A STUDY ON THE CSR ACTIVITIES OF INFOSYS & CASE STUDY OF PHANEESH MURTHY

Presented By
Sl. No.
1 PUPUN

Name

Roll Number

Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneswar

CONTENTS
1. 2. 3. All about corporate social responsibility Infosys CSR Activities in various DCs Case Study of Phaneesh Murthy Harassment case 3 16 20

ALL ABOUT CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY Corporate social responsibility (CSR), also known as corporate responsibility, corporate citizenship, responsible business, sustainable responsible business (SRB), or corporate social performance,[1] is a form of corporate self-regulation integrated into a business model. Ideally, CSR policy would function as a built-in, selfregulating mechanism whereby business would monitor and ensure its adherence to law, ethical standards, and international norms. Consequently, business would embrace responsibility for the impact of its activities on the environment, consumers, employees, communities, stakeholders and all other members of the

public sphere. Furthermore, CSR-focused businesses would proactively promote the public interest by encouraging community growth and development, and voluntarily eliminating practices that harm the public sphere, regardless of legality. Essentially, CSR is the deliberate inclusion of public interest into corporate decision-making, and the honoring of a triple bottom line: People, Planet, Profit. The practice of CSR is subject to much debate and criticism. Proponents argue that there is a strong business case for CSR, in that corporations benefit in multiple ways by operating with a perspective broader and longer than their own immediate, short-term profits. Critics argue that CSR distracts from the fundamental economic role of businesses; others argue that it is nothing more than superficial windowdressing; others yet argue that it is an attempt to pre-empt the role of governments as a watchdog over powerful multinational corporations. Corporate Social Responsibility has been redefined throughout the years. However, it essentially is titled to aid to an organization's mission as well as a guide to what the company stands for and will uphold to its consumers. Development Business ethics is one of the forms of applied ethics that examines ethical principles and moral or ethical problems that can arise in a business environment. In the increasingly conscience-focused marketplaces of the 21st century, the demand for more ethical business processes and actions (known as ethicism) is increasing. Simultaneously, pressure is applied on industry to improve business ethics through new public initiatives and laws (e.g. higher UK road tax for higheremission vehicles). Business ethics can be both a normative and a descriptive discipline. As a corporate practice and a career specialization, the field is primarily normative. In academia, descriptive approaches are also taken. The range and quantity of business ethical issues reflects the degree to which business is perceived to be at odds with noneconomic social values. Historically, interest in business ethics accelerated dramatically during the 1980s and 1990s, both within major corporations and within academia. For example, today most major corporate websites lay emphasis on commitment to promoting non-economic social values under a variety of headings (e.g. ethics codes, social responsibility charters). In some cases, corporations have re-branded their core values in the light of business ethical considerations (e.g. BP's "beyond petroleum" environmental tilt). The term CSR came in to common use in the early 1970s, after many multinational corporations formed, although it was seldom abbreviated. The term stakeholder, meaning those on whom an organization's activities have an impact, was used to describe corporate owners beyond shareholders as a result of an influential book by R Freeman in 1984.[2]

ISO 26000 is the recognized international standard for CSR (currently a Draft International Standard). Public sector organizations (the United Nations for example) adhere to the Triple Bottom Line (TBL). It is widely accepted that CSR adheres to similar principles but with no formal act of legislation. The UN has developed the Principles for Responsible Investment as guidelines for investing entities. Approaches Some commentators have identified a difference between the Continental European and the Anglo-Saxon approaches to CSR.[3] And even within Europe the discussion about CSR is very heterogeneous.[4] An approach for CSR that is becoming more widely accepted is community-based development approach. In this approach, corporations work with local communities to better themselves. For example, the Shell Foundation's involvement in the Flower Valley, South Africa. In Flower Valley they set up an Early Learning Centre to help educate the community's children as well as develop new skills for the adults. Marks and Spencer is also active in this community through the building of a trade network with the community - guaranteeing regular fair trade purchases. Often activities companies participate in are establishing education facilities for adults and HIV/AIDS education programmes. The majority of these CSR projects are established in Africa. JIDF For You, is an attempt to promote these activities in India. A more common approach of CSR is philanthropy. This includes monetary donations and aid given to local organizations and impoverished communities in developing countries. Some organizations[who?] do not like this approach as it does not help build on the skills of the local people, whereas community-based development generally leads to more sustainable development.[clarification needed Difference between local org& community-dev? Cite] Another approach to CSR is to incorporate the CSR strategy directly into the business strategy of an organization. For instance, procurement of Fair Trade tea and coffee has been adopted by various businesses includingKPMG . Its CSR manager commented, "Fairtrade fits very strongly into our commitment to our communities."[5] Another approach is garnering increasing corporate responsibility interest. This is called Creating Shared Value, or CSV. The shared value model is based on the idea that corporate success and social welfare are interdependent. A business needs a healthy, educated workforce, sustainable resources and adept government to compete effectively. For society to thrive, profitable and competitive businesses must be developed and supported to create income, wealth, tax revenues, and opportunities for philanthropy. CSV received global attention in the Harvard Business Review article Strategy & Society: The Link between Competitive Advantage and Corporate Social Responsibility [1] by Michael E. Porter, a leading

authority on competitive strategy and head of the Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness at Harvard Business School; and Mark R. Kramer, Senior Fellow at the Kennedy School at Harvard University and co-founder of FSG Social Impact Advisors. The article provides insights and relevant examples of companies that have developed deep linkages between their business strategies and corporate social responsibility. Many approaches to CSR pit businesses against society, emphasizing the costs and limitations of compliance with externally imposed social and environmental standards. CSV acknowledges trade-offs between short-term profitability and social or environmental goals, but focuses more on the opportunities for competitive advantage from building a social value proposition into corporate strategy. Social accounting, auditing, and reporting Taking responsibility for its impact on society means in the first instance that a company accounts for its actions. Social accounting, a concept describing the communication of social and environmental effects of a company's economic actions to particular interest groups within society and to society at large, is thus an important element of CSR.[6] A number of reporting guidelines or standards have been developed to serve as frameworks for social accounting, auditing and reporting: • AccountAbility's AA1000 standard, based on John Elkington's triple bottom line (3BL) reporting • Accounting for Sustainability's Connected Reporting Framework

• The Fair Labor Association conducts audits based on its Workplace Code of Conduct and posts audit results on the FLA website. • Global Reporting Initiative's Sustainability Reporting Guidelines

• GoodCorporation's Standard developed in association with the Institute of Business Ethics • • • Earthcheck Certification / Standard Social Accountability International's SA8000 standard The ISO 14000 environmental management standard

• The United Nations Global Compact promotes companies reporting in the format of a Communication on Progress (COP). A COP report describes the company's implementation of the Compact's ten universal principles. • The United Nations Intergovernmental Working Group of Experts on International Standards of Accounting and Reporting (ISAR) provides voluntary

technical guidance on eco-efficiency indicators, corporate responsibility reporting, and corporate governance disclosure. • Verite's Monitoring Guidelines

The FTSE Group publishes the FTSE4Good Index, an evaluation of CSR performance of companies. In some nations legal requirements for social accounting, auditing and reporting exist (e.g. in the French bilan social), though agreement on meaningful measurements of social and environmental performance is difficult. Many companies now produce externally audited annual reports that cover Sustainable Development and CSR issues ("Triple Bottom Line Reports"), but the reports vary widely in format, style, and evaluation methodology (even within the same industry). Critics dismiss these reports as lip service, citing examples such as Enron's yearly "Corporate Responsibility Annual Report" and tobacco corporations' social reports. Potential business benefits The scale and nature of the benefits of CSR for an organization can vary depending on the nature of the enterprise, and are difficult to quantify, though there is a large body of literature exhorting business to adopt measures beyond financial ones (e.g., Deming's Fourteen Points, balanced scorecards). Orlitzky, Schmidt, and Rynes[7] found a correlation between social/environmental performance and financial performance. However, businesses may not be looking at short-run financial returns when developing their CSR strategy. The definition of CSR used within an organization can vary from the strict "stakeholder impacts" definition used by many CSR advocates and will often include charitable efforts and volunteering. CSR may be based within the human resources, business development or public relations departments of an organisation,[8] or may be given a separate unit reporting to the CEO or in some cases directly to the board. Some companies may implement CSR-type values without a clearly defined team or programme. The business case for CSR within a company will likely rest on one or more of these arguments: Human resources A CSR programme can be an aid to recruitment and retention,[9] particularly within the competitive graduate student market. Potential recruits often ask about a firm's CSR policy during an interview, and having a comprehensive policy can give an advantage. CSR can also help improve the perception of a company among its staff, particularly when staff can become involved through payroll giving, fundraising activities or community volunteering. See also Corporate Social Entrepreneurship,

whereby CSR can also be driven by employees' personal values, in addition to the more obvious economic and governmental drivers. Risk management Managing risk is a central part of many corporate strategies. Reputations that take decades to build up can be ruined in hours through incidents such as corruption scandals or environmental accidents. These can also draw unwanted attention from regulators, courts, governments and media. Building a genuine culture of 'doing the right thing' within a corporation can offset these risks.[10] Brand differentiation In crowded marketplaces, companies strive for a unique selling proposition that can separate them from the competition in the minds of consumers. CSR can play a role in building customer loyalty based on distinctive ethical values.[11] Several major brands, such as The Co-operative Group, The Body Shop and American Apparel[12] are built on ethical values. Business service organizations can benefit too from building a reputation for integrity and best practice. License to operate Corporations are keen to avoid interference in their business through taxation or regulations. By taking substantive voluntary steps, they can persuade governments and the wider public that they are taking issues such as health and safety, diversity, or the environment seriously as good corporate citizens with respect to labour standards and impacts on the environment. Criticisms and concerns Critics of CSR as well as proponents debate a number of concerns related to it. These include CSR's relationship to the fundamental purpose and nature of business and questionable motives for engaging in CSR, including concerns about insincerity and hypocrisy. CSR and the nature of business Milton Friedman and others have argued that a corporation's purpose is to maximize returns to its shareholders, and that since (in their view), only people can have social responsibilities, corporations are only responsible to their shareholders and not to society as a whole. Although they accept that corporations should obey the laws of the countries within which they work, they assert that corporations have no other obligation to society. Some people perceive CSR as incongruent with the very nature and purpose of business, and indeed a hindrance to free trade. Those who assert that CSR is incongruent with capitalism and are in favor of neoliberalism argue that improvements in health, longevity and/or infant mortality have been created by economic growth attributed to free enterprise.[13]

Critics of this argument perceive neoliberalism as opposed to the well-being of society and a hindrance to human freedom. They claim that the type of capitalism practiced in many developing countries is a form of economic and cultural imperialism, noting that these countries usually have fewer labor protections, and thus their citizens are at a higher risk of exploitation by multinational corporations. [14] A wide variety of individuals and organizations operate in between these poles. For example, the REAL Leadership Alliance asserts that the business of leadership (be it corporate or otherwise) is to change the world for the better.[15] Many religious and cultural traditions hold that the economy exists to serve human beings, so all economic entities have an obligation to society (e.g., cf. Economic Justice for All). Moreover, as discussed above, many CSR proponents point out that CSR can significantly improve long-term corporate profitability because it reduces risks and inefficiencies while offering a host of potential benefits such as enhanced brand reputation and employee engagement. CSR and questionable motives Some critics believe that CSR programs are undertaken by companies such as British American Tobacco (BAT),[16] the petroleum giant BP (well-known for its high-profile advertising campaigns on environmental aspects of its operations), and McDonald's (see below) to distract the public from ethical questions posed by their core operations. They argue that some corporations start CSR programs for the commercial benefit they enjoy through raising their reputation with the public or with government. They suggest that corporations which exist solely to maximize profits are unable to advance the interests of society as a whole.[17] Another concern is when companies claim to promote CSR and be committed to Sustainable Development whilst simultaneously engaging in harmful business practices. For example, since the 1970s, the McDonald's Corporation's association with Ronald McDonald House has been viewed as CSR and relationship marketing. More recently, as CSR has become mainstream, the company has beefed up its CSR programs related to its labor, environmental and other practices[18] All the same, in McDonald's Restaurants v Morris & Steel, Lord Justices Pill, May and Keane ruled that it was fair comment to say that McDonald's employees worldwide 'do badly in terms of pay and conditions'[19] and true that 'if one eats enough McDonald's food, one's diet may well become high in fat etc., with the very real risk of heart disease.'[20] Shell has a much-publicised CSR policy and was a pioneer in triple bottom line reporting, but this did not prevent the 2004 scandal concerning its misreporting of oil reserves, which seriously damaged its reputation and led to charges of hypocrisy. Since then, the Shell Foundation has become involved in many projects

across the world, including a partnership with Marks and Spencer (UK) in three flower and fruit growing communities across Africa. Critics concerned with corporate hypocrisy and insincerity generally suggest that better governmental and international regulation and enforcement, rather than voluntary measures, are necessary to ensure that companies behave in a socially responsible manner. Others, such as Patricia Werhane argue that CSR should be looked more upon as a Corporate Moral Responsibility, and limit the reach of CSR by focusing more on direct impacts of the organization as viewed through a systems perspective to identify stakeholders. Ethical consumerism The rise in popularity of ethical consumerism over the last two decades can be linked to the rise of CSR. As global population increases, so does the pressure on limited natural resources required to meet rising consumer demand (Grace and Cohen 2005, 147). Industrialization in many developing countries is booming as a result of technology and globalization. Consumers are becoming more aware of the environmental and social implications of their day-to-day consumer decisions and are beginning to make purchasing decisions related to their environmental and ethical concerns. However, this practice is far from consistent or universal. Globalization and market forces As corporations pursue growth through globalization, they have encountered new challenges that impose limits to their growth and potential profits. Government regulations, tariffs, environmental restrictions and varying standards of what constitutes labour exploitation are problems that can cost organizations millions of dollars. Some view ethical issues as simply a costly hindrance. Some companies use CSR methodologies as a strategic tactic to gain public support for their presence in global markets, helping them sustain a competitive advantage by using their social contributions to provide a subconscious level of advertising. (Fry, Keim, Meiners 1986, 105) Global competition places particular pressure on multinational corporations to examine not only their own labour practices, but those of their entire supply chain, from a CSR perspective. Social awareness and education The role among corporate stakeholders to work collectively to pressure corporations is changing. Shareholders and investors themselves, through socially responsible investing are exerting pressure on corporations to behave responsibly. Nongovernmental organizations are also taking an increasing role, leveraging the power of the media and the Internet to increase their scrutiny and collective activism around corporate behavior. Through education and dialogue, the development of community in holding businesses responsible for their actions is growing (Roux 2007).

Ethics training The rise of ethics training inside corporations, some of it required by government regulation, is another driver credited with changing the behaviour and culture of corporations. The aim of such training is to help employees make ethical decisions when the answers are unclear. Tullberg believes that humans are built with the capacity to cheat and manipulate, a view taken from (Trivers 1971, 1985), hence the need for learning normative values and rules in human behaviour (Tullberg 1996). The most direct benefit is reducing the likelihood of "dirty hands" (Grace and Cohen 2005), fines and damaged reputations for breaching laws or moral norms. Organizations also see secondary benefit in increasing employee loyalty and pride in the organization. Caterpillar and Best Buy are examples of organizations that have taken such steps (Thilmany 2007). Increasingly, companies are becoming interested in processes that can add visibility to their CSR policies and activities. One method that is gaining increasing popularity is the use of well-grounded training programs, where CSR is a major issue, and business simulations can play a part in this.[citation needed] One relevant documentary is The Corporation, the history of organizations and their growth in power is discussed. Corporate social responsibility, what a company does to in trying to benefit society, versus corporate moral responsibility (CMR), what a company should morally do, are both important topics to consider when looking at ethics in CSR. For example, Ray Anderson, in The Corporation, takes a CMR perspective in order to do what is moral and he begins to shift his company's focus towards the biosphere by utilizing carpets in sections so that they will sustain for longer periods. This is Anderson thinking in terms of Garret Hardin's "The Tragedy of the Commons," where if people do not pay attention to the private ways in which we use public resources, people will eventually lose those public resources. Laws and regulation Another driver of CSR is the role of independent mediators, particularly the government, in ensuring that corporations are prevented from harming the broader social good, including people and the environment. CSR critics such as Robert Reich argue that governments should set the agenda for social responsibility by the way of laws and regulation that will allow a business to conduct themselves responsibly. The issues surrounding government regulation pose several problems. Regulation in itself is unable to cover every aspect in detail of a corporation's operations. This leads to burdensome legal processes bogged down in interpretations of the law and debatable grey areas (Sacconi 2004). General Electric is an example of a corporation that has failed to clean up the Hudson River after contaminating it with organic pollutants. The company continues to argue via the legal process on assignment of liability, while the cleanup remains stagnant. (Sullivan & Schiafo 2005).

The second issue is the financial burden that regulation can place on a nation's economy. This view shared by Bulkeley, who cites the Australian federal government's actions to avoid compliance with the Kyoto Protocol in 1997, on the concerns of economic loss and national interest. The Australian government took the position that signing the Kyoto Pact would have caused more significant economic losses for Australia than for any other OECD nation (Bulkeley 2001, pg 436).On the change of government following the election in November 2007, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd signed the ratification immediately after assuming office on 3 December 2007, just before the meeting of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Critics of CSR also point out that organisations pay taxes to government to ensure that society and the environment are not adversely affected by business activities. Denmark made a law on CSR. 16 December 2008, the Danish parliament adopted a bill making it mandatory for the 1100 largest Danish companies, investors and state owned companies to include information on corporate social responsibility (CSR) in their annual financial reports. The reporting requirements became effective on 1 January 2009[21]. The information shall include: • information on the companies’ policies for CSR or socially responsible investments (SRI) • information on how such policies are implemented in practice and

• information on what results have been obtained so far and managements expectations for the future with regard to CSR/SRI. CSR/SRI is still voluntary in Denmark, but if a company has no policy on this they must state their positioning on CSR in their annual financial report. Crises and their consequences Often it takes a crisis to precipitate attention to CSR. One of the most active stands against environmental management is the CERES Principles that resulted after the Exxon Valdez incident in Alaska in 1989 (Grace and Cohen 2006). Other examples include the lead poisoning paint used by toy giant Mattel, which required a recall of millions of toys globally and caused the company to initiate new risk management and quality control processes. In another example, Magellan Metals in the West Australian town of Esperance was responsible for lead contamination killing thousands of birds in the area. The company had to cease business immediately and work with independent regulatory bodies to execute a cleanup. Odwalla also experienced a crisis with sales dropping 90 percent, and the company's stock price dropping 34 percent due to several cases of E.Coli spread through Odwalla apple juice. The company ordered a recall of all apple or carrot juice products and

introduced a new process called "flash pasteurization" as well as maintaining lines of communication constantly open with customers. Stakeholder priorities Increasingly, corporations are motivated to become more socially responsible because their most important stakeholders expect them to understand and address the social and community issues that are relevant to them. Understanding what causes are important to employees is usually the first priority because of the many interrelated business benefits that can be derived from increased employee engagement (i.e. more loyalty, improved recruitment, increased retention, higher productivity, and so on). Key external stakeholders include customers, consumers, investors (particularly institutional investors), regulators, academics, and the media).

INFOSYS CSR ACTIVITIES IN VARIOUS DC’S (DEVELOPMENT CENTERS) Sustainability Infosys employees actively participate in the welfare of the local community. Our Development Centers (DCs) in India make a difference through several Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives. Our employees organize and contribute to welfare programs, especially for underprivileged children. We support the activities of institutes and NonGovernment Organizations (NGOs) dedicated to healthcare and education, and campaigns for skills development and community welfare. Banglore DC:

Rakum School for the visually challenged: Mitr, our local CSR team, visited the Rakum School for the visually challenged. Mobility, an exercise in which team members walked blindfolded using canes, helped them empathize with the children. The team organized games and distributed chocolates and stationery. Notebook distribution: The Infynite Smiles CSR team has been distributing books and stationery to underprivileged children across Karnataka since 2001. In 2009, the team touched more than 45,000 lives, including the tribal community. We collected donations amounting to Rs. 10,00,000. Our drive has been actively supported by the Dream School Foundation, Ramana Clinic, Sri Vivekananda Youth Movement, Chrysalis and other NGOs.

Bhubaneswar DC: Project Genesis: This initiative of the Infosys Affirmative Action Program (IAAP) prepares students for a career in the Business Process Outsourcing industry. The project was launched in Orissa in 2007 along with the state government to enhance the skills of academicians. Till date, 515 professors have been trained to make learning more focused by combining traditional teaching methods with modern education. In 2009, 70 professors underwent a 12-day training program. Chandigarh DC: Behavior and social skills development: Prayaas, our local CSR team, organized a program where 60 children from the Panchkula slum showcased their creativity in group activities. The children were imparted training in social etiquette. Medical camp and cleanliness drive: Prayaas has adopted Tanda village to drive social transformation in the region. Our volunteers engaged residents in a cleanliness drive to prevent malaria. A free camp for eye and general medical check up was organized. Medicines and spectacles prescribed by doctors at the camp were distributed free of cost. The team collected data on health and sanitation related issues to address them. Chennai DC: Educare: Sneham, our local CSR team, manages a dedicated intranet portal to help employees support education of the children of our housekeeping and security staff. In 2009, 1,500 members contributed approximately Rs. 14,00,000 to support more than 370 students. Meritorious students were awarded for their performance. A special award was presented to a girl child with exceptional recitation skills. Helping the visually challenged: Infoscions partner with Nethrodaya, an NGO that works with visually challenged children. Our volunteers regularly conduct weekend

reading sessions. In 2009, we organized a South India inter-state sports festival with modified versions of cricket, volleyball and chess. Facilities for rural schools: Volunteers constructed a water tank to supply drinking water to 1,000 students of the Avanippoor Government Higher Secondary School. We have been donating notebooks to the Anoor School since 2005. In 2009, we donated a water tank to the school. We also distributed notebooks to the children of Infosys’ support staff. Hyderabad DC: PC donation drive: Mamata, our local CSR team, donated more than 105 PCs to institutions that undertake non-commercial and public activities. We have already invited requests for the next list of beneficiaries. Day of Change: Every Wednesday, drop boxes are placed at the campus entrance and exit points, food courts and parking area to collect coins from Infoscions for social welfare activities. Mysore DC: Notebook distribution: Soften, our local CSR team, distributed 57,000 books, 36,000 pencils and 3,600 erasers in the Notebook Distribution Drive 2009. Underprivileged students from various schools have been benefiting from this drive since 2002. Language and computer education: Basic computer education was imparted to the security and housekeeping staff of the DC. Our team also helped 10 guards improve their English language skills. Summer camp: A month-long workshop was conducted in May 2009 at Karunya Mane, a child rehabilitation center. 30 children were taught art and craft, dance, Math, English, environment awareness, traffic rules, health and fitness, and social etiquette. Quiz contests helped the children assess their general knowledge. Blood donation: More than 80 Infoscions donated blood in a special camp conducted in collaboration with the Mysore Rotary and Chandrakala Hospital. School for dropouts: Our team works with Kaliyuva Mane, an informal school for dropouts run by the Divya Deepa Trust. We interact with children in open classrooms through painting competitions and games. Pune DC: Sparsh - A Healing Touch, our local CSR team, is a registered NGO. In 2009, we conducted several programs: Eye donation camp: More than 330 Infoscions pledged to donate their eyes in a special camp organized with the Ruby Hall Clinic and Eye Bank Association of India.

Play and Live (PAL): We use sports to boost the confidence of underprivileged children, teach them various skills and change their outlook. We donated sports equipment including carom and chess boards, and prizes such as watches, perfumes and chocolates. Blood donation camp: 700 volunteers donated blood during a two-day camp in June 2009. Three blood banks - ISIS Blood Bank, KEM and Janakalyan - participated. Doctors highlighted the need for safe blood donation at the camp. Trivandrum DC: Notebook distribution: Infosys CEO and Managing Director Kris Gopalakrishnan inaugurated a notebook distribution drive, which benefited 4,000 students in 2009.

CASE STUDY OF PHANEESH MURTHY HARASSMENT CASE The Fall of a High Priest 1. This is a story of blackmail, sex, stalking, threats, oppression, hurt feelings and revenge. Interestingly, all this happened in and around the US offices of Infosys, 2. One of India's most well-known and respected software companies, between October 1999 and December 2000. As a result, Infosys became entangled in a scandal, that dented its reputation as a company that had the best corporate governance structure in the country. The events that took place during October 1999 and December 2000 became public knowledge in India only when Phaneesh Murthy (Phaneesh), the head of the sales and marketing, and communication and product services division of Infosys (and a director on the board), resigned from his post in June 2002. Phaneesh said that he had resigned in order to focus on fighting a lawsuit filed against him in the US. The

lawsuit, filed by his former secretary, Reka Maximovitch (Reka) alleged that Phaneesh had sexually harassed her and unlawfully terminated her employment. The company's share price declined by 6.6% soon after Phaneesh left. The case attracted a lot of media coverage since a sexual harassment lawsuit implicating such a senior official had never been heard of in the Indian corporate world. It was also being seen as an event that could make Indian companies stop ignoring the sensitive issue of sexual harassment at the workplace. While sexual harassment of female employees was prevalent in the country, it was either not reported or ignored. Either the victims kept quite due to fear of social ridicule and fear of losing their jobs, or the matter was somehow hushed up by the management. The stance adopted by Infosys in this case seemed to go against its image of a company considered to be a model of good corporate governance. Analysts claimed that the company had kept the issue under wraps for a long time. Media reports blamed Infosys for neglecting to formulate/implement a structured policy regarding sexual harassment and for compromising on moral values for an 'economically-valuable' person like Phaneesh. Analysts wondered how a company that Forbes had once described as "a model of transparency, not just for the rest of corporate India but for companies everywhere," do such things! The saga of Phaneesh, Reka and Infosys and the issue of sexual harassment at the workplace (in India as well as abroad) were debated heatedly in corporate and media circles, as many more shocking events unfolded over the next one year. Background NoteThe sexual harassment of employees manifests itself in different ways, depending on the social norms prevalent in various parts of the world. Broadly speaking, sexual harassment at the workplace can be divided into two categories: 'quid pro quo' and 'hostile working environment.' Quid pro quo involves making the conditions of employment contingent on the employee (prospective/existing) granting the employer sexual favors. The employer makes it very clear that hiring, promotions, perks, facilities etc. would be possible only if the employee consents to the former's sexual advances. This is a very 'easy to identify' and comparatively 'easy to prove' form of sexual harassment. The 'hostile working environment' form of harassment, which is the basis of most of the court cases filed, is more difficult to identify and prove. As per a 1993 US Supreme Court ruling, this has been defined as, "When the workplace is permeated with 'discriminatory intimidation, ridicule, and insult that is 'sufficiently' severe or pervasive to alter the conditions of the victim's employment and create an abusive working environment." Thus, any employee who indulges in speech or conduct of sexually discriminatory nature, without encouragement from/being welcomed by the employee so as to

create an abusive working environment and negatively affecting the employee's performance would fall under the purview of this form of harassment. Though the law clearly defines sexual harassment, the diverse socio-cultural environment of different countries complicates the matter. Reportedly, the rather 'free' behavior of Japanese bosses towards their female subordinates would come as a shock to people from the US or many other parts of the world. Even within a country, organization or office, the exact nature of the incident depends on the attitude, upbringing and behavioral patterns of the people involved... Reka vs. Phaneesh & infosysPhaneesh was an integral part of Infosys' success story. While Chairman and Chief Mentor Narayana Murthy and a few others established Infosys in India back in 1981, Phaneesh successfully set up the company's overseas businesses. He was often called the 'other Murthy' of Infosys and had many admirers within and outside the company. Not surprisingly, he was the highest paid executive in the company with a take home package of Rs 20 million. Belonging to a middle-class South Indian family, Phaneesh graduated from one of India's premier business schools. Before joining Infosys, Phaneesh was working with another software company, Sonata Software as a regional manager. He was said to be one of the main reasons for the company's good performance. In 1992, Phaneesh joined Infosys, then a $ 2 million company with a negligible presence in the US. Within three years, Phaneesh became the head of sales at the company, and in 1996, he was made the head of worldwide sales... Phaneesh vs. Infosys - Round IEven as uncertainty about the outcome of Reka's suit continued, Phaneesh seemed to have moved on. Media reports mentioned how many IT companies in India were trying to lure him to work for them. It was also reported that Phaneesh was planning to promote his own business process outsourcing (BPO) firm. Infosys meanwhile issued a press release that categorically stated that Phaneesh would not be taken back after the case was settled. In December 2002, Phaneesh and his wife Jaya Murthy launched Primentor (in California), an advisory firm, to outsource consulting for clients and vendors. For clients, the services were to include partner/vendor selection, deal structuring and on-going contract administration; for vendors, the services were to include strategy consulting, service definitions, brand consulting, blueprints for the future, sales, and account management training... Phaneesh vs. Infosys - Round IIAt the press conference, Narayana Murthy, Nilekani and Mohandas Pai (among others), made public the entire sequence of events in the case. Firstly, Narayana Murthy made it very clear that Phaneesh was very much a party to the settlement deal and that he had signed the documents himself. Also, Infosys had reserved the right to proceed against him for his conduct and for the fact that he did not contribute financially to the settlement. Nilekani said that

Phaneesh had first mentioned the lawsuit to him in January 2002, portraying it as a very minor issue. Recollecting the events, Nilekani said, "He told me he was innocent and that the charge was without merit, and the company was not at risk. He did not tell me anything else about the relationship or the other matters of things being filed against the company." However, when the issue became more serious in June 2002 and Infosys was served a legal notice, the company's board stepped in... Infosys Moves OnAt the press conference, Narayana Murthy did not answer a question about the fact that Reka did not seek redressal of her grievances through the company's internal systems. However, his refusal to answer did not necessarily mean that the company's internal systems were still not equipped to handle such problems. In fact, Infosys had taken several measures to strengthen its grievance redressal procedures and had designed and implemented an effective sexual harassment policy. Narayana Murthy said, "The litigation is behind us. We have taken further steps to strengthen our internal processes and improve the checks and balances to handle similar situations." Mohandas Pai added, "We have conducted several training programs, widened the dissemination of information and met employees on this issue." Infosys conducted a course for all its officers and members (in India as well as abroad) on sexual harassment and the importance of being sensitized about the issue. The code of conduct provided in the employee manual was modified in line with the above decision... Lessons to be Learned Though out-of-court settlements were the norm for most workplace sexual harassment suits the world over, it clearly was not the best solution. Instead of addressing the problem, this solution simply paid off the victim, so that the accused could walk away. The larger issue of the emotional, physical and financial damage caused to the victim, could be dealt with only if strict policies and guidelines regarding sexual harassment were established by the companies.

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