Changing The Human And Animal Species With Genetic Engineering — July 6, 2014

Changing The Human And Animal Species With Genetic Engineering

Since its advent in the 1970s, Genetic Engineering Technology has already been

revolutionizing Biochemistry. With its useful application in the field of Medicine, Nutrition, and

Agriculture, there is no doubt that indeed it has brought numerous positive fruits to alleviate

human conditions and maladies. However, coupled with its practicality and ingenuity, this

controversial fruit of several decades of basic research on DNA, RNA, and viruses still spurs

debates among scholars from different walks of life. This paper discusses some of the fruits of

Genetic Engineering and its practical application in our lives. Some findings on its perils are

discussed in this paper as well.

            The 2000 Grolier Encyclopedia of Knowledge defines Genetic Engineering as the

application of the knowledge obtained from genetic investigations to the solution of problems

such as diseases, food production, improvement of species and a lot more. Included in the

Genetic Engineering Techniques are a wide range of procedures that alter the reproductive and

hereditary processes or organisms. Depending on the problem, the procedures used may involve

species hybridization, or the direct manipulation of the genetic material itself by the

Recombinant DNA Technique.

            Recombinant DNA formation is a procedure whereby segments of genetic material from

one organism are transferred to another. This is through the use of special enzymes (restriction

enzymes) that split DNA strands wherever certain sequences of nucleotides occur. This results in

a series of donor DNA fragments that can combine with similarly formed DNA fragments from

other organisms. In most experimental situations, the donor DNA fragments are combined with

viruses or with plasmids (small rings of self-replicating DNA found within cells). The virus or

plasmid vectors carry the donor DNA fragments into cells. The combined vector and DNA

fragment constitutes the recombinant-DNA molecule. Once inside a cell, this molecule is

replicated along with the hosts’ DNA each time the host divides. These divisions produce a clone

 of identical cells, each having a copy of the recombinant-DNA molecule and the potential to

translate the donor DNA fragment into the protein it encodes.

            Genetic Engineering paved way to Gene Therapy. In this form of technology, scientists

believe they will be able to enhance traits such as intelligence or athleticism through gene

manipulation. Technically, this is not feasible because proficiency in such traits is the result of a

complex interaction of unknown genetic determinants and environmental experiences     

  (Wheale and McNally, 240). Gene therapy attempts to treat and possibly cure human diseases

including genetic defects, cancer, AIDS, and other maladies with cloned genes. The most

obvious use of cloned genes is to express them and harvest their products. This has already

yielded proteins that have pharmaceutical value (Weaver and Hedrick, 450). For example

proteins that are present in only a small number of cells or only in human cells. The method is

simple in principle. A DNA sequence coding for the desired protein is cloned in a vector

adjacent to an appropriate regulatory sequence. This step is done with cDNA, because it has all

the coding sequences spliced together in the right order. Using a vector with a high copy number

ensures that many copies of the coding sequence will be present in each bacterial cell, which can

result in synthesis of the gene product at concentrations ranging from 1%-5% of the total cellular

protein (Hartl and Jones, 381). This also implies that in the future, Gene Therapy may provide

mankind purified viral proteins that can serve as safe, effective vaccines against deadly diseases.

We may be able to engineer harmless viruses that can immunize us against unrelated dangerous

viruses (Weaver and Hedrick,450).In addition ,some of the proteins produced for therapeutic

use includes the following: Atrial Natriuretic Factor for heart failure and hypertension,

Epidermal Growth Factor for burns and skin transplant, Erythropoietin for anemia and a lot

more. In the easiest sense, these proteins are produced by cloning a human gene into a plasmid

and inserting the Recombinant vector into a bacterial host. After ensuring that the transferred

gene is expressed, large quantities of the transformed bacteria are produced, and the human

protein is recovered and purified (Klug and Cummings, 594).

            The first human gene product manufactured using Recombinant-DNA and licensed for

the therapeutic use was human insulin. Insulin is a protein hormone that regulates sugar

metabolism, and an inability to produce insulin results to diabetes (Klug and Cummings, 593).

Recombinant-DNA procedures involving bacteria and donor DNA fragments that translate into

 proteins have led to the increased availability of important substances like Interferon for viral

infection and some forms of cancer, and growth hormone for dwarfism (Grolier Encyclopedia of

Knowledge 2000, 210). How recombinational repair works is implied by the description of how

a gap in DNA leads to the recombination intermediate. The gap is filled by DNA from a

homologous duplex and is repaired. Repair is achieved whether or not the intermediate is cut so

as to exchange flanking arms of the two helices; it only matters that the gap is filled with DNA

of the correct sequence. Although a simple gap can be filled by DNA polymerase, a more serious

 problem is posed by gaps that contain DNA lesions such as thyminedimers that no longer can

base-pair; these arise when replication necessarily stops at the damaged site and must reinitiate

beyond it. The genetic information at the lesion is lost from both DNA strands and can be

retrieved only by extracting it through recombination from a homologous duplex. The newly

replicated sister DNA molecule is the most accessible source of the correct sequence (Watson et

al., 327).

            Another is the production of vaccines against some diseases. Heretofore, vaccination

against a disease has involved the injection of killed or weakened microorganisms into a person,

 with the subsequent production of antibodies by the individual’s immune system. This

procedure has always carried the risk of there being live, virulent pathogens in the vaccine

because of some error in the vaccine-producing process. Research has shown that it is the

microorganism’s outer surface that serves as the antigen that stimulates antibody formation.

Through the Recombinant DNA procedure, it is now possible to transfer the genes that control a

pathogen’s surface characteristics to a harmless microorganism and use it as a vaccine against

the particular disease (Grolier Encyclopedia of Knowledge 2000, 210).

            Aside from Medicine and Research, Genetic Engineering is also applied in practical life

situations by making possible the creation of organisms with novel genotypes for practical use in

Livestock Industry (Hartl and Jones, 381). In animals, implantations of cloned genes give them

more desirable characteristics, such as disease resistance and faster growth rate (Weaver and

Hedrick, 450). In 1983, a Human Growth Hormone was placed in the early mouse embryo. The

result was a giant mouse twice its normal size. This transgenic animal received foreign gene that

was incorporated into its cells. This gene could be passed on to progeny as any normal gene

would be. This paved way to the creation of transgenic pigs whose eggs were injected with

Human Growth Hormone and Bovine Growth Hormone. The pigs did not grow to supernormal

size. However, they showed a greater than normal feed efficiency- that is, weight gain per unit of

feed. Moreover, the transgenic pigs had a much smaller amount of subcutaneous fat. This is a

benefit during the current era of concern about the adverse effects of animal fat in our diet

(Weaver and Hedrick, 452). Furthermore, the effect of growth hormone under the control of a

highly active promoter to drive transcription called Metallothioneins which are ubiquitous in the

human genome is applied and seen in a Coho Salmon. At fourteen months of age, the Coho

salmons which were subjects of the study reached 42 cm. in length and weighed 11 times their

normal weight. On the average, the Coho salmons grow in length at around 10 cm only. Not only

do the transgenic salmon become larger than normal salmon; they also mature and grow faster

(Hartl and Jones, 383).

            Through the Recombinant DNA technology, human is empowered to manipulate the

genetic material of living cells more precisely than has previously been possible. For example, in

Gene Replacement or Gene Activation the cells manipulated could be somatic cells or germ cells

and the genetic manipulation may be undertaken for therapeutic or enhancement purposes

(Wheale and McNally, 211). Patients suffering from genetic diseases could be treated by

implanting a normal gene to correct the defected gene. An example is the case of a patient with

Sickle-Cell Disease. Sickle-Cell patients are homozygous for a defective β-globin gene. As a

result, they make abnormal hemoglobin. This suggests that a genetic engineering solution is

possible. Since blood cells are made in the bone marrow, removal of all the patient’s abnormal

marrow is possible. This marrow is then replaced with a marrow that has a normal gene for

hemoglobin. It would be best if the patient’s own marrow is used. This is to avoid a rejection

problem. Cloning is the key- cloned human genes are added to cells in much the same way as

recombinant-DNAs are added to bacterial cells (Weaver and Hedrick. 450).

            Another application of gene therapy is on the treatment of people with heritable genetic

disorders such as Severe Combined Immuno-Deficiency (SCID). Affected individuals have no

functional immune system and usually die from what would otherwise be minor infections. An

autosomal form of SCID is caused by a mutation in the gene encoding the enzyme Adenosine

deaminase (ADA). Treatment starts with the isolation from the patient of a subpopulation of

white blood cells called T cells. These cells, which are part of the immune system, are mixed

with a genetically modified retrovirus carrying a normal copy of the ADA gene. The virus infects

 the T cells, inserting a functional copy of the ADA gene into the cell’s genome. The genetically

modified T cells are grown in the laboratory to ensure that the transferred gene is expressed , and

the patient is treated by injecting a billion or so of the altered T cells into the bloodstream (Klug

and Cummings, 587).

            However questions have been raised by a number of scientists and lay people on the

advisability of Genetic Engineering. Together with its advantages sprouted perils, controversies,

and debates among scholars (Grolier Encyclopedia of Knowledge 2000, 210). Some even said

that chromosome damage is attributable to genetics to a slight extent only. And that, other factors

such as smoking habits and lifestyles are some of the causes of the many forms of genetic

aberrations (Clark and Wall, 151).

            In the case of protein production through cloning human genes, experts have noted that in

practice, the production of large quantities of a protein in bacterial cell is straight forward, but

there are often problems that must be overcome, because in the bacterial cell which is a

prokaryotic cell, the eukaryotic protein may be unstable, may not fold properly, or may fail to

undergo chemical modification. Though, many important proteins are currently produced in

bacterial cells. These include Human Growth Hormone, blood-clotting factors, and insulin.

Patent offices in Europe and in the United States have already issued tens of thousands of patents

for the clinical use of the products of Genetically Engineered human gene (Hartl and Jones, 383).

In the earlier part of the paper, I have discussed the advantages of injecting growth hormone to

improve the genotype of pigs. However, these benefits brought some serious health problems in

the transgenic pigs. The transgenic pigs had abnormally high incidence of stomach ulcers,

arthritis, enlarged heart, dermatitis, and kidney disease. These conditions depress appetite and

lead to higher mortality, already a significant problem in domestic pigs (Weaver and Hedrick,

452). In addition, more dangers of Genetic Engineering were seen on some attempts of changing

human genes to cure some genetic diseases.

In the case of a patient with a sickle-cell disease, one roadblock is getting a cloned gene

to function normally in the patient’s cells. For some reason they are not usually expressed and

regulated as they would be in their natural state. This might be especially serious for the globin

genes, which are normally carefully regulated so that their α- and β- globin products are

produced in roughly equal amounts. A second problem has been difficulty in transforming

immortal stem cells. Unless our gene gets into such cells, its lifetime will be brief. For these

reasons, geneticists have not yet been able to attack sickle-cell anemia with cloned genes

(Weaver and Hedrick, 450). Also, some scientists were so alarmed about the potential dangers of

introducing new genes into bacteria that they convinced the molecular biology community to

stop their controversial kind of research until it could be studied more fully (Weaver and

Hedrick, 454). One of the problems of gene therapy is its short span of effect. In order for

correction to be permanent, it is of importance to insert healthy genes into immortal stem cells,

 but so far this has been a difficult task. In many other diseases, DNA replication is not effective,

 and corrected cells die out after just a few days, or weeks at most (Berg and Tymoczko, 148).

Also at this time, there is no completely reliable way to ensure the public that agene will be

inserted only into the target cell or tissue. In one of the earliest clinical trials with a group of four

patients treated with retroviral vectors for severe combined immunodeficiency disease, one of

the patients had a retroviral insertion into a site that caused aberrant expression of a gene,  

LMO-2 , associated with lymphoblastic leukemia (Hartl and Jones, 384).

As safety debate has subsided, ethics regarding alternation of human genes heated up.

The question will always be this: How do the Science community define  a defect? Undoubtedly

in years to come, genetic engineering might not only be the answer to alleviating human

conditions rather an avenue where people could have unlimited access to pursuing positive traits

for personal vanity. Nevertheless, I do not under any circumstance reject the positive fruits of

Genetic Engineering in the field of Medicine, Livestock Industry and a lot more. The only

resolution or challenge to geneticists amidst the many and controversies they are facing is to

research and study more fully the disadvantages of Genetic Engineering and capitalize on those

faults to improve such an innovative product of Science and Technology.

 

 

 

 

Works Cited

Berg, Jeremy M., and Tymoczko, John L.  Biochemistry. 7th ed. New York: WH Freeman &               Company, 2012.

 

Clark, MS., and Wall WJ. Chromosomes The Complex Code. Oxford: Alden Press, 1996.

 

Collins, FS., et al. New Goals For The US Human Genome Project 1998-2003: 1998.

 

Hartl, Daniel L., and Jones, Elizabeth W. Essential Genetics A Genomics Perspective. 4th ed. London, United Kingdom: Jones and Bartlett Publishers International, 2011.

 

Klug, William S., and Cummings, Michael R. Concepts Of Genetics. 6th ed. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.

 

Nelkin, D., and Lindee, M.S. The DNA Mystique, The Gene As A Cultural Icon. New York: WH Freeman, 1995.

 

Watson, James D., et al., Molecular Biology Of The Gene. 4th ed. United States of America: The Benjamin/Cummings Publishing Company, Inc., 1987.

 

Weaver, Robert F., and Hedrick, Philip W. Genetics. 3rd ed. United States of America: Wm. C. Brown Publishers, 1997.

Wheale, Peter, and McNally, Ruth. Genetic Engineering Catastrophe or Utopia. New York: St. Martin’s Press, Inc, 1988.

 

Grolier Encyclopedia of Knowledge 2000, United States of America: 2000.

What effect does being happy have to one’s productivity? —

What effect does being happy have to one’s productivity?

 In the business world, one of the oldest beliefs is that a happy worker is a productive worker (Mc Shane and Von Glinow 124). Today, companies and business organizations such as Xerox, Sears, Home Depot Canada and Roebuck & Co. are paying a lot of attention to job satisfaction. The reason for this lies in the argument, happiness is a key driver to corporate success and that satisfaction affects many aspects of the individual behaviors (Mc Shane and Von Glinow 123).

     This paper discusses the effect of happiness or satisfaction to a person’s productivity and explains some of the social benefits one may get from being happy. Industrial Psychologists have observed the behavior of employees and correlated this factor to their workplace efficiency. Social benefits one may acquire from being happy are discussed in this paper as well.

     Because it is important to know what happiness and productivity is, we first need to define the

terms to determine its scope in the research paper. The Webster’s Third New International Dictionary

defines happiness as the general term expressing enjoyment of or pleasurable satisfaction in well-being, security or fulfillment of wishes, while productivity refers to the capacity of effectiveness to produce output. Reports say that most people believe satisfied workers are more productive workers. Their reason for this belief is that satisfied employees are inclined to be more involved with their work and therefore, are more productive (Vecchio 134). Satisfaction reflects the individual’s happiness with his work situation. When employees like their job design, supervision and other job related factors they will probably be devoted and do well on their jobs (Byars and Rue 279). Furthermore, when a person is happy, he sees himself as a growing individual and is open to new experiences. He has sense of realizing his potentials and is changing in ways that show more self-knowledge and effectiveness (Feldman et al. 579). Additionally, satisfied employees do not get absent often, have lower rates for turnover (Robbins 81), have good work records, and areactively involving themselves in pursuing excellence in all areas of their jobs (Davis and Newstrom 198).

     An individual’s satisfaction in his job is dependent upon three main factors namely his ability, his relationship with other workers and his motivation. Each of the principal factors stated involves goodhuman interactions. Therefore, it also depends upon how well an employee can get along with his fellow workers (Dela Calzada et al. 18). In the Western society, one factor that determines a person’s well being is how much a person achieves in his career (Burger 446) People prefer jobs that give them chances to make use of their skills and offer a wide range of tasks, freedom and feedback on how well they are doing. In short, people are happy or satisfied when their works are mentally challenging (Robbins 82). An interesting component of job satisfaction is the degree to which a certain job allows a match between a person’s ability and the challenges the work requires. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi asserts in his theory of flow that people are happiest when they are in a state which he labeled flow (Doherty and Mynatt 345). According to the flow theory of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, the secret for enhancing the quality of life is finding something you find worthwhile and pleasurable and becoming good at it (Funder 396). The flow state exists when a person is challenged by the task but on which there is an equally high level of skill that can be brought to bear. Csikszentmihalyi and others have applied this model to job satisfaction. He then adds that people should be less satisfied and exhibit negative emotions when they are in states of boredom or when their interest level becomes low (Doherty and Mynatt 345). Hence, challenging experiences can be sources of learning, growth, and wisdom, and success in dealing with them is an important part of what gives life meaning (Funder 397).

     So the question is, does being happy affect one’s productivity? Answers for this question will be discussed in the latter part of this research paper. But for now, let’s discuss the social benefits one may get from being happy.

     If better behavior in organizations can make job satisfaction better, a benefit occurs. In the sameway, when programs for the development of employees lead to a consequence of having better citizens in a community, we can get a valuable social output from it (Davis and Newstrom 17). A recent review of the study on happiness has revealed that happiness truly has numerous positive by-products which appears to be of advantage not only to individuals but also to communities and societies at large. Some of the benefits one may get from being happy are related to his work outcomes. When a person is happy, he is more likely to display productivity and higher quality of work in his workplace. In the social context, A person’s social interaction is boosted when he is happy. Additionally, happy individuals are more creative, helpful, generous and self confident (http://lyubomirsky.socialpsychology.org/).

 

      Furthermore, happy people score high on having good interpersonal and intrapersonal relationships.They have more empathy and they care more about others in general (http://www.upperbay.org/benefits_of_happiness.htm).  Not only are happy people sympathetic, butalso they understand the give and take of human relationships (Feldman et al. 579). Csikszentmihalyi observes that every person feels happier when they are with other people.Also,  Happiness helps in the building up of mature persons as well as of harmonious relationships  (Sanchez and Berin 82). Smiling when feeling happy makes the feeling of happiness strong and creates a cheerful and warm relationships needed in an organization (Apruebo 119). Moreover, employees who are in  a good mood are more likely to display positive emotions and friendliness. If employees show positive emotions, they put customers in a better mood too (Mc Shane and Von Glinow 125). Last, good morale and productivity always go together because a worker‘s productivity will result to increased acceptance and prestige among his fellow workers and managers (Sanchez and Berin 169). It was mentioned earlier that in the business world, one of the oldest beliefs is that a happy worker is a productive worker. Now, the evidence suggests that the popular belief may be correct after all. In support for this argument, a ground breaking analysis concludes that there is a limited relationship between the variables job satisfaction and job performance. In other words, happy workers are more productive workers to a certain extent (Mc Shane and Von Glinow 124). Other researchers also insist that satisfaction and performance are possibly correlated. A viewpoint asserts that satisfaction causes performance. This proposal was the premise for the human relations approach which assumes that if you make workers happy, they will be more productive in return (Vecchio 135).     

     Along with the job satisfaction- performance relationship, managers and corporate leaders are making strong affirmations that happy employees make happy customers. Virgin group founder Richard Branson explains, “It just seems common sense to me that if you start with a happy, well-motivated workforce, you are much more likely to have happy customers (qtd. In Mc Shane and Von Glinow 125).

     Author of The Power of a Laughing Face Yoshihiko Kadokawa says, “I have found through my surveys that sales personnel could beef up sales by as much as twenty percent each day just by smiling more at their customers (qtd. In Mc Shane and Von Glinow 118). However, empirical research has not determined sufficient support for the proposition satisfied workers are more productive workers. In fact, the available evidence suggests that the relationship between the variables is a very weak one. More recent studies found that the correlations suggest that very little variance in performance can be attributed to job satisfaction (Vecchio 135).

     In the 1980s, organizational behavior experts have derived with the same conclusion, that job satisfaction and productivity has a weak or negligible association. There are many reasons why the relationship is not strong. One argument is that general attitudes do not predict specific behaviors very well. Another explanation is that job performance leads to job satisfaction only when valued rewards are given to well performing workers. Here, job performance leads to job satisfaction only if rewards are given to compensate the good performance of a worker (Mc Shane and Von Glinow 124). Furthermore, a satisfied employee is not necessarily a high performer (Ivancevich et al. 87). Satisfied workers may be high, average, or even low producers and the tendency is they will continue the level of performance that brought them previous satisfaction (Davis and Newstrom 198).  Attempts of managers to make everyone happy will not always result to high levels of productivity. Again, the assumption that a high performing employee is likely to be satisfied is not well supported (Ivancevich et al. 87).

     Another discovery that proves the invalidity of the conclusion happy workers are productive workers is based on a careful review of the research. The review of the research says that, if there is a positive relationship between the variables happiness and productivity, the correlations are low in the proximityof +0.14. This means that no more than two percent of the variance in output can be accounted for by employee satisfaction (Robbins 77). If two variables are correlated, it is not a guarantee that a cause and effect relationship exists between them. A non-zero correlation between two things means that they co-vary, but the covariation is not enough proof for causality. They may  co-vary because one causes the other or vice versa. Another possibility is by chance or coincidence(Doherty and Mynatt 23).

     Due to the mild relationship of the variables, attempts to enhance worker satisfaction and performance will probably be unsuccessful. In fact, some attempts to increase productivity may decrease job satisfaction (Muchinsky 316).Finally, the most recent findings indicate that employee job satisfaction is largely determined by genetics. The gene structure of a person plays an important role in determining whether he is happy or not. Approximately, eighty percent of peoples differences in happiness, or subjective well-being , has been found to be caused by the gene structure they have (Robbins 82).

     If a person is happy, then he has a sense of realizing his potentials (Feldman et al. 579) and actively pursues excellence in all areas of his job (Davis and Newstrom 198). Happiness has numerous by-products which appear to be of advantage not only to individuals but also to communities and societies at large (http://lyubomirsky.socialpsychology.org/) because happy people understand the give and take of human relationships (Feldman et al. 579). Although happy workers make happy customers, the relationship between happiness and productivity is limited to a certain extent (Mc Shane and Von Glinow 124). The relationship of happiness and productivity has intrigued the minds of people for many years now. Many people think these two variables should go together because of their covariation. However, evidence suggests that covariation is not a sufficient proof for causality.

     Aside from this, many research study have revealed there is little in common between happiness and productivity. Meaning, the relationship between the two variables is a very weak one (Vecchio 135). There are many reasons why the relationship is not strong. One is that attitudes do not predict specific behaviors very well (Mc Shane and Von Glinow 124). How happy a person is depends on factors such as his personality, disposition and lately, being based on his gene structure. One thing more, happiness is subjective and its effect varies from one person to another. Happiness may make a person productive but it does not always guarantee to bring about positive outputs in the workplace. On the other hand when it comes to productivity, factors such as ability, work environment and motivation are also considered. Given these conclusions, there is only little that a manager can do when it comes to efforts in increasing the happiness and productivity level of a worker. Therefore, the effect of happiness to one’s productivity is very minimal.

 

 

Works Cited

 

 

Apruebo, Roxel  A.  Essentials Of Organizational Behavior. 1st ed. Manila: Giuani Prints House, 2006.

 

Bayer, Rich Ph.D. “The Benefits of  Happiness” Upper Bay Counseling & Support Services, Inc.                   

 

3 Mar. 2010

 

<http://www.upperbay.org/benefits_of_happiness.htm&gt;

 

 

Byars, Lloyd L., and Leslie W. Rue.  Supervision: Key Link To Productivity. 5th ed. New York:

 

Mc Graw-Hill/Irwin, 1996.

 

Berin, Elvi S., and Custodiosa A. Sanchez. Psychology Applied To Business And Industry. 3rd ed.

 

Quezon, City: National Bookstore, 1997.

 

Burger, Jerry M. Personality. 5th ed. California:Wadsworth/Thomson Learning, 2000.

 

dela Calzada, Limie, et al. Personnel Management. Philippines: Intermodal Printers, Inc., 2000.

 

Davis, Keith Ph. D., and John W. Newstrom, Ph. D. Organizational Behavior Human Behavior At Work.

 

9th ed. Manila:National Bookstore, 1993.

 

Doherty, Michael E., and Clifford R. Mynatt. Understanding Human Behavior. 2nd ed.

 

United States of America: Allyn and Bacon, 2002.

 

Funder, David C. The Personality Puzzle. 3rd ed. New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 2004.

 

Feldman , Ruth D., et al., Human Development. 9th ed. Ohio: Mc Graw-Hill, 2003.

 

“Happiness.” Def. 3. Webster’s Third New International Dictionary.

 

Ivancevich, John M. et al., Organizational Behavior And Management. 7th ed. New York:                                                     

 

Mc Graw-Hill/Irwin, 2005.

 

Lyubomirsky, Sonja. “What are the benefits of happiness.” 26 Feb. 2010. Social Psychology Network.

 

3 Mar. 2010

 

<http://lyubomirsky.socialpsychology.org/&gt;

 

Mc Shane Steve L., and Mary Ann Von Glinow. Organizational Behavior: Emerging Realities For The

 

Workplace Revolution. 3rd ed. New York: Mc Graw-Hill/Irwin, 2005.

 

Muchinsky, Paul M. Psychology Applied To Work. 8th ed. Singapore: Wadsworth/Thomson Learnig,2007.

 

“Productivity.” Def. Webster’s Third New International Dictionary.

 

 

Robbins, Stephen P. Organizational Behavior. 9th ed. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall Inc., 2001.

 

Vecchio, Robert P. Organizational Behavior. 3rd ed. Florida: Harcourt Brace College Publishers, 1995.

 

Wallis, Claudia. “The New Science of Happiness.” 17 Jan. 2005. Authentic Happiness. 3 Mar. 2010

 

<http://www.authentichappiness.sas.upenn.edu/images/TimeMagazine/Index.htm&gt;

Can we equate EQ to Leadership? —

Can we equate EQ to Leadership?

John Kotter of Harvard Business School said, “Because of the furious pace of change in business today, difficult to manage relationships sabotage more business than anything else-it is not a question of strategy that gets us into  trouble; it is a question of emotions.” Indeed emotions and dispositions are so powerful they may turn someone into a better person someday, and truly a person’s emotions may affect the kind of behavior he shows around everyone else as well as the success he wants to achieve in his life. Coupled with this fact is the power of emotions to persuade, influence, and cause change to happen. The question therefore is, can we equate Emotional Quotient to leadership? Does leadership require high levels of emotionality?

            Emotional Intelligence is the ability to identify, assess, and control the emotions of oneself, of others, and of groups. Leadership on the other hand is the process by which certain group members motivate and guide behavior.

Normally, good leadership skills go hand in hand with several positive dispositions. In the group setting, the person most frequently assigned to be the leader is the one who is perceived to have the strongest personality. This observed phenomenon may be correct after all considering a number of recent available literatures suggesting the relationship between good leadership skills and high emotional quotient. These studies are alike in one surprising way: that, most effective leaders have a high degree of what has come to be known as emotional intelligence. However, it is not that intelligence and technical skills are undermined. In fact, they are also significant only that emotional quotient is the crème-de la-crème of the overall contributory factors to good leadership skills.

            In light of modernity and globalization, emotional intelligence has become an important part of how leaders of today meet the challenges they face on a day to day level. Indeed, emotional intelligence can help leaders in an even more difficult leadership role, one that only a chosen few seem to possess in such a stressful environment just like what we have these days. In the past, we have had great leaders such as Alexander the great, Queen Elizabeth I, and Abraham Lincoln. No one knows what made these historical icons extraordinary leaders. What we are certain about is they differ from ordinary human beings in many aspects. For example, they all seem to have possessed high levels of ambition coupled with clear visions of precisely where they wanted to be. For years, Social Psychologists thought if there might be qualities that distinguish a good leader. This quest for knowledge however was not deemed futile because of the many findings brought about by different researches.

            On one study conducted by British Social Psychologists Peter Smith and Monir Tayeb, they found that the most effective supervisors are task and social leadership oriented. This implies that the leaders are actively concerned with how work is progressing and are sensitive to the needs of their subordinates. Like Smith and Tayeb, Rensis Likert also suggested that leaders may be job centered or employee centered or any combination of the two. Just like Smith’s, Tayeb’s and Likert’s view, a group of researchers at the Ohio State said that there are two basic leader behaviors or styles. One is initiating-structure behavior. Here, the leader organizes the work, defines and specifies what the subordinate must do and pulls everything back together in the end. The other is the consideration behavior where the leader shows concern for subordinates and attempts to establish a warm, friendly, and supportive climate. Hence, when a leader is sensitive to an employee’s feelings and is legitimately concerned about the employee’s fair treatment as a human being, the leader probably exhibits considerate behaviors. This leadership behavior is best seen in a leader who is a good listener, open to his subordinates’ ideas and always willing to consult his members’ opinions before implementing change. He is cooperative with others and is able to foster participative management. Clearly, these attitudes must be possessed by the leader. In one analysis of 50 Dutch companies, the highest morale was at firms with chief executives who most inspired their colleagues “to transcend their own self-interests for the sake of the collective.” This kind of leadership engages others to identify with and commit themselves to group’s mission. This type of leader is charismatic, energetic, self-confident, extraverts, articulate high standards, inspire people to share their vision, and offer personal attention. This kind of leadership frequently results in a more engaged, trusting, and effective workforce.

Therefore to effect change, a leader must be someone who has strong personality to influence, persuade, and effect change. He must be an embodiment of personal drive, desire to lead, personal integrity, and self confidence. These traits as researchers suggest are vital characteristics a leader must possess to be able to withstand the many demands and pressure the society puts on his back. He must be strong, firm, and decisive in making decisions though he should always consider the benefit of the majority. He must be able to understand hi s own emotions so he would understand others, and lastly he should be open to hear the voices of the minority and must always account for variable change. In conclusion, a leader must be someone with high emotionality and resilience to stress and emotional pressure to be able to withstand and satisfy the demands the society expects of him.

Pieces of Unsolicited Advice to all Graduating Students — January 19, 2014

Pieces of Unsolicited Advice to all Graduating Students

Hey senior! What’s up? You are probably wondering why you are reading this. It could be out of boredom, or maybe because like me, you are one of those people who are fond of reading random things on the internet. Well congratulations! A few months from now you will be graduating. I know you have things like term papers, dissertations, feasibility studies, theses, or whatever you are working on right now, and you are doing great–believe that you are! I know how it feels to be you– excited yet pressured and overwhelmed. Maybe even scared about the idea of graduation day nearing. The good news is, most of you will triumph over these academic hardships, but some will fail for the meantime. That is true. So to those who wouldn’t make it, do better at school while you still can. And to those who shall advance, welcome to the beginning of something harder.

In school you can outshine a class for your academic prowess. But this is just an edge, and never a guarantee for landing in that precious dream job of yours. Indeed there is a sea of opportunities available for you. All you have to do is narrow down your options, and select the choice that suits you best. It is wrong to hold on to the thought that there are limited job openings. The issue is not the number, but competition. Opportunities are everywhere, only that employers have the propensity to choose the best candidate with skills and abilities suited for the position, that is why as an applicant you always have to give your best foot forward. By saying this I mean you have to be open to the possibilities of rejection. You may be invited to undergo a lot of interviews before reaching that goal to finally earn for a living. It’s going to be tough out there, and you have to prepare a lot to be your best. But worry not because soon you’ll get hired. Trust me.

However by sharing these thoughts with you, I regret that I feel I have not maximized my stay in the academe. Don’t get me wrong I can say I finished my course pretty well, did fine in my job interviews, got hired in a good company, but I just feel there are so many things I still have to learn. Now that I am working, it seems to me I have not really learned a lot of things. Mind you, once you start working especially for desk jobs, things will be a routine and everything is going to be boring. Learning slows down, and the quest for knowledge fires up. I don’t speak generally about the rest of the workforce but this is what I always feel. Maybe this is why some professionals seek to further their degrees by pursuing MAs, MBAs, or even LLBs. But for some, especially those who can’t have the chance because of conflicts in schedule and financial constraints, sadly somehow it is the end of the line. For some adults it is difficult to juggle between work-life balance, what more if you factor in education and family to the equation? What I am trying to say is that soon you’ll miss school and at some point of your professional life you’ll forget about so many things the academe has taught you. Someday while casually daydreaming in the office, you’ll remember fancy terms such as cognitive dissonance, or theory of mind, or maybe meconium then you’ll realize you have forgotten all these things and this might even make you wonder about how much you really have acquired. We know the limitation of the human mind, sure–THAT PEOPLE FORGET THINGS, but have we really learned enough to forget these pieces of information? Certainly, there is no learning in forgetting, and this is what I miss about being a student–the idea that everyday when you attend a class, when you read a book, or when you ask questions and get the best answer, you are guaranteed that by the end of the day you learn something new.

So to those who are graduating this year, MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR REMAINING MONTHS NO MATTER HOW DRAGGING THESE DAYS ARE. DO YOUR BEST IN EVERY SUBJECT EVEN IF YOU HAVE TONS OF PAPER WORKS PENDING. READ YOUR LESSONS, ASK A LOT OF QUESTIONS, AND LEARN, LEARN, LEARN, LEARN. Ask yourself how much have you acquired. Are all these enough to prepare you for something grand? Soon you’ll be immersed in a different setting where you’ll learn things not by theory but by practice. In the corporate setting there will be no lab instructors, no professors, no “smartest kid in class” who will teach you things you have to know about. Everything will be different, and all you have is you. For now, help yourself grow by learning from school. Otherwise at some point of your professional life, you’ll regret not knowing the things you should have known.