«Published Annually Vol. 6, No. 1 ISBN 978-0-979-7593-3-8 CONFERENCE PROCEEDINGS Sawyer School of Business, Suffolk University, Boston, Massachusetts ...»
Ethics is the backbone of an organization. If one would like to know details of iceberg of any organization then get introduced to Conference papers © Knowledge Globalization Institute, Pune, India, 2012 the Ethical Values of that organization. Ethical values state philosophical statement of an organization. Ethics in corporate relates to workspace behavior.
Ethics relates to basic human needs.
It creates credibility with the public.
It gives management credibility with the employees.
It helps in better decision making.
Law cannot protect society always, but ethics can.
In today’s changing and uncertain world, to sustain in any circumstances one needs to be ethically strong. To prove this statement, let us take a look at a famous incident in one of the Shoe manufacturing companies. Once workers went on a strike to fulfill their demand but they did not stop production. Instead of that they manufactured only left foot shoes and once the conflict with management got resolved right foot shoes were manufactured.
This could only happen because of strong ethical values of the workers towards their work. Ethical values play a key role in our life whatever we learn in our childhood, deeply affects our thinking as we grow up. Whenever there is a conflict we rely on these core values to take decision.
Ethical values help us in moving on right path without affecting personal or social assets. Like not littering on the road, or spitting, saving water and electricity, etc these are our national ethics. Ethics ensure that people will not do wrong.
Organization creates policies for Dress Code, Code of Conduct, Harassment to ensure that all employees stick to its values and rules.
Managing Ethics in Business
Effective implementation of good ethics and compliance programs can reduce incidences of misconduct. Managing Ethics in Business is challenge in this ever changing world with increased social networking. Monitoring intellectual property and ensuring that it will not be leaked is a real challenge. This can be done by top management by defining Code of Ethics, developing Ethics Committees, planning Ethics Training Programs for all employees, and sticking to Ethics and Law. An ethical problem can’t be resolved unless it’s first recognized as a ‘dilemma’.
These policies are nothing but ethical values of an organization. It shows how strong an organization is, with its core values. In such organization, crime rate with respect to bribe, harassment, steal of information is very low or almost zero. Codes of conduct cannot detail a solution for every ethical situation, so corporations provide training in ethical reasoning. Many organizations have initiated training programs. Although it is questioned whether ethics can be taught, the training allows employees to practice the application of ethics to different scenarios.
Factors to be included and analyzed in corporate ethics are Purpose of the Business, People, Society, Government, and Environment. Few important aspects are kept in mind while managing corporate ethics involvement of the senior management, involvement of the employee, picking the well tested model.
If a person is of independent thinking, he may tend to break those rules and until and unless he is not caught by organization, he becomes habituated to the same. It affects the loyalty of other employees too. This is because once they are aware of such incidents with the wrong impression that no one can catch such employees, the organization stands to lose a large sector of money, image and business. For this reason only, whenever a new employee enters an organization, it’s necessary to provide them training and all details of such policies and core values of an organization. So that on the clear slate of an employee’s mind then has an unending impression of those core values and ethics. Employees ensure that they follow such codes of conduct so as to maintain good business for organization.
When any organization includes one of the goals as “Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability” under ethical section it works as an “Employee Engagement Tool”.
If people feel that the organization which they are working is unethical, they are caught in more dilemmas like Karna faced in Conference papers © Knowledge Globalization Institute, Pune, India, 2012 fight in Mahabharata. The work or karmas is driving force of the life and this work has to be ethical. The lord advices that one is born into this life to play his part and whatever the role is assigned to human, one has to perform his prescribed duties with the utmost devotion, sincerity and humility. Indian religion has always been associated with philosophy. The Vedas (about 4000 years old) talked about 4 basic goals of existence: Prosperity, Satisfaction of desires, moral duty and recovery.
What our basic five elements teach to us? Sky (Akash) - Aim should be high and big enough, Water (Pani)-Clean mind same like water, An Earth (Dharti)-Patience, Air (Hava) – Spread comfort, Happiness everywhere-equal treatment, Fire (Agni)-Burns self and enlighten others.
Paigambar Mohammad gave a meaningful and ethical message to followers as: “Pray, Find a way for peace in oneself, don’t kill anyone, don’t do robbery, in clean mind their lives a mosque” Swami Vivekananda views on ethics are, “Ethics is degree of faith in oneself, ethics is essentially a matter of concern of inner contents of Individual Ethical Person is the person of Integrity and character who brings the same for the Organization.
Jesus Christ teaching to spread peace, love and harmony. The 10 commandments quoted in Bible, Exodus 20:1-17.Some commandments which relates to Ethics is one shall not murder, shall not commit adultery, shall not steal, shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
What these entire ethical leaders teach us? They teach us how to be an ethical in any tough situation.
It would be wrong to conclude that corporate corruption is on the increase. Rather, awareness of the issue is growing and scandals are more likely to come to light.
Any organizations which has reached heights of success is because of high ethics and sustainability only be it any company started from Reliance to TATA steel to any successful organization which comes to the mind.
Any corporate initiative for social responsibility needs volunteering support from employees. To volunteer in such a noble cause employees from various departments or teams need to come together. Sharing of knowledge and experiences takes place in such cases. This also helps organization in maintaining alive a flame of ethics in the employee’s minds. It also helps to maintain equality and treating everyone fairly in organization.
History has proved that if ethics of organization is strong enough and they are followed for sure, then no cases of corruption or breaking regulation can take place. Strong principles provide good thinking and decision making ability and hence in such incidents one can take correct decision while facing any wrong incident.
Although profits and employment remain important, today many factors contribute to an assessment of a firm’s social performance, including providing equal employment opportunities; respecting the cultural diversity of employees; responding to environmental concerns; providing a safe, healthy workplace; and producing high-quality products that are safe to use.
Companies are increasingly seeing corporate codes of ethics, which includes bribery policies and policies encouraging employees to follow principles of ethical business behavior, as an area in which to manage potential business risk. This is especially true for those companies operating in high-risk environments or sectors.
A business is also judged by its interactions with the community. To demonstrate their social responsibility, many corporations highlight charitable contributions and community service in their annual reports and on their Web sites.
While volunteering any social activity through an organization, one has to reflect organization’s social ethics through his/her behavior. It helps to understand society an ethical value of an organization. Also it leads good branding of an organization.
Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity is one of the best examples of ethical leading social cause organization so purely.
Only defining ethics, regulation and corporate social responsibilities will not be worth until we don’t sustain it. If we keep on sharing incidents or moments related to ethics, social responsibilities and its success achieved by organization to all employees, it will ensure that lamp of ethical values will be enlighten always.
When we talk about ethics, regulation and social responsibility then hand in hand comes the next point as sustaining the same.
If an organization fails to show progress on these values or does not share success stories of ethics then it will reduce impact of these core values and people will tend to behave in the opposite way. One will not have courage to break these values once he/she sees/knows about penalty received by someone else for breaking code of conduct of an organization.
Warren Buffet’s thumb rule for ethical conduct says “…I want employees to ask themselves (when they are in doubt about whether a particular conduct is ethical or not) whether they are willing to have any contemplated act appear the next day on the front page of their local paper – to be read by their spouses, children and friends – with the reporting done by an informed and critical reporter.” [Berkshire Hathaway’s code of ethics]”
To sustain Code of Ethics need to include
A commitment to obeying laws and regulations Prohibition on giving and receiving bribes Restrictions or guidance on giving and receiving gifts Restriction of facilitation payments Prohibition of donations to political parties Restrictions and guidance on conflicts of interest Other aspects – such as ‘ethical competition’ (prohibiting covert surveillance for example), prohibition of Anti-competitive practices, use of company resources, external activities of employees, cultural sensitivity, and other innovative or sector-specific elements
Points to be followed by organization to strengthen its ethical backbone
Ethics or business ethics subject should be made compulsory for academic Reward or penalty to ethical integrity and moral courage decide the act of an individual Emphasize values, in creating the code of corporate ethics supported by rules Employees should be educated about the corporate ethics code to make it relevant and real Reinforce the code within and beyond the organization Encourage employees to become active participants in upholding the corporate ethics code and its values Gather feedback, measure effectiveness and continually improve the code of conduct In addition to this there can be whistle blowing procedures as a help-line and an anonymous mail address Creating and sustaining strong policies with good whistle blower system We can say that, if base is strong building will be strong enough to build number of towers. Similarly if ethics are strong, organization would be strong enough to face any cloudy stormy environment in this continuously changing world.
One last line taught by my teachers in childhood I would like to rewrite here, “when wealth is lost-nothing is lost, when health is lost-something is lost, when character is lost-everything is lost”.
Ethical Research Services: www.eiris.org Ethics Resource Centre: www.ethics.org Wikipedia: www.wikipedia.org/wiki/business_ethics Spitzer Centre for Ethical Leadership: www. spitzercentre.org Conference papers © Knowledge Globalization Institute, Pune, India, 2012 Institute of Business Ethics: www.ibe.org Business in the Community: www.bitc.ie
Thanks to Mr. Raja Jayachandran, Mr. Borgave Samuel, Mr. Nawaz Imam, Mr. Bhide Vidyanand, Mrs. Prabhavati Mohol, Ms Shalvika Patil, Ms Aparna Samuel and Ms Saubhagya Daniel for their input and suggestions.
Conference papers © Knowledge Globalization Institute, Pune, India, 2012 Redefining Management: Making ethical action an integral part of management process and strategy
An attempt has been made in this paper to explore the philosophy of ethical action and its application to management. Moving away from the definition of management as getting things done, the paper defines management as “a series of ethical actions done by people, using technology and resources, to achieve a state of joy and happiness in the minds of both, producers and customers”.
It is often said that hard work will lead to success. Indeed this theory of reward being commensurate with effort has been an enduring belief and a moral imperative in our society. This thought is central to our self - image as a people, where a chance is available to anyone with ability who has the gumption and persistence.
This notion, now a day carries less conviction because business people, and our society as a whole have little patience with those, who even though they may work hard, are not successful. In the end it is success that matters. Men and women in the organizations no longer see success as necessarily connected to hard work. What becomes of the morality of the organization everyday rules that people play by - when there are no fixed or plausible explanations or objective standards of excellence?
What rules would people apply to interact with one another when they feel that, instead of ability, talent and dedicated service to an organization, politics, adroit talk, luck, connection, and selfpromotion are the real sorters of people into sheep and goats ?
Corruption has been at the forefront of governance issues all over the world. Transparency International has been working against corruption to end the devastating impact of corruption on men, women and children around the world.
Transparency International defines corruption as: “Corruption is the abuse of entrusted power for private gain”.