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Was James Damore acting in good faith and does it matter?

Posted to Gurteen Knowledge-Log by David Gurteen on 28 August 2017



Was James Damore acting in good faith and does it matter?
WeblogGurteen Knowledge Log
Knowledge LetterAppears in the Gurteen Knowledge Letter issue: 206
Posted DateMonday 28 August 2017 17:48 GDT
Posted ByDavid Gurteen

I am sure many of you are by now familiar with the Google memo controversy where a Google software engineer James Damore was fired for a memo that questioned Google's diversity policies. If you have not read the memo you will find it here.

The memo has caused a heated online debate with people fiercely arguing in support of James Damore or against him.

To me, the issue is not who is right or wrong, it is "Was James Damore acting in good faith, was he genuinely trying to open up a conversation or was he expressing misogynist views?"

I have read the memo and watched several interviews with him and I believe he was sincere in his motives.

If you are not familiar with the controversy and wish to form your own opinion here is some interesting reading.

Two arguments against James Damore:
Two supporting him:
and a short video interview (many more on YouTube): Fired Engineer James Damore: I Feel Google Betrayed Me

There is a lot of argument going on but very little constructive discussion - this is the best I could find: Ask A Female Engineer: Thoughts on the Google Memo.

So what do you make of it? Was he acting in good faith? If he was expressing misogynist views, should he have been fired? And even if he was acting in good faith, should he still have been fired?

Want to know what others think? Take a look at this poll: Poll: Google was wrong to fire engineer over diversity memo

A final thought, what is the real question we should be asking here?

If you are interested in Knowledge Management, the Knowledge Café or the role of conversation in organizational life then you my be interested in this online book I am writing on Conversational Leadership
David Gurteen

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