisemitism and military aggression. Since Britain suffered both in terms of human and economic costs during the war, he hurt the feelings of his own people by showing sympathy to Hitler.
Since he began to writer about the Second World War during the 1970s and 1980s, he is considered as a revisionist historian. This is because plenty of books have already been published by the time he took up these projects. Other scholars have taken objection to his work for its inaccuracy and . . . Read More
Buddhism is a major religion in current times, but its origins goes back thousands of centuries. Having originated in North Eastern India, it had spread far and wide in the Eastern hemisphere, making it a dominant religion in the Asian continent. Buddhism has been in existence even before the rise of Judeo-Christians, making it stand second only to Hinduism in the chronological order for major surviving religions. But, Buddhism differs from most other major religions of today in that it offers practical and feasible solutions for universal human concerns. Buddhism is typically an Eastern religion for it focuses on human suffering and offers practical solutions to counter it. Rather than dealing with the paranormal and the supernatural, it is a practical philosophy toward life. In other words, Buddhism can be seen as offering psychological insights into the workings of the human mind, an understanding of which will benefit the individual subject. Both Buddhism and psychology can be . . . Read More
Since tribe formation is the earliest form of human organization, tribal religions can said to be the earliest expression of organized religion. Since human tribes lived in a state of nature and their survival depended on benign natural conditions and events, they recognized the power of natural elements. These elements included fire, water, air, earth and sky. All these elements had the potential to destroy an ecosystem or tribal inhabitation, inducing in tribes a sense of fear mixed with reverence. Being the most intelligent species on the planet, early human beings tried to ascertain cause-effect relationships between their actions and natural events. When some sort of a pattern emerged as a result of this analysis, then primitive religious rituals were seen to have causative powers. For example, the practice of sacrificing lives (human and animal) started as a way of placating the Gods of nature. With the tools of statistical analysis at the disposal of modern man, it is easy to . . . Read More