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Ethical Practices and Its Benefits

Ethical Practices and Its Benefits

Discuss Ethical Practices and Its Benefits within the Indian Management Thoughts and Practices forums, part of the Resolve Your Query - Get Help and discuss Projects category; What is ethics ?" Simply put, ethics involves learning what is right or wrong, and then doing the right thing ...



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Ethical Practices and Its Benefits
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Sunanda K. Chavan
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Ethical Practices and Its Benefits - September 6th, 2010

What is ethics?" Simply put, ethics involves learning what is right or wrong, and then doing the right thing -- but "the right thing" is not nearly as straightforward as conveyed in a great deal of business ethics literature.
Values, which guide how we ought to behave, are considered moral values,

e.g., values such as respect, honesty, fairness, responsibility, etc. Statements around how these values are applied are sometimes called moral or ethical principles.

What is "Business Ethics"? The concept has come to mean various things to various people, but generally it's coming to know what it right or wrong in the workplace and doing what's right -- this is in regard to effects of products/services and in relationships with stakeholders.

Business ethics is now a management discipline. Business ethics has come to be considered a management discipline, especially since the birth of the social responsibility movement in the 1960s.

In that decade, social awareness movements raised expectations of businesses to use their massive financial and social influence to address social problems such as poverty, crime, environmental protection, equal rights, public health and improving education. An increasing number of people asserted that because businesses were making a profit from using our country's resources, these businesses owed it to our country to work to improve society.

Many researchers, business schools and managers have recognized this broader constituency, and in their planning and operations have replaced the word "stockholder" with "stakeholder," meaning to include employees, customers, suppliers and the wider community.

The emergence of business ethics is similar to other management disciplines. For example, organizations realized that they needed to manage a more positive image to the public and so the recent discipline of public relations was born.

Organizations realized they needed to better manage their human resources and so the recent discipline of human resources was born. As commerce became more complicated and dynamic, organizations realized they needed more guidance to ensure their dealings supported the common good and did not harm others -- and so business ethics was born.

Note that 90% of business schools now provide some form of training in business ethics. Today, ethics in the workplace can be managed through use of codes of ethics, codes of conduct, roles of ethicists and ethics committees, policies and procedures, procedures to resolve ethical dilemmas, ethics training, etc.

Golden Rule of Ethics

1.Everything you want others to do to you, you shall do to others.

2.Do not do to others that which you do not wish them to do to you.

3.Do not do anything to others that if done to you, would cause harm to you.

These are the basis of all human and moral values. They have universal application. These are the core values to change oneself first.

A manager and worker with moral and ethical values has a state of mind; equanimity. Such a person can mobilise his and other’s energy and help accomplish wonders.

Our effectiveness at work is tied to exercising intrinsic human values i.e. moral and ethical values. These human values support established business values such as service, communication, excellence, credibility, innovation, creativity, and co-ordination.

The human values help self development. Managerial functions such as direction, control, supervision and communication, integration and coordination are much easier. The human values also help good interpersonal interactions. They reduce conflicts and disputes. They enhance reputation and goodwill of the organization.

Values and Quality of work life.

Ethics and values must be an important part of management and work culture. Human harmony and happiness are the main objectives of any enterprise to justify its survival and progress. Any organization, which cares for its people, should not ignore any unhealthy development.

Human response Management

People constitute the greatest dynamic inputs in any organization. Development of people not in skills but also in moral, ethical and spiritual values now becomes the necessary end itself. Morality and rationality are combined at the same time in HRD.

Value Driven Management.

Ethical and moral values and moral character alone can accelerate the unfolding of person’s divinity. Such a person will have poise, wisdom, harmony and peace to manage effectively others and to assure quality of mind as well as enriched quality of work. Effectiveness in performance of managers and workers is a function of values and skills together. Values should be an integral part of corporate mission, objectives. They should be expressly mentioned in the mission document.

Let us note that success of Japan is based on values familiar to Indians, using spiritual education and practices e.g. concentration, meditation, lectures of spiritual leaders, mind stilling, intuition etc to neutralize the evil effects of reckless industralisation and to synthesise the human values into management and organization. Japan has combined spiritualism and materialism and adopted value driven holistic approach in management and organization. Let the global management adopt this.

Few benefits of ethical practices in management:

Ethics programs cultivate strong teamwork and productivity. Ethics programs align employee behaviors with those top priority ethical values preferred by leaders of the organization. Usually, an organization finds surprising disparity between its preferred values and the values actually reflected by behaviors in the workplace.

Ongoing attention and dialogue regarding values in the workplace builds openness, integrity and community -- critical ingredients of strong teams in the workplace. Employees feel strong alignment between their values and those of the organization. They react with strong motivation and performance.

Ethics programs promote a strong public image. Attention to ethics is also strong public relations -- admittedly, managing ethics should not be done primarily for reasons of public relations. But, frankly, the fact that an organization regularly gives attention to its ethics can portray a strong positive to the public.

People see those organizations as valuing people more than profit, as striving to operate with the utmost of integrity and honor. Aligning behavior with values is critical to effective marketing and public relations programs. Bob Dunn, President and CEO of San Francisco-based Business for Social Responsibility, puts it best: “Ethical values, consistently applied, are the cornerstones in building a commercially successful and socially responsible business.”

Overall benefits of ethics: Donaldson and Davis, in “Business Ethics? Yes, But What Can it Do for the Bottom Line explain that managing ethical values in the workplace legitimizes managerial actions, strengthens the coherence and balance of the organization’s culture, improves trust in relationships between individuals and groups, supports greater consistency in standards and qualities of products, and cultivates greater sensitivity to the impact of the enterprise’s values and messages.

Last - and most -- formal attention to ethics in the workplace is the right thing to do.
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