PATTERNS Essay, Research Paper
On October 17th and 19th, we viewed the movie Patterns in class. Patterns
took place in the old Chrysler building during the 1950’s. It showed how success
in the business world could be achieved dishonestly. Greed for success and money
can sometimes take the place of honesty and integrity.
Mr. Ramsey is the President of the Ramsey Company. He inherited the company
from his deceased father. Mr. Ramsey was looking to improve his company
throughout the movie, no matter who or what got it his way, similar to
Machiavelli’s way, which is discussed in chapter 4. Mr. Ramsey is like
Machiavelli in that he is willing to do whatever it takes to get what he wants
in the end, as long as the end justifies the means. Mr. Ramsey will accept
nothing less than taking his company to the top. Case in point, Mr. Ramsey took
over the Anderson Company and downsized it to 3,000 employees from that company
in order to make a profit. Mr. Ramsey did not care whether 3,000 people were
going to be out of work. All Mr. Ramsey cared about was money and success that
his company would have by the downsizing. Mr. Ramsey always has this need for
power and achieves a great deal of it by hurting other people, but obviously
that was not a concern when he saw potential for profit.
Mr. Ramsey follows Maslow’s Needs of Hierarchy, in the sense that once you go
up the hierarchy of needs; you never go down a level. Mr. Ramsey always wanted
to remain in Theory Y, which are the higher needs, but the need level that he
really wanted to be was in self-actualization. Mr. Ramsey is so emphatic about
making his company reach such great heights that he even took the time to read
Mr. Staple’s report at Staple’s party on his own leisure time. By doing so,
Ramsey proves the company is what he dedicates his whole life to. Therefore,
Ramsey’s terminal value is making his company a total success that is when and
only when Mr. Ramsey finds happiness, pleasure, and self-respect. The
instrumental values that Mr. Ramsey uses in order to achieve his goal is through
ambition, responsibility, and imagination. Mr. Ramsey feels being intelligent
and ambitious gets you what you want and then you fulfill all the
responsibilities and tasks at hand just as long as you have the motivation and
drive to do so.
Mr. Ramsey has a high self-esteem despite the fact that he is never satisfied
with improving the company. For instance, throughout the movie Mr. Ramsey says,
"The business has been running well because of me." I believe running
a business is a team effort and everyone plays an important role. Mr. Ramsey is
so impressed with the way he runs his business that he even puts down his father
by saying "My old man did not know how to run this company into being a
success like I do".
Mr. Ramsey believed in one-way communication when he spoke and everybody just
listened to him. Mr. Ramsey never wanted his judgement questioned. For example,
when Mr. Briggs questioned Mr. Ramsey’s judgement concerning business matters,
and when Ramsey spoke about the report that Mr. Staples and Mr. Briggs worked on
together, Mr. Ramsey felt Mr. Briggs was not intelligent enough to come up with
such ideas and gave all of the credit to Mr. Staples, as well as giving Staples
a high appraisal while Mr. Briggs was given a poor appraisal from Mr. Ramsey. By
Briggs attempting to speak up on a subject matter, Mr. Ramsey immediately cut
him off while speaking and trying to bring out important points. That was rude,
not to mention discourteous.
Mr. Briggs has been the Vice President of the Ramsey Company for the past 40
years. Mr. Briggs on the other hand is the complete opposite of Mr. Ramsey. Mr.
Briggs is more concerned about a need for affiliation in maintaining close,
intimate relationships among co-workers and other companies that he does
business with, rather than trying to make money for a capital gain like Mr.
Ramsey. For example, Mr. Brigg’s previous secretary, Miss Fleming, was sad that
she was to be assigned to be Mr. Staple’s secretary because she knew that Briggs
was a nice man and she respected him because he was kind to her and he had good
values since he was a people person. It does not take much to show courtesy or
common decency to say good morning or to ask how someone is doing. These are the
things which make it a more pleasant for people to come to work every day.
According to Brigg’s values, he never felt it was right to step on another
man’s shoes in order to advance or make a profit. For example, Mr. Briggs argued
with Mr. Ramsey about downsizing 3,000 employees from the Anderson Company
because he was upset about the fact that 3,000 people would be out of work just
to make more money that was not necessary to make the company function.
The terminal values Mr. Briggs wants to achieve are social respect from his
boss, good working-relationships amongst his co-workers, and piece within
himself. Mr. Briggs means to achieve this through the instrumental values of
honesty, politeness, and ambition to work hard for Mr. Ramsey. However, Mr.
Briggs will never be able to achieve one of his terminal values, social respect
for or from his boss. The reason for that is because Mr. Briggs has an intrarole
conflict, which is work that has to be done fast and it has to be quality work
according to Mr. Ramsey because he expects nothing less. However, since Mr.
Briggs has a low self-efficacy unlike Mr. Ramsey and Mr. Staples, he feels he
cannot accomplish tasks easily. This is why Mr. Briggs stays at his office to
all hours working and worrying about the assignment he has to do for Mr. Ramsey
every day and night. By Mr. Briggs staying in his office to all hours doing his
work, he enters an interrole conflict with his son and his job. For example, Mr.
Briggs was supposed to meet his son, Paul in New York to watch a double header
baseball game, but did not because he had not finished the work that Mr. Ramsey
wanted due the next day.
Mr. Briggs feels that he has to be devoted to the Ramsey Company because he
feels he cannot afford to lose his job because of his age diversity. Mr. Briggs
feels that since he is 62 years old that he will not be able to find another
job. Because of this, Mr. Briggs feels he cannot find another job, so he remains
in the same stressful work environment that has given him heart problems and an
ulcer. This is just so he can support his family, despite the fact that he
despises working for Mr. Ramsey because of their different values.
Briggs has a low self-esteem because of the way Mr. Ramsey humiliates and
degrades him in front of his co-workers. Also, the fact that Mr. Briggs could
not accomplish tasks easily bothered him. Mr. Brigg’s self-esteem was so low
that he felt he would not even be able to find a new job. Mr. Briggs would show
how he felt through nonverbal communication by his kinetics. For example, Mr.
Briggs walked through the halls with his head down in shame about his abilities
to perform well. This all led to Mr. Briggs dying of a heart attack because he
could no longer live in these working conditions.
Mr. Staples is an engineer and a genius in industrial relations who moved
from Chicago to work for the Ramsey Company. He is a man that is motivated by
his own self-interest. Staple’s self-interest in working for the Ramsey Company
was for a higher paying salary and a chance for career advancement. Mr. Staples
shows this when he has a conversation with Mr. Ramsey after Mr. Briggs dies. Mr.
Staples demanded twice his salary in order to remain working for Mr. Ramsey. As
a result, Mr. Staples has more of a commitment to the company because he has a
desire to stay in the company because he is making more money, doubled stock
option, and has furthered his career by becoming the new Vice President.
Mr. Staples has a high self-esteem because he feels he is worth twice the
salary he was making and received a high status job. Also, the fact that Mr.
Ramsey is so impressed with his work gives him a feeling of great self-worth.
Since, Mr. Ramsey felt Staples was such a great worker even before he started
working for him, he made Staples a self-fulfilling prophecy because of all his
encouragement. For example, when Mr. Ramsey says at a meeting "This here is
Mr. Staples, he is a genius in industrial relations and I expect great things
from him." Mr. Ramsey has even changed the proxemics of Staple’s future
office at the company to the same kind of furniture that Staples had in his
office in Chicago to make Mr. Staples feel at home and encourage him to stay.
In my opinion, I feel that Mr. Staples had the best values and ethics of the
other characters. He did his best to help out Briggs for the most part, but
there was only so much he could do because of the limited power and influence he
had. When Ramsey was verbally attacking Briggs in the conference room, Staples
attempted to interrupt and defend Briggs, but Ramsey was not going to let that
happen. Ramsey was the man in charge and everyone had to listen to him. Ramsey
got out of line a few times, but that is what greed does. It does not take much
to be courteous, but obviously for Ramsey it did. I understood that Ramsey only
wanted what’s best for the company, but at the same time, where was his decency
and compassion? Obviously, he did not have any and maybe that is how he got the
most out of his employees, by being so demanding!