Two concerns about Business Ethics

Managerial mischief. “Managerial mischief” includes “illegal, unethical, or questionable practices of individual managers or organizations, as well as the causes of such behaviors and remedies to eradicate them. ” Moral mazes. The other broad area of business ethics is “moral mazes of management” and it includes the numerous ethical problems that managers must deal with on a daily basis, such as potential conflicts of interest, wrongful use of resources, mismanagement of contracts and agreements, etc. Social responsibility movement in the 1960s laid the foundation stone of Business ethics as Management Discipline.

In that time, social awareness movements raised expectations of businesses to use their influences to affect social problems. That is because businesses were making a profit from using country’s resources, these businesses owed it to country to work and to improve society. For example, organizations realized that they needed to create positive image to the public and so discipline of public relations was born. Organizations realized they needed to better manage their human resources and so discipline of human resources was born.

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As commerce became a grand phenomenon, organizations realized they needed more guidance to ensure their dealings did not harm others, so business ethics was born. Company’s culture can be looked at as a system. There are inputs to it and outputs from it. Inputs include feedback from, e. g. , society, professions, laws, stories, heroes, values on competition or service, etc. The process is based on e. g. , our values on money, time, facilities, space and people. Outputs or effects of our culture are, e. g. , organizational behaviors, technologies, strategies, image, products, services, appearance, etc.

Morality can be defined as a set of values held within a person, which are mostly based on religious thought process within a mind of a person. Mostly moral beliefs focus on things those are held to be universal values, such as Truth, Honesty and many others. Morals are an internal measure by which an individual may guide themselves through all rights and wrongs, Do’s and dont’s. Ethics (professional ethics), is usually an understanding of proper conduct among a group of people working together as associates in some professional environment.

Ethics provides a structure by which professionals can act without any headaches given a set of external conditions (Moral obligations). This ethical structure is usually called a Code of Conduct or Code of Ethics. “Codes of conduct specify actions in the workplace and codes of ethics are general guides to decisions about those actions,” explains Craig Nordlund. He suggests that codes of conduct contain examples of appropriate behavior to be meaningful (Craig Nordlund, Associate General Counsel and Secretary at Hewlett Packard).

Culture can be defined as everything in our surroundings made by people, both tangible items and intangible things like concepts and values. Language, religion, law, politics, technology, education, social organization, general values, and ethical standards are all included in this definition. Each nation has a distinctive culture, hence distinctive beliefs about what business activities are acceptable or unacceptable. Thus, in international business, one may face values, beliefs, and ideas that may differ from their own because of cultural differences. Cultural differences include differences in speech and body language.

Problems of translation into another language often make it difficult for businesspeople to express exactly what they mean to say. Many multinational companies have codes of ethics, mission statements, and integrity policies according to their practices. However, when operating outside of their boundaries they face different standards which sometimes conflict with their old standards. In this conflict of standards, the ethical standards might deviate accordingly because ethics depend on two things: First is choosing the right thing to do and second is plan of action must be according to the situation.

We always find a harmonious blend of both to be on the safer side. Example Scenario 1 (Culture vs. Code of Ethics): Child labour is prohibited in the America, not only by law but also, by the policy of American firms. However, in Pakistan, there is no law against child labour. In fact, child labour in Pakistan, is considered positive as it improves the family’s income and keeps children away from the streets and away from worst dangers. Child labour is viewed as an ethical issue from the American perspective.

On the other hand, children left on the streets are considered to be the ethical issue from the Pakistani point of view. The American manager confronting the Pakistani manager, both are looking at the same situation but responding oppositely to it. They are behaving in response to their respective cultural standards. Example Scenario 2 (Culture vs. Code of Ethics): Language differences also create ethical issues in finance. For example, in Germany, a bribe to obtain a contract in a foreign country can be considered as a mere expense.

Honda Atlas Cars Pakistan (http://www. honda. com. pk): An Introduction to Honda Atlas Pakistan: Honda Atlas Cars Pakistan Limited is a joint venture between Honda Motor Company Limited Japan, and the Atlas Group of Companies, Pakistan. Construction of the factory started on April 17, 1993 and within a record time of 11 months, construction and erection of machinery was completed. The first car rolled off the assembly line on May 26, 1994. Official inauguration was done by President of Pakistan, Sardar Farooq Ahmad Khan Leghari.

Mr. Kawamoto, President Honda Motor Company Limited Japan was also present. We are dedicated: (Mr. Kawamoto, President Honda Motor Company Limited Japan): “The use of a term “we” recognizes the importance of each associate who makes up the company. At Honda, each associate has something to contribute to company activities. The use of the word “dedication” recognizes that joy comes from doing something that is considered worthwhile, something to which a person can be dedicated and that is what I think Honda is all about. “

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