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Winston Lake

Husband and father of one,

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Is there a mutual responsibility between employer and employee?

I recently had a conversation with a friend of mine about fair distribution of profits at all levels of an organization. He informed me that as an employer he doesn't feel he owes his employees anything and they are in fact lucky to be working.

Is he right? Do employers have an inherent right to the vast majority of the profits garnered by their organization?

Is his view too "old school"? Is there an ethical imperative to create a more equitable distribution of the profits at all levels of the organization?

I would appreciate feedback on both sides of this question. I know my views on the subject, but I'm really interested in other peoples opinions. As important as what you think, I would like to know why you hold that view.

This is an important question for me, and I thank you in advance for your assistance.

Cheers, Winston

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    Sep 19 2011: As someone who started their own business and worked like a dog to get it off the ground and then grew it to a place where it sustains others, I'd say "yes and no" (to the question "Do employers have an inherent right to the vast majority of the profits garnered by their organization?").

    Yes, in that I took the initiative, the risks, and the financial hit during the start up phase.

    No, in that my goal is to keep the company growing with the best possible staff - and having them have a vested (in both senses of the term) interest in the direction and growth of the company, dependent on the health of the company only makes sense.

    I suspect, though, that that attitude vanishes at most companies with the development of a layer of middle management - for a variety of reasons.
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      Sep 20 2011: Thank you for lending your perspective :-)

      I find that it occurs once a business begins using "career" managers who are totally disconnected from the staff. There are the founders such as yourself, there are the workers doing the work. At some point, the separation becomes institutionalized.
      The only antidote is to encourage employers like yourself to m attitude and look to hire other's with a similar understanding of the need for balance.

      Cheers, Winston

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