ETHICS VS BUSINESS
The term, “Ethics” has been derived from the Greek word “ethos” which means custom or character. Ethics is based on well-founded standards of right and wrong which explains what humans need to do, generally in terms of benefits of society, rights, obligations, fairness & etc. Sometimes the exact meaning of “ethics” is hard to pin down & everyone has their own views about the word ethics which makes it a bit shaky.
Whereas business is an organized effort of the individuals to produce and sell for a profit, the goods and services that satisfy society’s needs. It must provide a service, product or good that meets a need of society in some way.
“A satisfied customer is the best business strategy of all.” – Michael LeBoeuf
“Ethics is knowing the difference between what you have a right to do &what is right to do.” – Potter Stewart
“I have a work ethic. If I say I’m going to do something, I will do it. “– Vigo Mortensen
STATISTICS – What Numbers have to Say?
- 50% or more respondents said they had reported observed misconduct in 10 out of 13 countries.
- One in three respondents had also experienced retaliation in 11 out of 13 countries
Source: IBE 2016 report
DESCRIPTION – Let’s take a Deep Dive
Tata Group is considered as one of the most emerging business houses in the country; its underlying pillar’s includes long –term reputation for ethical leadership, huge CSR rate’s & based upon their philosophy that “Tata’s don’t bribe” as well as “Tata’s don’t indulge in politics”.
Under the leadership of the renowned Mr Ratan Tata, the group has always carried forward this legacy and consolidated businesses further in India acquiring a global footprint. Interestingly Tata group to implement a code of conduct, the company had created a position for “Ethics Counsellor” at a very senior level, this person although was internally identified, he/she was made to directly report to the MD/group headquarters for day-to-day functioning.
Cadbury is a brand which is almost on the minds of everyone whenever there is an occasion/celebration proceeding. It has its roots spread across all categories such as Confectionery, Beverages, Biscuits, Candy & etc. Cadbury entered India in the year 1948 and began its operation in India by importing chocolates having a share of over 67 % in the market. But suddenly in the year 2003, a major crisis came into the notice of the company, “the problem of worms”.
Just a month before Diwali (Festival of lights in India), there were few instances of noticing worms in the dairy milk bars. Maharashtra Food & drugs administration responded quickly to this scenario & seized the stocks of these chocolate bars. Later Cadbury had brainstormed upon this issue in order to save their business; they had issued a statement in which it had stated that these problems weren’t at the manufacturing stage but due to poor storage facility by the retailers.
So as part of recovery, they had issued a PR campaign naming “Project Vishwas”, a three-pronged program that addressees the trade, media, consumers. Later in 2004 as a part of recovery, they launched a double packaging layer, over these bars, which were an aluminium foil, heat-sealed for complete protection from all sides.
Although this metallic poly-flow was a bit on the higher side by 10-15 %, Cadbury didn’t hike the price for this type of packaging. In this way further, the company didn’t receive any such incidents related to this controversy.
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- Running one’s own business gives you the independence to such an extent that you have the freedom to make the decisions that are crucial to your own business success.
- In business, as an owner, one can be exposed to various learning opportunities by getting involved in various aspects of the business to gain an understanding of the various business functions.
- Having an ethical & a moral value offer companies a competitive advantage. Their customers tend to trust and support the ethical brands of their choice even during difficult times.
- Ethics also help us in creating a healthier workplace culture, it develops an environment wherein each worker knows that they will be treated with respect, lower employee churn, better work productivity ratio & lastly creating better moral.
- In business there is always a financial risk that if things do not go well the person might face some substantial financial losses, having no guaranteed income, in fact, there might be times when the business is not generating enough for having a living too.
- A business owner tends to be stressed out sometimes as he has a bunch of things to take care of being it employees, bills, CSR factors, consumer problems, etc. He has to patiently deal with every single aspect of it.
- Implementation of ethics requires consistency without fail some might feel their work requires them to perform specific ethical obligations, while others may not feel the same way.
- An ethical way of leadership requires constant support at all times, it all depends upon the leader’s ability to influence others he/she must be charismatic at all times. There shouldn’t be any room for confusion within this leadership style too.
Aggregating, we can say that, now that we have understood to have a good ethical behaviour we need to practice the same in our workplace. Also developing business strategies in order to recover our business at the right time also becomes important during a crisis. These decisions all come into the picture once we choose to make the right decisions!
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Author: Aman Gupta
Scrutiny: Riya Chandra