Business Ethics for Employee Development in Pakistan

Business Ethics for Employee Development in Pakistan

Razia Begum (College of Home Economics, University of Peshawar, Pakistan) and Bahaudin G. Mujtaba (Nova Southeastern University, USA)
Copyright: © 2016 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9758-4.ch002
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Globalization has placed modern organizations in tremendous competition locally and regionally across borders; thus, the ultimate goal of every organization is the same which is profitable survival. In order to make sure that this profitable survival goal does not come at the cost of harming others, guiding principles are needed to bring goodness and fairness for the stakeholders' interests. This paves the way for designing, implementing and adopting ethical principles in the organization to keep competition fair and just. This chapter highlights the significance of adopting ethical practices in organizations at the threshold of 21st century and its challenges. It discusses how individual ethics system has been formed which further goes to make a healthy workplace. As religion has always been a source of inspiration for its followers, hence, this chapter attempts to trace ethical inspirations in religious teachings, specifically Islamic work ethics. Recommendations for training and development are provided.
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When we look at the previous millenniums of business and organizations, one can see major changes and advancements in terms of organizational practices: from local trade to multinational corporations (MNCs), from hard selling techniques to marketing and corporate social responsibility concepts, from family hires to globally diverse work force, and from one-on-one contact to virtual organizations. In the face of this diversity and fast-paced changes, organizations should introduce clear and precise systems of values and work ethics which could pave the way to a sustainable road of success (Abbasi, Rehman, & Bibi, 2011).

Researcher’s interest has been recently awakened in exploring the ethical conduct of organizations. Organizations no longer exist in their local proximities. Thus, their acts have far reaching impact on the society and on the whole world due to globalization.

Business ethics denotes social responsibility on the part of organization and its members. This responsibility could be reflected in economic, legal, ethical, and other general philanthropic practices (Johnson, 2012). Business ethics dilemmas have caught the attention of researchers and the Western world due to the increasing number of white collar unethical practices on the job, and now it has become the prime concern of every stakeholder in Pakistan (Shah, 2007). Therefore, the adoption of ethics training is no longer optional today because we are in an environment of promising but challenging future ahead; so instead of reacting to environmental forces organizational leaders should act in a more proactive and strategic manner based on predetermined values (Enderle, 2001). Unethical practices not only deprive the organization in the present but have dreadful strategic results too (khan, 2012).However, despite numerous efforts tension still remains between profit maximization of business and acting responsibly (Rozuel, 2011). When analyzing the relationship between a person’s behavior and goal orientation, one should see it in relation to ethical orientation for arriving at the best ethically sound conclusions (Luzadis & Gerhardt, 2012). Therefore, in this chapter highlight the prevalence of ethics for the credibility and survival of the modern organization. By the end of the chapter the readers shall be able to:

  • Define organizational ethics.

  • Realize the unique challenges confronting 21st century organizations.

  • Identify the components, which collectively shape personal ethical behavior.

  • Visualize ethics in a healthy work place model.

  • Link ethics with Islamic teachings.

  • Provide empirical evidence of research conducted on workplace ethics of Pakistani professionals.


Defining Ethics

Ethics could be defined as a field of study which has its roots in such professions as philosophy, religion, psychology, and sociology (Sargent, 2007). Rossouw (2012) defines business ethics in a comprehensive sense which includes issues at the individual, organizational, and systemic levels of decision-making in one’s personal and professional lives. Ethics denotes the strength and relationship of compliance between individual or organizational actions and accepted ethical standards (Mujtaba, 2014). Ethics serves as motivators for managers to reflect moral fairness in their organizational decisions (Mujtaba, Sikander, Akhtar, & Afza, 2012). Ethics are those moral principles and values which guide decisions in organizations (Cavico and Mujtaba, 2013). Organizational ethical orientation not only affects the society but also its own reputation, credibility and productivity in the long term (Kelchner, 2015).

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