Adam Smith Comparison Paper

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Relevance of “Moral Sentiments” to the Modern Day Human Resource Management Many of the ideas and beliefs, in our society, stem from the early theories of economics. These ideas have been around for more than two hundred years, but still have relevance as our civilization advances. The Scottish born economist, Adam Smith, presents us with his description of human nature and behavioral reactions in the book he published in 1759, Theory of Moral Sentiments. The themes in his book give individuals the tools to view and interpret moral values as they relate to the success of their society. I intend to illustrate how these moral values, important to the survival of a society, are also a key to the success of a business enterprise. Specifically, I will illustrate how the themes of self-interest, beneficent tendency, and natural sympathy can be applied in the practice of Human Resource Management. Morals, behaviors that are correct or incorrect in a society, are taught and learned in early childhood. These morals are continually reinforced through interactions with our families, friends and individuals with whom we interact through in our daily lives. Since there are numerous cultures in today’s world, different societies may have variations of these basic moral themes. Specific religions and philosophies may vary, but the primary themes of self-interest, beneficent tendency, and natural sympathy express themselves in every society. We have a natural tendency to look after ourselves, which is the basis for the Adam’s theme of “self-interest”. Much like a successful society where individuals are directed to pursue activities that benefit the whole of society, a successful business would build a structure in which an employee can pursue their own self-interest, but that pursuit benefits the entire enterprise. An example of this principle manifests itself in

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