On becoming a professional: The

role of Ethics
Vasanthi Srinivasan
Chairperson Centre for Corporate
Governance and Citizenship

What is the difference between
Ethics, morals and values?

What is Ethics? .

either as a vegetarian. It becomes much more realizable as it is built into our conduct and is not an outcome of individual will power or exceptional conduct. On the other hand. Ethics is setting up rules of interaction where other people matter. Sociologist at JNU .What is Ethics and morality? • It is possible for a person to claim a high moral status. it is not possible to be ethical alone. Dipankar Gupta. or as a good parent. or as a truthful person. and yet live with others who do not abide by such norms. This is the reason why ethics demands transparency and accountability in public life.

You can’t be value free • Every time you make a decision. you are making a value choice • e. A is promoted rather than B. because A is more efficient though B is more loyal • “Objective” and “rational” decisions are also based on an implicit hierarchy of values .g.

would you think it was fair? • Would you be content if this were to appear on the front page of your hometown newspaper? • Would you like your mother to see you doing this? .Norman Augustine’s four point checklist for ethical behaviour • Is it legal? • If someone else did this to you.

Ethics @ IIMB .

Which is of this is unethical? • Copying a paragraph from a book without acknowledging the author • Making sure books are available in the library by deliberately mis-shelving/hiding them or removing pages from them • Lying about personal circumstances for an extension • Obtaining and using an essay from a previous year’s student • Making up references to put in the bibliography • Not contributing a fair share to group work that is assessed for a group mark (www.ldu.ac.uk/plagiarism/docs) .leeds.

exams. all members get the same punishment – Be responsible: Do not leave assignments/project reports on public computers .Ethics @ IIMB • Copying – in assignments. term papers – always wrong – Expect strict punishments if caught – Both source & actual copiers punished equally – In group assignments/projects.

use footnote/endnote feature of MS-Word to link every quote to full reference of source .Ethics @ IIMB • Plagiarism – Presenting the words or thoughts of another as one’s own – is unacceptable in the academic context – Do not copy and paste from the internet without full citation (complete URL. date of download) – While sourcing material from other articles/books.

Ethics @ IIMB • Attendance – No proxies. group meetings – Keep your word (trust begets trust) – No free-riding – Punctuality . be on time – Sign the attendance sheet • Professional behaviour – Preparation for class.

no pets – Keep library books carefully . noise.Ethics @ IIMB • Community Responsibility – Treat common property carefully – Do not abuse positions of responsibility or trust – Follow hostel rules – guests.

Ethics is Important… .

BJ • BJ was a high-profile student of PGP 19992001 • Graduate of one of the IITs • Did his summers at Lehman Brothers • Was found to have falsified information about his performance at IIT • Debarred from placement • Not allowed on campus .

MK • MK was a PR in PGP 2001-03 • Got excellent job offers – but they were disproportionate to his academic performance • Found to have mis-stated CGPA in resume • Had tampered with CGPA in master-list • Job offers cancelled. is unable to move to larger companies . graduation delayed • Because of his reputation.


an MBA from IIM-Bangalore and a rising star in the Deutsche Bank London. he had been suspended and was facing disciplinary action for allegedly overstating his profits by 30 million pounds.com/articlesho w/1376432. was dismissed on Monday for gross misconduct after a disciplinary hearing. .indiatimes. 26. A week ago.Indian banker dismissed in London • <http://economictimes. 2006 • Anshul Rustagi. January 18.cms> • Economic Times – India.

A colleague.derivatives that reflect a basket of credit default swaps. . Reports say that Rustagi dealt largely in iTraxx indices . reportedly discovered the losses. managing the desk while Rustagi was on holiday. ...Rustagi or Rusty as he was popularly known was reportedly dealing in a market for securities known as collateralised debt obligations.. or CDOs.


Beware of the Standard Excuses “I didn’t know it was wrong” “I didn’t think it would hurt anyone” “Everyone else does it” “It was the only way to get the job done” .

acquaintances and peers (typically the phrases used are ”it doesn’t sound right” or “who is going to pay for this?” • Start with “what is the worst that will happen if this is found out?” • Use the three tests – mom test. newspaper test and mirror test 21 .What is my personal compass? • Recognizing that what you are doing is unethical without rationalization and denial • How do you know this??? Friends.

What is in it for me by being ethical?? • • • • • Good sleep Clear conscience Long term respect Credibility Referrals in business and access in personal life • Respect – this is earned never demanded • “it is good to be good” 22 .