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!

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