Written by: Dr. Amit Mishra
Ethics of doing business AND Social Responsibility: How Ethical are You?
The four “human goods,” every human being should involve in and enjoy during their life are the Kama: Pleasure, Artha: Prosperity, Dharma: virtuous and Moksha: Liberation. The root of happiness is “Dharma” (Ethics) and the root of Dharma is “artha” (Economy) which owns a characteristic feature known as labha or profit which is the desired and the legitimate end of the business.
Do Business Ethics play a role in profitability?
In today’s complex dynamic global business environment of the 21st century, the deep understanding of Business Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility, CSR is crucial to Young Entrepreneurs, who are aiming high to be at the top in their respective businesses.
Integrity and trust (or Good faith), the core elements of Business ethics, should be maintained at the highest standards in Start-up business, which is possible only by honesty in the business affairs with the full commitment to customer’s relationships.
Social responsibility is a medium of attaining sustainability. Accountability and transparency, especially in a business crisis or business dilemma, are the two key parameters for good governance and success in business. Budding Entrepreneurs can quite sensibly take initiatives in CSR initiatives and integrate them into their business processes. Reliance Industries, TATA group, and NTPC (PSU Govt. owned) are some of the major companies of India who have aligned with government initiatives for their CSR programs like Swachh Bharat (Clean India), Digital India, besides education and healthcare, to foster inclusive growth.
It is of utmost importance to understand the relevance of Ethics in the business, the philosophy behind ethics, and the truth that business entities cannot allow being unethical in the long run, the reason being the strong market forces at work.
In recent years, there has been an explosion of new interest in Start-up business or Entrepreneurship. The setting up of business face typical complex moral problems related to candor, personnel and customer relationships, distribution dilemmas, and other challenges.
Business ethics is a good practice of ethics in business and has always been a matter of discussion in the business fraternity. The question is how may an Entrepreneur learn what is right or wrong? Is there any literature available which greatly deals with business ethics? Or examples and advice of seniors or elders would work?
What is the literal meaning of Ethics?
Ethics, derived from the Greek root ‘ethikos’ means “habitual or customary”. The business ethics is a set of rules or principles or code of conduct followed in a business or workplace. Axiology is the branch of philosophy which deals with ethics and aesthetics.
Ramayana and Mahabharata epic and their characters belonging to our great Indian Culture are treated as an ethical guide to run our daily life. Whenever we feel trouble or are indecisive we refer to these holy scripts. It suggests the way how to behave in society in accordance with accepted norms. Values which guide us how we ought to behave are considered moral values, e.g., values such as respect, honesty, teamwork, empathy, impartiality, responsibility, etc. How to conduct these values or apply is called moral or ethics.
What is Business Ethics?
A company’s ethical code basically reflects its core values and responsibilities. Owning detrimental egos to prove to be right is an ethical challenge at many successful businesses, particularly at start-ups journey.
Attention to ethics in the workplace provides numerous benefits including Asset Protection and Assurance, increase in productivity, development of teamwork, brand value, and goodwill. The ideal culture of entrepreneurialism permits an action for many business managers and their employees to be deprived of a portion of their humanity on the way to success. Hence, a predominant ethical consideration is whether the result validates this cost. Essentially, strong-willed entrepreneurs must be advised of these possible sacrifices.
Setting an ethical code for the society as well as at business workplaces and other institutions is of paramount importance as it can serve as preventive healthcare in business and industry. It helps the people in acknowledging what is right and what is wrong and encourages them to behave the right way. With ethics becoming one of the scopes of Start-up business in recent years has made a remarkable entry to ensure a sustainable future.