The role of business ethics in motivation

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Ethical policies have improved in most industrialized countries over the past 20 to 30 years. However the situation in developing countries is relatively unclear largely because of record-keeping and reporting mechanisms.

Pakistan is among the developing countries of the world where the banking industries have flourished a lot over the past few years. As the Pakistan's situation regarding ethical policies then in the past twenty years or so "the population problem" has been added to the world's agenda not simply as the subject of scientific study and public discussion but also impinging on policy intervention. In the international area, The United Nations has held meetings, including the intergovernmental world population conference at Bucharest in 1974, passed resolutions, sponsored programmatic efforts, and established a special organization to concentrate on the issue. National governments both developed and developing have set up various commissions on the subject and beyond that have adopt policies and organized programs to influence demographic trends. Private foundations, universities, and voluntary organizations have devoted substantial resources research, training and technical assistance, service and information distribution.

INTRODUCTION OF THE STUDY

Business ethics (also known as corporate ethics) is a form of applied ethics or professional ethics that examines ethical principles and moral 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. Applied ethics is a field of ethics that deals with ethical questions in many fields such as medical, technical, legal and business ethics.

In the increasingly conscience-focused marketplaces of the 21st century, the demand for more ethical business processes and actions (known as ethicism) is increasing. Simultaneously, pressure is applied on industry to improve business ethics through new public initiatives and laws (e.g. higher UK road tax for higher-emission vehicles). Businesses can often attain short-term gains by acting in an unethical fashion; however, such behaviors tend to undermine the economy over time.

Business ethics can be both a normative and a descriptive discipline. As a corporate practice and a career specialization, the field is primarily normative. In academia descriptive approaches are also taken. The range and quantity of business ethical issues reflects the degree to which business is perceived to be at odds with non-economic social values. Historically, interest in business ethics accelerated dramatically during the 1980s and 1990s, both within major corporations and within academia. For example, today most major corporate websites lay emphasis on commitment to promoting non-economic social values under a variety of headings (e.g. ethics codes, social responsibility charters). In some cases, corporations have redefined their core values in the light of business ethical considerations (e.g. BP's "beyond petroleum" environmental tilt).

Overview of issues in business ethics

General business ethics

This part of business ethics overlaps with the philosophy of business, one of the aims of which is to determine the fundamental purposes of a company. If a company's main purpose is to maximize the returns to its shareholders, then it should be seen as unethical for a company to consider the interests and rights of anyone else.

Corporate social responsibility or CSR: an umbrella term under which the ethical rights and duties existing between companies and society is debated.

Issues regarding the moral rights and duties between a company and its shareholders: fiduciary responsibility, stakeholder concept v. shareholder concept.

Ethical issues concerning relations between different companies: e.g. hostile takeovers, industrial espionage.

Leadership issues: corporate governance; Corporate social entrepreneurship

Political contributions made by corporations.

Law reform, such as the ethical debate over introducing a crime of corporate manslaughter.

The misuse of corporate ethics policies as marketing instruments.

Ethics of human resource management

The ethics of human resource management (HRM) covers those ethical issues arising around the employer-employee relationship, such as the rights and duties owed between employer and employee.

Discrimination issues include discrimination on the bases of age (ageism), gender, race, religion, weight and attractiveness.

Issues affecting the privacy of the employee: workplace surveillance, drug testing

Issues affecting the privacy of the employer: whistle blowing.

Issues relating to the fairness of the employment contract and the balance of power between employer and employee: slavery, indentured servitude, employment law.

Occupational safety and health.

The entire above are also related to the hiring and firing of employees. An employee or future employee can not be hired or fired based on race, age, gender, religion, or any other discriminatory act.

Business ethics in the field

Corporate ethics policies

As part of more comprehensive compliance and ethics programs, many companies have formulated internal policies pertaining to the ethical conduct of employees. These policies can be simple exhortations in broad, highly-generalized language (typically called a corporate ethics statement), or they can be more detailed policies, containing specific behavioral requirements (typically called corporate ethics codes). They are generally meant to identify the company's expectations of workers and to offer guidance on handling some of the more common ethical problems that might arise in the course of doing business. It is hoped that having such a policy will lead to greater ethical awareness, consistency in application, and the avoidance of ethical disasters.

An increasing number of companies also require employees to attend seminars regarding business conduct, which often include discussion of the company's policies, specific case studies, and legal requirements. Some companies even require their employees to sign agreements stating that they will abide by the company's rules of conduct.

Many companies are assessing the environmental factors that can lead employees to engage in unethical conduct. A competitive business environment may call for unethical behavior. Lying has become expected in fields such as trading. An example of this is the issues surrounding the unethical actions of the Salomon Brothers.

Not everyone supports corporate policies that govern ethical conduct. Some claim that ethical problems are better dealt with by depending upon employees to use their own judgment.

Others believe that corporate ethics policies are primarily rooted in utilitarian concerns, and that they are mainly to limit the company's legal liability, or to curry public favor by giving the appearance of being a good corporate citizen. Ideally, the company will avoid a lawsuit because its employees will follow the rules. Should a lawsuit occur, the company can claim that the problem would not have arisen if the employee had only followed the code properly?

Sometimes there is disconnection between the company's code of ethics and the company's actual practices. Thus, whether or not such conduct is explicitly sanctioned by management, at worst, this makes the policy duplicitous, and, at best, it is merely a marketing tool.

To be successful, most ethicists would suggest that an ethics policy should be:

Given the unequivocal support of top management, by both word and example.

Explained in writing and orally, with periodic reinforcement.

Doable....something employees can both understand and perform.

Monitored by top management, with routine inspections for compliance and improvement.

Backed up by clearly stated consequences in the case of disobedience.

Remain neutral and nonsexist.

Religious views on business ethics

The historical and global importance of religious views on business ethics is sometimes underestimated in standard introductions to business ethics according to Dr. Todd Albertson author of The Gods of Business book. Particularly in Asia and the Middle East, religious and cultural perspectives have a strong influence on the conduct of business and the creation of business values.

Examples include:

Islamic banking, associated with the avoidance of charging interest on loans.

Traditional Confucian disapproval of the profit-seeking motive.

Quaker testimony on fair dealing.

Related disciplines

Business ethics should be distinguished from the philosophy of business, the branch of philosophy that deals with the philosophical, political, and ethical underpinnings of business and economics. Business ethics operates on the premise, for example, that the ethical operation of a private business is possible -- those who dispute that premise, such as librarian socialists, (who contend that "business ethics" is an oxymoron) do so by definition outside of the domain of business ethics proper.

The philosophy of business also deals with questions such as what, if any, are the social responsibilities of a business; business management theory; theories of individualism vs. collectivism; free will among participants in the marketplace; the role of self interest, invisible hand theories; the requirements of social justice; and natural rights, especially property rights, in relation to the business enterprise.

Business ethics is also related to political economy, which is economic analysis from political and historical perspectives. Political economy deals with the distributive consequences of economic actions. It asks who gains and who loses from economic activity, and is the resultant distribution fair or just, which are central ethical issues.

How to Motivate Staff and Increase Productivity

Managers are first and foremost motivators. Better motivated staff means greater productivity. Greater productivity means more profits. Job done! The problem is that many managers are not good motivators; in fact some are exactly the opposite. There are many ways of motivating the people for whom you are responsible; one of these is to deliver a team building session.

Before doing that, you need to consider what constitutes good team building. The simple answer is that it should happen in an enjoyable and positive atmosphere that develops the key skills needed within a successful business atmosphere. But what are these skills? In short, the core skills are communication, planning, flexibility, co-operation and dealing with the unexpected.

Early attempts at team building inevitably involved problem solving activities - get from A to B using only C, D and E. The problem was that many of the activities were exclusive. By that I mean that only a few people were actively involved at any one time. So early team building days tended to be a bit boring and were a de-motivator.

Team building companies gradually realized this and their activities evolved. The activities were wrapped in a theme such as espionage or combat games, escape and evasion style - hunter and hunted. But many of these were very male orientated and involved a degree of discomfort such as being outside in cold and wet conditions. But how could these adventure games be brought in from the cold and be made universally appealing? Simple, set up a series of time sensitive themed tasks that can be arranged in a series of rooms within a hotel.

Then there is the problem of actually delivering the core skills development. For that, the tasks need to be set up so that the teams have to communicate, think and act as one in order to achieve success. Take for example an activity such a mock diamond heist or other robbery. A video is created that is allegedly taken by the CCTV in the establishment that has been 'robbed'. It is shown to the whole team; the team then has to assemble an image of the thieves on the video using photos of various facial features. No single person will be able to remember or even spot the different clues on the footage. So the successful teams will have pre-planned a strategy for example, each team member focuses on a different feature - hair, nose, mouth etc. The team members will then need to communicate and co-operate in order to successfully recreate the faces they saw in the video in a short time slot.

The team's ability to deal with the unexpected can be set up in various ways, for example via an adventure game using lasers and a room filled with disco smoke. The task is actually carried out individually. The team is invited into the room one at a time and has no idea what is coming. They then have to cross the room, under and over the laser beams without blocking them. Each time one is cut, a buzzer sounds and the team loses points.

The full range of core skills can be covered by activities such as bomb disposal. The team needs to crack a code to work out, within a given time frame, the correct sequence of unplugging the wires, they get only one go at it. This involves working under pressure, a few minutes planning a division of labor will pay real dividends and teams that plan will almost certainly have a greater chance of success.

Such tasks, carried out in the comfort of a hotel, will be enjoyed by all staff and generate a real buzz in the office for weeks after. Staff will have developed the habit of planning, communicating and co-operating on the day and it is then up to you to ensure that it continues in the workplace.

RELEVANCE TO THE PROFESSIONAL AND ACADEMIC FIELD

This research will study the various ethical policies in MCB Bank Limited and their impact on the performance and motivation of the staff. This will give an insight as to whether these policies are being practiced or not and to what extent the employees give importance to these policies. The aim is to see the potential benefit of guidance that is enhanced productivity.

Environment and characteristics of the workplace really influence the individual's behavior regarding work. Some time it influences positively and sometimes negatively. This study is based on the ethical characteristics and factors of organization those lads to motivation or de-motivation and ultimately affecting the individual's performance.

AIMS

To find out the effect of business ethics on the performance and motivation of employees in MCB Bank Limited.

It is assumed that the performance, efficiency and satisfaction level of the employees in an organization is also affected by its ethical policies.

OBJECTIVES

To investigate whether good business ethics increase employee performance and motivation.

To study the various ethical policies of MCB Bank Limited.

To find out how and to what extent management is involved in employee guidance and their motivation.

RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS

H1: Corporate ethical policies effect in keeping the employee motivated and performance.

Ho: Corporate ethical policies do not effect in keeping the employee motivated and performance.

RRESEARCH APPROACH

Concepts

Perceptions of managers

Perception of employees / line staff

Impact of ethical policies on the performance and motivation of employees.

Measurement

Employees / line staff responses towards ethical policies

Motivation of employees / line staff and managers

Instruments of measurement

Questionnaire for employees / line staff.

Interviews

Methods of Research

This study is about the ethical rules and regulations that can affect an individual's motivation level and ultimately performance level. To conduct this study I shall develop a questionnaire, and distribute it to the various employees of MCB Bank Limited.

EXPECTED OUTCOMES

This study explains the corporate ethical policies which results into the efficient employee's performance? Answer can perhaps be found considering the level of difference that exists between employees' and employers' perceptions on various issues or factors involved. The problem can be solved by formulating a proper policy that covers ethical issues of the workplace comprehensively.

The basic conclusion that can be drawn is that organizational culture and specific appropriate policies has a great effect on the efficiency of employees of the organization.

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