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From last class. we saw “Ethical behaviour may be the best long-term business strategy” But how do we identify what is the best ethical course of action? Can we adopt this course of action always? What are the other factors that come in the way of acting ethically? Let us use some theory (“Basic Principles”) to try and answer these questions… .
When you decide whether or not to overprice a product. what then is Morality? The standards that an individual or a group has about what is right and wrong or good and evil Moral standards – norms about right & wrong actions (“Tell the truth”) and the values we place on them (“Honesty is the best policy”) Other examples please? Just to clarify this definition . “Ethics” – study of morality (this is the definition that is most suited for us as managers) It is an investigation where the subject is morality Example: Morality says “don’t cheat”. you are studying this moral subject – and that is ethics. then your decision can be ethical/unethical! So.
Non-moral standards are general standards of conduct. conventions etc Group One Don’t lie Don’t copy in exams (don’t cheat others) Don’t steal Do not kill innocent people Group Two Don’t speak harsh words Write neatly & legibly in your answer sheet Pay your taxes Help poor people It’s “child’s play” to guess which group is moral standards … isn’t it? Reminds one of ‘yama’ & ‘niyama’! Why is it always “don’ts”? Can you think of some “do’s”? .
Not established by law or any other authority Usually. ethics as well) 3. now it’s not! . theft) Sometimes it’s not – Coca Cola was legally banned from operating in this country. “moral standards” tell you NOT to lie (what you actually do is not relevant here …!) these moral standards are without “proprietors”. what is illegal is immoral/unethical too (eg. like our Vedas – no ownership! Please note that “Legal norms (laws of the land!)” are not included within the ambit of “moral standards” (and hence. what are the common features of Group One? 1. So. Are preferred to other values including self-interest. Involve serious wrongs or significant benefits to (human) beings isn’t it wrong to kill a squirrel for no purpose?? If it is not bothering you in any way … ? Need not be a million human beings (like in Merck case) … even if it involves serious injury or benefit to ONE being. it comes under this definition 2. when there is a conflict between lying in an interview and securing a good job by doing so.
not usually accompanied by guilt or loss of self-esteem Associated with special emotions/vocabulary . this has to be balanced with some kind of partiality. results in loss of selfesteem Non-moral standards: “Indecent”. “wrong” behaviour. “Improper”. arising from legitimate care for certain individuals (more on this in next chapter) “Immoral”. Universal & Impartially applied “Do not lie” applies equally to you & me Conventions may not be universal – “speak harshly” may sometimes be a requirement for a policeman but not for a call center executive Impartial: these are seen by the eyes of an “ideal observer” sometimes.
2. Serious injury/benefits Preferred to other values incl selfinterest Not estd by authority Universal &impartial Special emotions/vocabulary Moral Standards Don’t lie Don’t copy in exams (Don’t cheat others) Don’t steal Do not kill innocent people Non-moral Standards Don’t speak harsh words Write neatly & legibly in your answer sheet Pay your taxes Help poor people . Let’s examine this table once again in the light of the above: Characteristics 1. 4. 3. 5.
good/bad. Ethics is the study/investigation of moral standards in particular situations how does a moral standard apply in this situation? Is it reasonable to go by this moral standard or not? Is one moral standard more important than another? Ultimately. it tells you what ought to be A “descriptive study” just describes moral standards of a community without reaching conclusions about right/wrong and not prescribing what ought to be Example: “In India. in short. bribery is prevalent” . you develop a “body of morals” that you believe holds for you – and these affect the choices and decisions you make (in life as well as in business!) Comes with experience (when properly used) Leads to personal satisfaction and a guiltless life! Ethics is a “normative study” – an investigation that attempts to reach conclusions about what actions are right/wrong.
(i) is it okay to liberalize the economy?. political. Business ethics is ethics applied to business (in general. (i) a manager giving a favourable rating to an undeserving employee (ii) a Business Unit head offering a contract to a higher priced vendor in return for personal favors) . (ii) is it right to have APM for petrol?) Corporate: Ethical questions raised about a particular organization (eg. legal and other institutions (“system”) within which business operate (eg. organizations of a profit or non-profit nature) Issues that business ethics investigates: Systemic: Ethical questions raised about the economic. (i) was Merck’s decision fair and just to all parties it affected? (ii) Is XYZ company’s policy fair to its employees?) Individual: Ethical questions raised about a particular individual(s) within a company and their behaviour and decisions (eg.
a manager has a duty to serve the employer as the employer would want to be served An employer would want to be served in whatever ways will advance his/her interests Therefore. as a loyal agent of the employer. the manager has a duty to serve the employer in whatever ways will advance the employer’s interests Doesn’t this sound funny. perhaps even intimidatory?!! Fundamental flaws in the above argument: It’s based on an unproven moral standard (“manager should serve the employer …”) It assumes that there are no limits to the manager’s duties to serve the employer All ‘employee contracts’ are based on a “law of agency”. which specifies the duties of persons – “agents” This law states that “in determining whether or not the orders of the [client] to the agent are reasonable … business or professional ethics are to be considered” “in no event would it be implied that an agent has a duty to perform acts which are illegal or unethical” Take-away: You don’t need to obey your boss’ orders ALWAYS . Is it okay to just follow your boss’ orders and not care about right/wrong? The “Loyal Agent’s Argument” is this: As a loyal agent of his/her employer.
where you holiday … is it all ethical? Is it not intrusion into your privacy? Do you want the whole world to know what all you are doing? Is Social Media Marketing effective? 40% of consumers are annoyed to receive unsolicited messages from brands they don't follow 65% would stop using a brand altogether as a result of irritating social media messages (Recent research) People do not like being bombarded with unsolicited brand messages. HDFC etc everything is tracked – your credit card usage. what you drink. esp telling them what they should do about their likes/dislikes . where you eat. mobile usage. Information Technology Poses some Risks: Privacy the first wishes i get on my birthday are from Airtel.
facebook Internet browsing for non-official purposes . (Intellectual) Property Rights Software Piracy We all know about pirated software products Many software proposals are “copy-paste”! Many “models” are borrowed (openly or on the sly) from other companies/competitors Using company’s computer resources for personal use Personal emails. chatting.
Philippines.cms . Vietnam etc in the software sector Technologies are brought in before the developing country can handle it Example: Union Carbide disaster Differences between nations When different countries have different rules and regulations as well as cultural differences. what to follow (your host country or the local one)? Coca Cola’s philosophy: “Think Global. Globalization All of us know the benefits of globalization But what are the downsides? World Bank reports that inequality between rich and poor countries has increased (the same WB also says % of poor people in the developing world has come down from 52% to 25% on account of globalization!) Infusion of Western culture at the expense of local culture MNCs rule – they play one country against another to get cheaper labor. Act Local” Recent Walmart scandal: refer link http://economictimes. less stringent laws and lower taxes (“Race to the bottom”) Eg: India faces threat from China.com/news/news-byindustry/services/retail/the-inside-story-walmart-and-the-shadow-ofcorruption/articleshow/18027348.indiatimes.
Which of Kohlberg’s six stages of moral development would you say that Cynthia Cooper had reached? Explain Do her actions and motives support or undermine Carol Gilligan’s views? What would you say is unique about her or what she did? How does William Damon’s theory of moral identity apply to Cynthia Cooper? Let’s discuss these concepts thro’ this case! .
fear of the stick approach Stage Two: Instrumental and Relative Orientation – “i should not hit him so that he doesn’t hit me” Living up to conventional norms of family.some of you may recall “Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle” Reasoning process by which we apply moral standards to (business) situations and issues Kohlberg’s 3 levels of Moral Development Level One: Preconventional Stages Stage One: Punishment and Obedience Orientation – selfcentered. peers etc Stage Three: Interpersonal Concordance Orientation (phew!): Being “good” in order to conform to others’ expectations Stage Four: Law and Order Orientation – Obeying the laws of the land (out of respect for nation/society) Level Two: Conventional Stages .
consistent & universally applicable moral principles Gilligan’s Theory of Female Moral Development For men. discuss. ETHICS starts at the later postconventional stages of moral development This is what we aim to stimulate in ourselves through the case studies and other discussions in forthcoming chapters don’t accept what I say – think. criticize. conventions etc of society on the basis of his/her own moral beliefs Stage Five: Social Contract Orientation – Awareness that people have conflicting moral views Stage Six: Universal Moral Principles Orientation – “Right action” is based on reasonable. impartial and abstract! For women. moral development in women progresses through better ways of caring and responsibility caring for oneself --. values. morality is primarily a matter of caring and responsibility (is it so?) therefore.Which stage are you in? Level Three: Postconventional Stages Questioning laws.> caring for others and oneself Perhaps. the best perspective is men DO care sometimes and women ARE impartial at times!! Whatever approach you may take. analyse! (let’s create some “heat”!) .> caring for others --. morality is impersonal.
the stronger will be your motivation to do what is morally right Augusto Blasi: Judgement of right and wrong depend in part on the kind of person we think we are (or want to be) . Research on Moral Identity William Damon: Morality is not an important part of the self until middle adolescence the more morality becomes part of you.
we are learning this together. here is the change in our approach: Two students would present 2-3 topics in one session Faculty will facilitate the discussion by giving examples from his experience After all. engaging! Another concept: “Devil’s Advocate” Each of you should be an Ethics “brand ambassador” But. for the class. and you’ll be exempt from a case presentation if it happens on the same day! Let’s make the course a bit more fun. aren’t we? Too much …? Consider the following: You get to do this ONLY ONCE in the whole course … why? 21 x 2 = 42 < 57 ----------------. This is NOT “rocket science” … this is not QMM So. hopefully (with God’s Grace) you would be placed too! Will tell you the sections beforehand. at last! We will have only PLACED students do this (incl those who have opted out of placement!) By the time “your” turn comes.Ah! Some maths. dispute whatever the faculty/presenters are saying One person per group should play the role of Devil’s Advocate in a group presentation . 3-5 students should play the role of a Devil’s Advocate – question.