From Publishers Weekly
This sociological study examines the mounting ethical dilemmas that young adults face as they enter todays workforce and attempt to scale the proverbial professional ladder. The authors explore training, mentoring and the temptation to cut corners for advancement by comparing interviews with veterans and novices of three high pressure professions: journalism, genetics research and theatre. As readers may expect after last years Jayson Blair scandal at the New York Times (before the story broke, Blair was slated to participate in this books study, but never showed up for interviews), the authors findings are less than heartening. "Over and over, too often for comfort, we heard participants express their willingness to cross lines" in order to get ahead. They found young journalists, for example, highly unreliable for interviews and easily swayed to overlook slight transgressions despite an avowed dedication to fair and accurate reporting. While seasoned journalists often recalled their debt to early heroes and mentors, the younger generation tended to view their training and potential rise as a solitary endeavor. The book suggests several factors, like peer support, inspirational mentors and a long-standing value system, that are likely to inspire young people to produce "good work"work that is both skillful and honorable. However, as the researchers themselves point out, this study is only the beginning of understanding todays workplace dynamics and how to better prepare the next generation to approach ethical challenges.
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Howard Gardner and the "Good Works" team that crafted this work have given us hope for the future. In this time of disorientation caused by the creative destruction that is reshaping so many institutions this is the book our new generation of professionals desperately need. (Bill Kovach, Committee of Concerned Journalists, Columbia University)
As a member of one of the professions explored in Making Good
, I found this work accurate--and alarming. Howard Gardner and his colleagues are best known for their writings about the many varieties of intelligence, but their recent provocative explorations of the meanings of work may prove equally important. I recommend this book to anyone concerned about how institutions can attract and support honorable future leaders. (James Fallows, author of "Breaking the News")In Making Good
, Howard Gardner, professor of cognition and education at Harvard, and researchers Wendy Fischman, Becca Solomon, and Deborah Greenspan capture the complex and often abstract values that shape people's professional goals and guide their decisions. (Laura Secor Boston Globe
Gardner and a trio of young researchers explore how young people in [journalism, genetic research, and theater] learn to become--or not to become--good workers. The result is a learned, thought-provoking, and accessible investigation of some of the most pressing issues of our time. (David B. Wilkins Harvard Magazine