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Duska’s Conception of Loyalty

There are many perceptions of loyalty but Duska argues that loyalty has to take place in human relations but not institutions. Duska is moderate and perceives loyalty in relation to a person or a group of people. This view has its own problems and implications. This essay is a response to the Duska’s discussion of loyalty including the agreeable and disagreeable elements.

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Loyalty can be defined in several ways and the application concept varies depending on the definition. According to Duska, loyalty involves the readiness to engage in sacrificial behavior and it takes place in human relationships. The act of whistle blowing is difficult because of personal and organizational conflicts. Duska views whistle blowing as an act of disloyalty. However, there is an exemption as the action can be justified and pursued under special circumstances (Duska, 2007).

However loyalty can be categorized as normative where external behavior is a measure of loyalty. Therefore the ability to fulfill responsibilities specified in a contract and keeping one’s promise are acts of loyalty. Loyalty is also viewed as a virtue and measured by the persistence to which duties are done. Because most business ethicists are of the idea that employees are obligated to be loyal, whistle blowing is deemed to be a gross violation of loyalty (Vandekerckhove, 2006). Moreover, Duska’s concept of loyalty views whistle blowing as an action that goes against the obligation of loyalty even for situations where the whistle blower has a just claim.   

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Loyalty can take place in a person or within an organizational context. Hence, the account of loyalty according to Duska is not convincing because according to him, companies and not proper objects of loyalty. Duska takes a moderate position on loyalty because he is of the view that employees are not obligated to be loyal to companies. Loyalty cannot be excluded from business because it requires self-sacrifice which is not rewarded. The origin of loyalty is from the relationship that existed between the lord and vassal in which case, a reward was expected. In this respect, I agree with Duska that it is not disloyal to blow the whistle in an organization.  

The element of Duska’s objection to loyalty is disagreeable because organizations need loyalty. When there is a conflict of duties between the organization and the community, there is always a breach of loyalty to one party when whistle blowing is done. However, Duska states exclusively that the community is the only object. I disagree with that because organizations are part of the community and play a crucial role in development of the people living in the community. Due to the bilateral character of loyalty, an employee will only be expected to be loyal when there is job security and this this kind of relationship is no longer tenable.

Another problem with Duska’s concept of loyalty is that it has to be between people or a group of people. There is a distinct difference between a person and a group of people in that when a person is loyal to a group, it does not necessarily mean that he is loyal to each individual. According to Duska, the bond in a business is not sufficient to require loyalty and the businesses that portray themselves as a family are suspicious. He also argues that in business, people are bound by division of labor and not support as a family.  However, the core purpose of business is to make profit by providing goods and rendering services which is a common goal that is requires loyalty.

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The whistle blowing act stems from the intention of preventing unnecessary harm to others. Therefore all the internal procedures and protocol should be followed before any public disclosure. The whistle blower normally has sufficient evidence and the main goal is corruption eradication and not monetary gain. When the direct supervisors have been notified of the wrong act and no appropriate action has been taken, then whistle blowing becomes an obligation. Therefore, the altered conception on Duska’s conception that loyalty does not require moral justification fails to hold as it does not protect hired personnel from harm i.e. harassment, dismissal etc. (Vandekerckhove, 2006).

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