Monthly Archives: February 2008

Teenagers and the Ethics of Music File Sharing

gavi eskin asked:

My sixteen year old daughter is a typical teenager – sometimes she’s rude and arrogant, but most times she’s just asleep or grooming herself- If only she worked at math like she works on her hair.  Like mostteens she loves music. I have tried to broaden her appreciation of different genres by submitting her to music she wouldn’t normally listen to. I’ve had some success with Billy holiday and Louis Armstrong and even some classics like the Beatles, Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd.

As well as musical appreciation I have also tried to give her an appreciation of ethical behaviour, and even though she exhibits none of her own, I think she gets the concept on the whole. Yet when it comesto downloading and file sharing, it all falls apart, after all ‘sharing is caring’ – what can you say to that? I tell her that she wouldn’t steal a CD from a friend. She tells me no but she would borrow one. I don’t reply because I can’t even remember if that’s legal or not. The way she sees it is that she’s simply borrowing music from other peoples files and not making a CD, and again I don’t know if that’s legal or not.

Now I’m trying to tell my kids to behave ethically but I cannot understand the technology and the legal implications. I’m beginning to appreciate the annoying piracy ads on DVD’s – at least you know where you stand. It’s hard to keep up with the changing technology and now it seems to be changing again. Now we have so called legal free download sites.

I know I’m stretching things when I ask my sixteen year old if she’s worried about artists maintaining their artistic integrity if they are being paid not for their work but instead for selling ad space on the internet. A little, she admits, well that’s something I think. But then she continues I don’t really care; I just want to relax and listen to some music. What about the message in the music? But I’ve already lost this one, and I don’t even understand the argument myself.

Not only that but I feel like such a hypocrite having enjoyed a few downloaded movies with the kids – it seemed too innocent at the time. OK I concede, let’s just try stick to the legal download sites, at least to avoid viruses.

Purpose of Ethics in a Business Environment

Laura Erickson asked:

Ethics can be defined as a set of moral values or principles that consist of a moral duty and obligation. In the business setting they are the rules or standards which govern the conduct of employees. This code of conduct encourages public confidence in the products and services of the company. A profession is formed on the basis of a generally accepted body of knowledge, a standard of achievement and code of ethics that is strictly enforced. A code of ethics is said to be a crucial element in the foundation of a profession. The three major accounting professional organizations follow an ethics code.

Ethics are especially important in the work of a management accountant so they have the right elements and are able to serve their management efficiently. The behavior of a management accountant is governed by the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) Code of Ethics. When this code of ethics is followed a trusting relationship develops so the work of the accountants is able to be relied upon and it also enhances their professionalism. The four main standards that appear on the code of ethics are competence, credibility, confidentiality and integrity. The standard of competence requires that every member must maintain a high level of professionalism by continuing to develop their skills and knowledge, be able to perform their duties by still abiding by relevant laws and regulations. Also to provide supportive decisions and other information that is accurate and timely and lastly to be able to recognize any limitations or constraints that relate to the success o an activity. Credibility refers to each member being able to communicate information objectively and make sure that they disclose all relevant information and delays of deficiencies that have an effect on the organization or its operations. The concept of confidentiality refers to each member of the organization keeping all personal information discrete and secret unless it is necessary that the information is disclosed. All parties involved must be aware and comply to the confidential policy. It is also assumed that under this standard each member will refrain from using information that is considered confidential to have an illegal advantage or promote unethical activities. The last standard in the code of ethics is integrity. Integrity refers to the ability to adhere to moral and ethical principles and have regular communication to avoid conflicts of interest. Also acting with integrity includes refraining and abstaining from engagement in any activity that with discredit the company or be deemed as unethical. 

The Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) insures that all members of their organization should always behave ethically. Each member is obligated to commit to practices that are both ethical and professional. Their ethical principles include: Honesty, Fairness, Objectivity and Responsibility. Everyone has their own knowledge of honesty and what it means to be honest. Being truthful and sincere is said to be acting honestly and it will help in an organization if everyone possesses those qualities. Fairness in accounting is defined as a company’s financial statements being presents in an understandable, and comprehensive way to not favor one party over another. Objectivity refers to not acting based on personal feelings or prejudice and being unbiased. Responsibility is an obligation or duty to do things that you feel is right. In a business environment these are all key principles that each person must follow and uphold in order to maintain some sort of ethical standard to work and live by. Every member should not only abide by them but also encourage others in their organization to do the same; failure to comply can result in strong discipline.

Organizations can have as many rules and regulations they want when it comes down to acting ethical and how to punish those who don’t but sometimes conflicts do arise that can’t be handled just by your organization’s policies. In situations like these other courses of action must be applied and taken into consideration. To resolve ethical conflicts you should first talk to your supervisor and discuss the situation with them. If this doesn’t help to resolve the conflict it would be a good idea to keep moving up the chain of management until an immediate answer is found that would help to resolve the problem. Another option would be to discuss your possible outcomes to the situation with an IMA counselor to get a better idea of what your options are. To take it one step further you could also contact your attorney to legal obligations and rights that may be involved in the conflict of ethics.

There are always going to be ethical issues that arise but having a good ethics code within your organization there is a high chance that conflicts can be resolved. It is necessary that the ethics code be enforced and if someone is acting unethically or not abiding by the code that they person should face serious consequences. Ethics provide the foundation for which a civilized society can exist and therefore they are a key element in the success of all business and accounting professions.

Download Free Online Movies – The Ethics

Peter Nisbet asked:

It is possible to download free online movies legally, with or without p2p file sharing software. It is not the peer to peer networks that are illegal but the way they are used, and it unfair to blame the tool and not the user.

It is not only downloading free online movies that we are discussing here, but also so-called free music downloads and video game downloads. Here we shall not only be looking at P2P software services and how they are used illegally and the ethics of free online music and movie file sharing, but also how to download movies and music legally.

A. P2P File Sharing Software

Peer to peer file sharing software allows users to connect to specific file formats on the hard drives of other members of the P2P network that are connected to the network at the same time. You can use one of the free open source P2P file sharing networks such as Gnutella directly, though most prefer to do so through a paid membership system that offers some benefits over the raw option, including accelerated music and free movie downloading speeds, enhanced file storage and retrieval, more reliable downloads, absence of dangerous malware, such as adware and spyware, and connection to more sources.

To locate a free movie, music track or game to download, you simply enter the name of the movie, track, artist or even genre and you will receive a list of what is currently available on the network, the quality of the reproduction, the file format, and how many sources are currently available online from which to download. The more sources for each track or movie the better. Click on your choice, choose the destination folder and the download starts. It is very easy to use.

You will download free online movies simultaneously from all sources (hard disks or other storage devices) offering your choice of free movie download (or music track or free game). The more there are then generally the shorter the download time.

B. Download Free Online Movies Legally

Free movie downloads (or music or video game downloads) are legal if the movies or entertainment files are not copyrighted. There are many public domain and non-copyrighted files available online that you can find using a simple internet search using your favorite search engine. You can legally download as many such online movies or music tracks as want.

Many new movie-makers that want their work publicized sometimes offer their work copyright-free, as do many people who make home movies. The same is true of new bands and singers that want to build up a fan base before releasing their work commercially, or that want to advertise a new album by offering free music tracks from it. Others might release a beta version of a new game on a P2P file sharing network to get any bugs sorted and also a sense of how well received the idea or concept of the game might be.

In other words, free legal movie downloads, free online music downloads and legal free online games provide a benefit for both the originators and the users of such free entertainment files. The problem lies in the illegal downloading of copyrighted work.

C. Illegal P2P File Sharing

Peer to peer file sharing becomes illegal when the files being shared are under copyright. This applies to all current chart hits and online movie blockbusters, new games and most commercial software that is not open source or in the public domain. Most work produced over the past 50 years is liable to be copyright protected, although much of it is also copyright-free, and can be downloaded. A good rule of thumb is if you are unsure, and then don’t download it. Unfortunately most people download free online movies illegally.

A good membership P2P file sharing network should inform you if you are attempting to download free online movies or music that requires a license to download – another advantage of using a paid peer to peer network. It is unfair to condemn the software or the P2P network because of its misuse – the software is not illegal and neither is its use: it is the way that most people use it that is illegal. But should it be?

D The Ethics of P2P File Sharing and Illegal and Legal Movie Downloads

Who are movie and pop stars who openly use drugs, trash hotels and blatantly and publicly break other laws and get away with it to complain when kids break the law by copying one of their tracks or movies? The movie and music industry would be better spending their time putting their own house in order than chasing high school kids and fining their moms for downloading free movies or music tracks.

However, although that is my opinion, there are circumstances where those that download free online movies illegally can damage the entertainment industry. It is the professional movie, music and video game pirates that use P2P file sharing software to download entertainment files and copy them to portable storage devices such as CDs and DVDs by the hundreds of thousands for sale that are causing the real problem, and it is they that should be vigorously pursued, not the kids.

A major problem with this is that a large number of these pros are Asian, and it is not possible to prosecute these people in their own countries. So where does that leave us? Is it ethical to prosecute and give massive fines to people breaching copyright using P2P networks while being unable to touch those causing most of the damage? Is it right to fine a kid for copying a track from an album, who then goes on to purchase that album or even to buy a ticket for the live concert because they liked what they heard or saw?

Many of the whingers owe part of their success to illegal music downloads, because it was partially through these that they came into public prominence. The ethics of P2P free movie downloads and illegal music downloads are not as clear-cut and unarguable as those mooting them might have us believe, although we are not yet in a situation where anything other than legal movie downloads and paid music file sharing can be justified.

P2P file sharing networks are not all bad, however, and in a free world should never be made illegal – only used properly and intelligently by artistes, designers and the public alike. One day we will be able to legally download free online movies and music that has been specifically produced for promotional and testing purposes, and this shall become a common marketing and testing technique for new film and music genres, and new video game ideas.

Ethics and Counselling Applications

Pedro Gondim asked:

“Ethics (from Greek – meaning “custom”) is the branch of axiology, one of the four major branches of philosophy, which attempts to understand the nature of morality; to distinguish that which is right from that which is wrong. The Western tradition of ethics is sometimes called ‘moral philosophy'”. (WIKIPEDIA).

The origins of ethics are related to the introduction of moral behaviour in early societies. The application of concepts such as ‘right’ and ‘wrong’, and the definition of these concepts in different environments, induced the need for a formal approach to social behaviour – an attempt to create commonality and organisation in a society. In this context, codes of behavior were created, and different forms of behaviour enforcement adopted.

As societies developed, and increasing importance was placed in structural thinking – such as the advent of sciences – meta-ethics became an eminent topic of discussion. Meta-ethics refers to the investigation of ethical statements, an actual analysis of ethics itself. Names such as Hobbes, Kant and Nietzsche were prominent in this period.

Nowadays, ethics is still a main topic of discussion. As societies evolve, the relationships between individuals become more complex, and so do the etiquettes and codes of conduct. The development of business relationships has raised many ethical dilemmas, and ethical counselling is one of them.

Ethical Counselling

Because counselling is not a regulated profession in many countries (including Australia), the use of ethical standards is a method of guiding the quality of the services provided by counsellors, the quality of training provided to counsellors, and of protecting clients.

These standards provide conduct guidelines for professionals and are an effective way support many counsellors lacking experience or knowledge of the industry. It also serves the purpose of structuring the counselling industry, providing common professional descriptions, definitions and service boundaries according to each type of counsellor.

There is a wide range of issues comprising the field of ethical counselling – which are also part of common guidelines for the practice of therapy. According to Daniluk and Haverkamp (1993), “the main ethical framework referred to in many discussions of therapy is one based on the concepts of autonomy, fidelity, justice, beneficence, non-maleficence and self interest”. In this context, we devise several ‘problem areas’ in ethical counselling:

Law and Counselling

The need for professionalisation has created a common link between ethical behaviour and legal conduct in the therapy fields. Legislation was provided to primarily protect clients from misguidance, and ultimately to provide guidelines for the profession. However, as cited previously, in most countries ethical conduct in counselling is not yet part of the legal framework – which outlines the importance of professional and industry peak associations in providing guidelines and codes of conduct for affiliated professionals.

The Australian Counselling Association is one industry association in Australia that provides ethical guidelines and a code of conduct for counsellors. The ACA’s Code of Ethics and Code of Practice are part of the Code of Conduct – which can be accessed from their website at www.theaca.net.au/docs/code_conduct.pdf. An excerpt from this Code is:

Counsellors will:

– Offer a non-judgemental professional service, free from discrimination, honouring the individuality of the client.

– Establish the helping relationship in order to maintain the integrity and empowerment of the client without offering advice.

– Be committed to ongoing personal and professional development.

Confidentiality

This area is closely linked with the legal issues in counselling therapy. Confidentiality plays a major role in defining the communication between a counsellor and a client, bearing in mind that trust is one of the backbones of a therapeutic relationship. Albeit confidentiality is a key component of the relationship, it is also one of the leading causes of ethical dilemmas for counsellors. Situations which may put the client – or other individuals – in danger usually require the counsellor to make difficult decisions in regards to breaching confidentiality. In many instances, the actual breach is a legal requirement as it may incur the prevention of a crime against the state, or another person.

Other predominant issues such as consultancy with supervisors or colleagues; definition of the type of confidentiality to be used (absolute or relative) prior to the counselling relationship; and session record-keeping, must be considered by therapists when practicing professional counselling.

Bad Practice

The issues of privacy and power in a counselling session can be prejudicial in terms of unethical practice. The private nature of a counselling session leaves a ‘gap for unsupervised practice’, and therefore it is quite difficult to be assessed. For instance, fairly recent explorations of unethical practice in therapy have shown the emerging problem of sexual abuse of clients. This issue is augmented by the power relationship between client and counsellor, in which the therapist could take advantage of their position of power to practice unethical behaviour.

Training and Professional Recognition (Australian Industry)

As cited before, counselling is not regulated in most countries. In order to standardise the industry, and ensure that counsellors have the necessary skills to professionally practice, training and recognition must be accentuated. In Australia, the ACA plays a role in coordinating industry efforts, providing information to the public and maintaining records of counsellors in practice.

That system protects clients from bad practice, and supports training standards for organisations that provide counsellor training. The Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors, as an example, is recognised by the ACA – which means that AIPC and the Diploma of Professional Counselling complies with industry standards defined by this peak organisation in regards to training standards for counsellors.

Safety and Negligence

These concepts are utmost concerns of counsellors in practice. A counsellor-client relationship is a very delicate encounter of an individual seeking help, and a professional providing advice. Primarily, it is the counsellor’s responsibility to provide a safe environment for the counselling session – particularly because physical and psychological safety is a premise for the counselling therapy to succeed. Negligence is closely related to the concepts of breach of confidentiality and safety. Observing principles for duty of care is part of ethical behaviour in counselling.

Complying with ethical guidelines is one of the most important aspects of being a professional counsellor. Creating awareness in both counsellor and clients of the boundaries of the services provided will lead to a better development of the profession, and overall improvement of industry standards. Counsellors are responsible for keeping up-to-date with professional codes of ethics, confidentiality guidelines, and other relevant information.

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Objectivity and Confidentiality as Ima Ethical Standards

Jennifer Burns asked:

Objectivity is another core accounting principle. Objectivity refers to unbiased reporting of clients’ financial information. Even though at times accountants may be pressured by clients, objectivity is essential in correct reporting of financial data for stakeholder decisions. As an educational institution can be regarded as that of a profit organization, it is important for students to remain unbiased in making own opinions about the educational processes. Aside from this, when deciding on professional qualities of tutors and evaluating the peer work working in groups, it is important not to mix own feelings, attitudes, and prejudice with professional qualities and work requirements attributed to an individual. Only when doing so, a student can expect similar behavior in return, which establishes the basic conditions for operations of an educational institution.

In accounting, confidentiality of client’s or employer’s affairs can be overridden only when legal, ethical, or professional requirements call for disclosure of information. In academic community, the issue is less complex, as it cannot be penalized legally except for, perhaps, by poor reputation. Still, it is important to make a distinction about information that can be made public and the one that should remain private, for example – academic performance of students. In order to ensure equality of opportunities and students’ right for privacy, the decision whether to reveal certain information or not should be left to a student.

To sum up, the four IMA standards, competence, integrity, objectivity, and confidentiality are the base not only for accounting practice, but they are the backbone of every democratic institution. Even though there is a difference in consequences realizing from inability to follow the principles in academic and professional spheres, it is only due to nature of the industry itself. In accounting practice IMA standards must be followed because of possible administrative penalties, whereas in educational institution they remain to be a matter of ethics without fear being employed as a stimulator. Nevertheless, the four principles should be applied, as they both ensure good performance of an educational institution and have a positive impact on students’ individuality, skills, and professional qualities.

Ethical Behavior in Future Leadership – Nu Leadership Series

Furqan Suleman asked:

Men cease to interest us when we find their limitations. The sin is limitations. As soon as you once come up to a man’s limitations, it is all over with him.

Emerson

Many people wonder about the trends of unethical conduct by today’s leaders. Obviously, some executives and government officials have not upheld the standards of their positions by not stopping the unethical behavior among their peers.

If an observer was to review past leaders’ conduct, one would be able to appreciate the ethics involved for 21st century organizations. There are still problems to solve and challenges to discover. As people continue to be hired or elected in order to gain power for the wrong reasons, society will continue to see unethical conduct. However, people must expect high standards from today’s leaders and never compromise their own principles in the process.

Organizations can be most effective when they build their organizations around shared values. However, leaders must buy-in and become value advocates. Leaders must model the way, and they must demand proper ethical behaviors from their peers. This can be clearly understood from a biblical context. 1 Corinthians 15:33 reads, “Don’t fool yourselves. Bad friends will destroy you.” People, especially leaders, need to pick their friends and associates carefully.

President Harry Truman said, “Men make history, and not the other way around. In periods where there is no leadership, society stands still. Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better.” Therefore, it is important that leaders align themselves with the right people.

Just as God provided Adam the instructions to lead humanity, leaders must provide a blueprint for greater ethical conduct for others. Therefore, this responsibility is in the hands of today’s leaders’ hands.

References:

Ciulla, J.B. (1998). Ethics: The Heart of Leadership. Westport, CT: Praeger.

Heuser, B. (2005). The Ethics of Social Cohesion. Peabody Journal of Education. 80(4), pp.8-15.

Kern, C. (2003). Creating and Sustaining an Ethical Workplace Culture, Pepperdine University.

King, S. (2006). The Moral Manager. Public Integrity. 8(2), pp.113-133. © 2007 by Daryl D. Green

Daryl D. Green has published over 100 articles in the field of decision-making (personal and organizational), leadership, and organizational behavior. Mr. Green is also the author of four books, including More than a Conqueror: Achieving Personal Fulfillment in Government Service. Do you want to improve your life? Do you want to make better decisions? If you answer “yes,” then go to the ‘master decision-making’ website at http://www.darylgreen.org

Warren Buffet’s Investment Ethics

Mika Hamilton asked:

When investors think of the person and success they would most like to emulate, Warren Buffet’s name is top on the list. He is seen an extremely successful and moral investor that has made his money through dedication and diligence.

Buffet’s entire life is a testimonial to the American dream and what can be achieved through smart investing. Warren Buffett holds position two, as the second most affluent man in the United States. He is unique to that list because he has made the majority of his wealth investing in other companies.

Warren Buffett presently presides as the CEO of his investment company, Berkshire Hathaway. He acquired this company in the late 1960s, nurturing and molding it into the highest priced and most fruitful listing on the New York Stock exchange.

Warren offers an unusual duality for a business man. He is often described (even by himself) as an introvert with simple tastes and a disheveled appearance. Pair this shy, “grandpa-like” exterior with a commanding aptitude for power investing and judiciously seeking out corporate talent and management – the combination is unstoppable.

Warren Buffett’s methodology and life philosophy is diligently studied, he is worshipped, respected, and recognized as the world’s most successful investor of the 20th century. Conservative in business and appearance he is a liberal at heart, which contrasts him sharply with his peers. He has set the standard for and broken the stereotype that a successful business man cannot flourish financially and maintain a solid set of ethical ideals.

Warren Buffett is a “reluctant” philanthropist. Giving away money is just like loosing money, and Buffett does not like either. It was, his wife and later his traveling companion, Susan, that inspired, and encouraged Warren to give money to number of local charities. These nonprofit organization were located in regions suffering from poverty, that she found herself dedicated too.

Even though he believed that these organizations would misuse the funds and his money would be wasted, he donated freely. He supported his wife’s ideals and became an active participant in her causes which centered around abortion, birth control, and homeless youths. Together, the pair created a foundation called Glide.

This organization was a joint venture used to direct monetary contributions to those particular causes. In 2000 it was rumored that Buffett, upon his passing, intended to make the Buffett Foundation his sole beneficiary. Warren Buffet love baseball and can often be overheard and quoted using baseball metaphors in his lectures, books, and interviews.

This love of baseball prompted his over 1 million dollar contribution to Omaha’s Minor League Baseball Commission to ensure baseball stays in Nebraska. Warren also aided Grinnell College in acquiring a radio station that was public, for 13 million dollars. Grinnell, two years later, sold the station for 35 million dollar profit.

Buffet was temporarily apprehensive over the sale, but the returned revenue spoke for itself. He has also indulged his liberal side by investing in a libertarian magazine start-up in Washington DC, which eventually failed.

Resolving the Dilemma of Ethical Marketing

David Deakin asked:

Many service professionals will tell you that the words ‘ethical’ and ‘marketing’ don’t belong in the same sentence. While you’d be opening another can of worms by asking for a precise definition of ‘ethics’, let’s just say for the moment that often marketing leaves us feeling a little dirty, or sleazy if you prefer. One marketing guru summed it up by saying that marketing and sales are the world’s second-oldest profession – and often are indistinguishable from the first! Is that how you feel? If so, you have a problem (and you didn’t need me to tell you that!) That’s because without marketing you’re on the fast-track to retiring from a dull middle-management job at a faceless, heartless corporation. Not much in the way of choice, I hear you say!

Well, perhaps there is a third way. Let me say that a little more positively: I KNOW there is a way to be as successful as you choose to be at marketing without feeling like you need a hot shower and a scrub. Let’s take a few moments to explore the marketing dilemma and see if we can unravel it.

First, let’s acknowledge that not all of us would do anything for a quick buck. Most of us (certainly the professionals I work with) went into professional services because we really believed that we could do things better if we weren’t hamstrung by corporate red-tape, and that by doing things better we could better serve the customers whose dollar we were on. Has that changed? Not for me – and I doubt it has for you either. So at its heart our business exists because we believe it helps those we do business with as much as – if not more so than – it does ourselves. Many professionals remember this simple fact by carrying a Vision or Mission Statement which says so. (Without intending to get off track, I cannot recommend highly enough that you regularly reconnect with the reasons you went into business in the first place. Our Marketing Mindset process helps our clients to do just that. Please go to www.zee2a.com/7principles.html to view the process.)

Second, let’s agree that sometimes we really need to close a deal in order to survive. We’ve all had months when the taxman was calling, the bank manager was refusing to extend the overdraft and the kids were expecting to be equipped for university like Shackleton was for the Antarctic! Some of us have had more of those months than we care to remember! At times like that it doesn’t help to hear some smart aleck say that if you really need the money, you shouldn’t do the deal. They may be right – and if so we’ll have our nose rubbed in it later when we’re trying to untangle from a customer whose expectations were way too high but whose commitment was close to non-existent. But in the heat of the moment it’s human nature to do what we have to do in order to survive, so we do and say whatever it takes to get the signature on the proposal.

Clearly then, there are times when our commitment to a customer doesn’t closely mirror our overall vision for our business. And if we have too many of those, we start to question our vocation. You may not realise this, but you should: Getting to feeling like that is a GOOD THING! It means that your profession still means something to you; that you still want to be better. You want to be better for your own sake, and you want to be better for your customers’ sake. If you ever lose that desire, you’re in deep trouble and I’m not sure who can help you!

However, that scenario should not be the norm for service professionals. All too often, though, it is. Why? Because we neglect the necessary chore of regularly prospecting for customers until the urgency is great enough to force us out of our comfort-zone. Or, to put it another way, we don’t do any marketing until we’re having ‘one of those months’ – the type that make us unethical marketers! Are you sensing the pattern here?

Finally, then, lets discuss how to break the cycle that leads to ethical misdemeanours. It seems too obvious to say, but plainly it’s not: Do more marketing more regularly, and you won’t have many of ‘those months’. Of course it’s one thing to say it and quite another to do it. How do we market regularly? What does that involve? How do we get the most bang for the buck? We are busy people, so only the most effective marketing activities should be in our portfolio or else we’re wasting time and money, right?

Many years of testing and sifting have demonstrated to me that there is nothing that even comes close to Relationship Marketing in terms of effectiveness for service professionals. As I define it, Relationship Marketing is about building trust with and demonstrating credibility to prospective clients before initiating the crucial sales conversation – letting them get acclimitised to you and plying them with information about your services so that when you ask for their business they have little hesitation because they already know they’re going to get value-for-money. And for it to work successfully on a consistent basis, you have to have a game-plan for it.

Put in a nutshell then, a good Relationship Marketing game plan well-executed is the cure for the ethical marketing nightmare. So what are you waiting for? Make sure NOW that your marketing strategy is focused on building relationships – not just when you’re desperate for new business but every week and every month. Your conscience will thank you later!

©David Deakin and Zee2A Limited 2008.

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What Are Business Ethics?

Naz Daud asked:

Business Ethics have only come to the fore recently. They state that there is more to business than just making a profit. The new focus is also on how the business treats the environment, reacts with the local community and works with its staff to build a responsible company that is both sustainable and adds value to the people that it interacts with.

“Greed is good” is no longer acceptable to most consumers. The consumer is now better educated with new means at his disposal. High speed internet access and forums like Ecademy now mean that good and bad news travels almost at the speed of thought. They are now demanding more from businesses even though their own ethics at times might be questionable!

Business ethics are now included in most business courses and the top management schools. The top graduates enter the corporate world ready to incorporate what they have learnt in the classroom.

Businesses need to have specific programmes in place to manage their staff and workplace in a responsible manner. They must give social welfare a high priority if they are to maintain their public image. They have to be seen to be recycling their waste and disposing of old equipment in an environmentally friendly way.

Businesses now have to be wary of using sweat shop labour in the third world especially if they treat them badly. Everybody realises that third world country wages are lower but they expect Western companies to treat their employees with some respect and dignity. Businesses that employ children are now frowned upon even though child labour is the norm in these countries.

Many “watch dogs” now exist that “police” most large companies and report any blatant abuse of ethics. Most of these have only been set up in the last twenty years. Most large media organisations also have special reporters whose sole purpose is to identify where breaches are taking place and publicise them.

The top brands in the world need to be extremely careful now. The value of a brand might have taken decades to build but can be destroyed in a matter of weeks. An example of this is when Gerald Ratner made a speech to the Institute of Directors and in humour referred to a cheap necklace that “everyone knows is crap”. These comments served to wipe out over a half a billion dollars of the companies value and played a major part in the downfall of a once thriving jewellery retailer in the United Kingdom.

There are now funds that specialise in only investing in ethical businesses. They refuse to invest in companies that produce weapons or manufacture cigarettes as an example. These funds have taken of spectacularly and have billions of dollars to invest in the stock markets. Before they invest in a business they send their fund managers in to investigate the business fully to see if they comply with their guidelines. If the company is not willing to answer all their questions fully then they might not get approved for investment.

When properly managed and executed the use of business ethics can actually serve to enhance the profitability of the company concerned. The business can proudly declare their values in brochures, newspapers, internet and television marketing campaigns. Reputation is the strongest asset that a company has and maintaining this and the value of their brands is essential to the long term future of the business.

Introduction To Business Ethics

Jonathon Hardcastle asked:

Is it possible for an individual with strong moral values to make ethically questionable decisions in a business setting? What affects a person’s inclination to make either ethical or unethical decisions in a business organization? Although the answers to that question are not entirely clear, there appear to be three general sets of factors that influence the standards of behavior in an organization; individual factors, social factors and opportunity.

Several individual factors influence the level of ethical behavior in an organization. An individual’s knowledge level regarding an issue can help to determine ethical behavior. A decision maker with a greater amount of knowledge regarding an object or situation may take steps to avoid ethical problems, whereas a less-informed person may unknowingly take action that leads to an ethical conflict. One’s moral values and central, value-related attitudes clearly influence his or her business behavior. Most people join organizations to accomplish personal goals. The types of personal goals an individual aspires to and the manner in which these goals are pursued have significant impact on that individual’s behavior in an organization.

A person’s behavior in the workplace is, to some degree, determined by cultural norms, and these social factors vary from one culture to another. For example, in some countries it is acceptable and ethical for customs agents to receive gratuities for performing ordinary, legal tasks that are a part of jobs, whereas in other countries these practices would be viewed as unethical and perhaps illegal. The actions and decisions of coworkers is another social factor believed to shape a person’s sense of business ethics. For example, if your coworkers make long-distance telephone calls on company time and at company expense, you might view that behavior as acceptable and ethical because everyone does it. Significant others are persons to whom someone is emotionally attached-spouses, friends, and relatives, for instance. Their moral values and attitudes can also affect an employee’s perception of what is ethical and unethical in the workplace.

Opportunity refers to the amount of freedom an organization gives an employee to behave ethically if he or she makes that choice. In some organizations, certain company policies and procedures reduce the opportunity to be unethical. For example, at some fast-food restaurants, one person takes your order and receives your payment and another person fills the order. This procedure reduces the opportunity to be unethical because the person handling the money is not dispensing the product, and the person giving out the product is not handling the money. The existence of an ethical code and the importance management places on this code are other determinants of opportunity. The degree of enforcement of company policies, procedures, and ethical codes is a major force affecting opportunity. When violations are dealt with consistently and firmly, the opportunity to be unethical is reduced.

Inculcation of Ethics Through Education and Globalization Effects on Ethics

naraginti amareswaran asked:

Inculcation of Ethics Through Education and Globalization

Effects on Ethics

                                                                                                                                                            

INTRODUCTION

‘The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only object of good government’…………..  Thomas Jefferson.  

‘When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist’……………..Dom Helder Camara.

            Now we are living in the technological modern world. Science and Technology have a prominent role in the development of the any nation in the world. India is a developing county in the world. Indian economy is the fourth largest economy in the world.   According to 2001 census the literacy rate of India is 64.84%. It is very less when compared to developed county in the world. The Planning Commission made a survey for finding out the number of persons below poverty line and estimated that 18.96% of the total peoples live below poverty line as of the year 1993-94. It is necessary to take care about poor and illiteracy.

ETHICS

            Ethics is a major branch of philosophy, encompasses right conduct and good life. It is significantly broader than the common conception of analyzing right and wrong. A central aspect of ethics is “the good life”, the life worth living or life that is satisfying, which is held by many philosophers to be more important than moral conduct. The major problem is the discovery of the summum bonum, the greatest good.  

            Ethics are related to institutions and rights. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and human rights accordingly stem from ethics even if no moral grounds can be adduced. Yet moral grounds are to be found everywhere, including science. From the point where, in the name of ethics, science itself does not fall outside this domain, morals, similarly, do not lie outside the realm of ethics as ethics are a profoundly human, secular construction in so far as they represent a conscious choice or plan and a legal endeavour in terms of the law. The confusion that exists between rights and values on the one hand and between morals and ethics on the other lie at the heart of the debate on universal ethics, that is to say, universal ethics based on recognition of human rights.

            Morals are linked to the very definition of ethics. Moral principles are extremely diverse. As it happens, morals, historically speaking, have come to be increasingly connected with religion as human society has developed. Therefore, the moral debate has also become a religious one and, as many religious phenomena do not lie beyond the scope of laws, between majorities and minorities, nor the ideological choices involved, it may be difficult to find the same moral values for all societies. Moral values are very diverse. A number of values are universal.

In generally, values may be classified as;

?         Personal Values

?         Social Values

?         Moral Values

?         Spiritual Values and

?         Behavioural values.

All these values are necessary for all types of persons in the society.

Why Ethics?

            To enable young people to appreciate themselves and others, and to take greater responsibility for their actions and for the world around them.

ETHICS AND ECONOMICS

            There are three ways in which ethics enters economics. First, economists have ethical values that help shape the way they do economics. This builds into the core of economic theory a particular view of how the economy does work and how it should work. Second, economic actors (consumers, workers, business owners) have ethical values that help shape their behavior. Third, economic institutions and policies impact people differentially and thus ethical evaluations, in addition to economic evaluations, are important.

Economists have Ethical Values

            The issue of ethical value judgments in economics is at least as old as the John Neville Keynes argument which divided economics into three areas: positive (economic theory), normative (welfare economics), and practical (economic policy). The first deals with ‘what is’, the second with ‘what ought to be’, and the third with how to get from one to the other. Although the majority of economists admit that ethical values permeate welfare economics and economic policy, they proceed with some confidence in the belief that their work in pure and applied economic theory is ethically neutral. Methodologists studying the question are more cautious.

            Ethics in the relationship between developed and less developed countries dictates that the developedcountries treat the less developed countries fairly, aware of their disadvantaged economic position, andacknowledging that taking advantage of one’s own economic power inevitably will hurt the poor withindeveloping countries.

What is unethical?

Economic institutions, rules, practices which disadvantage the poor will be viewed as unethical

Ethical behavior requires “progressivity”:  the poor should benefit disproportionately

Hypocritical behavior viewed as unethical

 

Advisers who are not “fully honest” viewed as unethical

 

ETHICS AND GLOBALIZATION

 

            The world has been utterly transformed in recent years by a phenomenon affecting us all, what we call globalization. Although there was a time when it was possible for citizens of one country to think of themselves as owing no obligation to the people of other nations, admittedly that was long ago. Today national borders have less meaning as issues of trade, environment, and health, along with incredible technological advances of the last century, have left us with a legacy of connectedness we cannot ignore.

            We know globalization involves complete economic liberalization, i.e., opening doors to big businesses. Multinational corporations are at the forefront. Globalization wants the governments around the world to create an environment that is as conducive as possible to its growth of business. Regional groupings like APEC, GATT and WTO are totally committed to the same goal. The connection between big businesses, governments and regional and international institutions to create an environment for globalization is not an accident. It has historic roots in colonization, and as such, the dominant forces behind globalization are based in the developed world. Nonetheless, it would be wrong to describe globalization today as a replica of the Western colonial experience only. This is because one of the centres of power is based in Japan. Other centres of control in Northeast and Southeast Asia are emerging.

            In reflecting on the good and bad sides of globalization we find that whatever good has come out of it is actually a by-product. The very motive, maximiz
ing profit is responsible for its bad sides. So, globalization may well be one of the most serious challenges ever to the integrity of human civilization. Since society and culture hold some positive aspects it is important that it is not completely rejected. Ethics and moral standards should be injected into some economic activities as a short-term and medium-term strategy. The market should be regulated by ethical principles. The challenge is to devise ethical economically-sound policies built into the globalization process that are in keeping with values. I mean, the economic dimensions of globalization are not the only factors that need reconsidering. Culture should be guided by moral universal values whereby a strong ethic of restraint is within one culture is applied to prevent the dominance of another culture. The internationalization of the ethical values within the consciousness of the individual and the community could be the only hope for humanity. It is almost impossible to effectively censor all information through the Internet, satellite, etc. The individual who derives his/her value-system should be guided by time-honoured principles of what is right and wrong. Such individuals are the real antidotes to the bad effects of globalization.

Positive aspects of Globalization

Ø      Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) has helped to reduce poverty by creating jobs and improving incomes.

Ø      The expansion of trade and foreign investment has accelerated social mobility and strengthened the middle class.

Ø      New communications and information technology have helped disseminate knowledge in many fields of study and disciplines.

Ø      Communication is cheaper and easier. Costs of telephone calls as well as travel have fallen. This makes it easier to understand one another. Communities although heterogeneous, can be more cooperative now that are more means of understanding each other.

Ø      Globalization makes it possible for humanity to have compassion for each other when calamities, natural or man-made, affect others.

Ø      Issues such as human rights and public accountability are brought to the fore.

 

Ø      The rights of women are highlighted and the problems many women face are now addressed.

Negative aspects of Globalization

v     Environmental degradation due to unrestrained activities of multinational corporations whose sole aim is to multiply profits.

v     Although poverty has been reduced to a certain extent, new economic disparities have been created. There are stark regional disparities in poverty.

v     Basic necessities in life are set aside in favour of profits. Many developing countries have been occupied with facilitating foreign investment in industries that are lucrative to foreign markets and discarding the most fundamental needs of the people.

v     Globalization aids the removal of national controls over cross-border financial flows. Dramatic outflows of capital from one country to another have caused havoc in some currencies, particularly in Southeast, and South Asia including Bangladesh.

v     Advances in technology aggravated by the outflow of capital to low cost production sites in the developing countries has caused growing unemployment in the developed countries, which is an cause offence to human dignity.

v     Globalization has popularized the consumer culture. Consumerism has given birth to materialism where people are more interested in what they have rather than the essential aspects of humanity.

v     Global consumerism is now forming a homogeneous global culture where rich indigenous cultures of many developing countries are being replaced by cultures with vibrant economies.

v     Formal education systems are emphasizing technical and managerial skills responding to market demands and leaving aside traditional academic subjects. This means that education is nothing more than acquiring specific skills and techniques to do business and less emphasis on development of social or basic sciences.

v     Although the IT boom has given rise to an expanse of information there is a lot of information that is useless and meaningless causing people to be pre-occupied with unimportant things.

v     Double standards are present in the human rights aspect of the present world where they are used as part of many governments’ policy but only when it suits them.

            Because of globalization we have some advantages and disadvantages. We are human beings. Take good things and leave bad things. The policies of some developed countries are not good for developing countries. The ethical value decreases day by day. The business person gives more important for profit only. Organizational ethics is very important.

Centre for Globalization

The Yale Center for the Study of Globalization uses a variety of means to explore globalization and promote the flow of ideas pertinent to our core issues. The activities organized by the YCSG are designed to interconnect in ways that will further the Center’s mission and enable us to achieve our goals. It is necessary to establish this type of centre in our university also. In the modern generation also computer literacy is very low in our community. It is very sad thing that our students have no interest to learn computer education. It is very necessary in the scientific and technological world.

INCULCATION ETHICS THOUGH EDUCATION

 

 

            Value education means inculcating in the children a sense of humanism, a deep concern for the well being of others and the nation. This can be accomplished only when we instill in the children a deep feeling of commitment to values that would build this country and bring back to the people pride in work that brings order, security and assured progress.

            Value education has the capacity to transform a diseased mind into a very young, fresh, healthy, natural and attentive mind. The transformed mind is capable of higher sensitivity and a heightened level of perception this leads to fulfillment of the evolutionary role in man and in life

            By saying autobiography of good persons like Gandiji, Vivekananda, Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Ramananda, Tagore and Sathya Sai Baba; we can easily inculcate values in the students and in the people.

 

Thinking with love is truth

Feeling with love is peace

Acting with love is right conduct

Understanding with love is non-violence

-Sathya Sai

            According the Sathya Sai Baba the following five values are necessary for students.

v     Right Conduct

v     Peace

v     Truth

v     Love

v     Non-Violence

Gandhi’s Values:

            In order to create new social order Gandhiji introduced Nai Talim in the year 1937, which is popularly known as Basic Education.

1.      Truth

2.      Non-violence

3.      Freedom

4.      Democracy

5.      Sarva Dharma Samabhava

6.      Equality

7.      Self-realization

8.      Purity of ends and means

9.      Self-discipline

10.  Suddhi

            If there is no place for values education in the curriculum, we can inculcate values through other subjects like Social Sciences & Technology. Learning takes place through lesson plans based on practical, meaningful and fun activities using the five components of:

Stories – about life, identity & relationships;

Quotations, poems and prayers;

Songs and music;

Silent sitting – exercises leading to inner calm and peace;

Activities e.g. drama, discussion, games, role play, community service, etc.

 

CONCLUSIONS

            Swamy Vivekananda said “We want that education by which character is formed, strength of mind is increased, the intellect is expanded, and by which one can stand on one’s own feet”. It is true. It is our Government duty to give such type of education for each and every student in the country. Through education only we can solve all types of problems. Through education it is easy to motivate people about  Ethical value and Moral values and human rights. Education gives knowledge, strength and creativity. India is a fourth largest economy in the world. The youth population is also very high. By proper using of science & technology and human & natural resources India will become developed country in the world.

We must protect the forests for our children, grandchildren and children yet to be born. We must protect the forests for those who can’t speak for themselves such as the birds, animals, fish and trees.

References:

Peter Singer. ‘One World-The Ethics of Globalization’, 2004.

Amrtya Sen. ‘On Ethics and Economics’.

 

3.      Value Education, Dr. Venkataiah, Editor, APH Publishing Corporation, 5, Ansari Road, Daryaganji, New Delhi – 110 002, First Edition, 1998.

4.      Value Education in India, Usha Rai Negi, Editor, Published by association of Indian Universities, AIU House, 16 Kotla Mark, New Delhi – 110 002, 2000.

http://www.google.com

http://www.yahoosearch.com

 

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Business Ethics: Making it Big the Right Way

Akhil Shahani asked:

Most businesses have a mission statement, centered round qualities and values they swear to uphold. How many manage to observe the protocol is questionable, however. Do business ethics matter? Is it sensible to hold on to values when you can have an upper hand in business by casually ignoring them? Contrary to popular assumptions about corporate setups, many businesses today are coming around to stressing on the importance of ethical practices at work. The reasons are obvious. Take for instance the rising charges of fraud against employees by employers. Management cannot expect employees to be champions of ethics but not practice them as a firm.

There is immense value in adhering to business ethics in every undertaking. Being true to the values you preach alone can leave a lasting impression on the minds of your customers. “Business Ethics” by Milton Snoeyenbos, Robert Almeder and James M. Humber, could tell you more about the same, but here’s a small selection.

Fulfilling your duties: Honor every commitment to the best of your abilities. At the same time, be upfront with your customers, if something is not going according to plan – not doing so will not only show you as being less competent, but worse, it will also give you an image of not being trustworthy. If you cannot meet the obligations for some reason, make the requisite amends. But as far as possible, make it your second nature to meet commitments on time.

Concealing information: It isn’t uncommon to hear people say “read the fine print” especially when it comes to business dealings! Many a time brochures and catalogues, in an attempt to sell their products, land up misleading their customers. Remember, they are not likely to return, if faced with rude shocks like that!

Transparency: Financial discrepancies top the list of fraudulent cases in business. Maintain proper accounts and have a proper policy on the disclosure of financial statements.

Code of conduct: Make patience and dignity your key personality traits. Respecting everyone you deal with, including those you do not like too much, is reflective of the business ethics that your firm practices. Manage tricky situations with diplomacy.

Supporting a cause: Get involved with a social cause like a community project, or make contributions towards charity. Doing so will not only elevate the status of your business to that of a responsible and respected organization but also give you a greater sense of satisfaction.

Honesty: Adhering to the age old adage “honesty is the best policy” is sure to take you places. Do not evade taxes; and be fair in your dealings. While this has been reiterated time and again, many organizations still manage to be tripped up by dishonest actions. “Contemporary Issues in Business Ethics” by Joseph R. DesJardins, John J. McCall,

also could help you find answers to some difficult questions.

Open mindedness: A broad minded approach towards growth oriented strategies, new ideas and continuous improvement is essential to the well being of any business environment. Take criticism in your stride without holding petty grudges, acknowledge hard work and have well defined policies for dealing with employees, vendors and customers.

Business ethics make up the moral foundation of your firm. Exercising high standards conveys a strong message about the quality of your firm and the people behind it.

Business Ethics: Managing Your Relationship With Competitors

Nazeer Daud asked:

ness, your competitors are just that: competitors. However, the way you treat your competitors may affect how your customers and the media perceive your business, your ethics, and your friendliness. For those reasons, and more, it’s important that you carefully consider how you act with your competitors. In this article we provide guidance on how you can have a good relationship with competing businesses while limiting the impact this will have on your business success. When customers see you have strong ethics in how you deal with your competitors, they will know for sure that you’ll treat them right.

Congratulate Their Success

When a competing business does something well, you should be prepared to say so. If for example, a competing business has managed to gain greater traction than you, then you should point out that they have done really well, and are a good business, while also pointing out the advantages your business is able to offer that your competitors cannot. This is a good demonstration of the strong ethics within your business, and will certainly leave a positive impression.

Recommend Business Their Way

If you and your competitors are able to cater for different categories of customers, then why not recommend them when you can’t offer a service to a certain customer? This will make you look good, and they might also be able to do the same for you in return. In the end, both of you will end up with more business as a result.

Sales & Marketing Strategies

When it comes to sales and marketing, it can be tempting to point out the negative aspects of your competitors. And, in some cases, it may be an essential part of closing the sale. However, rather than criticising your competitor, why not mention both positive and negative points of their service? Such as: “yes, you are correct, Company A is able to offer lower pricing than we can. For customers that are more price sensitive, and that 100% up-time isn’t essential, they can be a great solution. We cater for more IT-dependant organisations and employ 3 times as many engineers per customer. Company A also use an overseas call-centre, which is a great way to keep costs down, and provide a more efficient service, but we prefer to assign each customer a dedicated account manager.”

However, on some occasions your competitors may not provide a good service. In this case, you should be as polite and tactful about your competitors as possible. You should also cite sources, such as articles and media coverage that supplement your point. After pointing out any negative issues, you might also wish to explain how the company responds to the issues you raised. This will show a certain level of objectivity on your part and will demonstrate that your business has strong ethics and is willing to appreciate your competitors’ problems.

Don’t Bite

When a competitor speaks negatively about your business, it can be hard to know what to do. Especially when you want to ensure your business appears to be friendly and considerate of business ethics. Although it’s important to respond to any issues in an articulate way, you should avoid getting involved in any tit-for-tat. This will help your business to keep its reputation intact.

Business Ethics of Capital Distribution and Creation of Investment

Prof Viswanathan asked:

  Business ethics of Capital Distribution   

By PROF VISWANATHAN 

Director,

International Socio-Economic Research Bureau,   

Chennai,India (E Mail: economist@dataone.in)                             

 

 “Man  is  born  free,  and  everywhere  he  is  in  chains.  Many  a  one  believes  himself  the  master  of  others,  and  yet  he  is  a  greater  slave  than  they. How  has  this change come  about? I  do  not  know…”   

* Rousseau, Jean Jacques – ‘The  Social  Contract’ (p: 100)

 

  Economic  Slavery  and  Ownership  of  Capital:                                              

Rousseau  reserves  no  hesitation  to  admit  his  inability  because  of  the  reality  that  he  witnessed  the  complications  that  deeply  rooted  in  the  premature  socio-economic  order existing  during  his  time.  But  in  the  midst  of  knowledge  explosion  at  present  I  can  deduce  the  reason  for  the  socio-economic  slavery  of  the  people.   I  know  the  answer  for  the  slavery.  It  is  both  very  simple  and  highly  complicated  to  explain  in  the  present  context  of  permutations  and  combinations  of  socio-economic  orders.  The  answer  is  very  simple  on  the  fact  that  as  soon  as  the  man  surrenders  his  capital  to  a  few  capitalists  in  the  name  of  capitalism  or  to  the  ‘State’  in  the  name  of  ‘Socialism’  especially  after  industrial  revolution  man  has  become  slave  to  the  capitalists  or  the  ‘State’.  On  the  other  hand  the  answer  is  very  complicated   that  requires  deep  acumen  to  find  out  exact  faults  and  defects  that  have  deeply  anchored  in  each  and  every  segments  of  socio-economic  order  like  religion,  customs  and  conventions,  education,  law,  politics,  and  psychological  behavior  of  man;  these  socio-economic  segments  have  still  been  propelling  the  views  and  visions  of  man  to  surrender  his  capital  to  the  capitalists  or  to  the  ‘State’  instead  of  retaining  it  with  himself  to  regain  ‘the  economic  power  of  capital’  to  get  rid  of  any  kind  of  slavery.  The  surrender  of  capital  is  the  utter  ignorance  of  man  that  has  ever  been  witnessed  in  the  long  stretch  of  the  history  of  mankind.

                                                                                                                    

A  new  kind  of  slavery  extensively  known  as  ‘Economic  Slavery’ came  to  surface  over  the  social  fabrication  during  the  Industrial  Revolution.  During  this  period  of  Industrial  Revolution  huge  machines  came  to  play  a  vital  role  in  the  production  of  goods  and  services.  The  owners  of  such  huge  machines  i.e. capital  emerged  as  the  masters  of  the  society  and  the  rest  of  members  of  society,  a  vast  majority  of  workers,  turned  into  ‘economic  slaves’  in  all  the  capitalist  societies.

 

After  the  Industrial  Revolution  when  these  huge  machines  were  directly  owned  by  the  ‘State’  the  same  workers  in  the  name  of  ‘Socialism’    in  all  socialist  states.

 

This  is  the  process  of  slavery  what  Rousseau  says  that  man  is  born free  and  everywhere  he  is  in  chains.  How  do  we  have  to  shiver  into  pieces  these  ‘chains  of  slavery’  which  are  still  binding  the  workers  physically  and  mentally   even  in  all  democratic  societies.  The  answer  perches  on  the   elucidation  of  the  people  to  understand  ‘What  is  Capital  Justice? or Business Ethic?’  and  on  the  finding  out  an  ‘economic  technique’  of  ‘how  to  entrust  the  capital  directly  to  the  people  which  is  solely  created  by  them?’

 

                     ‘What  is  Capital  Justice?’

 

I  venture  to  state  the  only  reasonable  approach  to  solve  any  problem  is  first  and  foremost  to  understand  the  problem;  and  to  understand  such  a  problem  we  have  to  stand  under  the  problem   with  perfect  view  and  vision  of  justice  and  without  being  a  traitor  to  our  own  conscience.  So  it  commands  me  to  keep  my  thought  perpetually  in  a  balanced    attitude  without  taking  even  a  least  privilege  neither  towards  capitalism  nor  towards  socialism.  I  believe  myself  I  can  settle  with  this  pre-requisite  condition  before  writing  my  concepts  in  the  interest  of  justice  and  welfare  of  mankind.  And  now  let  me  define  the  idea  of  ‘Capital  Justice and Business Ethic”

 

 “‘The  Constitution  of  Natural  laws’  codifies  the  ‘Economic  Justice’  being  the  basic  structure  of  economic  system  on  which  the  beautiful  elements  of  the  super-structure  of  a  well – ordered  society  are  constructed”

 

Having  the  liberty  of  reason  I  wish  to  state  that  according  to  Economic  Justice of business ethic,  the  capital  of  a  country  is  created  by  the  people  and  for  the  people  and  hence  it  should  be  directly  owned  by  the  people’.  Once  the  capital, which is now  owned  by  a  few  or  by  the  State  or  by  the  both,  comes  under  ‘People’s  Direct  Ownership’,  consequently  each  worker  is  assured  a  direct  share  of  national  stock  of  capital.  It  leads  to  ‘Each  Industry  for  All  and  All  Industries  for  Each’.  This  is  the  crux  of  ‘Economic  Justice’.

 

On  the  direct  ownership  of  capital  by  the  people  in  conformity  with  ‘Economic  Justice’ ,  a  new  economic  system  known  as  ‘DEMOCRISM’  will  emerge  on  the  basis  of  ‘Economic  Democracy’  demolishing  all  the  socio-economic  evils  that  are  futilely  pervading  in  every  economy  due  to  its  faulty  formulation.  For  the  sake  of  simplicity,  I  am  assuming  the  Capitalism  and  Communism  as  First  and  Second  theories  and  introducing   my  ‘Democrism’  as  ‘Third  Theory’  to  differentiate  it  with  present  theories”.   

                    Right  To  Own  One’s  Due  Capital according to Business Ethic:

The  “Declaration  of  Independence”  of  United 
States  of  America  proclaimed  on  4th  July, 1776  states  as  follows:

 

“We  hold  these  truths  to  be  self-evident  that  all  men  are  created  equal,  that  they  are  endowed  by  their  creator  with  certain  unalienable  Rights,  that  among  these  are  Life,  Liberty  and  the  pursuit  of  Happiness”.

 

With all  its  mighty  force  the  ‘Declaration’  emphasizes  that  among  all  human  rights,  one’s  ‘Right  to  Live’  is  supreme,  beyond  the  zenith,  that  cannot  be  forfeited  by  any  one  or  by  any  force  without  the  consent  and  confirmation of  Justice.  In  the  name  of  war  or  in  the  name  of  patriotism  or  in  the  name  of  religion  or  in  the  name  of  law  or  in  the  name  of  caste,  creed  and  conventions  no  one  has  any  divine  or  earthly  authority  to  forfeit  one’s  ‘Right  to  Live’  on  the  earth.  Even  if  a  man  dies  due  to  appalling  poverty  it  implies  that  the  man’s  ‘Right  to  Live’  has  been  forfeited  and  the  whole  society  in  which  he  is  a  member  should  take  collective  responsibility.

In  the  modern  economic  systems  no  one  can  produce  whatever  he  wants  without  the  help  of  others.  On  the  introduction  of  division  of  labor  in  the  factory  system  of  production,  one  can  produce  only  a  particular  part  of  a  commodity  and  he  has  trained  and  educated  only  to  do  the  particular  job.  Under  these   economic  conditions  one’s  ‘Right  to  Live’  exclusively  depends  on  one’s  ‘permanent  job  opportunity’ or  one’s  “Right  to  work”.  In  turn  one’s  job  opportunity  always  remains  as  a  dependent  factor  of  volume  of  capital  or  investment  flow.  If  the  volume  of  capital  becomes  insufficient,  one’s  job  opportunity  will  be  worst  affected  and  consequently  his  ‘Right  to  Live’  will  be  confiscated.  Since  the  supreme  duty  of  every  civilized  society  is  to  provide  ‘Right  to  Live’  to each  and  every  member  of  it  and  moreover  the  ‘Right  to  Live’  is  exclusively  depending  on  the  volume  of  capital,  the  society  should  honestly  and  justifiably  provide  and  allocate  a  due  volume  of  capital  to  uphold  all  its  members  the  unalienable  ‘Right  To  Own  Due  Capital’  as  a  Fundamental  Right  to  ensure  one’s  ‘Right  to Live’.  This  is  basic  concept  of  “Capital  Justice”. (Upholding  equally  ‘people’s  Direct  Ownership  of  Capital’  to  ensure  one’s  ‘Right  to  Live’  with  dignity  and  security  is  the  basis  of  Capital  Justice’)

 

Generally  in  economics  we  classify  the  goods  produced  as  ‘Consumption  goods  and  Capital  goods’  depending  of  their  usage  by  the  final  consumers.  If  the  goods  like  ‘cars’  are  used    for  personal  usage  by  the  consumers  they  car  called  consumption  goods  whereas  if  the  came  cars  are  used  for ‘hiring  purposes,  as  taxis,  to  earn  income  they  are  called  capital  goods.  I  am  not  erroneous  to  say  that  both  the  consumption  and  capital  goods  are  produced  by  the  workers  as  a  whole.  No  one  dare  enough  to  advocate  that  the  consumption  goods  are  produced  by  the  ‘consumer-workers’  and  the  capital  goods  are  produced  by  the  ‘capitalists’  or  by  the  ‘State’,  in  capitalism  and  socialism  respectively.  Both  kind  of  goods  are  produced  by  the  workers  and  only  by  their  workers  according  to  their  ability  as  per  ‘Work  Justice’ (i.e. work  according  to  ability).

 

The  Wage  Justice  declares  ‘Wage  according  to  Work’.  The  work  includes  the  production  of  both  consumption  and  capital  goods  as  a  whole.  But  the  workers  are  not  paid  wages   to  equivalent  value  of   the  volume  of  capital  and  consumption  goods  that  they  produced. Both  the  capitalists  and  communists  pay  wages  to  workers  equivalent  to  the  value  of  consumption  goods  only.  They  have  been  nakedly  exploiting  a  huge  volume  of  workers  wages  in  name  of  profit  by  which  they  purchase  capital  goods  which  are  solely  produced  by  the  workers.  No  one  has  derived  neither  ‘divine  authority’  nor  ‘temporal  authority’  to  forfeit  a  part  of  workers’  wages  in  the name  of  ‘capital’  without  the  ‘General  Will’  of  workers  or  legal  approval  of  working  class.

 

The  capital  not  only  possesses  huge  productive  capacity  to  produce  goods  and  services  but  also  possesses  enormous  ‘economic  power’  like  nuclear  of  an  atom.  With  the  economic  power  both  the  capitalists  and  the  State  can  control  all  the  socio-economic-political  activities  of  the  working  class  and  subjugate  them  as  ‘economic  slaves’  and  always  threaten  their  ‘right  to  live’.

I  find  no  words  to  register  my  mental  agony  that a  great  ‘distributive  injustice’  has  been  enforced  on  working  class  by  negating  distribution   of  capital  against  legal  and  moral  grounds.  This  ‘distributive  injustice’  exhibits  the  inherent  defects  that  have  been  deeply  rooted  in  our  economic  systems.  Invariably  all  the  economic  and  social  thinkers  have  fiercely  demonstrated   such  defects  and  distributive  injustice.  For  instance  John  Maynard   Keynes,  who  is  still  considered  to  be  the  most  intelligent  among  the  economic  thinkers, writes  in  his  revolutionary  book,  “The  General  Theory”  as  follows:

 

 “The  outstanding  faults  of  economic  society  in  which  we  live  are  its  failure  to  provide  for  full  employment  and  its  arbitrary  and  inequitable  distribution   of   wealth  and  income”

 

Keynes  has  established  thought  in  his  words  and  justifiable  views  in  his  vision  that  the  capital  too  should  be  equally  distributed  among  the  people  to  rectify  the  grave  faults  of  our  economic  systems.  I  dare  to  say  if  both  the  consumption  and  capital  goods  are  distributed  among  the  people  in  satisfaction  of  justifiable  views  and  visions  of  Keynes,  it  would  beyond  all  doubts,  lead  the  society  for  the  establishment  of  ‘Democratic  Economy’  or  ‘DEMOCRISM’,  a  new  economic  system  which  I  advocate  for  the  establishment  of  an  ‘Ideal  Society’.

 

It  will  be  the  ultimate  fact  that  when  the  capital  is  distributed  among  the  people  in  coordination  with  ‘Distributive  Justice’  “All  Industries  will  be  owned  by  Each  Worker  and  Each  Industry  will  be  owned?
? by All  Workers”.  In  the  establishment  of  such  industries  neither  the  capitalists  nor  the  state  would  be  allowed  to  claim  any  capital  ownership.  The  creation  of  all  the  industries  would  be   “by  the  people,  for  the  people  and  of  the  people”  This  would  be  called  as  ‘Democratic  Economy’  or  “DEMOCRISM”  –  The  Third  Theory –  assuming  Capitalism  and  communism  are  first  and  second  theories.                                                                

 Understanding  of  Capital  Justice  or  Democrism i.e Business Ethic:                 

The  crux  of  the  problem  of  understanding  “DEMOCRISM” i.e business ethic, rests  on  the  two  theoretical  pillars :   Firstly  the  process  of  distribution  of  national  Capital  (i.e. Capital  Stock  of  a  nation)  to  the  people  and  secondly  the  creation  of  ‘new  investment’  of  the  people,  by  the  people  and  for  the  people. 

 

The  distribution  of  national  capital  will  ensure  the  people  the  ‘Economic  Justice’  of  ‘Each  industry  for  all  and  all  industries  for  each’  and  the  ‘creation  of  new  industry’  will  enable  the  working  class  to  contribute  a  share  of  their  wage  in  the  form  of  ‘share’  for the  establishment  of  new  industries  in  which  a  worker  will  have  a  share  in  all  industries  and  all  the  workers  will  have  a  share  in  every  industry  to  uphold  ‘Investment  Justice’.  I  will  explain  the  ‘Investment  Justice’  in  forth  coming  chapters.

 

First  let  me  explain  the  distribution  of  national  capital  to  the  people  for  the  establishment  of  “Democracy  in  Economy”  i.e.  the  “Economic  System  of  Democrism” (The  Third  Theory)  with  an  hypothetical  example.

Capital – Output  Ratio:  Suppose  the  national  capital  of  country  amounts  to  $ 3,000  billion  with  the  help  of  this  capital  stock  the  country  produces  $ 1,000  billion  worth  goods  and  services.  It  indicates  the  Capital : Output Ratio  of  the  country  is  3 : 1. In  other  words  in  order  to  produce  $ 1 dollar  of  goods  the  country  requires  $ 3  dollar  worth  of  capital.                                         

Again  let  me  assume  the  annual  income  of  a  ‘hypothetical  worker’  is  $100,000  and  he  spends  all  his  income  for  the  purchase  of  consumption  goods.  Since  the  capital : output  ratio  is    3 : 1   for  the  production  of  $ 100,000  worth  of  consumption  goods,  $ 300,000  worth  of  capital  goods  would  have  been  used.  Similarly  according  to  the   total  income  of  all  the  workers  a  capital  stock    should  have  been  used  three  time  of  income.  Generally  speaking  for  the  production  of  a  particular  amount  National  Income,  a  particular  volume  of  Capital  stock  would  have  been  used  and  it  determines  Capital  :  Output  Ratio.  This  Capital  Stock  is  legally  entitled  to  the  workers  only  but  it  has  been  fallaciously  handed  over  to  a  few  capitalists  or  the  State.  This  is  fallible  of  infallible  justice.  In  order  to  uphold  ‘Economic  Justice’  the  capital  stock  also  should  be  distributed  to  all  the  workers  according  to  capital  :  output  ratio.  This  mode  of  proportional  distribution  of  national  capital  to  all  the  workers  will  guarantee  and  ensure  an  active  powerful   ‘Economic  Democracy’  among  the  people  than  the  passive  and  week  ‘political  democracy’  to  protect  one’s  liberty. 

 

In  the  modern  production  system  since   ‘the  capital’  has  occupied  the   position  of  hub  in  the  production  process  of  consumption  goods  and  services  and  moreover  it  determines  one’s  ‘right  to  work’  and  ‘right  to  live’  no  worker  is  entitled  to  merchandise  his   capital  to  other  workers.  No  worker  is  permitted  to  hold  a  share  of  capital  more  than  his  country’s  ‘capital : output  ratio’.  Marketing  of  capital  share  in  democratic  economy  is  forfeited  because  of  the  fact  it  will  lead  to  sell  one’s  ‘right  to  live’  ‘right  to  work’   ‘economic  security’  and  ‘economic  equality’.  Justice  warns  man  not  to  sell  economic  liberty  even  if  he  sells  political  liberty.

 

Distribution  of  Capital and Business Ethic:  Capital  is  inseparable  block.  It  cannot  be  divided  into  convenient  parts  to  distribute  to  the  workers  according  to  their  wage-income.  It  forms  huge  industries.  The  workers  can  only  claim  a  ‘capital  right’  in  the  national  capital   stock  and   a   ‘dividend-income’  according  to  their  share  of  capital.  The  capital  goods  cannot  be  distributed  to  the  workers  as  consumption  goods.  But  every  worker  can  claim  a  certain  value  in  the  national  capital  to  ensure  their  capital  right.  The  value  of  capital  would  be  distributed  to  the  workers  equally  or  according  to  their  income.  The  distribution  of  capital  is  just  a  ‘book-keeping  entry’  to  assure  every  worker  that  they  have  a  capital  right  in  the  national  capital.

 

Every  worker  will  have  a  ‘Capital  Account’  in  his  bank  and  a  ‘capital – share-value’  according  to  his  annual  income  will  be  credited.  The  workers  will  be  strictly  restricted   to  bargain  his  ‘share  of  capital’  to  other  workers  as  it  is  now  practiced  in  the  ‘share-market’. The  ‘share-gambling’  involved  in  the  share  market  would  be  completely  abolished.  On  the  other  hand  there  will  be  only  ‘commodity  market’.  Since  one’s  share  of  capital  represents  one’s  ‘right  to  live’, ‘right  to  work’  and  economic  liberty  and  security  the  sale  of  capital  will  not  be  permitted  at  any  cost  in  the  ‘People’s  Direct  Ownership  of  Capital’  i.e. ‘Economic  Democracy’.            

In  the  distribution  of  national  capital  to  the  people  the  ‘capital : output  ratio’  would  be  taken  as  guideline  to  ensure  ‘capital  to  each  worker  according   to  his  wage’.  Right  from  ordinary  village  workers  to  the  top-most  managing  director  of  a  huge  company  the  ratio  would   be  strictly  followed  in  the  capital  distribution  as  it  preserves  ‘distributive  justice’.  No  one  would  be  afford  undue  advantage  to  claim  more  capital – share  than  the  one’s  income  ratio.  The  aggregate  national  capital  would  be  distributed  to  all  the  people  without  any  d
iscrimination  of  one’s  labor.  This  is  the  idea  of  ‘Democrism’  i.e.  ‘Economic  Democracy’.  I  wish  to  take  liberty  to  express  such  kind  of  distribution  would  uphold  the  noble  concept  of  ‘Capital  Justice’.

 

Mahatma  Gandhi  emphasizes  this  capital  justice  in  his  own  fashion  of  spiritual  style  as  follows:

 

“We  should  aim  at  getting  only  what  the  rest  of  the  world  gets.  Thus,  if  the  whole  world  gets  milk,  we  may  also  have  it.  We  may  pray  to  God  and  say : “O  God, if  you wish  me  to  have  milk, give  it  first  to  the  rest of  the world”*

-*Gandhi. M _ “Speeches  and  Writings  of  M. Gandhi” (p:384)

 

If  any  one  wishes  to  portray  his  argument  that  the  above  example  presented  by  Gandhiji  in  the  distribution  of  milk  can  only  be  coordinated  to  the  ‘distribution  of  income’  but  not  the  ‘distribution  of  capital – wealth’,  Gandhiji   replies  them  as  follows:

 

“Earn  your  crores  by  all  means.  But  understand  that  your  wealth  is  not  yours;  it  belongs  to  the  poor.  Take  what  you  require  for  your  legitimate  needs,  and  use  the  remainder  for  society ……But  I  have  visions  that  the  end  of  this  war  will  mean  also  the  end  of  the  rule  of  capital.  I  see  coming  the  day  of  the  rule  of  the  poor,  whether  that  the  rule  be  through  force  of  arms  or  of  non-violence”. **

         **- Gandhi. M : “Harijan”, Feb. 1, 1942

 

The  views  and  visions  of  Gandhiji  are  placidly  warning  the  capitalistic  society  that  the  capital – wealth  should  be  honestly  handed  over  to  the  people  within  the  frame  of  supreme  justice;  otherwise,  he  cautions,  that  the  poor  would  take  even  the  deadly  arms  to  uphold  their  legitimate  right  to  own  their  capital  through  non-violence  as  the  ‘rule  of  poor  through  bullet’  instead  of  ‘rule  of  poor  through  ballot’  that  could  be  the  only  solution  for  all  evils  suppressing  the  poor.

 

Now  I  explain  the  basic  concept  of  Democrism  in  ordinary  terms.  In  Democrism  In  Democrism  in  order  to  ensure  a  sense  of  security  regarding  the  ‘capital  ownership’  in  the  minds  of  every  worker,  ‘a  capital  account’  would  be  opened  in  his  name  and  his  legitimate  due  capital  would  be  credited  in  his  capital  account. 

 

The  capital  in  the  view  of  a  common  man  may  look  like  a  commodity  as  machines  and  factory  buildings.  But  it  is  not  so  in  real  sense.  The  capital  contains  in  its  core  an  enormous  ‘Economic  Power’  only  by  which  one  can  save  and  ensure  one’s  ‘right  to  live’  in  the  world,  which  is  valued  as  supreme  right  of  all  the  socio-economic-political  rights.  No  worker,  therefore,  would  be  permitted  to  sell  or  buy  one’s  share  of  due  capital.  Capital  is  not  a  marketable  commodity  because  if  the  sale  of  capital  ‘in  the  form  of  share’  is  allowed  among  the  workers,  it  is  nothing  but  allowing  the  workers  to  sell  their  ‘right  to  live’,  ‘economic  liberty’,   ‘economic  equality’,  ‘economic  security’  and  so  on.  The  sale  of  capital  would  lead  the  workers  towards  their  economic  slavery;  no  political  revolution  can  uplift  them.  That  is  why  Rousseau  says  in  his  Social  Contract ;  “Man  is  born  free  and  everywhere  he  is  in  chains”

 

It  is  Universal  law  that  the  natural  force  of  all  evolutions  is  to  lead  all  imperfect  systems  towards  their  perfection  overcoming  one  hindrance  after  another  hindrance  in  its  process.  If  the  hindrances  are  many  and  powerful  the  natural  force  of  evolution  will  consume  more  span  of  time  to  overcome  them.  “Perfection”  is  the  law  of  nature;  and  “Evolution”  is  its  mechanism.  As  per  the  ‘natural  force  of  evolution,  the  capital  should  be  owned  by  all  the  workers  to  attain  its  perfection  and  to  uphold  capital  justice.  In  this  context  we  know  that  our  economic  systems  are  crippled  with  imperfection  and  struggle  hard  to  move  towards  perfection  and  therefore  we  have  no  other  alternative  except  to  wipe  them  out  not  to  plunge  the  world  into  destruction.

As  a  matter  of  fact  if  both  the  imperfect  capitalism  and  socialism  want  to  move  towards  their  ‘perfection’  as  a  rule  of  nature  they  have  to  restore  the  ‘capital’  to  people  and  to  ensure  ‘People’s  Direct  Ownership  of  Capital’  the  ultimate  end  product  of  perfection  in  the  formation  of  economic  systems.  The  People’s  Direct  Ownership  of  Capital  would  be  out  of  all  theoretical  and  moral  contradictions  and  constitute  a  perfect  economic  system  known  as  ‘DEMOCRISM’.  On  the  establishment  of  Democrism  the  capital  will  be  owned  neither  by  a  few  capitalists  as  in  Capitalism  nor  by  the  State  as  in  Socialism  but  the  people  of  all  the  countries.  This  “People’s  Ownership  of  Capital”  will  be  the  rule  of  the  nature  and  the  natural  force  of  evolution  of any economic  system. Nobody  or  no  power  in  the  world will  oppose  it.                                                                                                                                                                                        

                                                                                       

                        

Ethical Money Makes The World Go Round

Indiann Davinos asked:

Whatever your resources, socially responsible investment (SRI) can help you fulfil your dreams, and make the world a better place. SRI means you can channel your money away from industries that contribute to the destruction of the environment, companies employing sweatshop and child labour, business involved in animal experimentation and corporation that support repressive and brutal regimes

Like any investor a socially responsible one wants to see a sound return on their investment but they also want to invest in companies that demonstrate social and environmental principles. Even though SRI means limiting choice in types of investment it has not led to any systematic under performance in stocks, in fact it have done as well as or better than others on the market.

SRI developed in the USA as a response by concerned Quakers and other people disgusted that their investments were supporting the arms trade and the Vietnam war. Since then SRI has become a growing market within the UK, and is increasing at about 34% per year Socially responsible investors include institutions such as non profit organisations, Churches, trade unions, universities and individuals from all walks of life. What they have in common is a commitment to channelling their money towards investment that reflects their personal ethics and values. You don’t have to have lots of money to be a socially responsible investor although a minimum commitment is like with most funds about 50 pounds a month.

There are two main strategies to SRI: Avoidance Screening – choosing not to invest in industries for example, those with discriminatory employment practices, business activities with repressive governments, poor environmental records, animal testing, weapons contractors and the tobacco industry.Affirmative Screening – Actively seeking out investments in activities to support such as alternative energy and natural foods, companies that show commitment to their workers, communities and the environment.