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Editor: Buie Seawell (Daniels College of Business, University of Denver, USA)

Reviewer: James O’Toole (Daniels College of Business, University of Denver, USA)

In 1912 Louis D Brandeis addressed the graduating students of Brown University. Tradition dictated that the graduating class was divided between those receiving learned degrees in the professions of law, medicine and ministry from those in the skill based disciplines, such as business management. The future Supreme Court justice did an interesting thing that graduation day: he turned away from the professional degree candidates toward the business degree candidates, and said:

Each commencement season we are told by the college reports the number of graduates who have selected the professions as their occupations and the number of those who will enter business. The time has come for abandoning such a classification. Business should be, and to some extent already is, one of the professions.

Brandeis minced no words in defining what professionalism was all about. It was:

An occupation for which the necessary preliminary training is intellectual in character, involving knowledge and to some extent learning, as distinguished from mere skill; which is pursued largely for others, and not merely for one’s own self; and in which the financial return is not the accepted measure of success.

Spoken to clergy, physicians and lawyers in 1911, these words would have had a familiar—if unheeded—ring. But to businessmen? Brandeis’ intuition about the decisive character of business management for human welfare has been borne out across the tortured years of this past century. His argument, however, that business management was essentially professional in character is debated still.

The three characteristics of professionalism cited by Brandeis address detail the nature of the requisite responsibility, and are the crux of why it is still controversial to call business management a profession:

  • First. A profession is an occupation for which the necessary preliminary training is intellectual in character, involving knowledge and to some extent learning, as distinguished from mere skill.
  • Second. It is an occupation which is pursued largely for others and not merely for one's self.
  • Third. It is an occupation in which the amount of financial return is not the accepted measure of success.

Within Brandeis’ three paradoxical pronouncements lies the answer to what it means to be a professional in business.

The paradox of skill

All professions require unique skills. While demonstrated proficiency in particular skills is necessary for admission into a profession, skill mastery alone is not sufficient to define the professional. If it were, a surgeon would be simply a plumber employed to mend human pipes and valves; a lawyer simply a carpenter crafting together legal words and phrases into motions, wills or contracts; a teacher simply an actor skilled at presentation or lecturing. While the surgeon must be extraordinarily skilled in the crafts of incision and suturing, while the lawyer must be adept at the craft of legal word-smithing, and the teacher a master of the practical arts of communication, such skills are not the essence of who they are as professionals, nor are they the be and end all of their practices. Understanding this difference is the key to the classic distinction between a trade and a profession.

Questions & Answers

Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
Renato
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
?
Kyle
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
Adin
why?
Adin
what school?
Kyle
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
Joe
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
research.net
kanaga
sciencedirect big data base
Ernesto
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
Bharti
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
Daniel
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
Maciej
characteristics of micro business
Abigail
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Anassong
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
NANO
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
s.
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
Tarell
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
Damian
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
Tarell
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
Virgil
is Bucky paper clear?
CYNTHIA
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
NANO
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Harper
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
s.
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
SUYASH Reply
for screen printed electrodes ?
SUYASH
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
Ebrahim
or in general
Ebrahim
in general
s.
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
tahir
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
Cied
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Good
Berger describes sociologists as concerned with
Mueller Reply
what does it mean business eco system?
Mohammed Reply
what is business
Abdul Reply
how can i know my business best resources, cheap and good quality
cabdi Reply
vikash rawat
jagvir Reply
entrepreneurial mobility
Manish Reply

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Source:  OpenStax, Business fundamentals. OpenStax CNX. Oct 08, 2010 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11227/1.4
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