Discussion about the strengths and weaknesses of decisions from the perspective of personality based on Erin Brockovich
This report is made with the purpose of analyzing the decisions made in the story. As the saying goes, everything has two sides. This report will give a detailed description of the strengths and shortcomings of each decision. And relevant recommendations will also be provided to the case characters so that they can improve their ability of decision-making in the future.
Decision-making can be viewed from different perspectives; in this case, the analysis of the decision-making will be made from a perspective of personality. For the decision one makes often indicates his or her character and personality. To make the analysis convincing, relevant theories will be referred to support the discussion. And the recommendations provided to improve their ability of decision-making will also find evidence in theories.
In this story, the opportunity of decision-making is heavily left on Erin, the heroine of the movie, because, to fight against PG&E in order to win legal rights for local residents and money that covers the medical treatment of those whose health were seriously deteriorated due to contaminated groundwater, she has to make decisions so as to decide which step should be taken next. And also, his boss ED, who originally show reluctance in the investigation was finally moved by Erin, the decision made by him also has two sides. In this report, a analysis is made to evaluate their decisions and relevant recommendations will be offered to improve their ability in decision-making.
1Executive summary 1
3Body section 2
3.1 ED’s experiences and his personality 2
3.2 ED’s decision in the fighting against PG&E 2
3.2.1 The strengths of the decision 3
3.2.2 Weaknesses 3
3.3 Erin’s experience and her personality 3
3.4 the decision Erin and ED made 4
3.4.1 the strengths of the decision 4
3.4.2 weaknesses of the decision 5
4 Conclusion 6
5 Recommendations 6
6 Reference 7
Erin is a struggling single mother who divorced twice. To make a living, she managed to become an assistant in a lawyer’s office. When she sorted files, she stumbled upon a medical record among a stack of real estate documents. She questions connections between them. She got to know that Chromium 6 used by PG&E had contaminated the groundwater and residents nearby were in bad health conditions after using this water.
In the process of investigation, Erin and ED made many decisions. In this report, analysis of the decisions will be made from a perspective of personality, strengths and weaknesses of those decisions will be given and theories will be offered to support the judgments. Considering the defects in their decisions, recommendations underpinning by theory will be introduced to improve their ability in decision-making.
The analysis is made from the perspective of personality. Personality is a particular combination of emotional, attitudinal and behavioral response patterns of an individual(Engler, 2009). Thus the decision one makes can find some traces in his or her personality. Decisions are acts of choice between alternative courses of action designed to produce a specific result, and one made on a review of relevant information guided by explicit criteria(Rose,Thompson,1980). In this report, the decision made by heroes will be analyzed from the perspective of personality.
Then, a detailed introduction to personality is very necessary. Personality is complex for it is influenced by heredity and environment(Robinson&Judge,2011). The traits of personality fall into 5 categories, that is the famous Big Five, they are conscientiousness, agreeableness, neuroticism, openness to experience and extroversion(MacLaren,2009).
And according to the types of personality, MBTI(Myer Briggs Type Indicator) emphasized four dichotomies. They are extroversion & introversion, sensing &intuition, thinking & feeling, judging & perceiving. Thus, by judging what kind of traits people assumes, we can predict their types of personality, the decision they make will find roots in their personality.
In the following part, we will analyze the decisions made by heroes from the perspective of personality, that is, how dose their personality influence their decision-making.
ED’s experiences and his personality
ED is the boss of MASRY & VITITOE. He suffered numerous hardships and difficulties in the process of starting a career, he kept the firm alive through lawsuits, injunctions and evictions. And he is poor in health for he undergone quadruple bypasses, cancer. He was born with one kidney and suffered from diabetes and, saved millions of dollars over 30 years of getting clients ten times more.
This complex experiences contribute to his conservative, calm and considerate personality. Therefore, the type of his personality is introversion, sensing, thinking and judging. At the beginning of the investigation, he did not show much enthusiasm for he did not like to confront PG&E, which is strong in finance and connections. His reluctance is reflected in his words, “I devoted time and manpower to it and money goes out while nothing goes in”. He refused to sacrifice more for the suffering of other people. Therefore, his decision is the reflection of his mental activities.
ED’s decision in the fighting against PG&E
ED’s decision is to mobilize hundreds of plaintiffs, provide the information from investigation, to file a cause of action and then present it to a judge. What decision the judge will make has nothing to do with MASRY LAW OFFICE, though he does hope the result will be in favor of the victims.
The strengths of the decision
The intention of ED is obvious, they will help victims file a complaint against PG&E,
What the outcome will be is decided by the judge, they will not persist in fighting against PG&E. This decision has strengths and weaknesses as well. His decision is structured and programmed.
The decision is well-structured, it sets clear steps that how the actions will be taken. Thus, it is easy to put the decision into practice. Those steps are collecting information, mobilizing the victims, filing a cause of action and presenting in to the judge.
It takes the interest of victims into consideration. This cause of action is considerately designed that it predicts positive results.
Broader range of information is used. They conduct interviews with local residents, consult water board, and inspect the plant secretly, in this way, they collect rich knowledge to prove PG&E’s guilty.
It will sound an alarm to the illegal activities of economic participants. Once this scandal exposed to the public, it can curb the misconduct of other plants.
It is time-consuming. Trail will last for almost ten years. As it was proved in a similar case , Three Mile Island Disaster in 1976, victims in love canal are still waiting for their money. Filing complaint, and then trail can be a prolonged process. Victims health can not afford such a long time.
It makes the result unpredictable. Because defendant will try their utmost to demur all complaints, for they refuse to get their fame stained and pay for a large sum of money. Even plaintiffs themselves will lost confidence in the lengthy trail.
Erin’s experience and her personality
Personality is defined as the enduring characteristics of individual(Santrock,2002). An individual’s personality is an aggregate conglomeration of the decisions they have made through their life and the memory of the experience to which these decisions led. There are inherent natural, genetic and environmental factors that contribute to the development of our personality(Myers,1980). Personality, in turn, has a effect on our decisions, values and expectations.
Erin’s personality is just opposite to that of ED. She is a passionate, sympathetic and a devoted lady. Thus, the type of personality she assumes is extroversion, intuition, perceiving and feeling. This kind of personality is closely related to her miserable experiences in childhood and marital life. Thus, these misfortunes endowed her with a strong desire for happiness. Since her childhood, she cherished a dream of bringing happiness to people in trouble.
The decision Erin and ED made
As mentioned above, binding arbitration is much preferable to trial, because the latter will last many years before victims can get their compensation, or perhaps they will get nothing in the end because defendants will try utmost to deny the charges. In the case of residents, they can not afford to wait for their constitution was in such a bad condition.
However, only half of the victims accept binding arbitration, for they believe trail will grant them the right to appeal if they are not satisfied with the result.
To make all victims accept binding arbitration, Erin decided to conduct a door-to-door persuasion. Erin reasons with them the benefits they will get and explains the unacceptability of trial, because their illnesses do not permit any delay. At long last, all the victims moved by Erin’s sincere feeling toward them and signed the release forms.
The strengths of the decision
Binding arbitration is a technique for the resolution of a dispute outside the courts, where relevant parties refer it to one or more persons, by whose decision they agree to be bound(Horton,2012).
The strength of the decision is obvious, for it puts the benefits of the victims first. By this way, the victims get a large sum of compensation never seen in American history.
Arbitration is much faster than litigation in court(Globe and mail,2012). Trail will last as least ten years with the result unpredictable. But the victims are in such a serious condition that they can not afford waiting. Binding arbitration is a brief process on the condition that PG&E is willing to offer 50-400 million dollars.
Arbitration can be cheaper and more flexible for businesses, therefore, it caters to the willingness of PG&E. The arbitral process and an arbitral award are usually non-public, and can be made confidential(Kloster,2013). This scandal will taint the reputation of PG&E, it is willingly to pay a large sum of money to drag out of the case, because they know the long the trail lasts, the more they will sacrifice. They prefer to a early conclusion of the event even at a high price.
Another strength of the decision is that PG&E would take immediate measures to deal with the contaminated water, and cease the use of Chromium 6. If caught in the trouble of lawsuit, it can hardly spare mind to deal with the poisonous water.
Weaknesses of the decision
As said at the beginning of the report, everything has two sides. The decision also has weak points. The following will list the weaknesses of the decision.
Binding arbitration is not so good at sounding alarm to the wrongdoings of economic participants as trials. For fear of getting the reputation stained, the guilty part often choose to settle dispute out of court, except for the money that they have to pay, they will receive no punishment from governments. Other plants will follow their suit, because, if their illegal activities are exposed, money is the panacea.
Arbitration may be subject to the pressure from powerful groups. In the case of PG&E, Erin and ED are threatened by people from PG&E. In this case, plaintiffs may play a passive role in negotiation.
This report mainly discussed the personality which play pivotal role in decision-making. Their experiences which lead to the formation of such personality are also mentioned. ED is conservative, calm. Thus, he prefer to let the case decided by judge at the beginning. Erin is sympathetic, passionate and somewhat impetuous. She try her utmost to bring benefits to people even at the cost of her security and domestic life. Thus the decisions are the outcome of their personality.
Strengths and weaknesses of trial, which was proposed by ED , and binding arbitration which was proposed by Erin and ED together are carefully illustrated. Each decision has weaknesses, for they are the result of mental activities and can not free from prejudices and personal interests. However, there are still some measures to minimize the errors and maximize the strength. The following part will provide some recommendations to them in order to improve their ability in decision-making.
Despite the fact that weaknesses are inevitable in decision, there are still some measures to reduce the weak points and maximize the strength. The concrete measures are as follows.
Try to eliminate the influence of personal prejudices, interests and values and examine matters from an objective perspective. The decision made by ED is affected by his personality, thus it is unacceptable considering the situation in Hinkley. He should put aside his personal interests and perform the duty as a lawyer. To maintain his firm, he should try other ways to reduce the risk, but not shun from his duty.
The second decision ED make together with Erin is practical. But, to achieve the maximum strength, they have to consider some potential problems that may impact on the result of the arbitration. For example, they must learn to dissolve the threat from powerful groups for fear of falling under the tender mercy of them. Decisive actions are taken, and additional actions have also to be taken to avoid any adverse conditions becoming new problems(Monahan,2000).
A decision-plan should be drafted before any actions are taken. All factors should be taken into consideration so that one can predict what problems may emerge and what measures should be taken to solve these problems. Objectives must be clear and placed in order of importance. Problems must be identified and described(Triantaphyllou,2000). Last but most important, one should sift through various kinds of actions and responses and determine what is justifiable(Monahan, 2000).
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The Globe and Mail (Toronto). 15 June 2012.