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The Ajax Dilemma: Justice, Fairness, and Rewards
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The Ajax Dilemma: Justice, Fairness, and Rewards

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  46 ratings  ·  5 reviews
We live in a world where CEOs give themselves million dollar bonuses even as their companies go bankrupt and ordinary workers are laid off; where athletes make millions while teachers struggle to survive; a world, in short, where rewards are often unfairly meted out.
In The Ajax Dilemma, Paul Woodruff examines one of today's most pressing moral issues: how to distribute re
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published November 1st 2011 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published September 26th 2011)
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Anthony D Buckley
The focus for this elegantly written book is a version of a story found in the Iliad and in Sophocles’ play, Ajax. According to the story, the armour of the recently killed Achilles is to be given as a reward to the best soldier in the Greek army besieging Troy. Odysseus’s skills as a soldier are butressed by intelligence and cunning: indeed, he eventually comes up with the idea of the Trojan Horse. So, it is he who wins the contest. His friend, the dependable, courageous, taciturn giant, Ajax, ...more
An interesting perspective on, as the subtitle says, justice, fairness, and rewards. I don't agree with everything in here, and the author sometimes walks away from arguments half-made, but he will certainly make you think. Recommended for anyone in a leadership position, particularly military officers.

The Navy's system of incentives and rewards - and I suspect the other services' - tends very much toward fairness at the expense of justice, so much so that I found myself realizing that it was b
Feb 01, 2013 Eric_W marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Quotes from the NYTimes Book Review: "The author argues that this myth revolves around the issue of rewards, which “mark the difference between winners and losers.” He adds: “Rewards are public recognition for contributions made. They express the values of a community.” But which, he asks, do we value more: “Cleverness or hard work? Strength or intelligence? Loyalty or inventiveness?”

We see the significance of all this today. “In industry, bankers and fund managers have carried off the prizes,”
Allan Elder
I have a lot of books on justice and this one is unique. My specialty in this area is organizational justice and this book adds new dimensions to consider. One thing the author carefully does is to provide very clear distinctions between justice and fairness. If you are a Rawls fan, this will be an eye opener for you. You may not agree with his analysis, but you can't deny its plausibility. What makes the book fun is his rendition of the battle of Troy and the decision about who should receive t ...more
Wonderfully clear writing. Professor Wodruff makes difficult philosophical questions readily understandable. A must read for those interested in leadership, justcie, and rewards.
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