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อ่านหนังสือ โดยใช้สติกำกับ October 3, 2010

เทอมนี้มีหนังสือและงานวิัจัยที่ต้องอ่านประกอบการเรียนเยอะมาก  แต่ละบทแต่ละภาษาอ่านแล้วต้องแปลสามรอบ  เพราะคนเขียนใช้คำศัพท์วิชาการขั้นเทพจริงๆ     ทั้งสมองและเหนื่อยกาย  เหนื่อยสมองนั้นเพราะเมื่ออ่านไป สมองต้องตีความอย่างหนัง  และต้องเชื่อมโยงประเด็นที่อ่านเพิ่ิมไปเกี่ยวโยงกับเรื่องเก่าๆ ที่เราเคยเรียนมา   สมองมนุษย์ทำงานอย่างนี้จริงๆ  ยิ่งเราเชื่อมโยงได้มากเท่าไหร่  เราก็จะจำสิ่งที่เรารับเข้ามาใหม่ได้เร็วและมากขึ้น    ดีที่ได้นำเอาการคิดแตกยอดและการใช้ Mind Map มาใช้  ตอนนี้ถนัดการจดlecture แบบ Mind Map ไปแล้ว

ส่วนที่ว่าเหนื่อยกายนั้น  อาการปวดหลังมันกลับมากำเริบอีก นี่อายุยังไม่ถึงสามสิบเลย  ก็ปวดหลัง ปวดต้นคอ เข้าโรงพยาบาลไปสามรอบแล้ว  หมอให้ยามาแก้พอหาย  สุดท้ายบอกให้ทายาหม่อง   น่าเสียดายตอนมาจากเมืองไทยไม่ได้คิดถึงยาหม่องเลย  มาเจอยาหม่องที่นี่เข้าไปเห็นราคาแล้วแทบเป็นลมรอบสอง

ช่วงหลังมานี้ ไม่ค่อยได้เจริญสติในรูปแบบตามที่ตั้งใจไว้  แต่นึกถึงคำพระอาจารย์เคยบอกไว้ว่า ให้เราเจริญสติตามธรรมชาติบ้าง เช่น เมื่อจะเขียนหนังสือ  ก็มีสติรู้พร้อมทุกเสี้ยววินาทีที่ตวัดปากกา   เราเอาสติมากำกับการอ่านหนังสือ  ทำให้สามารถจดจ่อกับการอ่านและสนุกกับมันมากๆ  เพราะยิ่งอ่าน ปีติยิ่งเกิด  อ่านแล้วสายตาตามอักษร  ใช้สติตรวจสอบความคิดอยู่ตลอดว่าใจมันเตลิดลอยไปนอกหนังสือหรือป่าว   อ่านจบหนึ่งย่อหน้าก็จับประเด็นสำคัญๆ  แล้วเอามาวาดใน Mind Map  เราว่าเราเข้าใจบทความยากๆ ได้ดีขึ้น  และจำได้ดีขึ้นด้วย   บอกใครเขาก็ไม่เชื่อว่าอ่านหนังสือแล้วใจมันปีติได้ยังไง   ก็อ่านโดยใ้ช้สติกำกับนั้นไง  ได้ทั้งความรู้ และความสุขไปพร้อมๆ กัน

 

Prague, Czech Republic August 13, 2010

Filed under: Hobbies — Kanoknapat @ 11:27 am

เมื่อช่วงปิดเทอมที่ผ่านมา  ฉันมีโอกาสไปท่องยุโรปแบบจริงๆจังๆ กับเขาเสียที  มาใ้ช้ชีวิตอยู่แถบยุโรปก็ควรจะหาเวลาไปเที่ยวยุโรปเสียตั้งแต่ตอนนี้เพราะจะให้เริ่มต้นเดินทางจากเมืองไทยคงจะเพิ่มค่าใช้จ่ายมากโขเลยทีเดียว

สถานที่ที่ฉันกำลังจะพูดต่อไปนี้ก็คือเมืองหลวงของสาธารณรัฐเชค ที่มีชื่อสั้นๆ ว่า Prague    ด้วยความรู้อันน้อยนิดเกี่ยวกับสาธารณรัฐเชค ทำให้ฉันพาลคิดไปว่า  ประเทศฝั่งนี้ต้องเป็นประเทศกำลังพัฒนาที่ลำบากลำบน  สกปรกและมีขอทานตามท้องถนนเยอะกว่ากลุ่มประเทศสแกนดิเนเวียน  เมื่อได้มาสัมผัสอดีตประเทศที่ตกเป็นอานานิคมของคอมมิวนิสต์  ฉันกลับต้องตกตะลึงกลืนน้ำลายตัวเองไปซะงั้น  เพราะPrague สวยงามกว่าที่คิด  ที่ผ่านมาเคยไปเที่ยวสถานที่ขึ้นชื่อว่าเป็นแหล่งนักท่องเที่ยวหนาแน่น  แ่ต่ก็หนาแน่นไม่เท่าPrague  หนึ่งในเมืองน่าเที่ยวอีกเมืองหนึ่ง มองไปทางไหนก็มีแต่คนสะพายเป้ ถือแผนที่ในมือกันแทบทุกคน

Prague Castle


Prague Castle

ถนน ทางเท้า

ฉบับหน้าจะพาท่านไปเที่ยวเบอร์ลินคะ

 

Raising the Bar: Addressing the ethical issues in cocoa production January 6, 2010

Filed under: Studet Life --- BI Norwegian School of Management — Kanoknapat @ 8:15 am

This Paper is part of

Corporate Responsibility and Ethical Reflection

…………………………………………………………………

Summary

What do coffee, bananas, sugar and chocolate have in common? Look beyond the kitchen. These are some of the most consumed products in the Western world and each is imported to us from developing nations. Unfortunately, the pressures of such global markets (namely the pressure of profitability) are often passed on to the world’s most vulnerable population: its poorest children. Whether it is coffee beans from Kenya, bananas from Ecuador, sugar from El Salvador, or chocolate from Ivory Coast, child labor is acceptable, if not standard, in order to keep costs low, and forced and abusive child labor practices run rampant in each industry.

Why do we tolerate such abuse? Who is responsible? What are the options for solving these issues? These are the questions posed by media, consumers, government, and non-governmental organizations. However, although there is a lot of finger pointing, there is no clear answer. Despite actions on behalf of every industry, there is no collective action plan, no definitive solution, and no benchmark example that can be reapplied to end forced and abusive child labor practices completely. Each industry relies on voluntary protocols and codes of conduct agreed to by producing nations and (largely Western) exporters and manufacturers. The chocolate industry is no different.

This paper examines the issue of forced and abusive labor practices in the chocolate industry, based on the case, “Ethical Chocolates: A Bittersweet Dilemma,” by Anu Karunakaran and Chiradeep Chatterjee (2008). We analyze this case using Kenneth Goodpaster’s Case Analysis Template model, also known as the “C.A.T. Scan” (2002). Using this model we are able to identify the factual elements (“Describe”), derive the ethical issues (“Discern”), display the main options available for addressing these issues (“Display”), decide among the options (“Decide”), and defend our decision using a moral framework (“Defend”) (Goodpaster, 2002). The structure of the paper follows these “5 D’s.”

Display

Background

The BBC aired a documentary in 2000 exposing the plight of children working on West African cocoa farms, bringing the issue of child trafficking and forced and abusive labor practices in this industry to the attention of the general public. The documentary fueled immediate action. There were several ensuing efforts by governments, the chocolate industry, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to eliminate child trafficking and forced and abusive child labor in cocoa farming. For example, in the same year the Ivory Coast signed an agreement with Mali in response to the problem of child trafficking from Mali to Ivorian cocoa farms, the UN’s Global Program against Trafficking in Human Beings was established in Ivory Coast to address the issue. In 2001, two US congressmen added a requirement to an agricultural bill proposing a federal system to certify and label chocolate products as “slave free.” This legislation was not passed, but the chocolate industry did agree to a voluntary initiative, the Harkin-Engel Protocol, to develop and implement voluntary standards to certify cocoa produced without the “worst forms of child labor” by 2005 (Karunakaran and Chatterjee, 2008). In compliance with the protocol, several date-specific actions proceeded. These included establishment of a joint foundation to address the issue and implementation of standards certifying how the cocoa had been grown.

The immediate response at the beginning of the decade looked promising, but in 2009 the issue shows little improvement. Cocoa farm children continue to be the victims of trafficking and forced and abusive labor practices. Most notably, the Harkin-Engel Protocol has failed to deliver on its commitments. Its joint foundation (the International Cocoa Initiative) made some headway in improving conditions, but resource commitment to this program has been very limited. Further, no monitoring and certification system has yet been implemented. The chocolate industry received a three-year extension in 2005, giving them until July 2008 to implement the protocol completely, but the extension deadline has passed without further action. As Senator Harkin states, “Eight years later should be long enough for the industry to turn its words into deeds. It is time for them to act on their promises and have in place adequate transparency and credible verification systems as called for in the protocol” (as cited in Karunakaran and Chatterjee, 2008).

While advancement of the Harkin-Engel Protocol stagnates, “there have been some significant developments in this regard completely outside of the protocol process, as major corporations begin to experiment with voluntary certification initiatives, principally in the environmental and fair trade sectors” (ILRF, 2008).  This includes Kraft Food’s use of Rainforest Alliance Certified cocoa beans in their premium chocolate brands Cote d’Or and Marabou (Good and Green, 2009) and Cadbury Dairy Milk’s recent achievement of Fairtrade Foundation certification. Cadbury’s top-selling product, together with its hot-beverage division, was awarded the certification this summer (Charles, 2009).

A decade that started full of promise is coming to an end with no real improvement regarding this issue and a protocol on the brink of collapse. The chocolate industry has made it clear that they view child trafficking and forced and abusive labor practices as unethical, yet they have resisted acting on an agreement that supports ending these issues. Why this discrepancy? We identify the most relevant issues and potential sources of conflict in the remainder of this section.

Key Presenting Issues

Below are the key issues identified in the case.

Abusive Child Labor

Child trafficking and forced and abusive child labor practices are still prevalent in cocoa farming, despite initiatives from governments, the chocolate industry, and non-profit foundations to eliminate its worst forms. Children laborers regularly miss school, perform dangerous tasks, and suffer injury, and the need for cheap labor keeps trafficking active. Currently, there is no good way to check if child workers are slave laborers or if they are children of families living on the farm.

Profit Protection

Throughout the cocoa industry, everyone is trying to protect profits. Higher farm gate prices, the price of the cocoa at which the cocoa farm sells it, are essential if the Harkin-Engel protocol is to be implemented; but exporters and manufacturers, who have considerable control over the farm-gate price, continue to keep the price low to avoid a decline in their profits. If they were fully committed to the protocol, the cost of cocoa would increase significantly. Further, exploitative middlemen make sure to take more than their fair share, paying cocoa farmers only approximately half the world price and leaving them living in or near poverty. In turn, the farmers rely on cheap child labor (often forced and abusive). Finally, cocoa producing nations are significantly reliant on cocoa exports and thus very wary of issues threatening the cocoa and chocolate market.

Lack of Ownership

Activists argue that the chocolate industry has the ultimate responsibility in resolving child trafficking and labor issues, as they essentially set the farm gate price. Exporters shrug off this responsibility with an easy excuse: they do not own plantations and they buy from middlemen, not directly from the farmers. Therefore, they do not directly engage in abusive child labor practices. Further, they deny any obligation to pay higher farm gate prices on the excuse that they are only intermediaries between the farmers and the international market.

Popularity of Ethical Consumerism

There is rising demand for ethical and fair trade products. In 2007, consumption of ethical and fair trade chocolates rose to an all-time high and experts predict that fair trade chocolates will continue to grow in market share. Recent fair trade actions from Cadbury and Kraft confirm this prediction and prove that “Big Chocolate” brands can go ethical without hurting their profit. Cadbury Dairy Milk’s Fairtrade certification cost the company £1.5m, but they raised prices in 2008 to absorb the cost (Charles, 2009). It would seem that using fair-trade certified beans for only one or two products allows manufacturers to “test the water” to see if adoption of protocol requirements, and the resulting increase in the retail cost of chocolate, are palatable to the market. But will the industry shift from its commitment to the protocol if consumers don’t accept the costlier chocolates or if the sales of ethical chocolates decline?

Key Stakeholders

There are several stakeholders involved this case, from the children in the cocoa farms to the end consumer, with several players in between, including government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and the media. Reviewing each stakeholder in detail would be too lengthy, so below we summarize only the key stakeholders that we refer to directly in the course of this paper.

The Children of Cocoa Farming

It is estimated that 40-50% of a cocoa farm’s workforce consists of child labor; mostly boys age 5 to 14 years of age (Karunakaran and Chatterjee, 2008). These children are at the core of this ethical issue and are directly affected by the decisions made. They are also those stakeholders with the least decision authority and the least ability to protect their own rights.

Cocoa Farmers and Producing Nations

On the ground level of the cocoa industry are the local farmers, primarily located in developing nations. Ninety percent of the world cocoa production comes from the Ivory Coast, Ghana, Indonesia, Nigeria, Cameroon, Brazil, Ecuador, Dominican Republic, and Malaysia (Karunakaran and Chatterjee, 2008). The economies of these countries, notably the Ivory Coast and Ghana, are highly reliant on cocoa exports.

The Chocolate Industry

The chocolate industry includes cocoa exporters, such as Cargill and Archer Daniels Midland, and chocolate manufactures, including “Big Chocolate” brands Nestle, Mars, Cadbury, and Hershey’s. These companies do not own cocoa farms or directly purchase cocoa beans from farmers; instead they purchase beans from middlemen in the producing countries. Labor and human rights activists claim they “exert considerable control over the world cocoa markets” because they essentially set the farm gate price (Karunakaran and Chatterjee, 2008).

Chocolate Consumers

Industrialized countries of the Western world are top consumers of chocolate, accounting for nearly 70 percent of worldwide chocolate profits (Karunakaran and Chatterjee, 2008). Consumers play a key role in this case because their buying habits directly influence the practices of the chocolate industry. Consumers make the final decision on what product they buy, fair trade or otherwise. Their decisions account for the current growth in demand for fair trade products. However, there is doubt as to how much they are willing to pay to completely “go ethical”.

United States Government

The Harkin-Engel protocol is an initiative of the US government, sponsored by Senator Tom Harkin and Representative Eliot Engel.

Interests, Rights, and Duties Involved

Linked closely with the stakeholders are the interests, rights, and duties of each.

The Children of Cocoa Farming

Most Westerners find it intolerable that children should work at all, but this is the reality of growing up in a developing nation. Culturally, child labor is acceptable in most of the producing countries and children may even have the duty to help support their families financially in these countries. However, these children should have the right to humane working conditions.

Cocoa Farmers and Producing Nations

Everyone involved with cocoa bean production has the interest to make a profitable business, including the local farmers, middlemen, and exporting nations. These players have the right to conduct their businesses within the scope of their own legal system, however, not without respect to their individual duties. Local farmers have the duty to take care of their employees, irrespective of age. Middlemen have the duty to pay farmers their fair share of the farm gate price. Nations have the duty to protect the rights of all citizens, as well as citizens of neighboring countries who might be impacted by their actions and industries.

The Chocolate Industry

The primary interest of the chocolate industry, like any corporation, is profit. Not only is it an interest, it is a duty to their shareholders. These companies have the right to conduct their businesses within the legal parameters of their home country and they have the right to join voluntary protocols. However, they have the duty to implement protocols that they have signed onto and they have the duty to ensure that their products do not hurt people, directly or indirectly.

Chocolate Consumers

Consumers have the interest to buy the best quality product for the lowest possible price. They also have the right to transparent information; to know everything there is about a product they are buying.

United States Government

The US government has the interest and the duty to enforce the Harkin-Engel protocol.

Discern

Identifying the Central Issue

The issue of child trafficking and forced and abusive labor practices continues to exist in cocoa farming. The chocolate industry claims they view these practices as unethical, yet they have resisted acting on a protocol that supports ending this issue. Why? In the previous section we identified several issues and the interests, rights, and duties that  could provide explanation. But identifying the key conflict – the core ethical issue – is critical to answering this question. In the following section we seek to identify the most central conflict and how this relates to the core ethical issue.

The Harkin-Engel Protocol is an agreement by the chocolate industry to end the worst forms of child labor, but it has a critical flaw. As a critique from the International Labor Rights Foundation points out, it “fails to call for concrete steps to ensure that farmers are getting a fair price for their product, which significantly impacts the use of child labor, as farmers are forced to reduce production costs and rely on the cheap labor of children” (ILRF, 2006). We’ve established that exporters and manufacturers have considerable control over the farm gate price and that raising this price is critical to enable farmers to improve conditions. We’ve also established that the chocolate industry profits by keeping the price low. Thus, the core conflict over implementing the protocol becomes very clear: it is a matter of costs.

Cost-benefit analysis is central to corporate decision-making. Corporations have the interest, the right, and the duty to serve their own financial interests (or the interests of their shareholders) so long as they do not break the law in doing so. Even from an ethical standpoint, such actions can be supported. According to the ethical principle of economic efficiency, one must “always act to maximize profits subject to legal and market constraints, for maximum profits are evidence of the most efficient production” (Hosmer, 1994: 22). But does this argument provide substantial defense of the chocolate industry’s actions (or inaction as it may be) as being “right”? In the next section we examine the case from three ethical perspectives to determine if the neglect in implementing the Harkin-Engel protocol is as morally sound as it is financially.

Ethical Analysis

Economic Efficiency

The ethical principle of economic efficiency states that one must “always act to maximize profits subject to legal and market constraints, for maximum profits are evidence of the most efficient production” (Hosmer, 1994: 22). However, there is a problem using this argument in defense of the chocolate industry. The underlying rationale of the economic theory is that the firm is connected to the market of the society and individuals within the society decide what they want to buy; therefore, personal decisions aggregate into market decisions as to what is best for the society (Hosmer, 2008: 98). In the case of chocolate, the majority of cocoa comes from developing West African countries, but it is primarily consumed in the industrialized Western world. Are the individuals who, in aggregate, “choose” what is best for society by buying this chocolate even aware of how their choices affect a society thousands of miles away? NGOs and the media have certainly raised attention to issues in cocoa production, and there is evidence that this awareness translates into ethical decisions on the consumer level (based on the increase in sales of fair trade products). But should it really be up to the Western consumer to decide, through their aggregate spending decisions, what is best for African children working on cocoa farms? What happens if the majority of consumers don’t want (or simply can’t afford) to pay a higher cost for “ethical” chocolate, or if the fair trade movement is merely a marketing fad that loses steam when consumers move on to the next social movement? Who, or what company, with any ounce of ethical reasoning would let consumer purchase decisions tell them whether or not child slavery and abuse is ethical? In summary, economic theory argumentation in this case is not applicable.

Universal Rules

There is a clear self-interest on the part of the chocolate industry to keep costs low. The principle of universal rules allows us to consider the case in a way that eliminates the self-interest of all parties involved. The principle is summarized as “never take any action that you would not be willing to see others, faced with the same or a closely similar situation, also be free or even encouraged to take” (Hosmer, 1994: 21). The principle is based on the concept of universality, in that ethical principles must apply to everyone, but taking into account those selective violations that society considers acceptable. For example, lying is considered universally wrong, but lying in some situations can be necessary and even right. Consequently, morality cannot be judged by a list of absolute rules, but by patterns of ethically responsible behavior that can be used as benchmarks for deciding if a specific action is morally sound. There is a caveat to this principle that should also be noted. Immanuel Kant (1724-1804), the major proponent of this concept, attempted “to tie moral actions to rational decisions” (Hosmer, 2008: 109). Therefore, under this principle, the moral worth of an action is dependent on the intentions of the person making the decision or performing the act, not the outcome of that decision or action (Hosmer, 2008: 108). Morally “right” actions are those in which an individual’s determination to act in accordance with duty overcomes his or her evident self-interest to do otherwise.

Thus, in the case of cocoa production, we can have to examine the dilemma from two sides. First, although child labor is acceptable practice in some countries, slavery, forced labor, and abuse are not openly acceptable in any culture.  Therefore, inaction on behalf of the chocolate industry, resulting in continued slavery and abuse, is not morally right. However, the industry’s agreement to the Harkin-Engel protocol could be argued as morally right based on the intention to end the worst forms of child labor, even if the outcome is not yet fulfilling expectations. But again, this defense is flimsy, as the protocol does not have the purest intentions. The protocol was lobbied strongly for by the chocolate industry in order to avoid major legislation that would require labeling certified chocolates with “no slave labor” labels, an action which many major chocolate manufactures wouldn’t qualify for. Therefore, the protocol is not an agreement the chocolate industry committed to purely out of duty. They committed to it in order to avoid legally binding legislation.

Distributive Justice

We’ve now considered the chocolate industry’s delay in implementing the Harkin-Engel Protocol through the lens of two ethical principles. Based on these examinations, any defense of the chocolate industry’s actions as morally right is weak and without merit. However, in order to provide final confirmation as to whether the industry’s inaction is right or wrong, we examine the issue through an ethical perspective that favors those who are most harmed as a result of this inaction: the children on the cocoa farms.

The principle of distributive justice states, “never take any action that would harm the least among us, those with the least income, education, wealth, competence, influence or power” (Hosmer, 2008: 110). In this case, the facts are clear. Cocoa production harms children, specifically uneducated and poverty-stricken children that have no power to defend themselves. They are sold into slave labor, forced to work twelve to fourteen hour days with no pay, little food and sleep, and frequent beatings. Agreement and implementation of the Harkin-Engel Protocol could put an end to abusive and forced child labor, assuming farmers would receive the sufficient farm-gate prices needed to correct the issue. Continued procrastination in implementing the protocol means continued trafficking and abuse of children.

Conclusion

The examination above provided substantial evidence that although the chocolate industry’s delay in implementing the Harkin-Engel protocol is financially responsible, it is not morally right. The industry’s lust for profit cannot be an excuse that keeps them from addressing the injustices of child trafficking and forced and abusive labor practices in cocoa farming. A solution must be found, but is the Harkin-Engel protocol the best option to improve the situation? We discuss this and other options in the following section.

Display

Although the Harkin-Engel protocol is intended to serve a noble objective, it appears to be impossible to implement. Agreement to raise the farm gate price has been called out as a key challenge, as the chocolate industry has an inherent self-interest in keeping costs low. After nine years of letting the chocolate industry do things “their way,” should government step in to cancel the protocol and enforce labeling legislation? Although it seems fair, this option does not make an immediate impact on the children at risk. At best, this option maintains public awareness of the issue and could further press chocolate manufactures to include or increase the ethical offerings in their product mix. At worst, it results in a boycott of non-labeled chocolate, which could ultimately “do more harm than good to children on cocoa farms” (Karunakaran and Chatterjee, 2008). Either way, it doesn’t solve the issue; it only minimizes it.

Another option is to let the current protocol proceed as-is, providing the industry with yet another extension. 2010 could be the “year of ethical chocolate,” judging by the recent fair trade actions by Cadbury and Kraft. Perhaps as manufacturers grow confident that a market for ethical chocolate exists, they will put more resources behind implementation of the protocol. But on the other hand, are the companies just exploring these initiatives because they are easier to implement and more advantageous to leverage through marketing? Putting more resources behind corporate responsibility projects is not the same as implementing the protocol, nor does it directly address the issue.

Outright cancellation of the protocol would result in significant backlash. Although it has not delivered on its promises, it does serve as a collective acknowledgment by the industry that child trafficking and forced and abusive labor practices are wrong and need to be addressed. But modification of the protocol is needed. From the beginning, the issue should have been approached in terms of its root cause: poverty resulting from low farm gate prices. In reality, the protocol has left the discussion of cocoa as a commodity out of the picture entirely. The key to solving the issue is to raise the farm gate price. The last option provided then is to keep the Harkin-Engel protocol, but modify it so that it its first priority is to ensure that farmers are getting a fair price for their product.

Decide

The current protocol, with no discussion of farm gate price, is merely a voluntary agreement of corporate responsibility, not one of sound ethical action. Yet, the protocol should not be cancelled outright. Therefore, our decision is to keep the protocol, but with the sole focus of raising the farm gate price. This solution addresses the core ethical issue of child trafficking and forced and abusive labor practices by addressing the critical role of farm gate prices in improving these conditions. We are not experts in commodity policies so detailed actions will need to be addressed by a qualified advisor. However, it is obvious that any price increase will require the support of the chocolate industry, government, NGOs, cocoa farmers, and the middlemen to ensure the prices for cocoa are fair, the supply is well managed, and verification processes exist to ensure that the farmers receive their fair share of the benefits and that this fair share is used to improve labor conditions on their farms.

Requirements for additional action programs or certification standards are intentionally left out of the new protocol, because, ultimately, these do not address the central ethical issue. The chocolate industry is free to create partnerships with fair trade or other community agencies to meet market demand for “ethical” chocolates. However, such initiatives will be considered voluntary actions of corporate responsibility, not fulfillment of their ethical duty to end child trafficking and abusive labor practices.

Defend

We defend this decision based on ethical duties and a rational thought process, a belief that “you should always act in accordance with a set of objective norms of behavior or universal statements of belief that are ‘right’ and ‘just’ and ‘fair’ in, of and by themselves” despite cultural and personal differences (Hosmer, 2008: 98). In this case, we call forth a universal belief that we should not harm any child, who is identified by the principle of distributive justice as the least among us. However, while the principle of distributive justice advises us to “never take any action that would harm the least among us, those with the least income, education, wealth, competence, influence or power” (Hosmer, 2008: 110), it is not a principle of charity. It does not require that we help those less fortunate. Increasing the farm gate price is the best way to address the harm created by child trafficking and forced and abusive labor practices in cocoa production. Activities such as improving local communities, providing education to child workers, working with fair trade agencies, or setting certification standards, are of course “right” from certain perspectives, but participating in such activities should not allow the industry to deny or negate a responsibility to addressing the core issue in a more sustainable way. Such “charitable activities” result from a desire to act with corporate responsibility. Raising the farm gate price, on the other hand, is required out of ethical duty.


References

Charles, Gemma. 2009. Fairtrade goes mainstream. Marketing, 11 Mar.

Karunakaran, Anu and Chiradeep Chatterjee. 2008. Ethical chocolate: A bittersweet dilemma. ICFAI Business School. Bangalore.

Good and Green. 2009. Kraft Foods launches Rainforest Alliance Certified™ chocolate products in Europe. http://goodandgreen.wordpress.com/2009/ 11/03/kraft-foods-launches-rainforest-alliance-certified™-chocolate-products-in-europe/ (accessed November 14, 2009).

Goodpaster, Kenneth G. 2002. Chapter 6, Teaching and Learning Ethics by the Case Method. In The Blackwell Guide to Business, Norman E. Bowie. Oxford, UK: Blackwell Publishers Ltd.

Hosmer, LaRue Tone. 1994. Strategic planning as if ethics mattered. Strategic Management Journal, 15: 17-34.

Hosmer, LaRue Tone. 2008. The Ethics of Management. 6th ed. New York, NY.: McGraw-Hill.

International Labor Rights Forum (ILRF). October 2006. Report on cocoa and forced child labor. http://www.laborrights.org/sites/default/files/ publications-and-resources/COCOA06Critique.pdf (accessed November 14, 2009).

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CSR and the Modern Corporation : Mutual Evolution

Filed under: Studet Life --- BI Norwegian School of Management — Kanoknapat @ 7:47 am

The following article is cooperation with 6 students ( including me).

This is part of Corporate Responsibility and Ethical Reflection

……………………………………………………

Summary

In this paper, we will demonstrate how corporate social and environmental responsibility goes together with the core legal construction of the modern corporation.

We will first define the term corporate social responsibility or CSR and outline the legal construction of the Anglo-American model of the corporation. By looking at different eras throughout the history of the modern corporation, we will analyze the development of social responsibility as it relates to the advancement of the legal nature and the increasing prominence of the corporation in modern society.

We have decided to focus on three different periods, which we have termed the paternalistic era (1890s-1950s), the managerial era (1950s-1970s), and the globalization era (1980s and beyond). By following the evolution of the firm throughout these periods, we are able to examine the interconnection between social responsibility and the firm’s core legal construction.

We believe that while CSR is not directly part of the legal construction of the modern corporation, these two entities have always been closely linked. This mutual dependence has played a key part in defining and guiding the role of business in society.

Introduction

Towards the end of the 19th century, the characteristics of limited liability, investor ownership, separate legal personality, delegated management, and transferrable shares came together to define the legal bounds of the modern corporation. Though this legal definition is most closely associated with the Anglo-American tradition, it has become enormously widespread and these five basic characteristics serve as the foundation of most corporations in the industrialized world. The legal definition makes no mention of the role of corporate responsibility among the characteristics of the corporation.

The International Chamber of Commerce’s definition of corporate social and environmental responsibility as “the voluntary commitment by business to manage its activities in a responsible way,” best unifies and simplifies the concept that we will henceforth refer to as CSR (2002). The most fundamental aspects of CSR are its voluntary and evolving nature. CSR is not mandated by the legal construction of the corporation, but is taken up in response to the demands of society at a given time. Thus, the issues that fall within the realm of CSR today may not be a part of what characterizes CSR tomorrow. Despite this division between the law and CSR, the corporation, the law, and CSR have an invisible link connecting them inextricably to one another. There is a parallel, intertwined evolution between these three entities, as changes in one significantly affect changes in the others.

In this paper, we will analyze the development of CSR as it relates to the advancement of the legal nature and prominence of the corporation in modern society. First, we will examine the concept of being socially responsible in the era of the paternalistic firms of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Then, we will discuss the emergence of the modern CSR movement during the post-war era of managerial firms. Finally, we will analyze the role of CSR in the interconnected, global economy in which the financial firm now operates. Throughout, we will discuss how CSR has changed in response to changing social and legal demands placed on the corporation. While the five basic characteristics of the legal framework still make up the foundation of the firm, the addition of numerous legally binding policies has fundamentally changed the definition of the corporation under the law. With this, the role and purpose of CSR, as a voluntary business tool, has had to change as well in order to maintain the corporation’s position as “the world’s dominant economic institution” (Bakan 2005, 5).

The Paternalistic Era of the Firm: 1890s-1950s

Paternalism is defined in this paper as a business model that was widely seen during the pre-war era.  It is a form of organization that is based on the hierarchic pattern of a family in which the owner acts as the patriarch. Ownership of the business unit lies with an individual rather than a group of people or shareholders, and individual or single-family ownership of companies was common during this time. Limited liability was not an aspect of the paternalistic company as the owner had sole financial and decision-making responsibility. These types of corporations originated in the United States towards the end of the Industrial Revolution, and became widespread throughout the world during the 20th century. The objective of business was to maximize profit, which was seen in the tendency of firms to become monopolies and attempt to control the market. Christopher Conte (2006) wrote on Small business in U.S. history that during the 1920s,  “[T]he business of America is business” (Conte 2006).

CSR During the Paternalistic Era

There was no commonly accepted idea of social responsibility or CSR during the paternalistic era. However, business owners took responsibility toward society into their own hands. Paternalistic managers saw employees as part of the family. Because of this, employees’ concerns were owners’ concerns. There was a close personal connection between business owners and society during this period as the owner was both a member of society and representative of the company. Owners felt an obligation to take care of their employees and felt it necessary to give back to the community because they were members of the community themselves. Entrepreneurs decided to do these things without being legally required to because they knew that it was important for their business to have satisfied and skillful employees as satisfied employees would work hard and remain with the firm. Furthermore, employees were also consumers, and those that made enough money would buy the company’s products as well.

Ford and Carnegie

As mentioned in The Historical Development of Business Philanthropy: Social Responsibility in the New Corporate Economy, many industrial entrepreneurs from the 19th century made contributions to the local community via philanthropy and social involvement. For example, well known industrial capitalists such as Henry Ford and Andrew Carnegie “…sought to make their money in ways that were more responsible than many of their peers and once that money was made they sought to return to it society…” (Marinetto 1999).

Ford Motor was known for its strong paternalistic style and its social contributions. The founder, Henry Ford, started his famous project of giving back to society by introducing the $5-a-day minimum wage scheme, which was double the amount of the general wage at that time. He also shaved an hour off the workday, from nine hours to eight, which would become the standard in the U.S. (Iacocca 1998). Further, the Ford Foundation was established in 1936, with the goal of strengthening democratic values, reducing poverty and injustice, promoting international corporations as well as advancing human achievement (Ford 2009).

Andrew Carnegie was a steel entrepreneur and a major philanthropist. With the fortune he made from his steel business, he decided to build educational institutes. He gave away most of his money to establish many libraries, schools, and universities in America, the United Kingdom, and other countries to train employees and develop their skills. The Carnegie Technical Schools, founded by Andrew Carnegie in 1900, later became the Carnegie Institute of Technology and then Carnegie Mellon University. In addition, he established pension funds for former employees (Carnegie Mellon 2009).

Entrepreneur vs. Manager

When Milton Friedman, the American economist and public intellectual, shared his opinion regarding the social responsibility of business later in the 20th century, one of the important points that he made was that “the situation of an individual proprietor is somewhat different. If he acts to reduce the returns of his enterprise in order to exercise his ‘social responsibility,’ he is spending his own money, not someone else’s” (1970). This was the position of firms during the paternalistic era. The owner managed his company as he chose and contributed the firm’s profits to society however he saw fit. This was in stark contrast to the managerial period that followed as ownership became shared among several people and ownership and management became independent positions.

From Philanthropic Ideas to Legal Requirements

During the paternalistic era, social demands centered on wages and working conditions for individuals. What are now legal requirements, such as the minimum wage, limited working hours, and providing training and skill development, were originally the ideas and voluntary actions of owners during this era. Thus, as CSR activities were institutionalized, CSR had to evolve to encompass new activities beyond the scope of law. Simultaneously, the nature of the corporation evolved in ways that also impacted the role of corporate responsibility.

The Managerial Era of the Firm: 1950s-1970s

While the legal framework of the modern corporation had come into force by the end of the 19th century, the “era of big business” didn’t really begin until the decades following World War II. It was during this time that consumer demand that had built up over the course of the war was unleashed and “giant complex corporate entities emerged as the defining institution of the postwar economy,” particularly in the United States (Spector 2008, 4). Executives were no longer playing the dual role of owner and manager of their private firms, which signified a break from the paternalistic firms of earlier decades. Now, stockholders with shares in multiple companies became the owners, and managers were their employees. This transition to the managerial corporations signified a loss of the personal relationship between the corporation and individuals and created a void in terms of social responsibility. The rapid increase in the number and size of firms resulted in a disconnect between the firm and society. Where owners had previously needed to invest in society in order to stay in business, neither shareholders nor managers felt an obligation to promote social welfare anymore. This increase in the presence of large, powerful firms with identities independent of the people who own and manage them marked the emergence of the CSR movement as it is known today.

CSR during the Managerial Era

Milton Friedman: The Business of Business is Business

As Milton Friedman argued, the fundamental characteristics of a corporation makes it clear that “the business of business is business,” and nothing more (Friedman 1970). The role, indeed the very responsibility, of corporations is to act in the interest of the owners specifically, and this interest is to reduce costs and maximize profits. Friedman presented the shareholder-manager relationship as one of a principal and an agent in which a manager, as the agent, would in fact be “spending someone else’s money for a general social interest” if he were to prioritize social responsibility (Friedman 1970). Under Anglo-American corporate law, it is illegal for managers to make such decisions on behalf of owners. Upon joining a corporation, an individual is not longer free to act on his personal convictions regarding social responsibility, but must instead act in accordance with his role as a subordinate of the shareholders (Barry 2009). Thus, CSR did not fall within the duties of the corporation during the managerial era.

Howard Bowen: Legitimizing Business through CSR

The concept of CSR came into existence out of this very lack of legal responsibility, as a means of extending the responsibility of corporations beyond the dictates of the law. Howard Bowen had a fundamental role in the movement to couple social responsibility and the corporation based on his belief that CSR could serve as a way to legitimize the business sector to the public and even generate greater profits for corporations. Because of their “position of great influence and the far-reaching scope and consequences of their decisions,” Bowen believed corporations should recognize the importance of engaging in CSR and the potential benefits of doing so (Lee 2008, 57). Engaging in CSR activities voluntarily would allow businesses to dictate the terms and methods of acting responsibly, rather than relinquishing control to government authority through regulation (Spector 2008). Therefore, CSR could be a tool to actually preserve the legal framework and maintain the status quo capitalism that had allowed firms to reach their powerful, profitable position in society. Voluntarily assuming social responsibility while still achieving strong financial performance would show that firms were capable of regulating themselves. However, although Bowen was convinced of the utility of CSR within the business community, skepticism and lack of pressure kept corporations from embracing CSR. Government regulation ensued.

The Rise of Legislation

As living conditions improved dramatically, the concerns of society shifted from earlier concerns about wages and working conditions to broader issues. During the 1960s, issues such discrimination, product safety, and environmental degradation were taken up by the public, and placed pressure on corporations. Public criticism of firms’ lack of social policies resulted in a wave of legislation from the late 1950s to the early 1970s, which drastically changed the legal character of the corporation. In the U.S., the existing legal framework was supplemented by legislation such as the Equal Pay Act of 1963, the Environmental Policy Act of 1969, and the Clean Air Act of 1970, to name a few (Lee 2008). A report entitled “The Limits to Growth” was published in 1972 by international think tank, The Club of Rome, which reprimanded corporations for their negligence and reckless use of limited resources. Consequently, supranational efforts were taken by the United Nations through the creation of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) in 1972 and the United Nations Human Settlements Program (UN-HABITAT) in 1978. Through these efforts, political institutions forced a level of corporate responsibility onto firms.

With governments enforcing standards and regulations onto firms, corporations became legally required to conduct business with consideration for issues other than pure profit maximization. Finally, corporations tuned in to Bowen’s concept of CSR as a tool to preserve their position in society. They began to realize that “if the surrounding society which businesses belong to deteriorates, businesses lose their critical support structure and customer base” and their profits (Lee 2008, 59). Corporations could no longer afford to merely discuss CSR without actually taking action to prove such talk was not superficial propaganda. Doing so would only lead to further government regulation and consumer alienation. Instead, corporations would have to implement CSR into their business strategy on multiple levels in order to manage the image of the corporation, maintain control over the terms of responsibility, and even give firms a competitive edge that would increase profit.

The Globalization Era of the Firm: 1980s and Beyond

The focus on financial success became increasingly important after the 1970s, as firms globalized and had to increase their size in order to survive worldwide competition. Because corporations now belonged to a multitude of anonymous shareholders, share price became the indicator of financial success, and improving the share price became the sole focus of managers during this era. Globalization of the modern corporation is often counterproductive to the quest for corporate social responsibility and even employee responsibility, as shareholders have pushed managers to lay-off employees and decrease wages to improve short-term profits, and thus the share price. However, the increasing pressure of public opinion has kept the focus on CSR.

CSR during the Globalization Era

What constituted corporate responsibility during the managerial era had to evolve after the onslaught of legislation experienced in the 1960s and 70s. Consequently, firms began to take notice of the evolving interests of the public and the trends toward ethical consumerism. Ecological and human dramas, such as the explosion of a factory in Bhopal or the oil slick provoked by the crash of the Exxon Valdez in 1984, revealed the irresponsibility of corporations and their managers. Consumer goods corporations have often been cited for labor abuses and unethical business practices at home and abroad. Further, corporations have often been criticized for lack of sustainability planning. (The concept of “sustainable development” was only introduced into the corporate vocabulary by the Worldwide Commission for the Environment and Development in the Brundtland report ordered by the United Nations in 1987). As a result, international conferences about such social and environmental problems began to put pressure on companies. In 1999, Kofi Annan asked corporations to sign the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) which forces them to implement 10 principles regarding human rights, labor, environment, and anti-corruption into their strategies. Agreement to the Global Compact implies many duties, such as reporting about the efforts made by companies in the field of CSR. Eight years later, 4700 companies had signed the initiative.

Ethical Concerns in Times of Crisis

As a result of increasing social pressure and voluntary commitments, managers of several global corporations have created special departments dedicated exclusively to CSR not only to meet social demands, but to meet market demands as well. Engaging in CSR has become more necessary as consumers become more demanding and more conscious of the ethical choices they can make in the marketplace. The “virtue market” has become a market full of potential. Several corporations have jumped on the “cause-related” bandwagon, providing products that meet consumer demands for “ethical” products. Even a number of investment funds, mostly American pension funds, have “gone ethical” since the 2000s, including only shares of companies that respect norms of CSR. Further, many companies have decided, either willingly or following national legislation, to report their efforts made in terms of CSR in their financial results.

Highly relevant in the last decade, CSR has become a tool for companies to affirm their legitimacy during two simultaneous crises, most notably through their communications and public image campaigns. First, the trend of disastrous, environmental phenomena and the environmental threats looming over humanity (e.g., the rising of oceans threatening the survival of states such as the Maldives, the disappearance of species, giant earthquakes and wildfires) have considerably changed the way companies communicate. No carmaker markets the qualities of a new car without focusing on its low fuel consumption. No oil industry or utility sector companies can ignore CSR in their communications. The collapse of the financial markets in 2008/9 brought further necessity for corporations to act responsibly, and promote those actions to the public.  The near collapse after the Lehman Brothers’ bankruptcy resulted in a backlash of public opinion, which explains why companies are now implementing strategies to improve their image and reputation in society.

The Dark Side of CSR

Despite all the positive aspects of CSR, there is also a dark side that is often left undiscussed. In its most recent form, CSR could be seen as a tool for industrialized countries to prevent companies from emerging countries from getting access to the Western markets. At a time when developing countries, such as Brazil, Russia, India, and China (generally referred to as the BRIC nations), are emerging as economic powers and competing with Western economies, we cannot help but speculate if demand for CSR practices in BRIC nations is a tool used by corporations from industrialized nations to hinder development in the developing world. Demanding that firms in developing countries implement CSR puts them at a disadvantage compared to Western corporations and makes them less competitive. This prevents them from access to markets that would bring them the necessary funds for further development and allows corporations of the industrialized world to maintain their market domination.

Joseph Nye, an international relations scholar, explains that Europe has become a “normative power” that does not have the means to compete against coercive powers or countries implementing aggressive unilateralism in the field of trade (e.g. extra-territorial laws voted by the United States Congress that regulate foreign firms’ activities). Thus, the only way for Europe to write the rules is to impose new norms, and these new norms have taken the name of CSR. It is striking to see that Europe began thinking about CSR at exactly the same time that China became a member of the WTO and four years before the end of the “textile agreements,” which enabled Chinese textile products to enter the European market without custom taxes (the European Union green paper on CSR was published in 2001). When western countries cannot compete in the field of trade, they compete in the field of morality, which is expressed in the form of CSR.

Conclusion

The concept of CSR has evolved through time since the end of the 19th century because CSR has always been a tool to complement the evolution of the modern company, often aimed at compensating for corporate excess. It has been a tool to make workers more concerned about the community of destiny that existed between the family running the company and its employees during the paternalistic era, and a tool for managers to reaffirm their legitimacy in society when they suddenly became the powerful leaders of globalized companies after the Second World War. CSR has also become a tool to attract more demanding consumers that have become more worried about the impact of issues such as financial crisis and climate change. Thus we can say that CSR has always been implemented to reaffirm the general interest of society when companies have drifted away from it. But is this still the case? Since the beginning of the 2000s, CSR has also become a tool for the companies of the western countries to dominate those of the emerging countries. Has CSR been implemented for the good of all of society or only for the good of society in developed countries?


References

Bakan, Joel. 2005. The Corporation. London: Constable and Robinson Ltd.

Barry, Norman. The Social Responsibility of the Corporation in the 21st Century.

http://blackboard.bi.no/webapps/portal/frameset.jsp?tab_id=_2_1&url=%2fwebapps%2fblackboard%2fexecute%2flauncher%3ftype%3dCourse%26id%3d_12127_1%26url%3d (accessed Sep. 28, 2009).

Carnegie Mellon University. 2009. Carnegie Mellon University History.

http://www.cmu.edu/about/history/history.pdf (accessed Nov.11, 2009).

Conte, Christopher. 2009. Small Business in U.S. History.

http://www.america.gov/st/econ-english/2008/July/20080814215602XJyrreP0.6187664.html (accessed Nov.12, 2009).

Ford Foundation. 2009. Our Mission. http://www.fordfound.org/about/mission

(accessed Nov.20, 2009).

France Diplomatie. 2009. Synthèse de Michel Doucin, Ambassadeur chargé de la   bioéthique et de la responsabilité sociale des entreprises. http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/fr/actions-france_830/droits- %0D%09homme_1048/droits-economiques-sociaux-            culturels_4720/responsabilite-%09sociale-entreprises-engagement-    france_17059.html (accessed Nov. 12, 2009).

Friedman, Milton. 1970. The Social Responsibility of Business is the Increase of                            its Profits. New York Times Magazine, September 13.

Gond, Jean-Pascal. La responsabilite sociale de l’entreprise. Paris: Presse    Universitaire de France.

Halme M., N. Roome, and P. Dobers. 2009. Corporate responsibility: Reflections   on context and consequences. Scandinavian Journal of Management 25(1):1-9.

Iacocca, Lee. 2009. Henry Ford.

http://www.time.com/time/time100/builder/profile/ford.html (accessed              Nov.11, 2009).

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International  Pascal Gauchon. Le Monde, manuel de geopolitique et de     geoeconomie. Journal of Management Reviews, 10 (1): 53-73.

Lee, Ming-Dong Paul. 2008. A review of the theories of corporate social    responsibility: Its evolutionary path and the road ahead.

Spector, Bert. 2008. “Business Responsibilities in a Divided World”: The Cold      War Roots of the Corporate Social Responsibility Movement. Enterprise and Society. Advance access published April 19. Published by Oxford       University Press on behalf of the Business History Conference.

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Frostbite คืออะไร December 29, 2009

Filed under: Norway - The land of midnight sun — Kanoknapat @ 8:07 pm
Tags:

…หิมะตกแบบไม่ลืมหูลืมตามาหลายวัน  ทำให้ท้องถนนปกคลุมไปด้วยหิมะ    ประมาณด้วยสายตาสูงประมาณเกือบๆ หนึ่งเมตร   ต้องรอให้รถกวาดหิมะจากทางเทศบาลมากวาดหิมะให้ ไม่งั้นคงเหนื่อยเป็นลมไปก่อนจะกวาดหิมะเสร็จ

วันนี้หิมะหยุดตกหนึ่งวัน  ท้องฟ้าแจ่มใส  สีฟ้าสะอาดแบบไม่มีสีขาวของกลุ่มเมฆมาเจือ   ฉันถือโอกาสที่อากาศแจ่มใสเช่นนี้ออกไปเล่นสกีเป็นครั้งแรกของปี  แม้ฟ้าจะใสอย่างไร ฉันไม่ได้ประมาท หากแต่ได้สวมเสือ้อุ่นๆ ไว้ข้างในหลายชั้น  แต่รอบนี้ลืมนึกไปว่าถุงมือที่มีใช้เป็นแบบบาง  ไม่สามารถเก็บความอุ่นให้มือได้มากนัก  เดินออกไปไม่ถึง 15 นาที ฉันเและLars ต้องหันหลังกลับบ้าน  เพราะนิ้วมือมันหนาวจนไม่รับรู้สัมผัสใดๆ   ทั้งสิ้น    หัวใจเริ่มเต้นแรงมาก  รู้สึกได้กล้ามเนื้อที่เริ่มเกร็งตัวเพื่อเพิ่มความอุ่นให้กับร่างกาย   ชั้นต้องรีบถอดสกีและจ้ำให้ถึงบ้านอย่างรวดเร็ว

นิ้วมือฉันหนาวจนชาและเจ็บระบมไปหมด  ความรู้สึกเหมือนโดนเข็มจิ้มนิ้วพร้อมกันเป็นร้อยๆเข็มมันเป็นอย่างนี้นี่เอง   ใจฉันนึกไปถึงรายการเกี่ยวกับนักไต่เขาชาวนอรเวย์  ชื่อ Jarle Traa   ที่ตั้งใจจะปีนเขาเอเวอเรสต์( Mt. Everest) เพียงลำพังโดยไม่ใช้อ๊อกซิเจนสำรอง  สุดท้ายเขาก็ไปไม่ถึงยอดเขา  เพราะร่างกายประสบปัญหาช่วงที่เขาไต่ไปถึงเขต  Dead Zone ที่เป็นพื้นที่ที่มีอ๊อกซิเจนต่ำกว่าปกติ   เขาบอกว่าเขาเริ่มจำอะไรไม่ได้และติดอยู่ที่เขต Dead Zone อยู่หลายสิบชั่วโมง     ถือว่าโชคเข้าข้างที่เขาไม่ต้องสละชีวิตเหมือนเพื่อนร่วมชะตากรรมหลายๆ คนที่ยอมเอาชีวิตไปแลกกับความเสี่ยงและความท้าทายครั้งหนึ่งในชีวิตที่ได้พิชิตยอดเขาที่สูงที่สุดในโลก     ด้วยความช่วยเหลือของ Sherpa หรือชาวพื้นเมืองที่รับจ้างนำทางไต่เขา โดยมากจะหมายถึงภูเขาเอเวอเรสต์ (wikipeida,2009) นำร่างที่เกือบจะไร้สติของ Traa ลงมาจากภูเขา   เพราะร่างกายอยู่ในเขตหนาวจัดเป็นเวลาหลายชั่วโมง  ทำให้Traa ต้องตัดนิ้วมือและเท้าทั้งหมดเนื่องจากโดน Frostbite เล่นงาน

Frostbite (หรือ Frostnip) คือ อากาศที่ผิวหนังหรือเนื้อเยื่อในร่างกายถูกทำลายด้วยความเย็นจัด  โดยมากจะเกิดขึ้นกับอวัยวะที่ห่างไกลจากหัวใจ เช่น นิ้วมือ นิ้วเท้า ปลายจมูก และ หู

ขั้นตอนการเกิด Frostbite มักเกิดในที่ที่อุณหภูมิต่ำกว่า 0 องศาเซลเซียส   เส้นเลือดที่ติดกับผิวหนังจะทำการหดตัว เพื่อป้องกันและรักษาอุณหภูมิหลักของร่างกาย (Core body Temperature) ในกรณีที่อากาศหนาวจัดมากๆ และร่างกายต้องอยู่ในอุณหภูมินั้นเป็นระยะเวลานาน กระบวนการปกป้องอุณหภูมิร่างกายจะเริ่มทำงาน  ร่างกายจะลดการไหลเวียนของเลือดในบางพื้นที่  ส่งผลให้อาการขาดเลือดนี้ทำให้ผิวหนังบางส่วนตายและก่อให้เกิดความเจ็บปวดอย่างมาก

Frostbite ( wikipedia.com)

Pic from : wikipedia.com

วันนี้ฉันได้เรียนรู้ว่า ท้องฟ้าแจ่มใส  ไม่ได้หมายถึงความอบอุ่นเสมอไป  และฉันต้องเรียนรู้ที่จะแต่งตัวให้เหมาะสมกับสภาพอากาศ  โดยเฉพาะคนไทยตัวเล็กๆ อย่างฉันด้วยแล้ว  ความต้านทานและเลือดในร่างกายต่ำเกินกว่าที่ต้านทานอุณหภูมิหนาวสุดขั้วนี้ได้  โชคยังดีที่กลับบ้านมาเอามือแช่น้ำอุ่นได้ทัน    เวลาผ่านมาหลายชั่วโมงแล้ว  ยังรู้สึกเจ็บๆ ปลายนิ้วอยู่เลย   ดีนะนี่  ที่ฉันยังไหวตัวทันและหันหลังกลับก่อนที่จะสายเกินแ้ก้

 

November 8, 2009

Filed under: Dhamma — Kanoknapat @ 8:02 pm

พุทธวัจนะ ภาษาอังกฤษ

“Do not dwel in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment”

“In the sky, there is no distinction of east and west, people create distinctions out of their own minds and then believe them to be true”

“It is better to conguer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by dream, heaven or hell”

 

First year student September 13, 2009

Filed under: Studet Life --- BI Norwegian School of Management — Kanoknapat @ 3:02 pm

ไม่รู้เก่งหรือว่าโชคดีที่ได้มาเรียนโทเมืองนอกเมืองนากับเค้า   ไม่ว่าจะมายังไง  ตอนนี้มีหน้าที่ตั้งใจเรียนให้ดีที่สุด     BI เป็นมหาวิทยาลัยเอกชนที่มีชื่อเสียงด้านความเป็นอันดับหนึ่งด้านการบริหารธุรกิจ       มีเปิดเรียนหลากหลายสาขา   นักเรียนไทยคนไหนสนใจ  สามารถเข้ามาเยี่ยมชมเว็บไซต์และหาขู้อมูลเกี่ยวกับมหาลัย BI ที่ตั้งอยู่ ณ กรุงออสโล   คะ  http://www.bi.no

 

Hello world! October 26, 2008

Filed under: Studet Life --- BI Norwegian School of Management — Kanoknapat @ 9:30 am

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