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Hi Frnds

Trust u'll r doing gud..came across this article on Ethics n tehir importance in busienss & profession. This is a topic close 2 my heart coz i feel with this mad rush 4 materialsitic n short term gains n benefits, Ethics is a word that doesnt have a place in many profession'a diaries n the irony is they dnt wanna refer 2 a dictionary 2 in order 2 understand the connotation n implications of this very important ingredient of business....wud b glad 2 have ur comments on the same

Regards

Swati

ETHICS

In the Workplace

by Myron Curry

Workplace Ethics is a subject that we have all heard of. In fact, the subject of Ethics in general is something that most people are familiar with. And, what is commonly understood about ethics is there are ethics and then there are workplace ethics. What most people don't realize, however, is that there is no such thing as workplace ethics; ethics are the same, (or, should be) whether in the workplace or in personal life.

WHAT IT'S ABOUT

Ethics are about making choices that may not always feel good or seem like they benefit you but are the "right" choices to make. They are the choices that are examples of "model citizens" and examples of the golden rules. We've all heard the golden rules: Don't hurt, don't steal, don't lie, or one of the most famous: "Do unto others as you would have done to you." These are not just catchy phrases; these are words of wisdom that any productive member of society should strive to live by.

In our personal lives, most people try to do exactly that. Ethics are thought of by many people as something that is related to the private side of life and not to the business side. In many businesses, having ethics is frowned upon or thought of as a negative subject. This is because business is usually about doing what's best for number one, not about what's really the right thing to do. You probably are already feeling uneasy just reading this.

A GOOD EXAMPLE

Take ENRON, for example. Were the actions of ENRON's CEO's a good example of ethics? No. But, what they WERE was a CLASSIC example of was two things: One, those actions displayed how ethics were not used in any way. Two, their actions painted a grim and realistic picture of what can happen when ethics are neglected. Had ethics been considered in the first place by the leaders of the company, there would have been no scandal. If ethics were used on a daily basis in every company, there would never be scandals. Martha Stewart comes to mind when speaking of ethics. Again, there is a feeling of uneasiness when dealing with this topic. But, why is it like that? Ethics are supposed to improve our lives and invoke good feelings. Perhaps the reason ethics is such a sore subject is because they are so often poorly used, if used at all.

A NEW WAY

Ethics are making a comeback. To begin with, more and more corporations and businessmen and woman are now realizing that ethics aren't checked at the door when entering the workplace. Ethics have every bit as much a place in the public as they do the private. How is it there should be separate sets of ethics, depending upon whether it is your personal life or your work life? The answer is that there shouldn't be a separate set and in light of recent events that we see on our television sets as of late, more and more companies are realizing this fact.

Some companies are incorporating ethics into their training. It is s subject that can go hand-in-hand with business and when employees and CEO's alike understand what ethics are about, business can improve. Not only will the community take note of the ethical nature of a business but also so will customers.

Periodic reevaluations are suggested in ethics training as well, since times change many things that some would never consider ethical or non-ethical. For instance, when the first computer hacker to send a work into a university computer system crippled the entire network that the system was a part of, including that of public utilities – simply because he could do it – a question of ethics is hard to pose. Computers were new, at the time. And, no one had ever been able to do such a thing before. With new times comes new technology and new ways of doing things. Ethics will still play a part of it all and refreshing ethics training only re-strengthens what has already been learned, when new ages come about.

In the end, it's all about what a person understands about ethics. Many university curriculums are now heavily applying the teaching of Ethics and for good reason. Young minds will take this information into the workforce and understand that ethics need to be applied there as well as in the private sector. Corporations will be able to avoid embarrassing scandals that are presented all over national news. Small business will be able to keep and attract more clients and customers. Negotiations between businesses could be accomplished with more consideration for the other company in mind, which would only help both.

Above all, a high level of ethics in your business should be in place at least for the customers. If anything, it is the customer that should be considered the most when it comes to ethical business practices. In the long run, a company will reap great profits from a customer base that feels it is being treated fairly and truthfully.

From India, Chennai
Good article Swathi!!
The Subject Ethics do also interests me much, All MBA's does read Ethics as their subject, and those are the people who practice unethical means to get the job done and mint money in a short cut way, Practising ethics in this world is pretty difficult, but the organisation should frame laws atleast to be ethical, and make employees follow the same. Ethics differs from a person to person, what is ethical to you may be unethical to me, There is no proper defnition for Business Ethics. Lets try to be Ethical and practice proper Business ethics in our daily life.
You can find some information regarding Business Ethics in my website
:wink: Visit download section, there are 2 Powerpoint Presentation regarding Ethics, Interested people can download it.
Regards,

From India, Bangalore
hey,

That was a good one!

I have just come across another one on ethics related to office stuff and will be glad to share it with all.

Sabi

__________

ETHICS - ASSETS

Company Assets

Assets is known in the workplace as the "stuff" which the company has paid for and that you use every day. For those of us without power and influence, ethically taking care of company assets may be a non-issue. You show up for work, do your job, and go home without engaging in any high finance or legal manoeuvres.

Little did you know, during your seemingly routine day, you had hundreds or even thousands of dollars of assets under your control. With all the stuff that passes you by each day at work, you probably never think about it in terms of assets and your responsibility.

Do you drive a company car, work on a computer, or maintain equipment ? Do you use a company expense account? Do you have access to or are you responsible for intellectual property or company records? All these are examples of assets. Some are physical and some are intangible, such as company secrets, trademarks, and confidential information. Every employee from the janitor to the executive controls some kind of asset every time he or she shows up for work.

Most people don't give company assets a second thought until they are lost, stolen or broken. Herein lies the problem. Employees must understand that ethical behaviour is demonstrated not only in how they act toward others but also in how they treat property that doesn't belong to them. The key to success is understanding who owns what and what boundaries exist for its use.

Your mother may have said, "treat other people's property as if it were your own." As a child, if you borrowed a toy, you took extra special care of it. As a guest in another home you didn't touch anything that wasn't yours. Why doesn't this lesson seem to transfer to the company's property where we work?

As an adult, you know better. Caring for assets doesn't matter as much because the company always has enough money to replace the stuff we break or use up. If no one else cares, why should we? But those simple moral truths from childhood don't grow obsolete with age. The fact is, we should care about how we treat property that isn't ours.

Personal Ethics

Everyone deals with stuff differently. Some detach themselves from the asset so they don't care about it or they attach themselves too much so they feel like the rightful owners. In the first situation, learning to care about company stuff is accomplished through thoughtful consideration. Who paid for this and how would I feel about writing the check that pays for it? What are the boundaries for appropriate use?

This is an attitude that doesn't necessarily change from work to home. An ethical person doesn't put a dollar amount on respecting the property of others. He or she always makes a moral connection between property, ownership, and responsibility.

In the second case, becoming too attached or familiar with company property creates a problem as well. If you use something every day, you may become desensitised to its appropriate professional use.

Do you balance company financial accounts like your own? Do you find yourself hitting the computer or kicking the copier (even if it deserves it)? Do you treat records and private information in a casual manner? It might be time to take a more serious approach to company property.

Beware of "messing with the money or the stuff" because ethical situations involving company assets, no matter how small, are rarely smoothed over with an apology. There's always a smoking gun that does not leave grey areas for rationalisation or explanation. Most industries deal with asset abuse or misuse with disciplinary action or termination on the first offence.

Again, business ethics boils down to the day-to-day choices you make no matter who you are or what responsibilities you have. From the minute you step from the parking lot into your workplace, see the things around you in proper context. Although Shakespeare said, "All the world's a stage," don't treat the "stuff" like props.

From India, Bharat
Like Pramod pointed out,ethics is a very subjective issue.To avoid incongruity, ethics should be included in the company's policies.
Policies are something one has to stick to,irrespective of whether you agree to them or not.All the 'right' and 'wrong' things can be put in the policy framework,and not have a separate 'Ethics and Social Responsibilty' charter.
And as sabi mentioned,some amount of self monitoring can help things a great deal.

From India, Hyderabad
Hi Pals,
Its nice you all talking about ethics, Zarine, I would like to say that no organisation has policy to follow unethical aspects, but They are Just written Policies, People break it, or they will find out the way to break it, In most of the business you cant help out, you need to bribe, or gift some one, Which may be Unethical in some regions, But in some part of the world If you dont give gift means you are practising Unethical. So in these regions(I dont want to name) what is unethical for us is ethical for them.
Still there are few organisations who totally are against following unethical practices, who do not give any gifts/bribe but contribute something good for the society instead bribing the government.

From India, Bangalore
Hi pramod,
A new MBA graduate asked is ethics is the coined term only in corporate world. Because what ethics a building woker on wage bases follow to complete his work..
Hi Zarine,
what are ur views abt intimate relationships developed on work places (it's natural in today open environment or liberal way of doing things)
should we relate to organization personal matters or it's a total private matter between two individual or it shoud be allowed to take bussiness benefits on account of that..

From India, Delhi
Office Romance.A very touchy topic I must say :mg:

You cant help people falling in love,though I've heard of org. not allowing couples to work in the same dept.

It's a personal matter between 2 employees as long as it doesnt affect their work and performance. As in,we wouldnt want a talented employee leaving coz he/she cant stand his/her ex anymore.Atmost,we can take certain measure to ensure that casual flings/affairs or indecent behavior isnt practised.

The employees should clearly know tht indecent behavior/dressing/language will not be accepted by the org. Or as Infosys recently did,have workshops on how to behave with the opposite gender. (Well,they had to,in order to avoid a Murthy episode repeat).All this makes sure that employees know wht's expected of them,and anything that spoils the work culture isnt acceptable.This should,more or less,take care of the affairs and sexual harassments.

Coming to what Pramod said,sure no company advocates unethical practices in its policies.But more often than not,the policies are just a list of Do's and Dont's.Policies are just illustrative,not exhaustive. I feel,policies should be a framework for reference. What exactly is acceptable and not,can be imparted as training during the induction/orientation program.

Gifts are acceptable in some places and not acceptable in others.Fine,if you have your employees who leave for on site work to other countries,you ought to train them on Cross Cultural Management before they take the flight. The bottomline is ,they should know wht's acceptable and wht's not,wherever they are.And it's the organization's responsibilty to train them on it.

That's my 2 pence :) .

From India, Hyderabad
hi Zarine,
I 've an interesting case to share a person married a open girl which he did n't want to but and had to leave their city to other and their then the lady ended up in charming other man which he cried later at his kismat that he was in a trap.
it's not a basis instinct version to hindi drama but are blaming each other what went wrong in this process lots of 100 % innconent got slashed and loose their bonus since the story spread in the company and major people singing had to depart because of their new generation bosses feel the entire episode just to be publicize and acquire company share. do you think it can happen or whom should have intervene in te matter??

From India, Delhi
hi pramod... wipro is one such company....they refused to bribe the govt... regards vishal
From India, Mumbai
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