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Making Good

Making Good

How Young People Cope with Moral Dilemmas at Work

Wendy Fischman, Becca Solomon, Deborah Schutte, Howard Gardner

ISBN 9780674018303

Publication date: 10/28/2005

You're young, ambitious, entering the field of your dreams; you're on your own, the competition is fierce--and then you see your chance: the big story, the big role, the big discovery. But you'll have to cut a few corners, bend the rules, cheat a bit. What choices will you make?

After studying more than a hundred young people launching their careers, these longtime researchers of "good work"--work that is both skillful and honorable--find unsettling answers. Although young workers know what it takes to do good work, they don't always feel they can follow the ethical route. "Later, when I'm successful," is their implicit promise.

Making Good explores the choices confronting young workers who join the ranks of three dynamic professions--journalism, science, and acting--and looks at how the novices navigate moral dilemmas posed by a demanding, frequently lonely, professional life. The authors also uncover striking comparisons between these young professionals and the veterans in their fields--most notably, older workers recall inspiring models and mentors, while today's beginners see themselves as on their own. With extensive insights into how young workers view their respective domains, the nature of their ambitions, the sacrifices they are willing to make, and the lines they are prepared to cross, this study will prove instructive to young employees and employers alike, as well as to those who wish to understand the shifting moral and social character of the working world.


  • Howard Gardner and the "Good Works" team that crafted this work have given us hope for the future. In this time of disorientation caused by the creative destruction that is reshaping so many institutions this is the book our new generation of professionals desperately need.

    —Bill Kovach, Committee of Concerned Journalists, Columbia University


  • Wendy Fischman is a researcher at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
  • Becca Solomon, M.A. is a researcher at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
  • Deborah Greenspan is a researcher at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
  • Howard Gardner is Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Book Details

  • 224 pages
  • 0-5/8 x 5-1/16 x 7-7/8 inches
  • Harvard University Press