Business Themes Related to Glory

Essay by money4meUniversity, Master's July 2004

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Themes from Glory


The movie, Glory, is a semi-fictional story of the formation of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment, the first black Union regiment in the American Civil War. The regiment was lead by a white officer, Colonel Robert G. Shaw. The formation of the regiment occurred after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Declaration Proclamation, which declared the war was to be not only about preserving the union but also freeing the slaves. This new goal combined with the work of abolitionists such as Fredrick Douglas encouraged many free black men from the north to join the Union Army.

In addition to fighting the Confederate Army, the 54th Regiment fought against discrimination and the lack of support from the Union Army. The soldiers relied on the skills of their leaders as well as their self-determination to help the Union defeat the Confederate Army and free the slaves.

The impact of the military dimension on the chosen four themes is considerable.

Although business and management is ultimately about winning, the cost of losing is relative to one or more competitors, and business personnel are neither required to put their lives on the line, nor are they expected to take other humans' lives. This directly contrasts with the military where the cost of losing is absolute, as in winner takes all. Soldiers are required to put their lives on the line and take other humans' lives. This impact is particularly obvious when the military dimension becomes a combat dimension, as it does in the movie Glory.

To understand how profound the impact of the military dimension is on an analysis of the themes, consider the description by Major Spizser, a historian of military priorities (Spizser, 1999). Major Spizser describes a critical leader task in the military as understanding how to...