Wednesday, May 16, 2012

should managers be ethical? ......

Chief Librarian, Asian School of Business Management, Bhubaneswar
Librarianship Is A Way Of Life. Librarianship Is A Noble Profession. Knowledge Is Power. Librarians Continue To Be Knowledge Professionals. ; ; 1816gbgv


Should Managers be Ethical?
Rajashekhar S. Devarai*
"You cannot make yourself feel something you do not feel, but you can make yourself do right in spite of your feelings". – Pearl S.Buck
  1. Often street corner and coffee table discussions end up with resolutions like, 'Ethics is out of fashion", 'being good means being helpless and poor and so on.  These discussions and gossips have no heads no tails.  The topics and temperaments in such deliberations are incidental and transitory in nature.  Many a time these are a strong response to some evident injustice, corruption and supposedly erroneous political decision or policy.  Critical deliberations of people in general are about standards, expectations, deviations and practices.  ..............
  2. Whether we like or nit, human behavior revolves around do's and don'ts, good and bad, desirable and un desirable.  Human civilization from time immemorial has advocated welfare and inclusiveness and ethics irrespective of countries and continents.  We may tend to be averse to being ethical but whether to be ethical or not is beyond all contests.  
  3. How can we then relax a Manager to be out of the purview of ethical considerations?  A Manager is a man or woman who happens to be intelligent, educated, smart, action driven, pro-business and pro-development and who is bent upon maximizing returns for shareholders.  Is it very necessary that he indulges himself / herself in un ethical practices to ensure higher returns?
  4. What made Harvard professors say, "Managers today are among the least trusted members of society" (Khurana, R and Nohria, N : 2008).  This line speaks volumes about the image, status and standing of Manager as a professional.  Why don't people trust Managers?  The answer to this can never be simple and straight. 
  5. The journey towards professionalism is a continuum.  There are no water tight compartments between professions and non-professions.  The question is all about the extent to which the answers to the above questions are affirmative.  Everything including the sincere answers to the questions boils down to winning the trust of not just all share holders and all stake holders but people at large and society at large.  The more the Managers answer the above questions in affirmations more the society at large trusts and makes way for Management towards a full fledged profession comparable to that of Medicine and Law.
  6. It has taken years for medicine and law to emerge as full fledged professions.  There is nothing that stops Management to achieve and bag this coveted title.  Falling in their line with Ethical Orientation will go a long way in professionalizing Management.  "We believe that professionalizing Management would greatly curb mis-conduct, because moral behavior is an integral part of professionals identity – a self image most want strongly to preserve"(Khurana and Nohria, 2008).  Great transformations  are in with regard to value systems concerning money, business and Business Management.
  7. Yes, the day is not very far, when the Manager professes, when the Manager manages by skills, experience and knowledge, when the Manager widens the scope of the much criticized/stereotyped  mysterious word 'MANAGE'.
  8. Let the 'Hippocratic Oath for Managers' drawn by Khuran and Nohria catch the much awaited attention of Managers, Management Gurus, Management Institutions far and wide.
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References :
1.      Khurana, K and Nohria, N.2008. It is time to Make Management a True Profession.-Harvard Business Review 86(10) October 2008 (
2.      Jayaswal, P.K.1990.Librarianship and Bureaucratic Organization.-New Delhi:Concept.
Additional Readings :
1.      Devarai,R.S.2011.Management practice graduating towards professionalism.-Samadhan (Annual Magazine 2010/11).
2.      Devarai,R.S and Ramesh L.S.R.C.V.1999. Librarianship and the Professional Model : a Sociological Tutorial and Critique.-Library Science with a Slant to Documentation and Information Studies 36(3).
3.      Johnson, T.J.1972.Profession and Power.-London : Macmillan Press.
4.      Khurana,R.2007.Higher Aims to Hired Hands : The Social Transformation of American Business Schools and the unfulfilled Promise of Management as a Profession (Princeton University Press).

For more read further at : Should Managers be Ethical?/Rajashekhar Devarai.-Samadhan - Annual Magazine 2012.- Bhubaneswar : ASBM Institute of BBA
Chief Librarian, Asian School of Business Management, Bhubaneswar
Librarianship Is A Way Of Life. Librarianship Is A Noble Profession. Knowledge Is Power. Librarians Continue To Be Knowledge Professionals. ; ; 1816gbgv