Dear Friends,

Workplace ethics are normally driven by business ethics of the organizations. It would be incorrect to understand and apply them in isolation. When business ethics are compromised for doing business in easy way and maximizing profits by any process, work ethics in respect of employees’ behaviour cannot be expected to be on higher level because building ethical work culture is said to be a top-down approach.

Recent corporate espionage case, where certain middle level employees were said to be found involved raise bigger question in respect of business ethics as well as workplace ethics. The events have contributed to ever growing cynicism and even a sense of futility about the values and ethics of business houses. The unethical behavior trend seems closely related to today’s business climate. Though, it is generally said and felt that in India business cannot be done in ethical way and in same way employees feel that there is no positive take away for working honestly with high ethical standards and for business growth some compromises need to be done and it is not practical to have ethical mindset as business will suffer, but it is time tested that only those business survive for long whose foundation is laid on ethical culture as a part of business strategy.

The question is whose job is to build an ethical work culture and establish workplace ethics; the business leader, the employees at all levels or the stringent rules and regulations? The fact is that it is not about individual action but all about leadership. It is for the leader to set the tone and communicate what is important for the organization, what is allowed and where the boundaries of action lie. Leader cannot create such culture by rules and regulations alone. Only lip service and written documents of value mission are not going to work. It has to be collaborative effort where employees need to learn to voice and enact their values more effectively and persuasively and leaders need to create an environment where such voices are heard and welcomed. Learning to hear dissent voices is the first step in the direction of establishing workplace ethics. Culture embedded with workplace ethics is the product of thousand of different processes that take place in any business every day. These processes are to be healthy and ethical with integrity, which in turn help building a strong base of workplace ethics and values. In this process you have to tell the people ethics and values, identify them in terms of action, enforce them through rules and policies, display them and at last be certain that as leader your conduct models what you expect from your internal as well as external stakeholders.

This time cover story on workplace ethics raises certain questions, challenges to establish ethical work culture, its way out and few tips for HR to move forward and it is all from the pen of renowned Human behavior experts of business HR.

If you like it let us know. If not, well, let us know that too.

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This is a topical article considering that ethics is being violated by some.

Getting information in wrong manner by compromising themselves as well as officials is no way of getting ahead in the rat race.

Top management needs to have a deep thought on way of business.

Unless there is some sort of complicity-direct or indirect from top brass,no lower level executive would place himself in a position of getting into legal violations.

With profit being the prime mover in many businesses-seeking advantage in whichever and whatever manner possible -has become a rule.

Way things go on in our nation is sad.

When info is legitimately sought through RTI,information is denied or records not available,but sensitive info is available on sale.

Sunlight should fall strongly on decision making by Government agencies.

Procedures,steps of decision making should be transparent and prescribed in written form and accessible to general public.

That will reduce scope for such illegalities,where people compromise themselves for few thousands and clog legal systems with cases.

India is computer savvy and why not digitise Government records,instead of this filing of papers which can conveniently get misplaced.

Eventually it boils down to personal ethics-both business people and government officials.
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