Author Archives: admin

Ethics in Business – From Compliance to Commitment

Rana Group asked:

By the time this article goes to print all of us will surely have had our fill of news reports about Conrad Black’s infamous lawsuit. We’ll likely be numb to the never ending allegations of fraudulent practices at Nortel. But, how many of us as human resource professionals will be asking, ‘What does this have to do with me?’

It seems that, by and large, human resource professionals have been quite happy to have the accountability for their company’s business ethics and code of business conduct rest with their legal or audit departments. In so doing, human resource professionals miss an opportunity to help their companies shift from merely being compliant with the law to demonstrating their company’s firm and unwavering commitment to build an ethical business culture.

The ‘iceberg model’ helps us to better appreciate the influences that may undermine a company’s policies and practices with respect to business ethics. Think of the ‘the Law’ and your company’s Code of Business Conduct Policy as the tip of the iceberg, visible above the surface. Now, think about the influences that exist below the surface lurking within many companies. Things like:

? Pressures to conform (“Hey, we always take off early Friday afternoons, you need to join us or else someone’s going to take notice”)

? Desire to please (“I picked up the tab for a lunch I had with my boss. He told me it was the only way he could expense it without needing to get further approval. I did it because I wanted to stay on his good side!”)

? Accepted practices (“Don’t worry, we give box seat tickets to all our clients and they sure don’t have any problem with accepting them!”)

? Performance drivers (“Hey, maybe we should just alter our numbers a bit. If we do, we’re sure to be in the top category for a bonus this year!”)

When asked, most of us do not hesitate to say that we are ‘ethical’. In fact some people are offended when asked to sign a document confirming they have read and understood their company’s Code of Business Conduct Policy. However, what we fail to recognize and appreciate is our ability to rationalize our own behavior. Sometimes we justify our actions so convincingly that we no longer even perceive that what we are doing is inherently wrong or unethical. For example:

? “I’ll just pad my mileage claim this month, it’s not like I haven’t worked hard. The company owes it to me.”

? “I know I shouldn’t provide my son with supplies from the office, but university is so expensive and, I know this company can afford the photocopying I do and the pens and paper I take.”

? “If this company can afford a company jet, hey, they can afford for me to take a few sick days to ski!”

It is a slippery slope once employees believe they can justify actions and decisions that are fundamentally unethical. Reading a code of conduct policy and signing a piece of paper every year does little to help employees grasp and understand the essence of ethical conduct. Nor does it help employees apply good problem solving skills when they are faced with ethical dilemmas in the workplace. It may surprise some to know that virtually all the companies who have become household names (including Enron) as a result of their unethical business practices had well articulated policies and codes of conduct dutifully signed off yearly by their employees.

Few companies are making the effort necessary to address these underlying influences and regrettably, only those that do will truly build ethical cultures. By taking the following 7 steps, human resource professionals can play a critical role in helping their companies move beyond compliance, raising the bar to demonstrate their deep commitment to developing an ethical business culture.

1) Adopt a multi-disciplinary approach to building an ethical culture

2) Communicate your Code of Business Conduct in plain language

3) Ensure relevant policies, processes and practices align with your Code.

4) Develop ethical leadership

5) Gain employee buy-in

6) Facilitate reporting

7) Model the way

Adopt a Multi-Disciplinary Approach

Human resources must have a ‘seat at the table’ when matters of business ethics and code of conduct are discussed. That said, it would be wrong for human resources to act independently. Companies that are truly committed to developing ethical cultures adopt a multi-disciplinary approach that includes representation from their legal, financial, communications and human resource disciplines. Working together they develop a strategy that enables the development of an ethical culture that is truly sustainable.

Use Plain Language in Your Code

Most human resource departments do provide employees with a personal copy of their company’s Code of Business Conduct Policy at the time of hire. Many companies host their Code of Business Conduct and related policies on their intranet. However, few companies have taken the time to provide a document that is actually readable! By working with their partners in Communications, Human Resources can provide employees a document that is both easily referenced and easily read.

Align Policy and Practices

More than one company has been surprised to learn that upon review, some of their policies and accepted practices are not consistent with their company’s Code of Business Conduct Policy. Human resources can ‘lead the way’ by ensuring its policies and practices are ‘squeaky clean’; not only in the way they are written, but also, in the way they are executed. However, it is not only human resource policies that require review, virtually all corporate policies need to be reviewed in light of the company’s Code of Business Conduct Policy to achieve proper alignment.

Develop Ethical Leadership

Developing ethical leadership ought to be a primary goal of every leadership development program. Surely it is the role of human resources to ensure the topic of business ethics is adequately addressed in all leadership development programs. Not only do leaders need to know and understand their company’s Code of Business Conduct Policy but, they must also understand the role they play in facilitating an ethical culture. This is just as true for leaders at the frontline as it is for leaders at the executive table. Leaders often justify their own behaviors based upon what they see modeled by those to whom they report. Ethical leadership depends upon each leader understanding they are responsible and accountable for their personal actions and behaviors regardless of the actions of those at more senior levels of the company.

Demonstrating ethical behavior as a leader is inextricably linked to building trusting relationships, the cornerstone of many leadership development programs. However, while many of these programs address the matter of trust and trusting relationships, few make the link to ethical behavior and the expectations of leaders. Whether through instructor-led training or on-line training, every leader needs to have exposure to the topic of business ethics. Leaders must be fully cognizant of behaviors that develop a strong ethical culture and those that erode that culture. They need also to understand their accountability when employees raise ethical issues and/or report unethical behavior.

Gaining Employee Buy-in

Ethical cultures are built when employees, like leaders, have exposure to training that helps them differentiate between ethical and unethical behavior. Depending upon the size of your company this can be accomplished either through instructor-led or on-line learning modules. Regardless of the methodology, employees need to be exposed to different scenarios and situation
s that they may face within their own work. Employees need an opportunity to learn in a non-threatening environment what is appropriate and what is inappropriate. Your company’s Code of Business Conduct Policy is an important topic that must be addressed not only in all employee development programs but in your company’s orientation program for new employees.

However, learning in and of itself is insufficient. Building an ethical culture requires continuous reinforcement through a well thought out and on-going communication strategy and plan. Ethics needs to be woven into company newsletters, be reinforced through visual cues such as posters, and integrated into team discussions if a company is going to make significant head-way towards building a strong ethical culture.

Facilitate Reporting

Companies need to provide their employees with a means of reporting behaviors, decisions or actions they perceive are unethical and contrary to their company’s Code of Business Conduct Policy. This is best facilitated by providing access through a third party provider although many smaller companies encourage such reporting to their legal department or external legal counsel. That said, it is only through both educational and communication programs that employees understand their obligation to report unethical behavior and to realize that their company will fully support their actions provided, of course, that the reporting of unethical behavior is not maliciously motivated.

Model the Way

Finally, human resource professionals must model the way. For new employees, human resource employees are like a beacon signaling the strength of a company’s ethical culture. And, whether we realize it or not, the manner in which we conduct employment searches and implement recruitment practices sets the tone. Employees tend to assess the strength of a company’s ethical culture based upon their own personal experience and the experience of those with whom they have a close work relationship. They are sensitive to preferential treatment whether in regards to recruitment, compensation, performance management, or succession management and promotions. Human resource professionals must demonstrate through their actions an unerring commitment to ethical business conduct.

Since the Enron fiasco it’s hard to pick up a daily paper without seeing some reference to or allegation of unethical business practices. And, based upon these articles it would be easy for us to assume that unethical behavior is limited to those at the very top of organizations. This is simply not the case. While building an ethical culture depends upon the full commitment of senior executives to set the standard of acceptable behavior, each and every employee directly influences the strength of your company’s ethical culture through their day-to-day actions. Cleary, code of business conduct policies are insufficient in and of themselves to shape ethical behavior. Human resource professionals must help their companies move beyond compliance with the law and, they can do so by ensuring each and every employee develops the knowledge and skills necessary to build strong ethical cultures.

Ethics in the Workplace

We’ve all heard these rules to live by: Don’t hurt, don’t steal, don’t lie, and the more famous “Do unto others as you would have done to you.” In our personal lives most people try to follow these rules. Ethics are often thought of by many as something that is related to the personal side of life and not to the business side. In some businesses, having ethics may actually be frowned upon. This is usually due to the fact that business is about doing what’s best for the bottom line and not always about doing the right thing.

It is commonly understood that there are ethics and then there are workplace ethics. Often we don’t stop to realize that there is no difference between personal ethics and ethics in the workplace; ethics are the same whether at work or in personal life.

After all, ethics are about making choices that may not always feel good or seem like they benefit you. Ethical choices are the “right” choices to make and are examples of rules to live by.

Practical Impact

Executives typically want the answers to two key questions about ethics in their offices: “How do workplace ethics apply to practical goals of my organization and the work of my employees?” and “Is there reliable data to support these assertions?” The Ethics Resource Center (www.ethics.org), a nonprofit organization, assists leaders to impact their organizations by identifying ethical risks and establishing systems to emphasize higher standards for business conduct.

The Ethics Resource Center annually conducts a National Business Ethics Survey (NBES) – a rigorous telephone survey of 1,500 U.S. employees. The NBES findings are encouraging for organizations that have an emphasis on positive workplace ethics. For example, employees have high expectations for ethics within their organizations. Nine in ten respondents say that they “expect their organizations to do what is right, not just what is profitable.”

This suggests that most employees are not cynical about ethics at work, encouraging news when considering the implementation or development of ethics initiatives as the long term success of any program rely on the active support of employees.

Formal ethics programs and informal ethics practices were shown to affect certain key outcomes. Employees who work in companies with active ethics programs who observe leaders modeling ethical behavior, and also observe the application of values such as honesty, respect and trust applied frequently at work, report more positive experiences that include the following:

·         Less pressure on employees to compromise ethics standards

·         Less observed misconduct at work

·         Greater willingness to report misconduct

·         Greater satisfaction with their organization’s response to misconduct they report

·         Greater overall satisfaction with their organizations

·         Greater likelihood of “feeling valued” by their organizations

Findings of Concern

The NBES uncovered a substantial gap between senior and middle managers and lower-level employees. A consistent finding with management was the perception that their organizations have a positive ethical environment. This conflicts with the perception of lower-level employees however. This suggests that executives may underestimate the importance of specific ethics issues and concerns facing employees.

This disconnect may also position executives to fail to address these issues adequately within their organization’s ethics programs. Therefore it is important for executives to include input from employees at lower levels in the development of ethics programs and to continue to seek out their input and feedback on a regular basis.

In addition to the communications gap between employees and executives, one in three employees believe that their coworkers will perceive them as “snitches” if they report misconduct. This is roughly the same proportion of employees who believe that management will see them as “troublemakers” for reporting ethical concerns. A key element to take away from this discovery is the need to address and eliminate retaliation systemically, at the management and peer levels throughout the organization.

Questions Answered

Let’s go back to our two key questions: “How do workplace ethics apply to practical goals of my organization and the work of my employees?” and “Is there reliable data to support these assertions?” There are a variety of practical reasons for executives to focus on workplace ethics and reliable data that supports these efforts. The NBES findings consistently link ethics programs to more positive organizations outcomes and increased employee satisfaction.

It would be naïve to suggest that an emphasis on ethics will improve the work environment and solve the company’s problems overnight. In many cases a well developed and organized effort to target key ethical issues sends an important message. It tells employees that your organization is moving in a positive direction, one that is positive for them as individuals.

Establishing an Ethics Program

Establishing an ethics program is not an exact science. As with any organizational program, it will involve the input and cooperation of many people. The effectiveness of any organization’s approach will depend on characteristics that are unique to its culture, the leadership styles, proper planning, and so on. Since some people may be uncomfortable talking about the issues of ethics it can be helpful if management first asks, considers, and then responds to the following questions:

·         Why might good people in this organization do unethical things?

·         What are our organization’s values?

·         Have we adequately articulated these values internally and externally?

·         Does our organization have written ethics policies, procedures, or structures?

·         To whom is our organization accountable?

·         What do we mean by “success”?

·         Does the leadership of our organization support the idea of an ethical workplace?

With the feedback obtained by discussing the questions above, management will have a better idea of the perceptions their employees have on how the company is performing ethically.

In the end, it’s all about beginning with our personal and collective understanding of ethics. The second step is awareness of, and solutions to, questions concerning ethics as applied to the workplace. Many universities are now heavily applying the teaching of ethics to their curricula. Graduates of these programs take this information into the workforce with the understanding that solid, positive ethics need to be applied there as well as in the private sector.

In a perfect world, corporations will be better able to avoid embarrassing scandals that appear and reappear in both national and world-wide news scandals. Small businesses will be able to keep and attract more clients and customers. Negotiations between businesses could be accomplished with increased consideration for the other company. This is something for which we can all strive.

Ethical Leadership – A Must For Customer Loyalty

Businesses still do not understand that customer loyalty begins with executive leadership who demonstrates consistent ethics and values found within the organization’s strategic business action plan. When the executive leadership behaves badly, these actions are shared inside and outside of the organization.

For example, Indiana is an at will employer. Businesses can terminate employees without any notification. Yet most of these same firms expect 2 weeks notice when employees leave. Now does this attitude or belief demonstrate high ethics and values; or is there a thread of hypocrisy running through these organizations?

With the tightening of the global market place (and yes it is global even if you believe all your business is local), many organizations are cutting back on employees from downsizing to outright terminations. Usually what this means for mid-size to larger organizations is the slashing of the Education and Training Departments’ budgets as well as personnel.

Why is this area usually is the first to go is because of these two continued beliefs within the American business culture:

  • Education is not really valued.
  • The inherent value of human capital is not really understood by many American companies
  • In business, there exists what I have labeled the Osmosis Learning Belief. Stand next to someone and you instantly become a great leader or a super star goal achiever. Employees need to be developed where they demonstrate ethical leadership. They require assistance in developing their talents and further strengthening them so that the organization becomes even more competitive.

    American companies and organizations with the exception of a few such as Southwest Airlines do not value human capital. Many employees especially below the executive level are viewed as “throw aways” for the belief is that the firm can always find someone cheaper and better. For some enlightened companies such as Toyota, they have realized the tremendous cost of downsizing their employees because of the investment that has already been made.

    Each terminated employee represents at bare minimum 1.5 years annual tangible salary and benefits loss to the bottom line ranging from $30,000 to $200,000 plus. The intangible losses greatly increase that red ink and include:

    • Relationships those employees have established with external customers and other internal employees
    • Understanding of the ins and outs of the business
    • Additional growth in intellectual property (learning, training and development) by those same employees
    • Established loyalty and productivity

    TAKE ACTION ETHICAL COACHING TIP: Evaluate your organization from an executive leadership perspective. Are you leading forward, proactively during these difficult times or are you leading backward, reactively? Customer loyalty is the result of ethical leadership beliefs and actions. So before you terminate that next employee, take the 30,000 foot view and determine the real losses to your business.

    Want to develop ethical leadership? Take this free leadership skills assessment.

    P.S. Do you know what your talents are? Learn more about your ethical leadership talents to help you maximize education based marketing.

    Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

    Business Ethics and Values Do Not Have Expiration Dates

    Walk through the aisles of any grocery story or even convenience store, pick up any product and you will see an expiration date. These dates are for your consumer safety as well as to receive the most benefit from the nutrients within the food product.

    Yet, recently, I have come to observe that many individuals in business who profess to be true professionals as well as those in government are demonstrating business ethics or values with expiration dates. Initially statements specific to their behaviors are made without a date. Then realizing that change is more difficult than originally expected or will take additional effort a date is added. If the added date is not made, a new date pops up.

    The work ethics associated with these behaviors become a moving object. As new dates are added, the impact of the quality decreases to those who are on the receiving end of these expiration dated values.

    For example, how many times have we heard that during the tenure of this leadership or management team it will be the most ethical in the organization’s history? Then as time moves forward, we hear, not from leadership, but outside sources about unethical behaviors. Then leadership makes excuses and sets a new expiration date.

    Why business ethics or values now have expiration dates may be connected to the relativism that has affected the U.S. during the last several decades. Relativism has many definitions, but essentially means that everything is truth and is relative to the individual. In other words, values become moving targets or simply are now produced with expiration dates.

    The recent meltdown of Wall street, the bailout of Wall Street, the ponzi schemes, the individuals who knowingly violate the law and believe that they are above it are all examples of values with expiration dates. Even before these incredible examples, many of us heard this expression, “Do as I say, not as I do.” This is a values statement with an expiration date.

    So how do business leaders and true professionals avoid values with expiration dates? First, make sure that you have a values statement that has been clearly articulated within your organization. Everyone from the bottom up to the top down understands the specific acceptable behaviors and equally unacceptable behaviors.

    Next, enforce the values statement. Recent surveys of college graduates and high school students show an increase in cheating and that cheating is acceptable. These surveys also reveal that these cheating young people believe that they have high ethics.

    The old expression everyone does it is another justification of having a values statement with expiration dates. In other words it’s okay to cheat to get the best grade in school and when I leave school, I will no longer cheat. If you believe that, I have a bridge I would like to sell you.

    Having a values statement may cost you some business in the short term. However, in the long term you will gain far more than any potential short term loses.

    Unlock more business results by standing out in your marketplace. Sign up to receive notification of Leanne’s forthcoming sales coaching book to help you become that Red Jacket in the Sea of Gray Suits.

    If you would like to how leadership development and business ethics can help you increase your business results, you may wish to visit http://www.processspecialist.com/fail-safe-leadership-book.htm

    You probably do not want to be uncomfortable. Who does? Yet, you want to improve business results and to stop all those sleepless nights right before sales figures are due. Now is the time to give Leanne a call at 219.759.5601 to schedule a free business coaching training or sales coaching strategy session. Experience how being uncomfortable can help you increase business results.

    Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

    Exercising Moral Integrity in Modern World

    Recent Scandals In the wake of the Blagojevich scandal, others come to mind. The foibles of Former New York Governor Elliot Spitzer, former Florida Congr ssman Mark Foley and retiring Idaho Senator Larry Craig, to name a few. In the corporate area, Madoff’s $50 billion Ponzi scheme, caps off years of scandalous reports about Enron, Tyco International, and World Com. The moral faults of corporate leade s con inue to cost investors billions. Is there a modern day standard bearer to guide the common man?

    Ancient Warrior Code
    According to Shannon French, author, The Code of the Warrior: Exploring Warrior Values Past and Present, the essential element of a warrior’s code is to set definite limits on what warriors can and can not do. In this sense, warriors value honor, integrity, justice and a sense of what is right and wrong. To the ancient warrior, the discernment between right and wrong is like night and day. Clear, obvious, unquestionable. To them, there are no gray areas, no “that depends on what your definition of ‘is’ is “(Bill Clinton). To the warrior, if something is not right, he will not do it.

    Ancient Warriors versus Corporate Warriors
    In ancient times, one looked to the warrior for guidance to the light; to serve as defenders of moral integrity. Today, though, the warrior, or rather corporate warrior is perceived as mere profiteers. Neocons, using natural disasters, social unrest, changes in regimes and wars- have been used ‘as a natural ally’ of corporate interests. Naomi Klein, in her book, the Shock Doctrine, indicates that heads of,companies, representatives of municipalities stood in the rubble of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans and thanked God for the solution to the problem of housing in New Orleans. Similarly, PW Singer, in his book, Corporate Warriors: The Rise of the Privatized Military Industry writes that private corporations working for profit have the ability to sway the course of national and international conflict.

    Warriors of Light
    Paulo Coelho, in his book, Manual of the Warrior of Light made this observation: “Sometimes the warrior feels as if he were living two lives at once. In one o” them he is obliged to do all the things he does not want to do and fight for ideas in which he does not believe…Then all that is needed is a little daring, and his two lives become one.” p 181. Ancient warriors carried out actions that brought them closer to their higher ideal. Some political and corporate warriors, on the other hand have tended to capitalize on the weak. How might we attain warrior of light status?

    Friends and Allies
    First, we need to de-bunk the myth that warriors are ‘lone wolves.’ Throughout pop western culture, American icons: John Wayne, Rambo, Clint Eastwood, have presented the ideal warriors. These warriors exercise independence of mind, thought and action. Often, they are presented as friendless. A warrior of light, however, appears to revel in the company of friends, followers and allies. Twyan Towery, in his book The Wisdom of Wolves, argues that the ‘strength of the wolf is the pack, and the strength of the pack is the wolf.’ Coelho quotes John Donne and continues in his own words. “No man is an island. He can not fight alone; whatever his plan, he depends on other people. .. p 103.

    When selecting alternative courses of action, the warrior, relies upon the wisdom of his closest friends. Prior to committing a whimsical act, how many have been spared public humiliation because a colleague quickly intervened?

    Angels
    Second, warriors of light recognize that they are fallible and need divine help. Theologians say there roughly 300 references to angels in the Bible. Coelho presents warriors of light as men who steadfastly rely upon angels, God and Jesus Christ.

    “A warrior knows that an angel and a devil are both competing for his sword”hand. The devil says: ‘You will weaken. You will not know exactly when. You are afraid. ‘ the angel says: ‘You will weaken. You will not know exactly when. You are afraid.’ The warrior is surprised. Both angel and devil have said the same thing. Then the devil goes on: ‘Let me help you.’ And the angel says: ‘I will help you.’ At that moment, the warrior understands the difference. The words may be the same, but these two allies are completely different. And he chooses the angel’s hand.” p 123. How does the warrior of light know that the purpose for which he is fighting is just and pure? According to Coelho, ‘The warrior of light meditates. He sits in a quiet place in his tent and surrenders himself to the divine light…. A warrior of light knows that in the silence of his heart he will hear an order that will guide him.” p 55.

    Open Heart
    One would readily suspect that warriors, those who must exact judgment on a daily basis, are driven by hatred and unfettered greed. Instead, according to Coelho, “The warrior of light always keeps his heart free of any feelings of hatred. .. He accepts that his opponents are there to test his valor, his persistence, his ability t” make decisions. They force him to fight for his dreams. It is the experience of battle that strengthens the warrior of light.” p. 87 As keepers of the light, warriors are born with a spark of light. As each day passes, warriors evolve. Their spark flickers into a small and then larger flame through prayer, meditation and connection to the One. We turn to Coelho again for clarification, “Accumulating love brings luck, accumulating hatred brings calamity. Anyone who fails to recognize problems leaves the door open for tragedies to rush in.” p 53.

    Conclusion
    When the warrior reaches temporary defeat, he is comforted by this, “The warrior of light unwittingly takes a false step and plunges into the abyss. Ghosts frighten him and solitude torments him. His aim had been to fight the Good Fight, and he never imagined that this would happen to him, but it did. Shrouded in darkness, he makes contact with his master. ‘Master, I have fallen into the abyss,’ he says. ‘T”e waters are deep and dark.’ ‘Remember one thing, ‘ “eplies his master. ‘You do not drown simply by plunging in to the water, you only drown if you stay beneath the surface.’ And the warrior uses all his strength to escape from his predicament.” p 129. So too, there is hope for the likes of political and corporate warriors, Blagojevich and Madoff. Get up and aim to respect the true code of the warrior; value honor, integrity, justice and a sense of what is right and wrong.

    Dr. Mead, PhD, MBA, MA http://www.ishareknowledge.com is a consultant specializing in human behavior, school and social psychology. She can be contacted at: tonya@ishareknowledge.com

    Accounting Ethics Courses: Optional or Necessary

    Justin Shomper asked:

    Ethics and high morality are in high demand today especially among corporate America, and specifically within the accounting profession. After the ethical failures of Enron and WorldCom, a public outcry for future preventative measures resonated throughout the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), and the accounting community at large. Consequently, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the overseeing government board of the AICPA, released the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, otherwise known as SOX. The act requires a higher performance standard for accounting firms and the audits they perform to prevent future accounting scandals. SOX, which has been extremely beneficial, doesn’t change the ethical standards of an individual but instead takes away most of the opportunity to commit a scandalous act. The basic character of the fraudulent individual remains corrupt, even with legislation in place. The question is then posed: Can ethics be taught, and if so, what accounting or business ethics courses are available? The answer is not ironclad as the word ethics describes the morality of an individual, which is hard to measure. There are also very limited courses offered on ethics, however ethical education should be a required course in college and a prerequisite to new employment for all accounting firms.

    Most higher education institutions, and some high school level institutions, are implementing brief ethical materials into their curriculum, but very few offer courses on the subject. The basic argument against incorporating a required accounting ethics course is that there isn’t any proof that individuals who take a course would be any more ethical than they already are. If this is truly the singular obstruction to imposing an accounting course in ethics, than why aren’t other courses in the curriculum subject to examination from proof. Many audits, specifically those at Enron and WorldCom, have failed because of poor functional accounting knowledge, not just ethical queries. Most other curricular accounting courses would fail a proof assessment required by those who oppose an accounting ethics course. It is necessary to have an accounting ethics course to properly prepare students for any future ethical temptation they may experience within the field. Without experience in fraud recognition or ethical righteousness, many new timid accountants are susceptible to fraud or ethical dilemmas. A recommendation would be to add not just one course on ethics into a curriculum, but possibly three or four. A course in ethical theory could tie into another ethics course involved in spotting frauds and ethical dilemmas while a third course could focus on answering these ethical uncertainties.

    The need for an accounting ethics course is also very apparent in how much destructive attention financial catastrophes attract to the profession. The recent big company accounting scandals all brought negative publicity to the accounting field. The burden of the economic failures in today’s society must be placed somewhere, and many people look at accountants as an outlet to place that burden. All of these events from big companies provide a negative perception of the accounting field, and that’s not to mention the small business owners who have encountered other accounting mistakes or unethical occurrences. This is not to say that legitimate and honest mistakes will not be made by new students, but the ability to recognize the mistakes and evaluate ethical problems can be reduced with the addition of an ethics course. The more education and experience that new accountants have and acquire the fewer mistakes that will occur, and ultimately the less negative publicity the profession will receive. It is extremely important that in the accounting profession, clients feel secure and trusting of those who they employ.

    Another need for an ethics course comes from a common stereotype of accountants. The stereotype is that accountants are known to simply follow the rules, or do just enough to meet the basic criteria. To correct ethical dilemmas, it is required to go above and beyond the norm to investigate and solve uncertainties. A class in the area of ethics could help prepare and motivate new accountants to become more proactive when evaluating a possible unethical or fraudulent scenario. Clients will feel a greater sense of security with a proactive accountant, and ultimately bring more profit to the profession.

    Society can not function without ethical people. The business world and accounting profession can not function without ethical people. It is for this reason that an accounting ethics course or courses are imperative. The elimination of stereotypes, fewer mistakes, and a heightened sense of awareness is exactly what could be acquired from an accounting ethics course. It is important to add ethics courses immediately, and for employers to require that their new hire’s be educated in ethics knowledge. If an employee is not educated and courses are not offered, employers should take measures to offer a mandatory ethics course within their organization.

    Social Justice Through Health Care

    Pardeep Kumar Sharma asked:

    SOCIAL JUSTICE THROUGH HEALTH CARE

    We hardly come across a person who may be fully satisfied with the health care delivery system run by either the government or the private sector. This is true not only for developing but for all the developed countries as well. Every law abiding, contributing individual has some legitimate expectations from the state. Disenchantment with present dispensation of health care compels people to seek better options across the borders. Even the present flow rate of patients from developed to developing countries has assumed the proportions of Medical tourism. Medical tourism is not a one-way traffic. Poor from India are known to visit Rashid Hospital at Lahore for kidney transplants. Medical tourism will definitely bring in world class equipment and services in our corporate hospitals. These corporate tertiary care hospitals can act as excellent referral hospitals. Lack of enough clinical material, as the patients are often referred to in medical parleyences is prompting the doctors from developed world into medical adventurism. Very recently two NGO’s headed by renowned plastic surgeons of Indian origin were in India, claiming to their credit hundreds of cleft lip and palate surgeries conducted in one week. During my brief interaction when I asked them one basic question that how do you justify single step surgery by a single specialist for a clinical entity that require 3-5 set up surgeries by 10 specialists over a period of 20 years, there was no answer. On record local doctors conduct all these surgeries. These NGO’s bring in a battery of trainee resident doctors for hands on training. Dumping of questionable services and drugs continues unabated in the absence of stringent regulations. Clear-cut up to date guidelines by health authorities have yet to be issued to safe guard the health interests of this nation. Most of the drugs banned in developed countries are still being dumped in the Indian market. Commerce alone dictates the policies of multinational companies in health sector of developing countries. State and national medical councils, the watch dogs of our national health interests are controlled by elected representatives from among the doctors. Competitive populism for being elected to these high offices takes away the very sting off these regulators. In this ‘market forces’ driven health sector, apart from other factors, size of the population, economic prosperity and literacy levels dictate the out look of key players. Subjective as well as objective assessments of the health care operations leave people confused with huge piles of data and endless interpretations. At the tail end of govt. health care delivery system is the rural dispensary or the slum revamping center, and the end user an illiterate or semi literate villager or a slum dweller. Dispensary is the humane face, the welfare state can present to its people. In yesteryears the service providers were from among the same social class they used to serve. Doctor can be a friend, philosopher and guide to the locals. Unfortunately the economic and social disparity between the service providing doctors and the service user population has grown enormously. Ad-hocism in health care delivery should be done away with immediate effect. Doctors and paramedical staff appointed on yearly contract basis are not showing any interest in the national programmes. Established private health care providers also have not shown any meaningful commitment for national programmes. Middle class itself has fragmented. Now it is fashionable to assign economic values to any issue like gender, but for social responsibility and justice. In this era of fast paced growth, the unorganized, silently suffering millions can not be wished away. Once reading on biodiversity I stumbled upon a very interesting quote, “only the species with economic importance will survive”. In our active pursuit for magnetizing economy, we assigned economic values to any thing except for morals. Commercialization of education has produced a new breed of professionals who have scant regard for professional ethics. Privatization is the buzzword with governments, because it takes away government responsibility. Private sector players are eyeing many ‘viable’ health institutions. There are no takers for commercially non-viable rural institutions. Rural health institutions dispense social medicine. Very recently one of the key players from private sector health care quoted the cost of developing one bed in corporate hospital at Rs. 30-60 lacs. These corporate health services are definitely out of each of the common man. These type of hospitals are definitely required for a nation with the present rate of growth but ‘bharat’ definitely needs different kind of hospitals. There are very strong social under currents against the exploitive private healthcare, inadequate government sector health care resources and the indifferent approach of welfare state. Health for all is a very lofty but expensive proposition. There are ways and means to reduce the pressure from government institutions. Private-public partnership, health insurance, monitoring and regulation of private sector health care can all make the things bit easy. Preventive health care education can go a long way in improving the public health. Community participation in health care has produced few but wonderful examples. Complementary community participation can make up for minor but critical deficiencies in the government run health care system. Setting up of health system corporations with World Bank assistance has already improved the working of govt. sector health care institutions considerably. Community participation through NGO’s can still improve the system, but most of the meaningful NGO’s turn their back on govt. run health care institutions because of their doubts on the integrity of government officers. Government health care institution are increasingly seen not as caring hospitals but like police stations, where medico legal reports are written and postmortems conducted. Most of the government doctors’ time is spent in courts appearing as medico legal experts witnesses. Emergency, post mortem, and then the VIP duties in addition hardly leave the doctors free for any meaningful job at government hospitals. There is an urgent need to have separate curative, preventive, legal, administrate and health intelligence wings. Government hospitals attract the poorest of the poor, mostly people from the unorganized sector. Their contribution to national GDP is by no means small. With the present growth rate, upward social mobility is seen in every strata of society. Many segments of this unorganized sector can be organised so that they also enjoy the patronage of welfare state in the form of health insurance policies. Apart from direct benefit to these segments of society, the state will benefit from the ‘off loading’ of burden from government run health care system and loading it on insurance driven private sector health care institutions. Poorest of the poor will repose faith in welfare state. Sanjivini, health insurance policy with the Punjab Milkmen Cooperative Societies is already a big success. ECHS (Ex servicemen Contributory Health Scheme) is an other success story. These success stories can be replicated with countless groups like, panwallas, dhabewallas, autorikshaw drivers etc. Simply organize the unorganized sector. There is no dearth of role models from among government doctors also. Their inclusion rather than drift after dissent from the present dispensation of health care will immensely improve the system. Stability of tenure is an excellent incentive government can give to its doctors without costing anything to exchequer. Yet tenure beyond decades should be discouraged as it leads to development of ves

    ted interests of the old incumbents and denial of chance to the youngsters. Resource mismatching is a major problem in the govt. run health care system. There are dispensaries where specialists are posted and still many more civil hospitals where non-specialist are posted. These mismatching result in defective and inefficient health care. Nodal Hospitals can be created for round the clock emergency services by cannibalizing defunct and sick institutions where equipment worth crores is lying unused and salary bills are bleeding the exchequer white. Most of the medical officers retire in the same administrate rank. This undue stagnation has forced many a brilliant doctors out of service. By simply seeking options for place of posting, honestly implementing with minimum displacement on merit can also revitalize the govt. doctors’ cadres. Private sector health care delivery system is a totally market driven commercial enterprise. So called ‘market forces’ have least respect for ethical and moral value systems. Multi level marketing chains have evolved in the name of referral systems. End result is exploitation of the unsuspecting common man, who still regards his healer a holy person. This ‘incentive’ system is strengthening the hold of unqualified, unscrupulous and unregistered medical practitioners on illiterate masses. Not many qualified doctors are unscrupulous. A large section of private health care providers feel genuinely threatened by blackmailers of all sorts. Consumer protection act is a very convenient beating stick in the hands of their tormentors.

    Under the constant threat of being blackmailed, the private health care providers are becoming more defensive in attitude. More patients are being referred to tertiary care institutions for this reason only, thereby flooding the referral institutions. People have a common feeling that sickness is an invitation for exploitation at the hands of private health care providers. Even the charitable hospitals are charging as heavily as fully private hospitals. Medical profession is fully responsible and capable of self-correction. Medical councils and associations can jointly evolve a fail-safe mechanism to keep their black sheep under check even without government help, but the buck stops with the government. Welfare state is duty bound not only in providing health care delivery system but also proper health care administration and social justice through its health care delivery mechanism.

    Name : Dr. Pardeep Kumar Sharma

    Email-ID : omfspardeep@yahoo.com.

    (M) : 0988456296

    Date of Birth : 12.02.1962

    Education Qualifications : BDS (Bachelor of Dental Surgery)

    MDS (Master of Dental Surgery in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery)

    Educational Institutes Attended

    Govt. High School Bargari : Matriculation (1969-1977)

    Distt. Faridkot, Punjab, India

    DAV College Chandigarh : Pre-University (1973-79)

    (Punjab University)

    Barjindra College Faridkot : Pre-Medical (1980)

    Dental Wing, Medical College : BDS (1981-1986)

    Patiala

    Dental College and Hospital : MDS (2003-2006)

    Amritsar

    Professional Experience

    House Officer, Christian : 1987-1988

    Medical College & Hospital,

    Ludhiana

    Research Officer, All India : Jan. 1989 to June 1989

    Institute of Medical Science

    AIIIMS, New Delhi

    Dental Officer, Indian Armed : July 1989 to August 1994.

    Forces in the Rank of Capt.

    3

    Medical Officer (Dental) : w.e.f. Nov. 1995 till date

    in Punjab Civil Medical Service

    (PCMS)

    Research papers Published

    “Role of Programmed cell death in dental anomalies associated with cleft lip and Palate”. “Medical Hypotheses” Churchil Living Stone Publishers London-1991

    Post traumatic polatoglossal adhesion, a case report stomatologica India (1990).

    Research Project Undertakes

    “Malocclusion and associated Factors among Delhi Children” a study sponsored by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

    Areas of Interest : Environment, Health, Defence, International Affairs and Rationalism

    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.

    What are Business Ethics and What is Their Importance?

    William King asked:

    Business ethics are a matter of much debate. Every MBA entrant is taught the meaning of them, and yet many will never follow these guidelines in their real life careers. It has become a vast and complex field, and is the subject of much research. Business ethics encompass a large and significant portion of what it takes to do business today. Under the umbrella of business ethics comes:

    • The social responsibility that a business is supposed to have towards the community in general, particularly the one in which it operates or has any interests. An example of this would be the Exxon Mobil oil spill. It is the responsibility of a business to protect the interests of the people, animals and environment where it uses resources. Due to improper handling of the issue, it became a public relations nightmare for the company. Exxon has now been ordered to clean up the area which it should have taken care not to damage in the first place. Indifference to business ethics in this case, caused a negative public image for the company and a huge lawsuit.

    • Issues regarding a company’s responsibility towards its shareholders. This is a heavily regulated area but one that requires a lot of government intervention due to certain unethical practices adopted by many companies in the past. The concept of increasing shareholder value is part of the fundamental principles of a company and if business ethics are not brought into play here, the business can collapse due to the pressure exerted by shareholders.

    • Inter-company dealings and negotiations. Often rivalries in business can turn ugly due to the amount of money and ego riding on them. Hostile takeovers and business espionage are some of the examples of unethical behavior within the business world. If discovered, these deeds can be punishable by law or simply public opinion. To allow for fair play and keeping the best interests of the consumers in mind, the government regulates a great deal of what goes on in company dealings. Microsoft has been the target of much abuse and outrage due to its allegedly monopolistic techniques of doing business. While this has not sunk the IT giant, many say that it may have long term repercussions. The government has also stepped in to make sure that other businesses and consumers are not harmed.

    • Stakeholder protection. Every business has stakeholders other than its owners – the employees, the stockholders and the general public. The business has to ensure that the rights and interests of all of these groups are adequately protected in the course of its operations. The recent outcry about the harassment and bad working conditions of employees in Wal-Mart led to the generation of a lot of negative press about the outsized department store. This gives the competition the lead and rivals take the opportunity to get ahead while the company is busy trying to do some damage control.

    • Fundamental business practices of a company. Underhanded dealings, the use of substandard products, spreading misinformation about the product, hiring illegal workers at lower than minimum wage, etc. prove that a business is run in an unethical way and that it is not a high quality work place or service provider. For instance, cigarette companies that spent most of the seventies telling people that it was not unhealthy to smoke, though they knew this to be untrue. In a recent judgment, one such company was forced to pay out $28 billion.

    Business Ethics: Why They Are Important For a Company and Its Success

    Martha Vasquez asked:

    Business ethics is an interesting branch of business theory, primarily because of the fact that they are inherently interesting in a market economy. People tend to be extremely distrustful of corporations in market economies and the bigger they are, the worse that problem of trust usually gets. Business ethics therefore are politically charged in many different circumstances and that in turn serves to make them interesting. Aside from this academic interest however, business ethics are also important for a company and its success. Here are some ways in which this is true.

    Public Image

    It is impossible to discuss business ethics as a branch of academia without taking a look at the relationship between business ethics and public image. Each corporation has a particular public image, which represents the way in which the public views the corporation. Wal-Mart, for example, has a terrible public image. Toyota, on the other hand, has a very positive one. These public images are the result of a number of different things, but they are primarily the result of the way in which a corporation acts with respect to the different things around it.

    A corporation’s environmental policy, the way they treat their employees and the way they treat the communities they exist in are all part of their overall behavior and this in turn is the principle factor in determining their public image. As proof of this, you will notice that even though Wal-Mart makes products that have a decent quality and an extremely low price, they still have a negative public image.

    Since public image is largely a result of company behavior, business ethics play a large role in determining public image since they determine behavior. And public image is important to success in most cases, which is one of the reasons as to why business ethics are important to a company’s overall success.

    Investment

    Another reason that business ethics are important is the relationship they have to investment. When a person or an entity is considering investment in a particular stock, there are a number of things they take into account. Aside from the quantitative factors surrounding a company’s profit margin a future prospects, consideration is also given to a particular company from the point of view of the qualitative aspects such as their public image and the products that they happen to sell. All of these things are taken into account before the final investment is made.

    Therefore, a company that would like to encourage extra investment is a company that has a strong sense of business ethics. Part of business ethics is responsibility to the investor and for that reason companies with strong reputations in the field of ethical business behavior are also companies that tend to attract more investment from people that are new into the market. Investment is most definitely important to success.

    Partnerships

    In the business world, joint ventures happen all the time. They happen all the time because they are ultimately of great importance to the bottom lines of businesses. A business can be made or broken on just one joint venture and part of the reason that joint ventures are successful is that they combine the forces of two extremely powerful companies on occasion.

    If you want your company to do well in joint ventures, then you need to have good partners. The only way to get good partners is to have a good reputation both in terms of a track record and in terms of your business overall. And of course, the best way to get a good reputation is to ensure that your company has a strong tradition of ethical business behavior.

    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, maximizing 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

    *****

    What Happened to Business Ethics and Responsibility?

    Mel Luigs asked:

    I remember a “Business Ethics” seminar I took in college that confirmed everything my parents had taught me a child. I heard clearly that capitalism was not an easy way to steal money from others but a way to make as an honest living by providing a service or product to people who needed and wanted it. This secured my desire to become a businessman. During my career, I have held different positions in small, medium and even large Fortune 100 corporations. I have had the opportunity to work with great visionaries, empty “suits”, assembly workers, and, yes, those individuals who only wanted to get all they could while doing as little as they could.

    The one constant I have always seen in the U. S. free market system is that a quality company with a quality product or service using quality employees always seems to do better over the long term than the snake oil vendor. Successful companies work hard to inject ethics and morals in everything they do and they take responsibility for their actions. Quality business leaders do not expect a “bailout” or feel they even deserve one. If they cannot assemble a team of enthusiastic employees who can achieve success, they clearly understand and believe they should fail and do something else. I have been involved with several business bankruptcies and none of the owners or employees of these companies felt anything but shame and failure for having left suppliers with debt, employees without a job and customers without a supplier. These leaders might have failed but many of them took their failure personally and worked as hard as they could to pay off all their debts and satisfy everyone who lost due to their bankruptcy. Those without ethics and morals merely started up a new corporation with a new name and immediately began to take advantage of others and repeat their failure.

    I have been absolutely amazed at the automotive industry that very easily and arrogantly asked for taxpayer bailouts and are quick to blame the current economic crisis rather than themselves and their management teams. In our free enterprise system, a company that cannot manage its assets properly, has a product or service that the public wants to buy, and makes a profit for its shareholders goes out of business. Granted its employees, customers and suppliers lose money because of this situation but then they all find a replacement company and continue on with their futures.

    Our free market concept is not extremely complex but must include ethics, morality and responsibility to achieve the highest of success and quality. The U. S. business model, for many years, was that ethical and quality concept the rest of the world not only envied but hoped to become. Even the Russians and Chinese, our fiercest Communist enemies for decades, are now embracing capitalism because we have become the world’s superpower with our ethical and quality business model.

    Now here we stand about to enter 2009, and hopefully the last year of our largest economic downturn in the past 50 years, watching the CEO’s of the “Big Three” fail to admit their lengthy management failure which has allowed labor costs to be double any other auto manufacturer and provided exorbitant retiree pension and health care costs. For decades the “Big Three” bowed to their labor unions and were able to pass all the costs along to the consuming public with little or no competition to keep them honest. They fought and fought against every U. S. government agency that sought higher C.A.F.E. standards when oil was $25 a barrel but now believe they can retool and achieve amazing products and standards within the next two years if the US will only loan them a mere fifty billion dollars. This equates to $200 from every American man, woman and child living in the U. S. Our auto industry was, for several decades, the best in the world and an example of what innovation and technology could achieve. Many of us, in the business world, studied case after case on General Motors in business school and were impressed with the success and vision of the U. S. auto industry

    While this is an astonishing and sad commentary on the ethics and morals of the management of these companies, I find something else even more disgusting. The media and many politicians are now discussing a “pre-packaged bankruptcy” as a possible answer to their management failure. While all of us have sometimes slipped from our ethical pedestal, this suggestion is the ultimate loss of ethics and responsibility in our society.

    I always advise my clients that bankruptcy is a process to be avoided at all costs. It is the point of ultimate failure by every business entity. If a business is having severe problems, the company and its management should do the right thing and negotiate with all parties to solve its problems and do everything to stay out of bankruptcy. Bankruptcy is only good for lawyers and takes over complete control of a business. How many businesses run by lawyers and courts ever succeed? Bankruptcy, by definition, normally requires the vast majority of all parties lose money and should only be used as an absolute last step. Bankruptcy has no ethics or morals. It carries a stigma for many years and labels the company as being unable to negotiate, succeed or perform a valuable service for the public. What makes anyone want to buy a car from a manufacturer that entered bankruptcy because they could not properly manage their company?

    The auto industry should take the responsible and ethical route to solve their problems. They should negotiate with their employees, unions, retirees, suppliers and customers to fix their issues. They should also immediately work to change their corporate culture and reinstate a sense of ethics, integrity and responsibility in their employees which probably entails changing senior management and the Board of Directors who have now demonstrated their inability to run their companies correctly.

    I am not naive enough to believe that the unions, employees and some suppliers will do what is necessary to become part of the solution and bankruptcy could ultimately still be required to achieve the end goal of saving these companies. This would be a gross injustice to all concerned because the legal costs would be astronomical and the company culture would probably not see the change needed to again make the auto industry the best in the world. I would love to be able to discuss with my grandchildren their business college case studies on General Motors. I remain very optimistic that ethics, morals and responsibility will once again become a part of the U. S. business culture.

    As to our politicians, I am not as optimistic since we have seen that many of our elected officials vote based upon constituent polls and campaign contributions from lobby groups. I agree with the vast majority of Americans who give the US Congress a very dismal approval rating. Their agenda is focused more on their next election than on ethical and responsible decisions for their constituents. It is also a sad commentary on America’s sense of ethics and responsibility when a convicted felon in Alaska came very close to winning reelection to the Senate. His Republican colleagues in the Senate are extremely happy he did not win because many of them would have had to take a new poll in their states before deciding whether to allow a felon to be seated in the next session of Congress.

    A very positive note in this situation is that a review of American history reveals that ethics, morals and responsibility become more prevalent in the US after a serious financial recession. Religion and personal introspection seem to become more important to the American citizen when his or her savings and retirement accounts loose
    half their value. Church attendance, volunteering at charitable operations, spending time with our children and even family dinners all see increases during recessions and I’m sure that will be the case when history is recorded on the 2008-2009 recession. Those politicians running for reelection in 2010 should be prepared for this moral shift.

    Our current economic downturn is not the last we will see in our lifetime and the US will recover and be better afterwards as has been the case in the past. However, I do hope that we can say the same thing about our ethics, morals and business responsibility.

    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.

    Reblog this post [with Zemanta]