As people respond to incentives, they will change their behaviors if they perceive that costs or benefits change. This principle seems to find wide application in our daily lives. When college graduates learn that receiving a master degree will give them an upper hand in the job market, many decide to take part in post-graduate entrance examinations. In China, it is regarded as following suit. Though we admire those who pride themselves on sticking to their ideals and principles, odds may not be against those who follow suit.Generally speaking, there are both advantages and disadvantages of following suit.
Firstly, following suit is indicative of the fact that followers have no indispensable beliefs or fixed principles and hence they are flexible in the vicissitudes of lives. When the social context changes and opportunities arise, those followers are the first to respond and make decisions.Take the English training service for example. In early 1990s, increasing number of college graduates decided to study overseas and hence English training service was in large demand.Given that forerunners had make a fortune by providing training programs to those graduates,many businessmen just followed suit and established several training schools. Undoubtedly,those who followed suit when the market did not reach saturation did make money.
Secondly, it is noteworthy that following suit can avoid making mistakes. For those forerunners, there is no previous information at their hand, and therefore, it will take a longtime to learn and improve by trial and error. During the period of trial and error, forerunners will encounter unexpected difficulties and pressures. As a result, when those become successful in certain domains, they have proved that the path will lead to success, providing both pros and cons. On the contrary, followers need not experience the process of trial and error. They can just imitate their forerunners' proven pattern of behaviors and have easier access to success.There are also some disadvantages of following suit. When there are so many followers, the world will become crowded and odds are against those later followers.
Furthermore, following suit prevents innovation and creation, which is to the detriment of our society. However, whether one should follow suit or not is not simply a to-be-or-not-to-be question. A basic assumption of individual person is that everyone is rational. So one should carefully calculate costs and benefits in specific circumstances before they decide to follow suit or not.