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Work Ethics


Effective management requires personnel with ethical and moral values ingrained in them. These values are founded on selflessness. An unselfish approach would require a high and noble ideal to follow. Such an ideal is based on service and sacrifice at the physical level, feeling of love and friendship at the emotional level and thought of a charitable disposition and accommodation at the intellectual level.  

Service: Physical Level 

The foremost value in business culture is service-centredness as opposed to self-centredness. But corporate executives run their business primarily to feed their ego and personal desires. The general attitude prevailing in business is gross self-centredness. ‘What can I get out of my company’ is the chorus sung in corporate circles the world over. The thought of customer service has become a gimmick. And community service has been long lost. The culture of giving, sharing has yielded to the desire, greed of taking, aggrandising. The tsunami of greed in humans has swallowed up giant corporations and companies causing financial crashes round the world. Human beings would do well to learn the art of sharing, giving, serving. This fine trait creates the right mental climate at work. Which is most conducive for better production and growth in business. Your motto in life therefore should be to strive, to struggle and not merely crave for success. Never care for the result of action. You run after success, it eludes you. Leave it alone, it follows you. It is a law of nature. 

Love: Emotional Level 

Another ethical value is entertaining a feeling of love, friendship, camaraderie. A sense of belonging through identification with others. Sharing of emotions. Empathising with colleagues at work. The atmosphere in a business house should have a feeling of fraternity for it to flourish. The lack of love and friendship causes an air of indifference among colleagues. Spoils the spirit of cooperative endeavour essential for success and progress in any establishment. 

The feeling of love arises with the right understanding and relationship. An organisation is made up of different types of people, each working with his particular expertise. From a broader perspective management provides finance and knowhow while labour executes, manufactures the products. And under these two divisions there are several layers of personnel pouring out their individual faculties to make up the total workforce. All of them act as spokes to the corporate wheel. Each member must understand this natural setup and develop the feeling of oneness. That is identification, love. Without the backing of such emotion there would be disruptions and disputes ruining the growth of the organisation. 

Charitable Disposition: Intellectual Level 

A business organisation is constituted of manifold categories of employees with a wide range of individual calibre. Possessing varied talent and capability. However, everyone in the company cannot work at the highest level of competence and efficiency. The chief executive must clearly understand this as a matter of fact. He must look at work performed by each of them objectively. Not pushing them beyond their optimum capacity. Have a charitable disposition to accept each one’s service at the level of one’s competence. That does not mean that a CEO should tolerate lethargy and indifference in his workforce. His intellect must visualize each one’s capacity to function while he helps them all grow in the organisation. He is soft but firm in the execution of his duty and responsibility. Another important aspect of management is to encourage free exchange of ideas. Appreciate others’ point of view. It would not only be unethical but unproductive to egoistically hang on to one’s own way of functioning. Your intellect must check your ego to be able to examine others’ thoughts and opinions and learn to accept them when it admits reason and logic.  

One may possess character and conduct one’s business with proper work ethics and yet face grave problems with the world around. Since the world is infested with evil and corrupt ways of functioning. How then does one encounter these problems and deal with corruption. the emotional level and thought of a charitable disposition and accommodation at the intellectual level. 

— Extract from “Governing Business and Relationships” book written by A. Parthasarathy.

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