Making Good: How Young People Cope with Moral Dilemmas at Work

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ISBN-13: 978-0674018303
ISBN-10: 0674018303
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Paperback, November 27, 2005
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Making Good: How Young People Cope with Moral Dilemmas at Work + Responsibility at Work: How Leading Professionals Act (or Don't Act) Responsibly + Good Work: When Excellence and Ethics Meet
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This sociological study examines the mounting ethical dilemmas that young adults face as they enter today’s 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 year’s Jayson Blair scandal at the New York Times (before the story broke, Blair was slated to participate in this book’s 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 today’s workplace dynamics and how to better prepare the next generation to approach ethical challenges.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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 2004-01-18)

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 2004-05-01)

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press (October 28, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674018303
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674018303
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,731,459 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By D. Farinas on March 27, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book gives the occasional interesting bit of information, but for the most part all it does is reinforce the obvious; that young people sometimes have difficulty transitioning from academia to the work force.
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Making Good: How Young People Cope with Moral Dilemmas at Work
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