Ethical and Unethical Business Practices
Business Ethics is the most debated topic of our times. The difference is between doing the right thing and the wrong thing.
Business ethics are the philosophical core of any business and their outcome is crucial for economic development. One has to recognize that the object of any business is to make money in an honorable manner. And one must endeavor to remember that the object of life is to do good.
Business ethics are more than moral values and principles that determine our conduct in the business world. It refers to the commercial activities, either with other business houses or with a single customer. They can be applied to all aspects of business; from generation of an idea to its sale. Business uses the society for its resources and
functioning, thereby obligating it to the welfare of the society. While the objective of all business is to make profits, it should contribute to the interest of the society by ensuring fair practices.
However, greed has led the present business scenario towards unethical business practices, legal complications and general mistrust.
Code of Ethics
Lot of organizations implement the code of ethics in their company polices, which they implement during induction and regular training.
A Code of Ethics is generally a more blanket statement of values and beliefs that defines the organization.
So what is it for?
- Company’s assets, funds and records
- Conflict of interest
- Management and employee practices
- Information on competition
Ethical Business Practices
Here are a few ethical business practices that should be followed to build a honest reputation and ensure smooth running of any organization.
- Investors: Ensuring safety of their money and timely payment of interest.
- Employees: Provision of fair opportunities in promotions and training, good working environment and timely payment of salaries.
- Customer: Complete information of the service and product should be made available. Personal information of the customers should not be used for personal gain.
- Competition: Unscrupulous tactics, competitor bashing and wrong methods should be avoided while handling competitors.
- Government: Rules and regulations regarding taxes, duties, restrictive and monopolistic trade practices and unlawful activities like corruption and bribing should be adhered to.
- Environment: Polluting industries should ensure compliance with the government norms regarding air, water and noise pollution.
Unethical Business Practices
You might find many companies who blatantly thrive on unethical behavior and practices. A free environment is present or promoted where acts of violation of norms to amass wealth in an unethical manner is followed.
Following are some of the activities that come under the ambit of unethical practice.
- Resorting to dishonesty, trickery or deception.
- Distortion of facts to mislead or confuse.
- Manipulating people emotionally by exploiting their vulnerabilities.
- Greed to amass excessive profit.
- Creation of false documents to show increased profits.
- Avoiding penalty or compensation for unlawful act.
- Lack of transparency and resistance to investigation.
- Harming the environment by exceeding the government prescribed norms for pollution.
- Invasion of privacy used as leverage, for obtaining personal or professional gains.
- Sexual discrimination
Business houses that comply with ethics to determine their conduct are shrinking in number. The lack of business ethics in the market, is the reason the world economy is presently in crisis.
Organizations now recognize the positive effects and outcomes of being ethical, humane and considerate. They have a competitive edge in the market, because of the honesty they show in their services. Their morally upright reputation attracts better staff and helps in retention. Though ethics are legally binding in most cases, self-monitoring, transparency and accountability will go a long way in establishing trust of the people. Besides this, it makes sense to change, before you are penalized.
I dealt and I still do consult many heads of various small and large multinational corporations (Primarily on HR issues – Employee’s Psychological Profiling). Over the course of 28+ years of my professional career as a International Business Professional and now as an Psychic Reader I find that these corporations do not really care about Business Ethics. They claim they do but very few implement certain ethical practices.
I ask this Question to each one of us. When would we as citizens of the world observe ethical business practices in totality?
It is a big question but it has a straight simple answer. Each one of us should be accountable and responsible to stop unethical business practices.
We must create an environment which adheres to strictest philosophies of clean, transparent, honest business.
Integrity is most wanted.
With grace & peace,
Dr. Vickram Aadityaa