Corporate World Ethics – Compromise to Compliance
During academic phase Professors guide the students to differentiate between right and wrong, correct and incorrect. Parents’ try to cultivate good habits, guard their upbringing to make them good citizens, guide them to choose between good and bad. Background of Ethical decision making begins to sprout. That gets cultivated with own learning of moral principles..
Beyond academics, it’s more often the Business World – The Start-ups or Spin offs, Small and Medium size Companies and Corporate etc. It may be volatility of market, vagary of business and similar odd situations. Challenge of facing real life experience begins. Can one perform well in the Business on own merit? Will that performance satisfy the bosses? Is it practicable to strictly adhere to the principles of ethical behaviour? That’s often the time of test.
We (Business Ethics Foundation in India) were entrusted with a project to carry out a ‘Survey based study to Assess and Analyse the status of Business ethics Today and predictions for Tomorrow’. It implied the status by the year 2015 and predicted scenario by year 2020. We decided to conduct structured interviews of CEO’s in the Business World as they play vital role in steering profitable business. As such we thought it appropriate to seek their views, they being at the helm of affairs. We devised a questionnaire, sent them in advance and then conducted Audio-Visual interviews. Questions were both - closed ended as well as open ended. CEO’s were backed up with decades of experience to find the path to succeed and sustain. Hence the interviews had an element of flexibility to provide adequate space for their genuine expression.
The present level of ethics averaged to 2.87 and the 2020 prediction stood at optimistic 4.5, on the scale of 1 to 7 (7 being the best). We also asked CEO’s reasons for present poor rating and optimism for 2020. What are the causes behind present status and what do they suggest as remedial measures.
The major reasons included pressure to achieve results, greed, short-term gains, and misuse of power. That’s also due to poor knowledge of laws and degeneration of values. The remedial measures included value education from Schools/Colleges, good parenting and mentoring and training. Inculcating spirit of ethics by due exposure to real life happenings in the Business world through case studies. Business without ethics is like life without character. Ethical behaviour is not just an option but a must to avoid disciplinary action.
The paper shall present the detailed analysis of discussion with the leaders. The analysis will help engineering education researchers to develop a global view of the ethical practices and help the global educators to understand the Indian situation and educate their students in an appropriate way. Summarized finding of these interviews will be presented based on 25 Interviews of CEO’s from mainly from Industries - Manufacturing, Services, IT and just a few from Research and Academics. It will also analyse extent of ‘Corporate Governance ‘ and actions with concern to ‘Planet, people and prosperity’
EOF – of Abstract of 500 words for ASEE – Conference 2017 -
1. Dr. A. M. Joshi –Editor Publications - Business Ethics Foundation
2. Mr. Prakash Bapat – Member( Technical)- Business Ethics Foundation
Date: 16 October 2016
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