Ethics is more than what we have actually been seeing the land which boasts of Gandhi, it's sad to see us falling on the "ethical standards barometer"

Is the unethical behavior that we witness a price we pay for our form of capitalism and free market policies, or are businesses basically amoral?

Where business is concerned, I feel that the starting point is the recognition that whilst Gandhi had genuine saintly qualities, he was also a man of the world, a man who went about with his eyes open and a man who was aware of what was going on, good and bad, around him. Not only was Gandhi very aware of the world of business, we know that he depended on certain industrialists to support a number of his ventures and, to some extent, himself personally.

Some elements of what one can say about Gandhi and business ethics would relate equally as well to today as when he lived – for example, that Gandhi seemed to make little distinction between ethics in the different spheres of life.

The ethics that applied to an individual also generally applied to businesses of all sizes and to individuals in business. He believed a business could and should be conducted with complete honesty. Indeed, a business that was run honestly would be more successful than one which was not.

In business as well as personal life he subscribed to the view : "Honesty is the best policy." A business person had every right to earn a livelihood from their business, although if vast income was earned from the business, the business person should give what he or she did not need to the community. This ideal was contained in his theory of Trusteeship. Fundamentally, Gandhi viewed business as a form of service to the community. This was the spirit in which the business person should approach their labor.

The above aspects of Gandhi’s attitude to business ethics relate to today as much as to during his lifetime. If we are seeking a contemporary context, Gandhi’s thoughts need to undergo interpretation because of the development the business world has undergone in the last 50 years.

Trusteeship was derived from Gandhi’s spirituality.

When corporates fail to meet the objectives that they have set for themselves, a review of corporate governance practices follows and fresh regulation is introduced. However, the public debate on the standards of acceptable corporate behavior appears devoid of moral expectations.

Our corporations should not only be legal and economic beings but moral ones too. Gandhi’s concept of “trusteeship” can serve as a philosophical foundation for businesses and provide requisite moral guidance.

Gandhi, better known for leading India’s nonviolent freedom struggle, advocated “trusteeship” as a moral basis for individuals in positions of wealth. He conceived trusteeship as a system wherein the individual considers that part of his wealth in excess of his needs as being held in trust for the larger good of society and acts accordingly.

Gandhi believed that economic policy and business behavior could not ignore moral values. He stated that nature provided enough to satisfy man’s needs but not man’s greed. Since the rich had wealth in excess of their needs, it was their duty to use the balance for the welfare of the others.

Gandhiji told such words to Jaman Lal Bajaj.

Trusteeship means you are not the owner of the business empire. You are running the business keeping the mind the interests of various stakeholders i.e. shareholders, bankers and lenders, employees, public affecting from pollution due to running of industries, government's share of taxes etc.

As the businessmen were not taking care such issues (taking care of interests of stakeholders); CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITIES, CORPORATE GOVERNANCE etc. have been LODGED on them by LAW.

For more reading and insights into "TRUSTEESHIP" please follow these links:

<link outdated-removed> ( Search On Cite | Search On Google ) <link fixed> <link updated to site home>

<link no longer exists - removed> <link fixed>

From India, Hyderabad
The general and basic problem, that has been with this type of arrangement, is that it is not honoured by the company's side, unless it suits their needs an requirements.
Many employees, who give a notice of three months notice - as per the agreement/terms of employment; are relieved the next day or within a week; on the PRETEXT / EXCUSE that since they have already submitted their resignations, the company is free to dispense with their services. They are not paid the salary for the REMAINING PERIOD of notice.
It is sad to see several such cases in this forum; and sadder still to find certain HRs supporting such unfair actions on the plea that once an employee puts up his resignation (even though it is a notice of resignation effective upon the expiry of the notice period), their services can be terminated.
Warm regards.

From India, Delhi
Agreed Mr. Raj Kumar this is what I had been seeing for quite some time, also when the employer understands that the employee wants to leave within 30 days, and they are unable to continue their 90days notice. There is a forced situation created by the employer making the employee pay his/ her salary for the remaining notice period; at times, some employers are not even ready to reduce 90days notice in the first place (not because of need of resource but pure ego which they blame on the company policy).
Policy is a set of rule which has to aim in building the company and not breaking it down.

From India, Madras
Frankly I am not really sure IF it’s EGO or pure & plain SADISTIC nature playing out Getsie Jesse. Rgds, TS
From India, Hyderabad
Both. Other than this Shylockian approach, another motive is to make cash profit out of any situation. Warm regards.
From India, Delhi
I think you are right Raj Kumar.
Recently we have had to deal with a client's HR Head [a very senior guy], who preferred to delay the hiring of a critical position [which needed advanced technology understanding even during the resume scrutiny phase] by months [5 months to be precise] rather than route it thru us. Finally the Technical Head had to intervene last week & insist we handle it. The HR Head just wanted to save the company a few thousands as Fees--EVEN if it meant the function suffered for months--all the while knowing our technical capabilities.
The situation Getsie Jesse mentioned is just another manifestation of the same psyche I guess--looking @ the 'here & now' rather than thinking of the 'long-term/larger-perspective consequences' of one's actions. Sometimes I wonder how some HR professionals can afford to be SO short-sighted, when their function, BY NATURE, demands a very long-sighted approach to ANY situation/decision.

From India, Hyderabad
Dear Getsie Jesse

I have two views on 3 months notice period. I don’t know will others seniors member of the community will agree with it or not..

- If you see mostly 3 months notice period are present on those company which are working in niche domain or facing difficulties in getting replacement for their profile or as a strategy for employee retention. I think notice period is somewhat related to the tentative time frame for handover of work & getting new employee on board. If you see that many companies don’t get replacement that easily if they are working on niche domain & some more reason are also present i.e. bad work environment, high attrition. During this period company also try for retention a good employee by every possible means. If employee resigned due to tension, or anger or stress in work. Then 3 month is long duration to make up his mind. But I personally feel that this method can stop a employee for few months only. But if he face the same situation again no one can stop him.:)

- Now about salary part & termination of employee: Termination of employee is different situation, company terminate employee because they don't want him anymore in the company. So, they will not waste there money for it. Now this situation become saving money or cost cutting for them. It's also somewhat also similar for people on bench a well.

Ethical or not it sometimes depends on situations employees are facing. I have saw employees if they're aware their NP is 3 months, they will try to get as much job offers they can by hook or cook, It's long duration to try the fate.. where they lie with many companies for getting good job offers (not ethical). Not every employee changes their job because they do not like the company any more. Sometime they just want growth in career or learning new things!! I think company & employee both uses 3 months notice period to make things better for them and for company it’s time to get new employee on board & completion of handover thing. If employee feel like he's a prisoner may be he think his work is over in the company but employer have to think of his replacement and back up.. I think it's depends on employer to employer how they will treat the employee who’s serving the notice period.. Not all managers are angels not even devils. But yes!! Self-interest is their highest priority.

I have giving my point of view as per to my small experience.



From India, Pune
Dear Nancy
We welcome diverse opinion, as long as they are sincere and have merit, irrespective of the fact that majority agrees with it or not.
I appreciate your opinion; and agree with it to the extent that in certain niche industry and professions such as IT S/w, Mining, Mineral Exploration, Financial Institutions - Investment and Merchant banking etc. a longer notice period of 3 months is not only desirable, but often a necessity. However, the spirit should be equally honoured by both the concerned parties.
Not withstanding the above, what is felt abhorrent is the fact that many companies are adopting this practice, without any need, but to just make things difficult for employees who wish to leave the organization. Such practice can never be a remedy for attrition nor bring about any positive effect except saving money to the extent the company wishes to exploit the hapless employee.
Warm regards.

From India, Delhi
This is getting really interesting with each advancing day, with admirable contributions from all, with of course a few sparks flying here and there, avoidable, but I guess it's inevitable.

The different styles of Management influences the "ethics" practiced, however, work ethics isn't a methodology. Just like Rome was not built in a day, work ethics too is not built in a day !!!

These links can help understand what I've just said. <link fixed>

Work Ethics can work based only on the accumulation of learning and behaving properly. It can successfully work only when everybody really understands the real meanings and behave based on them. Participative management can really help and to begin with practice leaders must be the first to behave on good work ethics. They shouldn't be walking in the front and expect others to follow, instead walk along side, so no one really knows who the leader is.

Irrespective of the kind of work, working is to make your heart good. We should deem working itself as very precious and therefore the first principle of working is not making money. Traditionally, discipline that is learnt from parents and teachers at an elementary school is regarded very important and valuable. Working ethics are deeply linked to discipline.

Both sides - the management and the individuals play "cat and mouse" therefore it's difficult to actually say what's right. The perception needs to change, and each side should understand that they need each other to succeed.

From India, Hyderabad
Many divergent views have emerged in trying to analyse whether
THREE MONTH NOTICE period is required or not.
Views have been expressed from EMPLOYER and EMPLOYEE point of view.
Ethical behaviour on the part of EMPLOYER and EMPLOYEE could solve the problem.
However seeing the present situation,we are dreaming of an ideal case that is non existant.
So if prima facie THREE MONTH period policy is misused what are the alternatives?
One Month ?
It is in vogue and many Companies do follow it.
For the sake of this discussion,it will be worthwhile if experts who have handled
cases with ONE MONTH Notice Period share their experience.
Is NO NOTICE PERIOD an alternative?
Certainly not. However many companies immediately release a person
upon resignation, irrespective of what period is agreed as Notice Period.
Members may like to share their views.

From India

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