Strategies to Implement Ethical Practices in India
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What is ethics?
Ethics is a branch of Philosophy which addresses questions about morale; i.e about concepts morally what is good or bad ,right or wrong etc. An ethical statement can assert that some particular thing or action is right or may be wrong. Ethics can bring about the difference between good and bad characters or dispositions. It may propound few principles which help in more detailed judgments of these sorts, might be inferred - for example that we ought always aim at the general happiness or try to minimize the total suffering of all sentient beings. That it is correct for everyone to look after themselves. Every such statement expresses ethical judgments of different degrees of generality. [J L Mackie 1977]
Business ethics is that which examines ethical principles, morala or ethical problems that arise in a business environment. It applies to all aspects of business conduct and is relevant to the conduct of individuals and business organizations as a whole. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Business_ethics,nd)
Origin of Ethics:
The systematic study of what is morally right or wrong can determine that ethics might have originated when humans started to lead the best way of life. This reflective stage emerged once morality creeped into the human society, usually in the form of customary standards of right and wrong conduct. Such customs lead this process of reflection, even if it found them waiting. Ethics also began to come into the picture with the invent of moral codes. [http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/194023/ethics]
The history of Business ethics can vary depending on the situation or the object under discussion. The history also depends a lot on the historian, the way he or she conceives the subject, what facts he or she seeks to discover or has at hand, and the relative importance the historian gives to those facts. The term 'business ethics' is used in a lot of different ways. In this broad sense the application of everyday moral or ethical norms to business can be considered as Business ethics. ( De George, nd), Many business persons are strongly influenced by their religious beliefs and the ethical norms that they have been taught as part of their religion, and apply these norms in their business activities. Business ethics focuses on the moral or ethical actions of individuals. Many people discussing business ethics, immediately resort to examples of immoral or unethical activity by individuals or by an organization. It also includes the criticism of multinational corporations which make use of child labor or pay very low wages to employees in less developed countries or who utilize suppliers that run sweat shops.
Chandra and Pai (2009) explain that for every individual there are certain factors that affect the way an individual take decisions. They feel that power, centralization of workflow, substitutability of activities, uncertainty of inputs and routinization are the various factors are responsible for controlling the ethical contingencies of any individual. A general framework was being produced by Flanagan (2009) regarding the ethical decision making process. He believes that the characteristics of the decision maker which includes motivation, locus of control, ego strength, knowledge, experience, risk taking abilities, Machiavellianism, etc. and the significant influences such as the organization, work, law, economics, professionalism, technology, family, friends or other opinion leaders are responsible for any decision outcome. These outcomes can be in the form of rewards, performance, satisfaction, feedback, promotion or learning.
Aims and objectives of the Research
- Find out the level of ethical awareness amongst the employees in private and public sector companies.
- Comparison of ethical behaviour between private and public sector employees
- Role of management in improving ethical behaviours.
- To what extent the employees in the public and private sector organisation understand the intensity of corruption.
- How can an employee define corruption in his own terms?
- what are the measures taken by the management to educate the employees about the unethical behaviour?
The Indian industrial sector opened up in late 1990s when the various developed countries entered India through modes like FDI etc ,with the relaxation of rules and modifications made in the foreign policies along with the age of outsourcing and boom in IT and BPO sectors , lot of foreign companies outsourced their processes to the developing countries especially to India and China .private sector banks were allowed to enter into India. when the banking space in India was already overcrowded with a number of public sector banks, private sector banks, and co-operative banks.
Foreign multinational banks, which were growth-constrained, were also waiting eagerly for the sector to open up further in 2009 to make a major foray into this emerging market. now there was scenario where in loans were available at a very less interest rates. The spending ability of the people increased and the spent more than what they actually earned ,by availing the easily available loans now they bought cars and pent houses which, prior to the Banking boom was just a dream for them. This at a micro level increased the corruption in the private sector banks as the executives who sanctioned the loans to these people actually amplified the income of the people on papers through fake documents who asked for loans and inturn expected a percentage of loan as kickback for themselves .this was very common at the micro level in the developing nations but as we go to the macro level there has been an absolute devastation of ethics and higher levels of corruption.
There have been many a books which have been written on ethics and corruption , everyday we read in news papers articles, journals about companies and government agencies who are found guilty in scams. With respect to literature on ethics and corruption it's a sea out there. Where the data from which can be inculcated here in the research is very less, as there are several life experiences which can just be an eye opener, which cannot be found in books or have references.
Different ethical theories involve differing procedures, implications, and justifications. Ethical theories are based on ethical principles, they emphasize on different aspects of an ethical dilemma. They also lead to ethically correct resolution staying within the guidelines of ethical theories.
In this theory emphasizing one's main duty is what is considered ethically correct. This theory illustrates that, while analyzing an ethical dilemma, people should strictly follow their obligations and duties.(Rainbow C,1996,pp372) For instance, a deontologist will always keep his promises to a friend and will follow the law. A person who follows this theory will produce very consistent decisions since they will be based on the individual's set duties. Specific people are provided with a basis for special duties and obligations in this theory. For example, an older brother may have an obligation to protect his little sister when they cross a busy road together. (http://www.bio.davidson.edu/people/kabernd/Indep/carainbow/Theories.htm ]
The utilitarian ethical theory was based on the capability of predicting the consequences of an action. To an utilitarian, the choice that is ethically correct is the option that provides the greatest benefit to the most people. (Mill S 1963)One benefit of this ethical theory is that the utilitarian can compare similar predicted solutions and use a point system to determine which choice is more beneficial for more people. This point system provides a logical and rationale argument for each decision and allows a person to use it on a case-by-case context. (Mill S 1963) There are two types of utilitarianism, act utilitarianism and rule utilitarianism. Act utilitarianism adheres exactly to the definition of utilitarianism as described in the above section. In act utilitarianism, a person performs the acts that benefit the most people, regardless of personal feelings or the societal constraints such as laws. Rule utilitarianism, however, takes into account the law and is concerned with fairness. Rule utilitarianism benefits are that it values justice and also includes the beneficence at the same time. Most people are benefitted through the fairest and most just means in rule utilitarian.
Ethical theories in private and public sector companies :
Different ethical perceptions, principles and judgments developed as a result of the differences between public and private-sector organizations. (Sampford C,1998) Unified ethic is instructional and makes possible careful analysis of the proper place of public sector ethics in the context of business, higher education, health care, and law. The public administrators are well-suited to serve as moral exemplars for other professions and for all citizens. . (Sampford C,1998) The notion that public service ought to be the model for ethical conduct in the professions (rather than the other way around) is supportable and provokes new thinking about moral agency and ethics. (Preston N,2002)They provide the necessary foundation for studying public sector ethics by focusing on traditional models arising from moral philosophy. The unified ethic illuminates ethical implications of public administration. It also constructs and culminates by offering an alternative framework for studying ethics. Reay (2009) defines ethics as "a set of principles concerning proper conduct." But many authors believe that the definition of ethics changes from one individual to another or from one business to another and everyone has his own definition of ethics depending upon their own set of moral conducts. It is believed that the moral code is essentially one's own sense of what is right and what is wrong, or what is acceptable and what is not acceptable. There are those who think that this moral code should be the same for everyone - but it simply cannot be, because all think differently, and all have different upbringings, backgrounds, and experiences. But ethical code of conduct matters to us in every field of life in today's world.
The salient features of established ethics models: deontological, teleological, intuitionism and virtue theory are combined to make public administration a moral enterprise. It is a moral enterprise because its sole purpose is to serve public values and public purposes. Moral agency is a part of the profession of public administration. In other words, public administrators must strive always to do that which is morally right. This becomes more important since public administrators are under greater public scrutiny than their private sector counterparts and are more than likely to be held accountable for the decisions they make. (Preston N,2002)Both political and administrative practice are embedded with ethical theories and so are inseparable from governance. (Anne Bois C,2000) says The prime importance of Citizens and public servants are to work towards the promotion, co-operative and meaningful relationships that involve moral examination, theoretical practice, Different Ethical decision-making models prompted differing ethical perceptions and different judgments. Better communication between factions of varying types is created by awareness of the comparative difference in the moral reasoning of public- and private-sector personnel. [http://www.accessmylibrary.com/article-1G1-20583851/do-public-sector-and.html]. For example, one might expect oath-bound public administrators to be more deontological than other groups that are less constrained by oath and more motivated by collective interest, such as special interest groups or business representatives. One also might expect career officials to be more oriented to duty and principle than are elected officials who must keep consequences in mind for the sake of their own re election. Or it might mean that such personnel will administer both public and private policy with greater consistency and less capriciousness and will remain impartial in circumstances where general fairness frequently is challenged. It seeks to determine whether public- and private-sector personnel differ in their dispositions to exhibit consequentiality or deontological tendencies and, if so, the ways in which those dispositions might be manifest. To understand the nature of public administration these possibilities prove to be the decisive factors. Understanding the ethical decision-making process and its moderating factors helps to incorporate ethics in private and public institutions.
Ethical leadership is characterized by having good characters, getting to know one's core values and having the courage to live them in all parts life. [http://www.businessballs.com/ethical_management_leadership.htm] Foundations for various modern concepts for work, business and organizations are provided by Ethical principles. The modern concept of ethical organizations encompasses many related issues like corporate social responsibility (CSR) - or simply social responsibility, fair-trade, sustainability, social enterprise, well-being at work and life balance and many more aspects of good modern leadership. There are no clear cut definitions or rules of ethics that can define them.
The 4-V Model of Ethical Leadership explains the relationship between beliefs and values and behaviors and actions. The main purpose is the advancement of the common good. The (Grace B,1999) model based on his formal leadership research and personal passions around faith and ethics. Leaders work to create an open, two-way conversation, thereby maintaining a charitable understanding of different views, values, and constituents' opinions. They are open to others' opinions and ideas because they know those ideas make the organization they are leading better. By having â€œthe right valuesâ€? or being a person of â€œstrong character,â€? the ethical leader can set the example for others and withstand any temptations that may occur along the way. Without denying the importance of good character and the right values, the reality of ethical leadership is far more complex and the stakes are much higher.
In every field of business, the ethical behavior is very important. But in the field of business services, the role of ethics is even greater as it is directly related to human's life. But Murthy (2007) reveals that for the economic and business benefits, some businessmen are neglecting their code of ethics. Although, Nundy (2000) argues that it is only a small portion of the businessmen who do not follow the code of ethics and are bringing a disgrace to the whole community of corporates but still unethical practices are going on in different sectors in various forms.
Carroll and Buchholtz (2008) explains that ethics is basically a discipline that deals with what is good and bad with moral duty and obligation and these sets of moral conducts are even true for the business systems in any part of the world. They divide the ethics into two key branches of moral philosophy as descriptive and normative ethics. They further explained descriptive ethics is a branch that is concerned with describing, characterizing and studying the morality of a people, an organization, a culture or a society. It also compares and contrasts different moral codes, systems, practices, beliefs and values. Therefore, in descriptive ethics, the key focus remains on learning. But on the other hand, the normative ethics is concerned with supplying and justifying a coherent moral system of thinking and judging. This type of ethics seeks to uncover, develop and justify basic moral principles that are intended to guide behavior, actions and decisions. It is here that the business system, particularly in the developing countries, go wrong at following the normative ethics and they violate the ethical code of conduct for their individual benefits.
Carroll and Buchholtz (2008) has explained three approaches to ethics as conventional approach (based on how normal society views ethics in today's environment), principles approach (based upon the use of ethics principles or guidelines to direct behavior, action and policies) and ethical tests approach (based on short practical questions to guide ethical decisions guiding the behavior). But seeing the business practices as a concern, the conventional approach to ethics is essentially an approach where one can compare a decision, practice or policy with prevailing norms of acceptability and say whether the practice followed is ethical or unethical.
The conventional approach defines some of the sources of norms that come to bear on the individual and that might give an idea for the unethical behavior of the businessmen around the world today.
The various sources that may influence a businessman to follow up an unethical practice may include family, friends, law, religious beliefs, society, employer, profession, culture and fellow workers. Each of these attributes contributes in one or the other way to force the business Enterprises to follow the unethical practices for their individual benefits either business or economic. One of possible example for motivating a professionals to follow unethical practices can be an urge to earn more money to satisfy the needs of the family members. This urge of getting more money leads him to follow unethical practices to earn quick money.
But there exists a reason for the unethical behavior of the business Enterprises because whenever he or she makes a decision about what is being ethical (right, just, fair), the conventional approach comes into picture. The decision being taken consists of three elements where in the first step, the observation is of the decision, action and the existing practice in the workplace. After that the practice is compared with the prevailing norms of acceptability and then the recognition of the value judgments with the prevailing norms of acceptability. This means for the same set of actions, the two persons have different ways of looking it as they have different et of prevailing norms of acceptability
The diagram for ethical decision making gives a wider view for an individual decision regarding ethics. The diagrams depicts the business Enterprises following the unethical practices can be put in the area . This is an area where the corporates get a profit following the unethical practices but they need to be very cautious while doing the unethical work. The various business enterprises in the developing countries are ready to take such a risk because of the inefficient legal system in these countries. They take benefit of the existing lenient laws in these countries and follow the unethical practices to make quick money.
The business enterprises usually follow the principle of Smith's Market Ethic which says that take selfish actions and be motivated by personal gains in business dealings. But as the reason of their actions for unethical behavior, they follow the Bentham/Mill's Utilization Ethic Principle which asks an individual to determine whether the harm in an action is outweighed by the good. So, these parctioners have numerous reasons which can outweigh the unethical action by a good cause.
Weaver (2009) reveals that a recent survey conducted by the American Management Association and the Human Resource Institute identified the top three factors that would cause people to break the ethical standards. The factors included the pressure to meet unrealistic objectives or deadlines, career advancement and protecting their livelihood. In case of the business Enterprises the later two reasons play a very important role for encouraging following the unethical practices. For establishing their practice in a very short span of time and for increasing the volumes of clients coming to visit them, these business Feiglstok (2009) supports the ethics in an organization by revealing that the benefits of being ethical greatly outweigh being non-ethical in business. There are plenty of reasons why being honest and truthful is the better decision to make. This includes the honesty towards work and various humanitarian reasons. He also believes that working for an organization in an ethical manner or working as individual for the profession in an ethical manner gives self satisfaction to an individual which cannot be obtained even if one earns good money by following the unethical practices.
Unethical Practices in Industry
Decade's back, business was considered as a good profession and almost all corporates were not money minded people. But the time has changed and all wants to be established in their life very quickly and for that they will choose the short cut. (Theyyunni, 2008). So, young and inexperienced business Enterprises have started following the path of short cut by taking the unethical path which is beneficial in terms of business as well as economics. Although Watts (2008) criticizes the unethical behavior of the business Enterprises by quoting 'Not All Money is Good Money' but still it depends upon business Enterprises to take their own ethical decisions.
In many of the developing countries, the staff employed in the public sector may also practice privately, either on their own account or working for owners of private facilities. This may be legal or may not be strictly legal or controlled. Public offices may operate their own private offices and manage the income from them, or may allow work for private gain on their premises, as when corporates admit private clients and are paid directly by them. (Mills, Bennett, & McPake, 1997) This overlapping of the private and public sectors gives birth to the existence of certain unethical practices for the personal benefits by certain individuals.
Garrett's principle of proportionality supports the view of the business Enterprises in developing countries around the world by saying these Enterprises have a proportional reason for the unethical practices which are very much needed along with the ethical practices that are followed. It believes one such proportionate reason is the low wage to business sector. Smith (1999) says that with reference to NHS in UK, the professional bodies and the government departments have a very little to say on these unethical practices. Nundy (2000) believes that to see how the public can be safeguarded from an inefficient and often corrupt business system and receive comprehensive health care of a reasonable quality is paramount.
Unethical Practices in India
India has been ranked a lowly 74, two steps down since last year, among 180 countries of the world on the worldwide Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), prepared by independent international agency Transparency International.
However, corruption is much higher in Pakistan which occupies 140th place, a little below Iran, Libya and Nepal which are ranked 133, 134 and 135 respectively.
Meanwhile, China which was ranked a joint 72 with India in 2007, slided a step down to occupy a place above its neighbour this year. Among other Asian countries, Russia is placed still lower on 145, while Sri Lanka occupies the 96th position and Maldives is ranked 90. ((http://www.expressindia.com/latest-news/Corruption-index-India-ranked-74/327777/
With the fast development of various sectors in India, the unethical practices are also increasing in the business sector in India. Sharma (2004) has clearly stated that there in an urgent need to overhaul and strengthen the public sector in India. Apart from quacks and outright fakes, even qualified business practitioners know that they can get away with malpractice because clients do not know their rights. With the exponential growth of the private sector, there is an urgent need for regulation to protect users. (Sharma, 2004)
Dev and Rao (2009) support the allegations of Sharma by quoting that the recent expansion of the private sector and the increased investment in the field of the curative services and the various sophisticated business equipments have increased the corruption in the private practices in the business sector in India. They explain that the payment to touts who get the clients for offices and to the corporates who refer clients has become a common practice in India Colclough (1997) explains commission to corporates who prescribe expensive investigations and procedures which are often unnecessary as another form of unethical practice and corruption in business sector in India. Dev and Rao (2009) criticize the unethical Indian corporates in the private sector putting them responsible for kickbacks, overbilling and expensive procedures.
Phadke (2009) reveals though the client knows about the malpractice but he is afraid to bargain or to show lack of trust because of the fear that this might adversely affect the person's attitude towards the client and in turn, may affect the quality of the service provided. The picture of the business sector gets more clear while having a look at the PEST Analysis done by Holtz (2008) who alleges the lower annual per capita ($ 20) spending of the Indian government on of the public sector i.e the healthcare and the under-developed private health insurance in India which spends only 1% of the total spending on healthcare as major political reasons for the unethical practices in India
Sharma (2004) critically argues the claims made by the other authors and says that majority of the population in the various developing countries is uneducated about the governmental structure of business sector and moreover, the inaccessibility of the services in a rural area with densely populated areas can be treated as primary reasons for the increased importance of the business Enterprises which further leads to following up of unethical practices by few individuals. Holtz (2008) shares a different view and feels that low wages to employees and staff in government services are the primary reasons responsible for the existence of the unethical practices in the business sector. Cygnus Business Consulting & Research Pvt. Ltd. (2008) criticizes the governments for having access to less high-tech equipments with them as compared to private organizations. One of the other important factors responsible for the unethical practice is due to lack of job satisfaction as claimed by Wells (2007). Hertzberg (1959) has formulated a two-factor theory, which proposes motivators and hygienes as the two factors responsible for job satisfaction and dissatisfaction. The presence of motivators in the workplace caused enduring states of motivation in employees but their absence did not lead to dissatisfaction.
Wells (2007) establishes that the factors that are included as the Motivators are responsibility, recognition, promotion, achievement and intrinsic aspects of job while the factors the form the Hygienes are supervision, salary, work environment, company policies and the relationship with colleagues.
The lack of the government motivation to the corporates and the parabusiness staff in the business sector can be considered as one of the most important factors for the use of unethical factors in treatment of clients in India. (Dev & Rao, 2009) . To what extent the business Enterprises are following unethical practices and what are reasons for their unethical behavior is still the subject of research. So, this dissertation will try to find the answer of these questions. Moreover, in the existing research, it is still unclear whether which particular specialty is more unethical and demands for maximum commission. This dissertation will also try to establish such a relationship which can explain about the extent of commission practice existing in the business sector.
The most disquieting aspect of the widespread corruption in India is the fact that it is not anymore confined to politicians or the government machinery alone. It is prevalent amongst almost every section of the society at every level.( N.S. Venkataraman, 2002). the fact is that most of the Indians are involved in corrupt practices in one way or the other, either due to greed or due to so called compulsion. In any case, the willingness to sacrifice for the sake of not getting involved in corrupt dealings is conspicuous by its absence amongst the most.
Indian IT majors Satyam and Wipro , who were barred from World Bank projects for offering their stock to Bank officials, represent a miniscule problem compared to the kickbacks and commissions that go to government officials for approval of Bank projects. (Steve Berkman, 2009). Emergence of political elite who believe in interest-oriented rather than nation-oriented programmes and policies. Artificial scarcity created by the people with malevolent intentions wrecks the fabric of the economy. ( KOHLI, SURESH, 1975) say that Corruption is caused as well as increased because of the change in the value system and ethical qualities of men who administer. The old ideals of morality, service and honesty are regarded as an achronistic. Tolerance of people towards corruption, complete lack of intense public outcry against corruption and the absence of strong public forum to oppose corruption allow corruption to reign over people. (John B, 1966) say that Vast size of population coupled with widespread illiteracy and the poor economic infrastructure lead to endemic corruption in public life. In a highly inflationary economy, low salaries of government officials compel them to resort to the road of corruption. Graduates from IIMs with no experience draw a far handsome salary than what government secretaries draw.
Measures to combat corruption
( John B, 1966) suggests that Foolproof laws should be made so that there is no room for discretion for politicians and bureaucrats. The role of the politician should be minimized. Application of the evolved policies should be left in the hands of independent commission or authority in each area of public interest. Decision of the commission or authority should be challengeable only in the courts. Cooperation of the people has to be obtained for successfully containing corruption.
( KIMBERLY ANNED, 1997) People should have a right to recall the elected representatives if they see them becoming indifferent to the electorate. Funding of elections is at the core of political corruption. Electoral reforms are crucial in this regard. (SUSAN, 1999)Several reforms like: State funding of election expenses for candidates; strict enforcement of statutory requirements like holding in-party elections, making political parties get their accounts audited regularly and filing income-tax returns; denying persons with criminal records a chance to contest elections, should be brought in.Responsiveness, accountability and transparency are a must for a clean system. (BRIAN E,1995) points at Bureaucracy, the backbone of good governance, should be made more citizen friendly, accountable, ethical and transparent. More and more courts should be opened for speedy & inexpensive justice so that cases linger in courts for years and justice is delivered on time. (HEATHER ,2003) Local bodies, Independent of the government, like Lokpals, Lokadalats, CVCs and Vigilance Commissions should be formed to provide speedy justice with low expenses. (MARIANNE M ,2003) shows us A new Fundamental Right viz. Right to Information should be introduced, which will empower the citizens to ask for the information they want. Barring some confidential information, which concerns national and international security, other information should be made available to general public as and when required. Stringent actions against corrupt officials will certainly have a deterrent impact.
Scams and Scandals
A typical case of Aes corporation ,shell ,enron,worldcom,satyam,bofors arms deal from India ,British petroleum ,Exxon mobil, Lehmann brothers and the banks in US has been illustrated. ( refer to appendix1.1) these public and private sector corporations were indulged in one or the other unethical practices which made them go bankrupt and whose image in the market and in the minds of the public were completely wiped out as being fortune 500 companies ,when these companies were stripped it came to light that they had duped the world over 500$ Billion . (ELLIOTT, 2009).
ELLIOTT 2009, points out that Corruption is an intractable problem. It is like diabetes, can only be controlled, but not totally eliminated. It may not be possible to root out corruption completely at all levels but it is possible to contain it within tolerable limits. Honest and dedicated persons in public life, control over electoral expenses could be the most important prescriptions to combat corruption. Corruption has a corrosive impact on our economy. (R ERIC, 2007) It worsens our image in international market and leads to loss of overseas opportunities. Corruption is a global problem that all countries of the world have to confront, solutions.
This chapter discusses the various methods that can be used for the research which will help to make a final selection of the required method for the final research work. Some of these methods will be used in the research work. These methods will basically be used for the data collection. To make the data more authentic and to arrive at unbiased conclusion, it was decided to use multiple methods for the data collection. The dissertation includes the archival information collected from the different books dealing with different theories and strategies of ethics in public and private sectors. The dissertation will also include primary data that will be collected through surveys by questionnaire method and the interviews.
In today's scenario, empirical research on business ethics has relied very heavily on case studies, and questionnaires including picture of ethical dilemmas to which participants give responses. However, within these methods there has been a strong bias towards focusing on the sensational cases and dilemmas at the expense of any detailed examination of what is, and what influences, ethical behaviour on a day to day basis in business practice. So, the majority of the literature has drawn the conclusion based on specific cases. And because of a small portion of the professionals who uses unethical practices to satisfy their greed, the whole community of the business enterprises has got a bad face. It is because of these specified cases, a large population in the developing countries have started to believe that majority of the businesses practice the unethical practices. Most of the researches, however, has relied on questionnaires based on Kohlberg's theory of moral development or linking to personal values via the Rokeach value instrument. Randall and Gibson (1990) in a critical review of the methodology, employed in the study of ethical beliefs and behavior of organization members highlighted a number of flaws in the existing empirical research methods. They found out that there were various problems with the existing method of research related to ethics. In particular they noted that 'business ethics' researchers need to develop reliable and valid instruments for the prediction of the behavior of the whole population. They observed that the majority of business ethics studies they reviewed were conducted through mail surveys (81%) and relied heavily on samples of marketing managers. These marketing managers often bias the information. The main surveys included mostly the closed ended questions which the researcher was interested into and he never looked into the exact problem. This led to collection of the biased information. Other methods included laboratory experiments (6%), in-person interviews (4%), and combination of interviews and surveys (3%). The surveys used either a direct question format or scenarios/vignettes, both of which were seen as problematic due to their vagueness and generality. Randall and Gibson recommended overcoming this by conducting structured interviews within the target industry, and developing scenarios and questions using industry-specific terminology which are relevant and realistic. They considered in-person interviews valuable in exploratory research on ethical beliefs and conduct if the findings are sufficiently detailed. However they were concerned that a social desirability bias may cause individuals in all self-report type research to over-report ethical conduct, that is, the major differences that can occur between what people say they would do and what they actually do. This concern still remains there because of the society and business pressures.
Giving better understanding of the field of enquiry to ethics, Frederickson (1994) notes eight different research methods of varying popularity: surveys, experiments (i.e., presentation of hypothetical ethical dilemma vignettes), interviews, data (i.e., codes of ethics/reported incidence of whistle blowing or ethics violation etc), case studies, history, naturalistic enquiry or ethnography, and stories. All these methods have certain advantages and disadvantages in the exploration of ethics in practice. The advantages for most methods involve either precision in data gathering and statistical analysis through the ability to control for a range of variables; the ability to replicate the research, to cover a broad geographical area, and quickly access a very large sample - these are all advantages of survey, hypothetical ethical dilemma vignette techniques, and review of existing data. Secondly, being able to determine the reasons for certain opinions or actions, thus to explore issues further; generating a richer set of data - these are advantages of case study and interview research, ethnography and story techniques;
There are also certain disadvantages of these research methods. The disadvantages associated with many of these methods include the tendency to impose a pre determined analysis framework and thus risk becoming a self fulfilling prophecy. Moreover, the tendency to only get at the 'top of the head' responses (i.e., the politically correct answer, or how one would like to be perceived) rather than disclosing the actual influences on behavior. The risks of being morally right but at the expense of one's job or career future are not present in most methods (i.e., the practicality of the various nuances which influence judgment and behavior in the work environment). One of the most important disadvantages includes the possibility of researcher bias in posing questions and interpreting answers. Moreover, the questions of dubious generalizing of results. Another important disadvantage includes the huge time investment required from the researcher in naturalistic enquiry as they become a trusted member of the 'community' which they are investigating. The time investment required of the busy managers and professionals by some of these methods of investigation.
In any research method there is a trade off between advantages and disadvantages to arrive at a way of exploring the research question. In an attempt to bring ethical theory and practice closer together controlling these trade offs in choice of method is a critical issue. Many researchers attempt to overcome this by employing a combination of methods - most commonly interviews and surveys, or vignettes and surveys. This process of triangulation in research is one of establishing data trustworthiness through multiple data sources, methods and theoretical schemes. So, this dissertation will try to establish the data trustworthiness by including the questionnaire method as well as semi structured interview to arrive to a more specific conclusion for the target population. Moreover, the majority of research to date has supplied statements and asked respondents to respond to them as ethical or unethical. Very little research has approached from the other side and asked respondents themselves what it is to be ethical and what it is to be unethical in particular contexts. So, a practice can be ethical according to one person and the same might be unethical for the other person. Evans et al. (1996) suggests that the research process should involve the diagnosis of the information and the selection of the relevant variables about which the valid and the reliable information should be collected, recorded and finally analyzed. So, the dissertation will be focusing on the suggestions made by Evans et al. As explained by Assael (1995) has explained that the research process of the dissertation will undergo six basic steps of marketing research process to draw a conclusion. The stages will include: Defining & clarifying the problem and determining the information that it requires, determining cost effective sources of information, determining techniques for collecting the information, data collection, data processing and concluding the results. The research methodology will try to work out the six steps of Assael and will clarify the issues in this dissertation.
Bradley (2007) suggests that the purpose of the research has to be established before starting the research. The dissertation concentrates on the unethical behaviour of the public and private sectors of India. In the dissertation, the purpose of research is to establish that there exist a number of unethical practices while treating a client in India. A clients has to pay high costs of specialists as the later has to pay some commission to the professionals who has referred the clients to him. Moreover, the dissertation will try to explore the various possible reasons for the unethical behaviour of the employees in India. The research will also try to explore the extent of unethical practices being followed by the various specialties of the employees in the public and private sector of India. The dissertation will be using the questionnaire method and the interview method with the public and private sectors in order to find the answer to all the research questioners as stated above.Evans et al (1996) says that since developing a clear formulation of the scope and nature of the research problem may be referred to as the exploratory research which is responsible for exploring the parameters of the problem, so, in this dissertation, exploratory research will be carried out to define or clarify the nature of the problem. (Yin, 1994) A conclusion will be drawn on the basis of this exploratory research. The main objective of this kind of research is identifying the information needs of this sector and problems for future research. (Zinkmund, 2000)
This dissertation will explore the reasons for the unethical practices existing in the public and private sector and the possible extent to reduce them. This type of research is based on some previous type of understanding of the nature of the problem. Since, the dissertation includes the broad understanding of the problem, so, descriptive type of research will also be required to be done. (Lekvall & Wahlbin, 1993) The dissertation aims at exploring various possible reasons for the existing unethical practices and their extent to which they exist in the Indian markets.
Saunders et al. (2009) says that the population can be described as the full set of cases from which a sample is taken. The sample population for this dissertation includes One public sector company and one private sector company both in India. The size of the sample is 30/30 in public sector company which is into collection of taxes from enterprises and businesses and 25/50 in HP Sales India pvt ltd ,a private sector company . (Singhal, 2007) Since the population size is countable as the departments within the companies in which the research is done are relatively specific, so, sample of the population will be taken as stated . From the sample, a generalized conclusion can be drawn based on the characteristics of the sample. Saunders et al. (2009) have explained the sampling techniques as probability sampling and the non-probability sampling. The probability sampling, on one hand, tries to answer the research questions and helps to achieve objectives that are useful in estimating statistically the characteristics of the population from the sample while non-probability techniques makes it difficult to answer the research questions or to address the research objectives that can be useful in making a statistical inference about the characteristics of the population. Since, the dissertation is based on dealing with the research objectives and some statistical inferences about the total population based on the sample, so, a probability sampling techniques would be used to arrive at some generalized inferences about the population. The inference will, however, establish the characteristics for the population for this dissertation.
Since the population is finite and moreover as the face to face contact will be required, so, sampling will be done. Henry (1990) explains that cluster sampling is helpful in dividing the population in discrete groups prior to sampling. In this dissertation,
Holme and Solvang (1991) have divided the general research approaches into two categories namely qualitative approach and the quantitative approach. (Holme & Solvang, 1991) Quantitative research is considered to be descriptive in nature and is used by the researchers to understand the effects of various promotional inputs on the consumer. It helps enabling the marketers to predict the consumer behavior. (Schiffman & Kanuk, 2000) Qualitative research is responsible for finding the answers related to â€˜why', not the â€˜how' of its topic through the analysis of unstructured information - things like interview transcripts and recordings, emails, notes, feedback forms, photos and videos. The qualitative research does not depend upon the statistics or numbers, which are the domain of quantitative researchers. (QSR International, 2007) Qualitative research is used to gain insight into people's attitudes, behaviors', value systems, concerns, motivations, aspirations, culture or lifestyles. It's used to inform business decisions, policy formation, communication and research. Qualitative Research method consist of depth interviews, focus groups, metaphor analysis, collage research and projective techniques (Ereaut, 2007).Quantitative research makes the use of the various structured questions which are helpful in determining the response of the respondents. (uk.geocities.com, 2005) In the quantitative approach, Larsson & Martinkauppi say that little information from each object is collected but for the conclusion a large number of objects is studied and this helps to come to a generalized conclusion. (Larsson & Martinkauppi, 2003) A great drawback of the quantitative research is that whenever a qualitative researchers report their findings, they will often include some raw data (e.g. direct quotations from participants) as well as analyses of the data based on categories. In addition, they often indicate how their hypotheses changed during the course of the investigation. There are various ways in which qualitative researchers try to show that their findings are reliable. Probably the most satisfactory approach is to see whether the findings obtained from a qualitative analysis can be replicated. This can be done by comparing the findings from an interview study with those from an observational study. Alternatively, two different qualitative researchers can conduct independent analyses of the same qualitative data, and then compare their findings. On the other hand, qualitative analysis is often less influenced than is quantitative analysis by the biases and theoretical assumptions of the investigator. In addition, it offers the prospect of understanding the participants in a study as rounded individuals in a social context.
The dissertation will require qualitative research to know regarding the process of treatment of the clients and the commission being involved in the referral process and quantitative research for need to draw conclusions in the end. (Holme and Salvang, 1995) So, both the types of research will be involved in this dissertation.
For drawing up the conclusions, Davison and Patel (1991) have explained inductive and deductive types of approaches. According to Wallen (1996), deductive approach is used to draw conclusions based on existing theories and models where conclusion for the different cases can be different. The inductive approach is very helpful in arriving at the conclusions that are based on the analysis of the empirical data. In inductive approach, usually a generalized solution is drawn. (Wallen, 1993) In this dissertation, a generalized conclusion will be drawn regarding the unethical practices carried on by the business enterprises in India and thus, the inductive approach will be used to carry out the dissertation.
Yin (1989) has described five different types of research strategies and based on the objective and the question posed by the researcher the decision on research strategy is taken. The questionnaires were handed out to the participants in their organisations and filled up questionnaires were collected back on the same day of the research.this practice was adopted for both the public and private sector company which were chosen for this research.
Questionnaire Method with professionals
Brace (2008) establishes that the role of the questionnaire is to elicit the information that is required to enable the researcher to answer the objectives of the survey. (Brace, 2008) Questionnaires as the form of primary data collection is the techniques whereby the same set of questions are answered by various respondents. It is one of the most widely used methods to collect primary data. (Vaus, 2002) Questionnaires are one of the most popular methods of conducting scholarly research. They provide a convenient way of gathering information from a target population. (Walonick, 1993) The questionnaire itself can be disguised or undisguised as to its true purpose. But it is believed that disguised questionnaires sometimes yield more truthful answers. The questions can be open ended as well as closed ended. (Schiffman & Kanuk, 2000) Saris and Gallhofer (2007) explains the need of a planned questionnaire so that the questionnaire ask the questions relevant to the objectives and not tempted to ask questions of areas that might be of interest and not relevant to the topic. (Saris & Gallhofer, 2007) So, the questionnaire with the professionals will be planned and then meetings with the professionals would be arranged and they will be requested to fill up questionnaire discussing certain issues related to discounts they can offer, what marketing strategies they follow to attract the clients, margins on any business process & their revenues earned from referral investigation of their clients to some pathology or radiology lab. The meetings with the professionals will help us to reveal the black face of the Indian Business sector, particularly, the referral charges being involved while sending the clients from one professionals to the other professionals. The questionnaires will include the open ended as well as the close ended questions. This questionnaire will be helpful in drawing the inference regarding the population.
Structured Interviews with senior management
Rubin & Rubin (1995) has described the interview method as one of the best methods accompanying the process of observation. (Rubin & Rubin, 1995) In general terms, unstructured interviews (e.g. non-directive or informal) lend themselves to qualitative analyses, whereas structured interviews lend themselves to quantitative analysis. As Coolican (1994) pointed out, there are various skills that interviewers need in order to obtain valuable data. These skills involve establishing a good understanding with the person being interviewed, adopting a non-judgemental approach, and developing effective listening skills. Though the interview method can also have some weakness such biased questions, response bias, inaccuracies due to poor recall and reflexibility such as the interviewer asks those questions what he wants to hear as the answers still this method suits for our dissertation. (Bryman & Bell, 2003) So, the interview method will be used for the data collection. McGivern (2006) says that semi-structured interviews are a sort of halfway house between quality in-depth interview and a fully structured interview. He explains that there are often used in business-to-business research. (McGivern, 2006) So, in this dissertation, semi structured interviews will be carried out with various professionals with different specialties' to know about the revenues generated due to unethical practices in the Indian health sector. The interviews will let us know more broadly about the various sources of earning of the professionals and more about the referral system carried out in the business sector of India. The interview with the professionals will help to know how the referral system works out in this sector. The strengths of the interview method are they have a fixed target and they are completely focused over any particular issue. Secondly, they provide a perceived causal inference. (Lofland, Snow, Anderson, & Lofland, 2005)
Online Secondary Data
Robson (2002) has classified secondary data under three main sub-groups namely documentary data, survey based data and those compiled from multiple sources. In this dissertation, the documentary secondary data will be analyzed from the academic journals and the literature review on the strategic marketing in the health sector in India.. (Yin, 1989) The area based and the time series based secondary data figures and data will also be used for carrying out this dissertation. As the concept is already explored by many researchers broadly it will establish the level of disagreement and agreement, which may be a good for the theme of the dissertation. Since the secondary data does not establish that what kind of unethical practices is there in the treatment process of the clients in India, so, the primary data will be sought and analyzed. (Bradley, 2007) The primary data will directly be sought from the various employees through the questionnaire method and the semi structured interviews. The questionnaire will included the close ended as well as opened questions giving them enough space to answer the questions and moreover, the confidentiality of the data will be ensured which will give the employee more liberty to speak about the existing unethical practices in the industry.
Data & Information
The data collection methods applied in this dissertation will be mainly the interviews and the conclusions will be drawn on the basis of the interviews and the results of the questionnaires.
There are three basic ways to collect primary data in quantitative research: by observing behavior, by experimentation or by survey. (Schiffman & Kanuk, 2000)
Observational Research is considered to be the best way to gain in depth understanding of the people's behavior. This method can be very useful in the getting the idea of the professionals' behavior in the business industry. The other method known as experimentation is used when the objective is to know the cause-effect relationship. The third category known as surveys help the researchers to know about the preference of the consumers and this can be done by in person, mail, by telephone or in-line. Personal interview surveys most often take place at home or in retail shopping outlets while telephone surveys can be used for collection of data on the weekends. Similarly, mail surveys can be done by sending the questionnaires directly to the individuals to their home. (Schiffman & Kanuk, 2000)
The dissertation work will be using participant observations in data collection. Primary research is collected in a research â€œinstrumentâ€? designed to record information for later analysis. Marketing researchers use many types of instruments from basic methods that record participant responses to highly advanced electronic measurement where research participants are connected to sophisticated equipment. (Knowthis.com, 1998)
The questions can be open ended as well as closed ended. The dissertation will be using a disguised questionnaire with the closed ended questions. (Schiffman & Kanuk, 2000).The data collection methods (Merriam, 1998) applied in this dissertation will be mainly interviews & questionnaires and the conclusions will be drawn on the basis of the interviews and the results of the questionnaires.
The rationale for choosing the desired method for the collection of data is to establish the understanding the importance of the need of the strategic marketing management. Moore (2000) states that in order to make a successful data collection one needs comprehensive data of the data. The requirement of data needed at the initial stage is already outlined; however, it may vary according to the development of the dissertation. It is expected that a more detailed and systematic data will be desired. Therefore, further data & information will be carried out accordingly.
The collection of data as a basis of analysis is combined on different aspects of how to collect data and its interpretation. The theories of Moore (2000), Czinkota et al (2001), Daniels et al (2001), Hollensen (1998), Doole et al (1999) and Engel et al (1993) has been taken into consideration for the collection of data as basis for analysis.
The way the data is analyzed is very important for any dissertation. The main aim of the data analysis is to treat the data fairly, to produce compelling analytical conclusions and to rule out any alternative interpretations.
The two strategies for the data collection include questionnaire method and the semi structures interview method. Questionnaires are the form of primary data research. The questionnaire method will be used with the motive to find out the unethical practices existing in the business sector amongst the employee in India. The data collected for the questionnaire will be through cluster sampling process. Next the interview method will be adopted to find out the various possible reasons existing for the unethical behavior of the professionals. In this dissertation, the research questions will be finalized with the intention of finding the empirical data and then draw the conclusions on the basis of that data. As the research questions are answered, the conclusion will be drawn.
RESEARCH FINDINGS AND ANALYSIS
There were some mindboggling responses from the respondents from the private and public sector companies.
Responses to the question 1 in the questionnaire(REFER TO APPENDIX 2) -You have a valid driving license with you ,but on one particular day you forgot to take it with you and you are caught by a cop,now the cop asks you pay a fine of 500rupees or pay him a bribe of 50rupees ,would you bribe him and get on with your work ?
Out of the 25 respondents from private sector Over 60% of the respondents from the private sector company said yes to offering the bribe to the cop and less than 40% of them refused to offer it.where as out of 30 respondents less than 30 % of them said they would bribe and 70% of them said they would not do any such thing.
Question 2- the respondents on various scales that whether the companies in which they are working have a strict policies in place with respect to persons indulging in unethical practices . out of the 25 respondents from private sector company 50% of them strongly agreed that the policies were strict enough, and 40% of them strongly disagreed where as in the public sector company 40% of them strongly agreed that the policies were really stringent and 60% of them felt that the policies were just not in favour.
Question 3- focuses on whether the employee would favour any of his friends or family member in case of a business deal .80% of the private sector respondents said that they will not do any kind of favours, where as in public sector there was a mixed response from the respondents.
Question 4 points out whether the management is ensuring that there are no loop holes with respect to the sanctioning of contracts by way unethical practices. 40% of the public sector employee disagreed that there were proper measures taken by the management ,where as 55% of the private sector employees felt that there were sufficient measures taken by the management to ensure no unethical practices were carried out.
Question 5 - actually asks the respondents whether they would spend other Money like their own and account it . 50 % of the respondents from the private sector said that they would spend it and account every penny spent.and 70% of the public sector respondents denied that they would not spend others money .
Question 6 asks the respondents whether their companies have made significant changes in the last 5-10years ,70% of the respondents from public sector strongly agree that there have been changes made and 70% from the private sector respondents strongly disagree.
Question 7 focuses whether the respondents would favour anyone in their company deals,60% of the respondents from both public and private sector said that they would recommend anyone who is close to them and whom is known to them .
Question 8 shows to us whether there have been any seminars or programs organised by the management with respect to ethical behaviour ,80% of the respondents from the public sector strongly agree that there have been seminars arranged by the management and 50% from the private sector strongly disagree that there have ethical behaviour seminars are arranged by the management .
Question 9 asked the respondents whether they would report any unethical practices indulged by their superiors,70% of the respondents strongly agreed that they would report any unethical practices and 70% from the public sector said that they would not report .
CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
There has been some honest and some politically correct responses given by the respondents from both the sectors with respect to the aims and objectives of the research kept in mind the questionnaire was formed to know the level of ethical awareness of the respondents .referring the (friedman and friedman ,1990) sharp thinking model wherein how one can spend money,with repect to his own or with repect to spending others money.
The companys are bound by their own corporate cultures which have their own advantages and limitations . the literature review on ethical behaviour and corruption gave us an clear picture as to how the system works,manipulates people. The differences between the public and private sector companies are clearly evident from the data and both the sectors have their own policies with respect to ethical behaviour.
More and more ethical behaviour workshops and seminars need to be organised in the companies in order to educate and spread awareness of ethical business practices with the employees.this would not only bring more honesty but also motivate the employees to work even more efficiently and remain with the company for a longer time and thus reducing the attrition rate in the companies.
Since corruption is a sensitive topic more honest and un biased opinions could not have been drawn out from this research as a fear of job insecurity or any other external factor which would affect the employee directly or indirectly .so further research on this area needs to be done in a much bigger scale and at a higher levels of platform which includes participation from more companies and also the government.
There need to be a value for a voice raised against the unethical practice in order to achieve and foresee the vision of the company.
[Descriptions of Ethical Theories and Principles, Created by Catherine Rainbow for Biology 372 at Davidson College, http://www.bio.davidson.edu/people/kabernd/Indep/c
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