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MINISTRY OF MANPOWER

DIRECTORATE GENERAL OF TECHNOLOGICAL EDUCATION


HIGHER COLLEGE OF TECHNOLOGY
DEPARTMENT OF BUSINESS STUDIES

COURSE CODE: PHIL3108

Semester I, A.Y. 2017-18


Revised Version- No. 5

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OUTCOMES

Phil 3108 Business Ethics 3 Credit Hours

Prerequisites: None

Goal To equip the student with the highest ethical standards that will guide him/her
through real life dilemmas.

Objectives Outcomes
To enable the student to: The students should be able to:
1. Understand the concept of value 1. Define the concept of values
2. Understand Islamic and Omani values 2. Define how values develop
3. Understand, appreciate and respect ethnic 3. Understand the effects of religion and society
and cultural diversity on values
4. Gain the highest work ethics 4. Understand the effects of Islamic and Omani
values on work ethics
5. Define the concept of ethnic and cultural
diversity
6. Understand the importance of ethnic and
cultural diversity for society and the world
7. Work with people from different
ethnicities/cultures
8. Function in a moral and ethical manner in
his/her life

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Chapter One
INTRODUCTION TO ETHICS AND VALUES

Outcomes Covered: 1. Define the concept of values


2. Define how values develop

Learning Objectives:
This chapter will help the student to understand what is ethics, how it is defined, its origin,
theories and development. The student will be able to understand the concept of values, its
classification and development. It also includes a brief about different ethical systems.

Topics covered:
1. Introduction to Ethics
2. Origin and source of Ethics and Values
3. Concept of Values, Classification Of Values
4. Development of Values
5. Application of Ethics in different aspects of human life
6. Self- assessment questions and references

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Class Activity (5 Mins each)
Activity 1:
Roger is a recent graduate from a reputed university. He has got a new job and he is very happy
with it. He is very honest in his work and always reaches office on time. He is very good at his
work. He cares about his colleagues and helps them whenever they need him. But everyone
knows that he takes drugs and is an alcoholic. He is always short of cash and keeps asking
money, but returns it on time.
Answer the following questions:
a. Identify what is good and bad about Roger?

b. Is he a good person or a bad person?

Activity 2:
Fionna is a student studying in her first year of graduation. She is a very good student and always
scores A grades. She is quite regular and comes to class on time. She is also very active in all
the college activities. She knows that she is the best in the college and is very proud about it. She
is not very helpful to her friends and the classmates because she thinks that everyone has to do
their work on their own. In the college she would buy a lot of food but will not eat it all and
throws it away.
Answer the following questions:
a. Identify what is good and bad about Fionna?

b. Is she a good person or a bad person?

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Introduction:
Ethics ( ‫ ) أخالق‬is branch of philosophy (‫) فلسفة‬which deals with the concept of right and wrong
conduct. Ethics is commonly defined as a set of principles prescribing a behavior code, explains
what is good and bad or what is right and wrong. It gives outlines to moral duties and obligations.
In other words ethics is a system of moral principles.

Origin of the word ‘Ethics’


The root of the word (Ethics) comes from the Greek word Ethos meaning “Character” (‫) شخصية‬.
Oxford Dictionary defines Ethics as “the science of morals in human conduct”. It is also defined
as “a set of moral principles or values that govern behavior”. In general; Ethics is the science of
morality of conduct- deals with proper and improper actions of human being.
Ethics covers the following dimensions.
 It is the moral bases of what is good and bad
 It determines the rights and responsibilities of individuals, organizations etc.
 It guides how to live a good life by individual and society

Nature of Ethics
1. Ethics is not an exact science like physics and chemistry or like other natural sciences, but it is a
normative (‫ ) معياري‬science. It is normative in nature. It is called Normative Science because…

A) Ethics is based on the norms (‫ ) المعايير‬of the society. We decide something as right or wrong
on the basis of the norms or standards of our own particular society. And norms of the
society are always changing from one society to another society, one culture to another
culture or some times within same society time to time. That is the reason that ethical
standards are not fixed but always changing.

B) Ethics also give some norms to the society. It determines norms, ideals, standard or values
and on the basis of these norms, ideals, or standards we can judge human actions whether it
is right or wrong, good or bad. It is an investigation that attempts to reach on a normative
conclusions; that is what things are good or bad or about what actions are right or wrong.

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C) Ethics is not descriptive (‫ ) وصفي‬but evaluative (‫) مثمن‬. Descriptive science is concerned
with what is this. It deals with facts and explains them by their causes. But ethics as a
normative study aims to discover what should be. Ethics involves in arriving at moral
standards that regulate right and wrong conduct. It evaluates the actions and behavior of an
individual and society that how an action is good or bad, right or wrong.

2. The concept of ethics is applied to human beings only as they have freedom of choice and
means of free will.

3. Ethics deals with human conduct which is voluntary and not forced by circumstances or
humans. It is a conscious, deliberate, and voluntary activity. That is why the action of slaves,
children, and insane people cannot be evaluated. This is because they are not doing their
actions consciously or voluntarily.

4. Ethics is a field of social science because in ethics we study a set of systematic knowledge
about moral behavior and human conduct at individual as well as social level

Source of Ethics and Values


Every society has its own concept of right and wrong. These concepts have been originated and
developed mainly from different sources which may be summarized as below:
- Religions,
- Traditions,
- Cultures and
- Philosophies.
Among these, religion plays a very important role. Every religion has its own code of ethics and
values which are practiced by its followers.
For e.g. the bases of ethics in Islam are the Holy Qur’an and the Traditions of the Prophet
(Sunnah). Ethics in Islam addresses every aspect of a Muslim’s life, from greetings to
international relations.
Similarly different traditions, cultures and philosophies in different parts of the world also play
their role in shaping ethics and values in the society.

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Class Activity: (10 mins)
Question: Write any ten points that you learn from this class.

1. _______________________________________________________________________

2. _______________________________________________________________________

3. _______________________________________________________________________

4. _______________________________________________________________________

5. _______________________________________________________________________

6. _______________________________________________________________________

7. _______________________________________________________________________

8. _______________________________________________________________________

9. _______________________________________________________________________

10. ______________________________________________________________________

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Important Terms in Ethics:
In order to understand the concept of ethics, certain terms and terminologies should be
understood. The following are some of such terms.
a. Values ( ‫)القيم‬

b. Norms (‫) المعايير‬

c. Attitudes (‫) المواقف‬

d. Behavior (‫) سلوك‬

A. Values:
Values are the important principles shared by the members of a society about what is good or
bad and desirable or undesirable. Values have major influence on a person’s behavior and attitude
and guide the individuals in all situations. Some common values are honesty, justice and
equality. Values can be viewed as positive, negative or neutral.
 Positive Values: Anything which is good for the individual or society is called positive
value. Examples: Mercy, justice, being truthful, being fair with others etc.

 Negative Values: Anything which is bad for the individual or society is called negative
value. Example: Cheating, lying, stealing and greed etc.

 Neutral Values: Neutral values deal with what we like or desire. Example:Money,
fame and status.

Types of Values:
1. Personal Values: Personal values are those values which are possessed by individuals.
These values and belief leads to action. It reflects in individual’s behavior, attitude and
nature. Personal values can be positive, negative or neutral.

Ex: Mr. Salem reports to his duty five minutes early everyday (Punctuality in his job)

2. Social Values: Social values are those beliefs which are based on the welfare and wellbeing
of the society. This may include equality, justice, liberty, freedom etc.

Ex: Helping your friend, neighbor and others.

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3. Economic Values: Values related to earning and spending money. Like spending money in
a correct way and charging correct price for the product etc.

Ex: Mrs. Muna keeps accounts of all her monthly income and expense regularly.

4. Spiritual Values: Values associated with the relationship of an individual with his God. In
specific terms, it includes the mode of worship, beliefs etc. It depends on what God had
revealed. If a person is very much strong in spiritual value his action will be more ethical.

Ex: Mrs. Fatma gives away her Zakat every year on time

5. Technical Values: Values associated with the use of science and technology.

Example: Using nuclear science and other technologies for the benefit of human being and
not for harming anyone.

Ex: Mr. Mazin uses internet only for good purposes and he avoids misuse of it.

6. Legal values: Values associated with adhering to the laws of a country.

Ex: Mrs. Aziza takes all care to follow traffic rules while driving.

7. Aesthetic values: These are based on beauty and neatness. Example: not to destroy a
colorful flower and keeping the class room and office neat and clean.

Ex: Mrs. Shamsa always keeps her house clean

8. Ecological values: It is based on living system and environment. It means not to pollute
water, space or the environment.

Ex: Sohar Aluminium Co. uses advanced technologies to minimize air pollution.

9. Psychological values: This is based on the personal satisfaction of an individual. It is a state


of happiness with the available resources.

Ex: Mr. Abdul Rahman is satisfied with his low income.

Class Activity: (10 mins)

Solve the self-assessment questions given at the end of the chapter.

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How values develop?
Sociologist Morris Massey has described three major periods during which values are
developed.

1. The Imprint Period (Role of FAMILY)


Up to the age of seven, we are like sponges, absorbing everything around us and accepting much
of it as true, especially when it comes from our parents. This is the reason why when a family is
having good experiences and live in good ways the children also learn those things.

2. The Modeling Period (Role of EDUCATION)


Between the ages of eight and thirteen, we copy people, often our parents, but also other people.
Rather than blind acceptance, we are trying on things like suit of clothes, to see how they feel.
We may be much impressed with religion or our teachers. You may remember being particularly
influenced by junior school teachers who seemed so knowledgeable may be even more so than
your parents.

3. The Socialization Period (Role of SOCIETY)


Between 13 and 21, we are very largely influenced by our friends and teachers. As we develop as
individuals and look for ways to get away from the earlier programming, we naturally turn to
people who seem more like us. Other influences at these ages include the films and the books
you read.
Class Activity:
List out any five values you possess and also identify in which period you got this value to your
life stream? Some of the values are given below. You can choose from that list or write your own
value.

Sl. Values/ Stage in which acquired. {Imprint/modelling/ How has it helped


No. Norm/Attitud socialisation} you in your life
e/Behaviour
1

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3

LIST OF VALUES – HUMAN VALUES!!!

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CHANGES IN VALUES:
VALUES are not stable for all the stages of life. It will change and this change is a never ending
process. The change in values is due to change in the life style of the individual and changes in
his work atmosphere, change in the social system and the influence of the change on him/her.
There are various ways of developing values. We develop values throughout our lives. Values
also change with time. Some values are easy to change while others are difficult to change.
According to Ryan (2000), the six methods of imparting value are
Example (‫) أمثلة‬
Explanation (‫) شرح‬
Exhortation (praise) (‫) مدح‬
Ethos (‫)شخصية‬
Experience ( ‫) تجربة‬
Expectation of Excellence (‫) تفوق‬

1. Teaching values through Examples and models:

Human beings aren't born civilized; we have to learn almost everything important by
example. Children like heroes and they want to be like their heroes. Their heroes include
people they know, people they see on television, and people they read about or hear about.
Children learn from their heroes which results in development of positive values.

2. Teaching values through Explaining rules

Just telling rules to children is not enough. The rules have to be explained in a language
suitable for their age then children will learn quickly. The rules tell them what is right, what
is wrong, what is good, what to admire, and so on. Values are also taught very directly when
certain behaviors are expected in children.

3. Teaching values through stories with morals or lessons:

Another way of approaching morals, values, and worldviews is through stories and examples
that speak directly to particular values. A story is told with a lesson in it. Typically, the
stories show how to behave or how not to obey in situations where a decision has to be made.
Often in these stories right behaviors and actions are rewarded and, of course, wrong
behaviors bring negative result.

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4. Teaching values through Ethos

A very important aspect of teaching values to anybody is to create an environment of positive


values. For example if parents tell their children not to lie but parents themselves lie than it is
not possible for the child to learn positive values. An environment of positive value has to be
created by doing what is right and avoiding what is wrong so that it is easy for the others to
follow. If everybody is doing right, it becomes difficult to do wrong.

5. Teaching values through Experience:

One of the ways that teachers can help children to develop their values is to give them
experiences. The students may be given situations where they may be asked to take ethical
decisions. Also, examples of what others have done in such situations can also help in
developing values.

6. Teaching values through Expectation of excellence:

One of the most important methods of teaching values is through creating expectation of
excellence. Such expectation will lead the child to perform better initially it can start from
academic excellence and later on can be tied up to character excellence.

Class Activity: (10 mins)


Write down as many values developed in you by use of any methods listed above?

______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
B. Norms: (‫) المعايير‬
Norms are standards or expected social behaviour from members of a society. These are informal
guidelines about what is considered normal (what is correct or incorrect) social behavior in a
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particular group or social unit. Norms form the basis of collective expectations that members of a
community have from each other, and play a key part in social control and social order by
exerting a pressure on the individual to conform. For example, Omani men are supposed to wear
Dishdsha and Khanjar while attending a social or an official function.

C. Attitudes (‫) المواقف‬


Attitude is approach of an individual towards something, someone, some place or events etc.
Attitude may be positive or negative. It is influenced by values and norms. Attitude varies from
person to person and time to time and situation to situation. When you use “like” and “dislike”
you are expressing an attitude. Attitude normally affects behavior but cannot be always used to
predict behavior. For example: One person likes some type of foods while others dislike the
same food.

D. Behavior: (‫) سلوك‬


Behavior is a component of attitude. Behavior is what one does. In general behavior is
determined by attitude but in some cases due to situational factors behavior may not reflect the
attitude of the person. It is important to remember that if a behavior is continuously followed
against the attitude, it may affect the attitude itself.
For example: Attitude of an employee towards his/her boss is positive; the employee would greet
the boss. Attitude of an employee towards his/her boss is negative; the employee may still greet
the boss. In this case, the behavior is not reflecting the attitude of the person because allowing
the attitude to be reflected in behavior may result in loss for the employee.

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Application of Ethics in real life:
Ethical behaviour is a very prominent feature of human life. We can see its application in every
aspect of our lives being personal, professional or social. In real terms over our evolution we
have set up various codes of ethics that guides our day to day living which are mentioned below:

1. Personal Ethics: Personal ethics is a category of philosophy that determines what an


individual believes about morality and right and wrong. Personal ethics can affect all areas
of life, including family, finances and relationships. Personal ethics are constructed from a
person's beliefs and expectations, and it differs from person to person. It is largely
influenced by religion, culture, tradition and philosophy that an individual follows.
For example: I will keep my promises and honor my commitments; I will treat people as I
want to be treated myself.

2. Work Ethics:Work ethic is a set of values based on hard work and carefulness. These are
the ethics which employees practice inside and outside their organizations during their job.
Work ethics include not only how one feels about their job, career or vocation, but also how
one does his/her job or responsibilities. This involves attitude, behavior, respect,
communication, and interaction; how one gets along with others. Work ethics demonstrate
many things about whom and how a person is.
For example: To come at work on time; To help your co-workers to perform better.

3. Professional Ethics: Professional ethics is a set of values and principles that guide a
profession and the ethics of decisions made within the profession, such as ethics in
engineering, law, management, medical, nursing etc.
For example:
a. A professional engineer should not certify the safety of a project which is not safe.
b. A professional doctor should not be negligent or make wrong diagnosis.
c. A professional accountant is expected unbiased report about the company’s financial
affairs.

4. Business Ethics: Business Ethics is the application of ethical and moral principles in a
business environment. It deals with what is right and what wrong while doing business. It is

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also called as corporate ethics. These are the written and unwritten codes of principles
and values, determined by an organization's culture, that govern decisions and actions within
that organization.
For example:
a. A Company uses a certain percentage of profit for charity or social development
b. A Company providing correct information about its products to the customer
Class Activity: (10 mins)
List as many ethical and unethical practices you may have come across in Business,
Profession or Work:

Self-Assessment Questions

Find the types of values in the following

1. Mr. Ahmed the cashier of super market every day shows the correct record of all money.
……………………..

2. Ms. Sara a manager in Bank Muscat believes in hard work………………………………

3. Mr. John a servant of Mr. Aabid is very loyal to his owner……………………………..

4. Mr. Mrwan always like freedom in society………………………………….

5. Mr. Munawar, the manager of Lulu Super market always works for the welfare of his
organization’s staff……………………………………….

6. Mr. Khalfan treats all his workers equally. ………………………………

7. There is importance to justice in Omani society ………………………………….

8. The leader of the country develops new methods to make all people happy………………

9. Pay taxes properly to the government ………………………………..

10. Mr. Ramesh cheats people in his business always……………………………….

11. Mr. Ishaq behaves very well with the people………………………………..

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12. Ms. Clients always dreams to become the president of her country………………………

13. Mr. Gate wishes to become the richest person of the world ………………………………

14. Ms. Yosuf uses internet services for making her subjects easy for the students…………

15. Mr. Aamir follows the rules and regulation of the traffic while driving…………………

16. Mr.Qasim working as supervisor in the shopping mall happy with his
income………………

17. Mr. Azeez prays five times every day……………………………..

18. Ms. Zahra keeps her house clean…………………………………..

19. Ms. Zuwaina cleans the tables of her office every day…………………….

20. Mr. Nasar wears very clean cloths……………………………

21. Mr. Amjad running a company always put his company’s’ waste in the
garbage………………..

22. Mr. Saeed doesn’t smoke in public place…………………………..

23. Mr. Raja works hard to fulfill the expectation his employer………………………….

24. Mr. Basha discriminates people always……………………………………

References:

 Ahmad Khaliq & M. Sadiq AbulHassan (2001) Ethics in Business and Management:
Islamic and mainstream approaches (Eds.), London: ASEAN Academic Press.
 Beekun, R.I. (2004) Islamic Business Ethics, New Delhi: Goodword Books Pvt. Ltd.
 Ryan K. & T. Lickona (1992) Character development in schools and beyond (Eds.),
Washington: The council for research in values and philosophy.
 Joseph DesJardins,second Edition, Business ethics, Mc Graw hills Internationals
 Crane,Andrew and Matten,Dirt(2007) Business Ethics, Oxford University Press, New
York
 dsef.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/EthicalTheories.pdf
 braungardt.trialectics.com/philosophy/topics/ethical-systems/

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Chapter Two
UNDERSTAND ETHICAL DILEMMASAND ETHICAL DECISION MAKING

Outcome Covered (8): Function in a Moral and Ethical manner in his/her life

Learning Objectives: This chapter will help the students:


1. To understand the concept of Ethical Dilemma in detail
2. To understand what is Ethical Decision making and its various approaches
3. To learn the steps involved in Ethical Decision Making
4. To understand the guidelines for Ethical Decision making
5. To understand the concept of Whistle blowing

Topics Covered:
1. Ethical Dilemma
2. Nature of Ethical Dilemma
3. Ethical decision making
4. Approaches to Ethical Decision Making
5. Ethical decision using given approaches
6. Steps involved in Ethical Decision Making
7. Obstacles in Resolving Ethical Issues
8. Whistle Blowing
9. Steps involved whistle blowing

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1. ETHICAL DILEMMA
Definition: An ethical dilemma is a situation or problem facing an individual that involves
complex and often conflicting principles of ethical behavior.
Ethical dilemmas are situations in which someone must take decision
Ethical dilemmas, also known as a moral dilemmas, are situations in which there is a choice to
be made between two options, neither of which resolves the situation in unethically acceptable
fashion.
An ethical dilemma is a debate between two moral principles, where two sides can argue about
what is wrong or what is right. However, there is no real answer to an ethical dilemma. It is
simply a matter of what one believes in.
An ethical dilemma may occur either within the person or between two or more people.
Conditions for a situation to be considered an Ethical Dilemma:
a) When an individual must make a decision about which course of action is best.
b) There must be different courses of action to choose from.
c) No matter what course of action is taken, some ethical principle is compromised/ no
perfect solution.

2. NATURE OF ETHICAL DILEMMA;


Nature of ethical dilemma can be broadly classified into three major categories:
 Personal
 Professional
 Societal
Thus it signifies the dilemma faced by an individual from different perspectives of his/her own
life as an individual, in profession and as a part of the society.

2.1 Personal Ethical Dilemma: Ethical dilemma that involves a conflict in an individual’s
personal values are personal ethical dilemma. It mostly occurs in personal or family relations.
For e.g.
i. You have found that your brother is taking drugs and upon asking him he refused. He
also threatened you that if he discusses this with anyone then he will not help you in
preparing your assignment. Now what would you do? Keep quite or inform your parents.

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Such dilemma imposes a lot of pressure on your personal value system in which you
believe.
ii. You are out for a walk one night and you see a man running towards you. He looks
terrified, stressed and panicked. He comes up to your with tears in his eyes and says, “I
am going to hide right here. I can’t run anymore. I didn’t do anything wrong. Please,
promise me you won’t tell them where I am!”. So you promise the man, he hides behind
a bush and you keep walking. Ten seconds later four men turn the corner where the
panicked man had come from and head towards you. As they get closed you see that they
are, indeed, police officers. They walk up to you and ask if you have seen the man they
were chasing. What do you do? Do you lie? Why?
iii. You witness a man rob a bank, but instead of keeping the money for himself, he donates
it to a local orphanage. You know this orphanage has been struggling for funding, and
this money will allow the children to receive proper food, clothing and medical care. If
you report the crime, the money will be taken away from the orphanage and given back
to the bank. What should you do?

2.2 Professional Ethical Dilemma: It is an ethical dilemma that involves a conflict in one’s
professional / work / Business values. It occurs at place of work. Such dilemma occurs with
employers, employees, practicing professionals like doctors, accountants, engineers etc and
businesses. Some common examples of professional ethical dilemma are:
i. Human Resources Issues: Human resources deals with employees and their
development related activities in an organization. It is where ethics really matter, since it
concerns human issues.For example:
An employer Mr.Hisham has been running a consulting business for a long time and
needs to hire a person to help him manage it. He does several interviews and finally
employs a candidate Ahmed for the job who is asked to start work from the following
week. In the meantime, Hisham gets a call from his friend who recommends him Majid –
an extremely talented and deserving person for the job. Although Hisham refuses, his
friend insists. Majid comes in with the perfect resume and is liked by the employer. Now,
what? Dilemma lies in choosing someone who is best for the business or someone who
ethically has the first say.

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ii. Employee Safety Issues: All employers are ethically required to provide a safe and
healthy workplace for their employees. Ethical dilemmas may surface in the course of the
safety practitioner work largely because there may be occasions when there are conflicts
of interest and loyalty derived from their different roles. The best way to resolve such
dilemmas is to prevent them before they arise. For example:
Heather is part of a four person mining expedition. There is a cave-in and the four of
them are trapped in the mine. A rock has crushed the legs of one of her crew members
and he will die without medical attention. She’s established radio contact with the rescue
team and learned it will be 36 hours before the first drill can reach the space she is
trapped in. She is able to calculate that this space has just enough oxygen for three people
to survive for 36 hours, but definitely not enough for four people. The only way to save
the other crew members is to refuse medical aid to the injured crew members so that there
will be just enough oxygen for the rest of the crew to survive. Should Heather allow the
injured crew member to die in order to save the lives of the remaining crew members?
iii. Conflicts of interest: These occur when the judgment or objectivity is compromised.
Impartiality is the key for taking good decisions. For example:
 A salesperson might face the dilemma of telling the truth about a product and thus
losing a sale and his or her commission.
 Advertising company owned by your cousin to be hired for selling an
advertisement to your company; if you are in charge to decide; for avoiding such
interest conflict it's better for you to delegate this decision to be made objectively
by a neutral person (a colleague who doesn't have any relationship with the owner
(your cousin). If you are the only person authorized to make such a decision, you
should include other employees in the process to clarify that this decision is made
fairly.
iv. Use of corporate resources: Company resources including company reputation and
financial resources are to be used for Company business purposes only. Employees
should not use Company assets for personal gain, nor do they allow any other person, not
employed or authorized by the Company to use Company assets. Protection of the
Company’s assets is the responsibility of every employee. Appropriate care must be

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taken to ensure that company assets are not stolen, loaned to others, transferred, sold or
donated without authorization. For example:
 It is like 'use of corporate reputation' (e.g. writing a recommendation letter for one
of your co-workers to find a job, using your corporate letterhead paper, making a
speech on behalf of your company without a permit, …); '
 The employees are taking some pens and other office stationary for distributing
them among poor children or using company's car for private purposes.
v. Customer Confidence: These issues include confidentiality, product safety and
effectiveness, truth in advertising, and special fiduciary responsibilities etc.
For example:
A new technology is being launched which is good for the company as well as the clients.
But, if this is brought into use, a lesser man-power is required for the organization. The
entrepreneur is now in an ethical dilemma whether he wants to better his clients with
good services or be loyal to his employees who have helped the company grow. The
unpleasantness of the situation arises when neither the clients nor the employees deserve
to suffer and it is the entrepreneur’s call to take.

2.3 Societal Dilemma: A social dilemma is a situation in which an individual profits from
selfishness unless everyone chooses the selfish alternative, in which case the whole group loses.
Problems arise when too many group members choose to pursue individual profit and immediate
satisfaction rather than behave in the group’s best long-term interests. Social dilemmas can take
many forms and are studied across disciplines such as psychology, economics, and political
science. Examples of phenomena that can be explained using social dilemmas include resource
depletion, overpopulation, voting rights, environmental protection, privacy, individual rights, and
equality etc.
"Real World" Examples of Social Dilemmas (http://perspicuity.net/sd/xvp-4.html)
i. Elections: Voters Paradox
There is some cost to you in voting. While it may be small for some, it is significant for
others. Some people go to a great deal of effort just to vote. What return do they get for
this effort? Zilch! A single vote can only impact an election when there is a tie, which has
essentially zero chance of happening in a state or national election. The typical response

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to this is "Well, what if everyone did that?" Of course, that would be a disaster. But we
are not talking about everyone; we are talking about ONE individual.
Any activity, if "everyone does it", is likely to have a major impact on society. The next
time you buy or sell a few shares of stock, consider "What if everyone does it?". What if
everyone flushed the commode at the same time you do? Etc.
But if you do "cooperate" by voting and everyone else does, society as a whole is greatly
benefited. On the other hand if everyone declines to vote -- which rationally they should -
- we have a disaster. Yet, since an individual vote has no impact, each individual has a
greater net reward by not voting! That is the paradox.
Another consequence of the Voters Paradox is that since voters know that their individual
vote is highly unlikely to influence the election outcome, there is little incentive to
become knowledgeable about the political candidates and issues [Downs, 1957; Green
and Shipiro, Investor's Business Daily].

ii. Water Supply:


Let's say you live in a very populated city and one day the city announces that, due to a
water shortage, everyone should cut back on consumption. In particular, the city says that
you should only shower once a week. Now you have been working in the garden and you
really would like a shower! What are your options? If you don't take a shower, the water
situation gets no worse but you are uncomfortable and stink like a clogged sewer. If you
do take a shower there is great benefit to you but the small amount of water that you
consume is insignificant compared to the total in the reservoir and, in fact, no one will
notice. Put another way, your consumption when spread over the millions of residents in
the city is of no consequence.

iii. The Littering Problem:


What does one more piece of litter do to an already huge pile?
I'll pick up my litter but not the other guy's

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CLASS ACTIVITY (5 Minutes)
Question: Write at least two examples by your own related with any point given in nature
of ethical dilemma.
______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

3. ETHICAL DECISION MAKING:


Ethical decision making: Ethical dilemmas are best solved through ethical decision making.
Ethical decision making is a cognitive process where people consider ethical rules, principles or
guidelines when making decisions. Thus ethical decision-making refers to the process of
evaluating and choosing among alternatives in a manner consistent with ethical principles. In
making ethical decisions, it is necessary to perceive and eliminate unethical options and select
the best ethical alternative.
The process of making ethical decisions requires:
 Commitment: The desire to do the right thing regardless of the cost
 Consciousness: The awareness to act consistently and apply moral convictions to daily
behavior
 Competency: The ability to collect and evaluate information, develop alternatives, and
foresee potential consequences and risks
Good decisions are both ethical and effective:

24
 Ethical decisions generate and sustain trust; demonstrate respect, responsibility, fairness
and caring; and are consistent with good citizenship. These behaviors provide a
foundation for making better decisions by setting the ground rules for our behavior.
 Effective decisions are effective if they accomplish what we want accomplished and if
they advance our purposes. A choice that produces unintended and undesirable results is
ineffective. The key to making effective decisions is to think about choices in terms of
their ability to accomplish our most important goals. This means we have to understand
the difference between immediate and short-term goals and longer-range goals.

4. APPROACHES TO ETHICAL DECISION MAKING:


When learning how to resolve ethical dilemmas, it is important to be able to have a clear and a
justifiable rationale for why we believe one decision seems right and another seems wrong.
Having a basic understanding of the major ethical approaches and principles will help us toward
an ethical resolution learning how to understand and justify the decision.

4.1 FUNDAMENTAL ETHICAL PRINCIPLES:


Ethical principles provide a generalized framework within which particular ethical dilemmas
may be analyzed. These principles can provide guidance in resolving ethical issues. There are
four fundamental ethical principles explained below:

i. Principle of Respect forAutonomy ( ‫) الحكم الذاتي‬:


Autonomy is Latin for "self-rule" We have an obligation to respect the autonomy of other
persons, which is to respect the decisions made by other people concerning their own
lives. This is also called the principle of human dignity. It gives us a negative duty not to
interfere with the decisions of competent adults, and a positive duty to empower others
for whom we’re responsible. Thus it allows for individual freedom or one's right to make
decisions without being forced. For example, choice of religion, dress, foods, etc.
Corollary principles: honesty in our dealings with others & obligation to keep promises.

ii. Principle of Beneficence(‫ )إحسان‬:


We have an obligation to bring about good in all our actions. Beneficence is action that is
done for the benefit of others. Beneficent actions can be taken to help prevent or remove

25
harms or to simply improve the situation of others. Beneficence can also include
protecting and defending the rights of others, rescuing persons who are in danger, and
helping individuals with disabilities.
Examples of beneficent actions: Resuscitating a drowning victim, providing vaccinations
for the general population, encouraging a patient to quit smoking and start an exercise
program
Corollary principle: We must take positive steps to prevent harm. However, adopting this
corollary principle frequently places us in direct conflict with respecting the autonomy of
other persons.

iii. Principle of Non-maleficence (‫) عدم التسبب بضرر‬


“Non-maleficence means to “do no harm.”We have an obligation not to harm others:
"First, do no harm. Examples of non-maleficent actions: Stopping a medication that is
shown to be harmful, refusing to provide a treatment that has not been shown to be
effective.
Corollary principle: Where harm cannot be avoided, we are obligated to minimize the
harm we do. Don't increase the risk of harm to others. It is wrong to waste resources that
could be used for good.
Combining beneficence and non-maleficence: Each action must produce more good than
harm

iv. Principle of justice( ‫)عدل‬


We have an obligation to provide others with whatever they are owed or deserve. In
public life, we have an obligation to treat all people equally, fairly, and impartially.
Corollary principle: Impose no unfair burdens.
Combining beneficence and justice: We are obligated to work for the benefit of those
who are unfairly treated
4.2 ETHICAL APPROACHES / SYSTEMS:
1. Ethical Relativism: ( ‫) النسبية األخالقية‬
According to the ethical relativism system, no principles are universally valid, which means that
moral (‫ )أخالق‬principles are relative to cultural standards in each society. It considers the
differences between cultures and society. The basic argument to relativistic theories is that there

26
cannot be any standard of what is right and wrong. According to this concept, each society is
different and what is right in one society may be wrong in another society. According to
relativism, no culture is better than other and each society can decide what is right or wrong. The
logical conclusion is that there are no Universal rights or wrongs. If this theory is taken to its
extreme, it can mean that every person has a right to decide what is right and what is wrong.
Implications:
Strength - Brings about tolerance of other cultures and keeps societies from falling apart.
Weakness- Confuses what ought to be done with what is currently done.
Example: Experimenting on animals is not allowed in certain countries; Consumption of alcohol
or consumption of cow’s meat or pork not allowed in certain countries.

2. Teleological Approach (based on consequences)


The Teleological Ethical Theories are concerned with the consequences of actions which mean
the basic standards for our actions being morally right or wrong depends on the good or evil
generated. Teleological ethical theories may be classified as:
(a) Ethical Egoism: Ethical egoism holds that an action is right if it maximizes good for the self.
Thus, Egoism may license actions which are good for the individual, but detrimental to
the general welfare.
(i)Individual Egoism holds that all people should do whatever benefits him or herself.
(ii)Personal Egoism holds that each person should act in his own self-interest, but makes no
claims about what anyone else ought to do.
(iii) Universal Egoism holds that everyone should act in ways that are in their own interest.
Implications:
Strength – Do not rule out helping others; can support a social morality if all agree certain
conduct is in everyone’s self-interest.
Weakness- Limits the development of self; ignore the responsibilities we have to others; lacks
freedom to make choices.
Example: A person who owes money to a friend and decides to pay the friend back not because
that person owes money, but because it is in his best interest to pay his friend back so that he
does not lose his friend.

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(b) Utilitarian Approach: The Utilitarianism theory holds that an action is good if it results
in maximum satisfaction for a large number of people who are likely to get affected by the
action. [Maximum satisfaction here means maximization of pleasure and minimization of pain].
Thus, the system focuses on the consequences (‫ ) نتيجة‬on deciding what is ethical or unethical.
Implication:
Strength - Promotes human well-being and attempts to lessen human suffering.
Weakness- One person’s good can be another’s evil. It’s hard to predict accurately all
consequences. At times it ignores justice.
Example: A manager creates an annual employee vacation schedule after asking the vacation
time preferences from all the employees and honors their preferences, and then he would be
acting in a way that shall maximize the pleasure of all the employees.

3. Common Good Approach: The approach states that the action and decision is ethical if it
advances the common good, i.e. the ethical action is the one that contributes most to the
achievement of a quality common life together of all or most members of a given community.
In more simple term, we focus on ensuring that the social policies, social systems, institutions,
and environments on which we depend are beneficial to all.
Implication:
Strength – The approach promotes common quality life to all the members of the society and no
one can be easily excluded from enjoyment.
Weakness – The approach is inconsistent in pluralistic society where everyone has own idea of
quality aspects.
For example: accessible and affordable health care system, effective system of public safety and
security, peace among nations, unpolluted natural environment and flourishing economic system.

4. Virtue Ethical Approach: Virtue approach focuses on the inherent character of a person
rather than on the nature or consequences of specific actions performed.
The system assumes that there are certain ideals toward which we should strive. These ideals
provide for the full development of our humanity, and are discovered through thoughtful
reflection on what kind of people we have the potential to become. Honesty, courage,

28
compassion, generosity, fidelity, integrity, fairness, self-control, and prudence are examples of
virtues frequently cited throughout the world.
In more precise words, Virtues are like habits; that are, once acquired; they become characteristic
of a person. A virtuous person is an ethical person.
Implication:
Strength- The system does not depend on external rules as the morals are assumed to be
internalized.
Weakness- Keep in mind, different communities may identify differing virtues. It offers no
guidance for resolving concrete ethical dilemmas like in situation of wars.
Example: People are judged by their character and not by their wealth or fame.

5. Fairness/Justice Approach: The approach states that, “All equals should be treated equally
and unequal’s unequally”. In more clear terms, treat people the same unless there are morally
relevant differences between them."
Implication:
Strength- The approach focuses on distribution of benefits and burdens among the members of a
group fairly.
Weakness- The approach sometime promotes favoritism and discrimination while deciding the
benefits and burdens among the members of a group.
Example: Employees should be paid according to their contribution towards the company’s
profits.

6. Deontological Approach (Non-Consequential): Deontologyis an approach to ethics that


focuses on the rightness or wrongness of actions themselves. It does not look into rightness or
wrongness of the consequences. According to it actions and their outcomes both are independent
things and decisions should be made considering the factors of one's duties and other's rights.
Examples: (a) Stealing is inherently wrong, so even if you are starving, it would be immoral to
steal a loaf of bread. Thus we have a duty to adhere to actions good in themselves.
(b)Imagine you run a factory in a very poor country and a child comes to your door and asks for a
job. As per the approach it is wrong to employ children — children have human rights, and one of
those rights is the right to play and to be educated, rather than to be toiling in factories or fields.”

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Some types of deontological approach are:
(a) The Divine Command Theory system: (‫)النظام نظرية القيادة اإللهية‬: This system agrees that all
moral standards depend on God who is the creator of a divine law. These laws come to us
originally through revelations and sacred texts. According to this ethical system, an act that is
according to divine law is right and one that breaks this law is deemed wrong.
Implications:
Strength- Standards are from a higher authority than humans. It gives reasons why humans
should behave morally. It also gives worth to all equally.
Weakness- The understanding depends on individual interpretation. Does not apply those who
don’t believe in God (Atheist)
Example: The holy Quran provides the principles of law and serves as ultimate authority for
Muslims.

(b) Duty Theories: An action is morally right if it is in accord with some list of duties and
obligations.

(c) Rights Approach: An action is morally right if it adequately respects the rights of all humans
(or at least all members of society). The theory based on the principles that the rights set forth by
society are ethically correct and should be high priority.
This is also sometimes referred to as Libertarianism that the people should be legally free to do
whatever they wish so long as their actions do not encroach upon the rights of others.

(d) Contractarian Approach: An action is morally right if it is in accordance with the rules and
mutual agreement. It holds that moral acts are those that we would all agree to if we were unbiased, and
that moral rules themselves are a sort of a contract, and therefore only people who understand and agree
to the terms of the contract are bound by it.

5. STEP INVOLVED IN ETHICAL DECISION MAKING:


The toughest ethical dilemmas in the workplace occur when two or more competing alternatives
are present, each having its own set of ethical values, the choice of which always offers a less-
than-ideal solution. This happens because we often are pitting two favorable outcomes against

30
each other—often fairness versus compassion. “Right” versus “right” is the toughest ethical
challenge to navigate. However, when faced with such situations, the below mentioned steps can
be made use of to resolve ethical dilemmas.
A model which was created by Corey, G., Corey, M.S., & Callanan,P. has eight steps to the
decision-making process.
Step 1:
Identify the problem: - Sometimes just realizing a particular situation is unethical can be the
important first step, as many feel that it’s just the “way of doing business” and not think that it is
unethical.
Step 2:
Identify the potential issues involved:-Analyze what are the issues that could negatively impact
people or the company? Who could get hurt? And what will happen if nothing is done in this
regard?
Step 3:
Review relevant ethical guidelines:- Does the organization have policies and procedures in
place to handle such situations? For example, if a client gives you a gift, there may be a rule
whether you can accept gifts and if so, the value limit of the gift you can accept.
Step 4:
Know relevant laws and regulations:- if the company doesn’t have any rules against those
issues, then would it be illegal to report such cases?
Step 5:
Seek consultation:- Seek support from supervisors, co-workers, friends and family, especially
from people who you feel are moral and ethical.
Step 6:
Consider possible and probable courses of action: Brainstorm a list of possible solutions for
solving the problem.
Step 7:
List the consequences of the probable courses of action: - list the positive and negative
benefits of each proposed solution and how will it affect the parties concerned?
Step 8:

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Decide on what appears to be the best course of action:-there may not always be perfect
solution, but the best solution is the one that seems to create the most good and the least harm.

6. OBSTACLES IN RESOLVING ETHICAL ISSUES:


a. The true facts of the situation are unclear or incomplete: You should take all the
possible effort to uncover all the data available in regard to ethical consideration before
taking any decision.
b. Words used to describe the issue are “loaded”: Words like “fairness”, “doing right” or
“justice” means different to different people and hence results into conflict. Therefore
such words should be avoided while describing the ethical issues.
c. Subjectivity (Biased) and personal perception create barriers to objectivity
(Unbiased): Decisions involving the ethical issues should be made rationally &
objectively. They must be supported by the facts of the situation.
d. Emotions get in the way of logic: It occurs when ethical issues are discussed with
others. In such situations you should avoid to diffuse its intensity before allowing you or
anyone else to commit to adamant position. If possible do not take any action in such
situation.
e. Conditions preclude obtaining the required knowledge: The conditions like absence
of alternative solutions, lack of control, lack of power to take a decision makes it
impossible to apply a solution of choice. In such condition do not take action or you are
not responsible for the consequences of the situation you are forced into.

7. WHISTLE BLOWING
Definition: Whistle blowing is a process to expose any kind of information or activity that is
deemed illegal, unethical or not correct within an organization that is either public or private.
If any employee brings the following incidents in the notice of top management or concerned
authority, then the employee is whistle blowing.
(a) Discrimination in promotion of employees.
(b) Terminating or suspending the employees without serving prior notice.
(c) Unnecessary delay in the payment of salary and other benefits.
(d) Harassment, conflicts and misconduct issues

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(e) Environmental pollution issues.
(f) Quality issues related with goods and services.
(g) Any act of employer that is against the public interest or security of the country.

Goal of Whistle blowing:


i. To expose the employer’s wrongdoing (such as corruption, fraud, incorrect financial
reporting and other wrongdoing) to outsiders such as the media or government regulatory
agencies.
ii. To protect the public interest.
iii. To inform people or organizations those are in a position to prevent harm to investigate
or to take action against those responsible for wrongdoing.

8. STEPS INVOLVED IN WHISTLE BLOWING:


The whistle blowing process starts by collecting all facts and data needed and followed the
following steps:-
1. Approach your immediate manager first: This time in a written memo explaining your
concerns. This surely, will help your manager to take you more seriously, but he’s still
not taking any action?
2. Discuss the issue with your family: Since any whistle blowing can affect them with
you, they have the right to know what’s going on. Tell them general information (without
mentioning names). See what they advise you, this helps them be prepared for the coming
difficulties, and sharing the responsibility of decision making process.
3. Take it to the next level: The most diplomatic way of going around your manager is to
ask him to go with you to the next level to discuss the situation, so that he won’t feel
betrayed and you’ll appear to be a team player. Are you still unsatisfied?
4. Contact your company’s ethics officer (or human recourse department): Find out if
your state has any legislation regarding whistle blowing: Your state may have legislative
protection or you might find out that there are specific procedures you should follow to
protect yourself and your company.

33
5. Consider going outside your chain of command: Such as, the legal department or the
company’s attorney, (the financial manager if the issue is about money), your last option
inside the company is the CEO himself.
6. Go outside the company: You can contact the regulators who are charged with
overseeing your industry.(A union, a syndicate, some government institution that controls
your industry….).
7. Leave the company: Sometimes, you might have no alternatives but quitting your job.

Whistle blowing Policy:


A Whistle blowing policy is designed to ensure that one (employees) can raise concerns about
wrongdoing or malpractice within an organization without fear of victimisation, subsequent
discrimination, disadvantage or dismissal.
It is also intended to encourage and enable one(employees) to raise serious concerns within the
organization rather than ignoring a problem or 'blowing the whistle' outside.
This Policy aims to:
 encourage employees to feel confident in raising serious concerns at the earliest
opportunity and to question and act upon concerns about practice
 provide avenues for whistle blowers to raise those concerns and receive feedback on any
action taken
 ensure that whistle blower receive a response to your concerns and that you are aware of
how to pursue them if you are not satisfied
 Reassure the whistle blower that he/she will be protected from possible reprisals or
victimization.

Such policy helps in recognizing the role of whistle blowing in detecting fraud, corruption and
other non-ethical behavior, many countries have enacted whistleblower protection laws through
domestic legislation and international conventions. When no legislation exists to encourage and
protect the whistleblower, the management of the organization will have to respond to
whistleblower allegations. In Oman, certain banks, government agencies and international
corporations have adopted whistle blower protection programs.
For example

34
(a) Bank Muscat has a comprehensive whistle blowing program since June 2009.
(b) Omani State General Reserve fund, adopted its own wide ranging whistle blowing
program.

Concerns of Whistleblowers:
1. A genuine whistleblower will need complete support from the senior management because
of the risk involved.
2. Risks include demotion, blacklisting, denying benefits, denying promotions, making
threats, intimidation, and reassignment to less desirable positions, pay reduction,
suspension or termination.

Self-Assessment Questions:
1. Write note on ethical dilemma.
2. There are different categories of ethical dilemma. List all and explain any two with
suitable example.
3. There are many approaches used in ethical decision making. Which approach is best in
your opinion and why?
4. Discuss the steps involved in decision making process.
5. Write note on Deontological approach.
6. Write note on whistle blowing. Do you think that whistle blowing process is complicated
and full of stress?

References:
1.http://omanilawblog.curtis.com/2014/04/whistleblowing-policy-in-oman.html
2. www.e-ductation.psu.edu/emsc302/node/170
3.http://www.kitabsiz.az/imagedisplayPdf?photoPath=%2Fusr%2Fbooks%2Fbook%2F&photoN
ame=113d4ac-1bc7-4561-840a-b9a7edb1d089.pdf
4.Ethical Awareness in International Collaborations: A Contextual Approach
5.http://www.mheducation.co.uk/he/chapters/0077099451.pdf
6. http://www.thedailymind.com/deeper-thinking/ethical-dilemma-5-would-you-lie/
7. http://psychopixi.com/uncategorized/25-moral-dilemmas/

35
8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9037814
9. http://hrdailyadvisor.blr.com/2013/07/30/ethical-dilemmas-in-the-workplace-why-do-some-
organizations-stumble/
10. MarkétaVenyšová, Ethical dilemma’s of Human Resources Managers in London,
Department of Social Policy and Social Work, 2015.
11. Dr. David Meeler, “Five Basic Approaches to Ethical Decision-Making” The Markkula
Center for Applied Ethics.
http://faculty.winthrop.edu/meelerd/docs/rolos/5_Ethical_Approaches.pdf
12. Austin Cline (2017), “Deontology and Ethics” https://www.thoughtco.com/deontology-and-
ethics-249865
13. http://www.philosophybasics.com/branch_ethics.html

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CASE STUDIES
Case 1: You’re working the breakfast shift at a fast-food restaurant when a delivery of milk,
eggs, and other dairy products arrives. There’s a story in the local newspaper about contaminated
milk distributed by the dairy that delivers to your restaurant. Upon reading the article more
closely, you discover that only a small portion of the dairy’s milk is contaminated, and the
newspaper lists the serial numbers of the affected containers.
When you point out the article to your manager, he tells you to forget it. ‘‘If you think we’ve got
time to go through every carton of milk to check serial numbers, you’re crazy,’’ he says. ‘‘The
article says right here that the chances are very less that anyone has a contaminated carton.’’ He
also explains that he doesn’t have the workers to check the milk, and what’s more, destroying the
milk would require him to buy emergency milk supplies at the retail price. So he tells you to get
back to work and forget about the milk. He says, ‘‘I don’t have the time or the money to worry
about such minor details.’’
1. What are the ethical issues?
2. What is the ethical dilemma?
3. How ethically you will be able to solve? (Apply ethical approach to solve the
problem)
4.
Case 2: You work for Red Company. You and a colleague, Basim, are asked by your manager to
attend a weeklong conference in Los Angeles. At least 25 other employees from Red Co. are
attending, as well as many customers and competitors from other institutions. At the conference,
you attend every session and see many of the Red Co. people, but you never run into Basim.
Although you’ve left several phone messages for him, his schedule doesn’t appear to allow room
for a meeting. However, when you get back to the office, the department secretary, who is
coordinating expense reports, mentions to you that your dinner in L.A. must have been quite the
affair. When you ask, ‘‘what dinner?’’ she describes a dinner with 20 customers and Red Co.
employees that Basim paid for at a posh L.A. restaurant. When you explain that you didn’t
attend, she shows you the expense report with your name listed as one of the attendees.
1. Identify the ethical issues involved in the above scenario?
2. What would you do in such a situation? (Relate it to ethical approach)

37
Case 3: The government of China as a part of its economic development program, wanted to
construct one dam (which is the biggest ever in Asia) across the river in northern part of the
country. This project is aimed to develop the economy of millions of people living in that
region. Once the project gets finished, it would generate huge quantity of electricity and provide
more water for irrigation (vegetation and forming). It is estimated that, the cost of project will be
1 billion dollars and more than 50 million people will benefit. But there are some serious
obstacles (problems) to carry this project. First one is government has to vacate more than 200
villages (approximately 1 million people) and must provide alternative place and housing for
those people, in nearby province (which is not good as their original one, and also there is no
proper lively hood for the people). Next one is the dam water would submerge huge forest areas.
Finally the government has decided to start this project irrespective of all this serious problems.
Now there is a strong objection from the villagers as well as environmentalist (who are interested
to protect the nature) to stop this project.
1. Which ethical approach government used to make a decision and why?
2. Is it ethical to help more people at the cost of few people? Explain with reasons
3. Since, such project are unavoidable, suggest some justification (compensation) for
affected people.

Case 4 (Giving up or Giving in): After earning a graduate degree in Engineering Management,
Mazin began working for PDO International. This is a company based in the Oman, which offers
engineering, design, and construction services to countries all over the world.
Mazin’s work is focused on international development; his first assignment is to lead a team to
develop a bid for a highway construction project in East Africa. After the engineering proposal is
submitted, Mazin is proud of the work his team has accomplished and promises his manager he
will do everything possible to make sure that PDO receives the contract.
PDO’s bid is well-received, and Mazin and his team are flown to East Africa to finish
negotiations. Mazin is thrilled when his company receives the bid; the only stipulation is that
they build their construction headquarters in a specific region in the country. Mazin then begins
scouting the region for a location to build their headquarters.

38
In order to obtain building permits in the region, Mazin has to negotiate with the local
government. As he begins negotiations, he realizes that bribery is both a common and expected
practice. If he does not bribe the local officials, he will not be able to build PDO’s headquarters
in that region and consequently will lose the contract; his first managerial project will be a
failure. However, it is illegal for an Omani citizen to bribe a foreign official in order to obtain
business; if he is caught for bribery, he could face jail time and his company could be fined
millions of dollars.
What should he do?
Reference:
Clare Bartlett was a 2014-2015 Hackworth Fellow in Engineering Ethics at the Markkula Center
for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University.

Case 5: Dr. Ahmed joined Oswan Manufacturing industries Pvt. Ltd. as a senior research
scientist and was working on development of a few different products. When Dr. Ahmed was
busy in the laboratory, someone came and informed him that production chief wants to meet
him. The messenger returned and informed production chief that Dr. Ahmed was busy with some
experiments and would see the production chief in the afternoon. When Dr. Ahmed called on
him, production chief said, “Doctor we have a problem with our export packing. By the time our
consignment reaches its destination, the packing material gets infected. Black and brownish
fungal spots appear here and there on the pallets. Customers are very much scared to handle
those infected pallets. We have to urgently do something about it.” You had earlier worked in a
wood industry. Tell me what we can do about it.
“Sir, before attempting to identify a method for protecting pallets, we should know the
following:
What is the average minimum time these consignments take to reach customer’s hands?
And beyond that period what happens to these pallets?
Are they reused for a different application purpose or are they destroyed?”
Why are you concerned about what they do with those pallets? It is none of our business. Our
pallets should be safe till it reaches customer’s premises. What happens beyond that is of no
interest to us. But just tell me what should be done?
“Sir, give some time. I will think it over and let you know.”

39
But why not now? Tomorrow we are dispatching one consignment. We want to treat those
pallets also. You coordinate with our production manager and arrange for the same.”
“Sir, how can we do like that? I need some time to check what can be done here.” “What do you
mean by that? There is an emergency. You can’t give such evasive answer. We need to do
something by tomorrow.”
Dr. Ahmed was totally lost. In the meanwhile, production chief got a phone call and left the
room. In about an hour’s time, Dr. Ahmed got a call from chairman’s office and was summoned
there. Dr. Ahmed hurriedly left for the chairman’s office and he was straight asked to go inside
the cabin. Production chief was sitting with the chairman stared at Dr. Ahmed face and asked
him:
Doctor, what is this, I understand that you are not willing to handle production problems. Go and
sit with production manager and work out methods to protect those pallets.
“Sir, I just need some time to identify a suitable method for protecting pallets.”
But why do you need time for that? You first do whatever you were doing at your previous place
and then think of changes.”
“Sir, what we were doing in that organization was their proprietary formulation which had been
developed there with great efforts.”
“Doctor, don’t you have this common sense? When I hire you to serve my organization, it just
means that I have purchased all your earlier technologies. Just get lost and start working on the
problem.”
1. What is the ethical issue in the above scenario?
2. Who are the Parties involved in the above scenario
3. If you are Dr. Ahmed what will you do under this situation
4. Which ethical approach Dr. Ahmed can apply to make best ethical decision
Reference:
Mruthyunjaya, H.C. (2013), Business Ethics and Value System, Sonepat Haryana, PHI, Eastern
Economy Edition

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Chapter Three
UNDERSTAND ETHICS WITH ISLAMIC PERSPECTIVE
Outcomes Covered (3 & 4): (3) Understand the effects of religion and society on values
(4) Understand the effects of Islamic and Omani values on work
ethics
Learning Objectives: This chapter will help the students:-
1. To understanding of ethics from Islamic perspectives.
2. To understand the fundamentals of Islam and its effects on individual, work and
organizational ethics.
3. To understand the effects of society on individual, work and organization values.
4. To understand the effects of Islamic and Omani values on work ethics
Topic Covered:
1. Meaning of religion
2. Islam as a Religion
3. Work Ethics in Islam
4. Effect of Islam on Business Ethics
5. Prohibited Matters in Business Practice in Islam
6. Component of Society
7. Effects of society on values
8. Omani Culture and Values

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1. MEANING OF RELIGION
Religion is defined as “expression of man’s relationship with the Supernatural”. It is the person’s
strong beliefs in powers that control his destiny.

2. ISLAM AS A RELIGION

Islam is the world’s second largest religion. It has over one billion people following it and they
are called Muslims. The word “Islam” means “submission to God.” Therefore, “a Muslim is one
who strives to submit to God.”

As Muslims, our values are deriving from Islam and mainly from the Holy Quran which is the
primary source of Muslim’s faith and practices and from the Prophet Mohammed’s
(PBUH)sayings and practices which are the second fundamental source.

3. WORK ETHICS IN ISLAM


Work Ethics is defined as the application of morals and ethical standards to different work
situations. It deals with issues of right and wrong of activities, decisions and situations at the
workplace, professional practices and organizational settings.
Islam as a religion is based on an ideal of practice— thus it is a religion of action. There are
three aspects of Islamic work ethic: 1). the self, 2). others, and 3). Allah (swt).

1. The worker’s relationship to himself or herself:


The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: ‘Verily, Allah loves that when anyone of you does
something he does it perfectly.’ [Al Bukhari]. Work is further observed as a right, duty and an
obligation – one is not only required to work, but work with diligence and accuracy
Order, discipline, and accuracy— these are the three main things which need to be focused
upon. There is no room for laziness.These values set and maintained by worker come under
one heading: Itqan (perfection). Perfection, even though it’s unreachable we must do our best
to get close to it.

II. The worker’s relationship to others:


The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: ‘Your employees are your brothers upon whom Allah
has given you authority, so if a Muslim has another person under his control, he/she should

42
not overburden them with what they cannot bear and if you do so, help them in their
jobs.’ [Al Bukhari]

Islam promotes respect, kindness, and loyalty. These elements create an environment where
everyone can enjoy their rights and also where everyone can execute their tasks perfectly.
Moreover, equality is essential to establishing a tolerant group spirit at a workplace.

III. The worker’s relationship with Allah (swt):


Hard work is one of the most important traits of Muslim men and women alike. A person
who seeks Allah’s bounty through hard work is most highly praised, and for that reason
work is considered a type of worship. In Islam, there is a great relationship between the
person’s faith and work as Prophet Mohammad(PBUH) said;
“Faith is instilled in the heart of the believer and is realized by work”.
In addition, the work is mentioned 360 times in Quran in different verses, which indicate the
importance of work in Islam. Also, it is known that work is base of worship of Allah.

The prophet ((PBUH)said: The believer dies with his sweat on his brow. [An-Nasai]
To have sweat on one’s brow indicates labour and hard work. When interpreting this hadith,
it is clearly shown that the efforts a person makes are taken into consideration by Allah
(swt) once he or she dies, along with his or her other deeds, sins, and virtues. And this is not
haphazard, because Allah (swt) already ordered us to go after rizq (bounty, wealth):
And when the prayer has been concluded, disperse within the land and seek from the bounty
of Allah , and remember Allah often that you may succeed. [Quran, 62:10]

4. EFFECT OF ISLAM ON BUSINESS ETHICS


Islam put great emphasis on ethical values in all aspects of human life. The main regulations and
different codes of conducts are driven from the Holy Quran and the teachings of the Prophet
Mohammad(PBUH).
1. Freedom of Enterprise
Islam gives complete freedom to individuals to establish economic enterprise. Each
individual can choose the suitable business that helps him keep good life condition but
this business should follows the limits set by the Islamic Sharia.

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In dealing with enterprises an individual according to Sharia’s should make sure he is
trading in lawful (‫ )الحالل‬activities which cause no harm to customers or market.
2. Trade through Mutual Agreement
This means that there is no sale between the seller and buyer unless both have agreed on
the price and quantity of the good. Islam strictly prohibits such dealings in which both the
parties are not clear. Moreover, every Muslim business man if he is on dealing with other
person so he must write down that agreement and must be cleared to both the parties.
Prophet Mohammad is reported to have said:
“A sale is a sale only if it is made through mutual consent”. (Ibn Majah, No: 2176)
3. Honesty in Business Transactions
Honesty is the “quality of being fair and truthful “. It is a very basic principle of business
transactions in Islam. Honesty about the products’ quality and price is an example. The
seller and buyer must be honest in dealings there would be no other motive which make a
transaction fraudulent and in which both become guilty.
4. Bounty and humanity in business contacts
Islam emphasizes that one should be soft and flexible in business transaction. The dealing
between buyer and seller should be on humanity basis. Both the parties either they will
be creditors or debtors should free to demand his money back. Islam is strictly prohibited
from hard words and harsh language in business dealing. The Allah messenger says
“May mercy be on him who is soft and decent in his dealing with others.”
Several verse from the holy Quran shows that hard words and language must not be used
while dealing or talking with others. Allah says in His book
“And be moderate in your walking and lowering your voices” (31:19)
5. Fulfilling Business Obligations
Islam imposes a great importance to the fulfillment of business promises and obligations.
A Muslim trader should keep up his trusts, promises and contracts as this is considered as
Islamic ethical behavior. The Holy Qur’an emphasizes the moral obligation to fulfill
one’s contracts and undertakings. A verse states thus:
“O you who believe fulfill [your] obligations.” (5:1)

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6. Fair Treatment of workers
The relation between employer and employees should be harmonious. This is the
responsibility of the employer that he should provide all the basic things including fair
wages, provide him good working condition, and treat them ethically. Prophet ((PBUH)
said,
“The wages of the workers must be paid before the sweat dries upon his body”(Ibn
Majah No. 2434).
Another place Prophet Mohammed(PBUH) said,
“I will be opponent to those persons on the day of resurrection who does not give him his
due to a person who have finished work for him”
It is the religious and moral responsibility of the employer to take care of the overall
welfare and betterment of his employees.

5. PROHIBITED MATTERS IN BUSINESS (BASED ON ISLAMIC VALUES)


1. Dealing in Prohibited (‫ )المحرمات‬Items: It is very important in Islam to be sure of lawful
)‫(الحالل‬income when having business activities. There are some items which are
prohibited to be traded with such as carrion (‫)لحم الميته‬, pigs and idols )‫(األصنام والتماثيل‬.
Carrion would mean the flesh of any animal or bird dead from natural causes, or not being
properly slaughtered in an Islamic way.
A Muslim, therefore, is prohibited from eating or trading with it.

2. Prohibition of Interest (Riba): One of the most concerns of Islam in business practice is
dealing with Riba. Riba (interest) is when the moneylender charges extra money from the
borrower for deferred payment. Islam has forbidden all forms of Riba due to great deal of
harm to both individual and society.

3. Sale of Uncertain items (Risks, assumption): Sale of commodity or goods which is not
present in hand is prohibited because the quality, whether good or bad, is not known to
the buyer at the time of the deal.

45
4. Hoarding )‫(احتكار‬Foodstuff: Hording means storing foodstuffs in expectation of rise in
their prices when it is not available in the market any more. The consumers are left with
no choice after the price raises but to purchase the item from the one who hoards. This
practice is not ethical as per Islam perspectives.
“The one who brings food to the market, Allah will help him, provide well for his family
and the one who hoards is cursed by Allah.” (Ibne Majah, Kitab Al-Bayah)

5. Randomly Fixing the Prices: It is prohibited to sell a commodity at different prices for
different customers. Price for one item in one shop should be uniform.

6. Trickery(‫)التحايل‬
Trickery is when a person collaborate with the seller and offers a high price for
something, in front of another customer without intending to buy it, but just to cheat or
defraud the other person who really means to buy it and force him to pay higher price for
the item. This type of fraudulent transaction is totally prohibited in Islam.

7. Cheating (‫ )الغش‬and Fraud )‫ (التزوير‬in Business Transactions


Islam strongly prevents all cheating practices in business transactions. The traders and
businessmen generally tend to motivate the customers to pay their products by adopting
fake business practices.

8. Giving Short Measures


Another form of dishonesty is to manipulate weights and measures. It refers to the act of
taking full measures from others and giving them short measures in your turn. Giving
short measures was a common malaise plaguing the pre-Islamic days.
“Give the full measure when you measure and weigh with a balance that is straight.”
(17:35)
“And O my people, Give full measure and weight in justice and reduce not the things

that are due to the people, and do not commit mischief in the land, causing corruption.”

(11:85)

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9. Swearing
The traders often take choice of swearing to emphasize that their items are of good
quality. They claim qualities which don’t exist. They try to convince the buyers to
purchase their commodity by invoking Allah’s name.

10. Dealing in Stolen Goods: The stolen items are neither to be bought nor sold by those
who know the truth.

6. MEANING AND EFFECT OF SOCIETY ON VALUES


Meaning of Society: A society or a human society is defined as a group of people who are
connected to each other in persistent relations such as social status, roles and social networks.
This group of people shares the same geographical boundaries, ethics, culture and values.
Human societies are characterized by patterns of relationships between individuals sharing a
distinctive culture and institutions. A society allows its members to achieve needs or wishes they
could not fulfill alone. Some of the social functions like marriage, death or any social get
together makes us feel the importance of living in a group. That is why man is called as a social
being.More broadly, a society is an economic, social or industrial infrastructure, made up of a
varied collection of individuals.

COMPONENT OF THE SOCIETY


There are five basic components of the human societies:
1. Population,
2. Culture,
3. Material products,
4. Social organization,
5. Social institutions.
These components have different effects on individual’s values within that society, it either
prevent or promote social change which ultimately affected the individual values.
1. Population: If the population is large, the social changes will be promoted. More people in
society mean more ideas, but on the other hand it also might cause pushing for changes, because
a larger population will create more problems and it has a greater need for solutions. A large
population will also have more norms, laws and regulations.

47
2. Culture:Culture includes values, beliefs, norms, knowledge, language, and symbols shared
by society’s members. A society’s belief and values are largely influenced by the sociocultural
system.
3. Material products:Material products consist of the things human society produces or
obtains through trade.These products of technology range from perishable food to
architecture.Energy is easily the most vital product of societal activity Material products are
always limited in amount. Material products will be more likely promote changes because people
will try to find other alternatives for those existing products.
4. Social organization: Social organization is a network of relationship between its members.
There are people who hold social positions and political roles that may prevent or promote
changes. Improvers who hold office positions will persuade more changes in society while
conservationist (‫ )المحافظين‬will want things to remain the same.
5. Social institutions:Social institutions consist of the education system, family, economy,
government, and religion. A society’s education system has a big influence on the society. If that
education system is promoting changes, people in that society will grow up having that thinking,
vice versa.

7. EFFECT OF SOCIETY ON VALUES:


There are various sources of values, however religion and society has a major effect on values.
There are three major societies across the world.
1. Western Society
2. Eastern Society
3. Arab world

All the society has their own impact on the values of people.
1. In the western society there is lot of competition and people do not have their extended
families to support them. This has resulted in people trying to be perfect and give due
importance to the time. This culture of depending on oneself has given very important values
to the West like:
a) Perfection
b) Timeliness and punctuality

48
c) Reasoning and analyzing
d) Expressiveness
Also excessive competition has resulted in some negative value likeIndividualism and
Confrontation

2. In the eastern society there are extended families and people support each other in their
livelihood also. If a person is not earning other families members provides him with his daily
needs. There is a culture of collectivism. This has given very important values to East like:
a) Teamwork and Collaboration
b) Caring for weak/Compassion
c) Trust
d) Sharing
e) Loyalty
f) Harmony/avoid conflict
Some the negative impact of this culture is like:
 Dependence on others: People have undue expectation from others and this makes few of
them dependent on other without making their own effort.
 Lack of open debate because of Go with the flow culture

3. In the Arab world, the triangle of Islam, tribe and family plays a very significant role in
almost everything; Islam is at the top of the triangle with its effects on all aspects of life.
Tribe and family form the base of the triangle.
Oman is an important Arab country and Islam has a great impact on most of Omanis’ lives and
practices. There are five values that are central to Islamic philosophy (Rafik I Beekun,1997).
i.Unity: Islam is the religion for all of mankind, and Allah has commanded us to convey it to
all people. This can only be achieved if we are strong, and strength is based on faith and
unity. Hence Allah has commanded all the believers to adhere to His religion and to be
united on Quran and Sunnah of our beloved prophet Mohammed (PBUH), and not to be
divided. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And hold fast, all of you together, to the Rope of Allaah (i.e. this Qur’aan), and be not divided
among yourselves (3:103)

49
ii.Equilibrium: Related to the concept of adl (justice). A sense of balance among the various
aspect of personal life in order to produce best social order.
iii.Free will: Person’s ability to act without external coercion within the parameter of Allah’s
creation.
iv.Responsibility: Person’s need to be accountable for their action. Also we have
responsibility towards Allah.
v.Benevolence: Ihsan or an action that benefits persons other than those from whom the
action proceeds without any obligation. Kindness is encouraged in Islam.

The prophet (saaw) is reported to have said: The inmates of paradise are of three types: one who
wields authority and is just and fair; one who is truthful and has been endowed with power to do
good deeds; and the person who is merciful and kind-hearted towards his relatives and every
pious Muslim, and who does not stretch out his hand in spite of having a large family to support.

The tribal structure also plays an indispensable role in the lives of Omani people. Most people in
the Arab States of the Gulf bear a tribal name rather than a family name. Socially, the hierarchy
of the tribe still plays a major role in contemporary Oman. The status of the individual is
determined by his/her tribal or group affiliation.
The families have a great impact on Omani people as the priority is given to the families is very
huge. For example, the death of one of the closest family members the person can get up to 3
days holiday from work.
The interaction of Islam and the family/tribal system has given Omani society some of the very
positive values like:
a) Humility
b) Dignity
c) Respectfulness
d) Tolerance
e) Flexibility or adaptability
f) Hospitality
g) Consultations- Shoura

50
However the tribal culture also resulted in negative value likeWasta’. It is referred to an
expectation that favors will be done for someone because they belong to a particular family or
tribe. Unfortunately this influence or favoritism is not seen as corrupt and is a part of normal
business and social life throughout the Gulf region.

Self Assessment Questions:


1. Define work ethics in accordance of Islam.
2. List business practices based on Islamic values and explain any two.
3. What are prohibited business matters based on Islamic values?
4. Explain in brief Omani culture and values.

References:
1.Dr. Ahmad Hussain Kamal, (2002),“Nizam-e-Ma’Ishyat Aur Islam”, (Muslim economic
system)Urdu version, 1st edition, Taib Publishers Lahore Pakistan. P.6-10
2. Dr. Habib-ur-Rehman, (2003),“Islamic Financial Instruments”, 1st edition, Publisher Sardar
khan welfare trust, Peshawar Cantt Pakistan.
3. Mohammad Shafi (2000),“Business and commerce in the Quran”, First written for Dar al
IslamTeachers’ Institute Alumni News Letter, spring.
http://www.dictionary.com/browse/religion
http://www.diversityjournal.com/9823-culture-values-and-the-impact-at-work/
http://www.dictionary.com/browse/society
http://history-world.org/islam.htm
http://www.postindependent.com/news/how-religion-affects-the-values-of-society/
http://www.christiananswers.net/islam.html
http://www.islam-guide.com/ch3-7.htm
http://www.learnersdictionary.com/definition/honesty
http://studymoose.com/five-basic-components-of-human-societies-essay
http://understandquran.com/3-aspects-islamic-work-ethic.html
Material from HCT, Nizwa, Ibra Colleges of Technology

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CASE STUDIES
Case 1 (Using Low Quality Materials): Bader was recently promoted as Assistant Product
Manager in Elite Furniture, a manufacturer of quality furniture. During his work in the new
position he has discovered that the Purchasing Manager had recently started buying an inferior
(low quality) wood to make table. The table would last about half as long as the regular table; but
the lower quality could not be detected by the buyer.
When Bader revealed this information to his boss, he was told that the Purchasing Manager was
following orders from top management. The company was having financial difficulties and had
to cut costs. The change in table quality was a quick and safe way to do so. Bader argued that
selling inferior merchandise as quality product was no way to solve budget problems, but his
opinion was not heard by anyone in the management.
Elite Furniture products are always known for quality which Bader had stressed to his customers.
He could imagine that image of the shop going down quickly as consumers began to experience
the low quality materials in near future.
(1) What is the ethical issue related to this case?
(2) Identify the ethical dilemma.
(3) If you were in the place of Bader what will you do?

Case 2 (Overcharging Customer):Abdulla is a manager in one Restaurant. Twenty two people


are working in the restaurant. Some are cooks. Some are suppliers. Some are customer care in-
charges and so on. Owner of the company rarely comes to the restaurant as Abdulla manages the
business very efficiently. Also he is very pleasing in behaviour.
Some days, he gets some mega order like wedding parties, celebration etc. Usually he takes
normal charges from customers. But big party bills he manipulates the amount and get more
money. For example, for one chilly-chicken normal price is R.O.2.500, but in party bills he
charges R.O. 3.500. In many items he does like this and get good money. This money he never
gives to his owner. Nor does he take anything from this. Instead he gives this to his staffs who
work hard for the success of the restaurant.
What is your opinion on Abdullah’s action? Is his action ethical or not?

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Chapter Four

ETHNICITY AND CULTURE DIVERSITY

Outcomes Covered (5, 6 and 7):

5. Define the concept of ethnic and cultural diversity

6. Understand the importance of ethnic and cultural diversity for society and the world

7. Work with people from different ethnicities/cultures

Learning Objective: This chapter will help the students:-


1. To understand the term ethnicity, organizational culture and cultural diversity.
2. To understand the importance of cultural diversity at work place. What are difficulties an
organization can face in dealing the cultural diversity?
3. To understand the culture shock and how one can deal with culture shock?

Topic Covered:

1. Ethnicity

2. Culture

3. Corporate/Organizational Culture

4. Importance of Culture Diversity

5. Difficulties in Dealing Cultural Diversity at Work Place

6. Cultural Shock

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1. ETHNICITY:

The term ethnicity, or in more functional term, ethnic group, consist of individuals and families

who are members of international, national, religious, cultural, and racial groups that do not

belong to the dominant group in a society. They can be differentiated from both the dominant

group and other ethnic groups by some combination of their values, expectations, geographic

location, language, attitudes, customs, lifestyles, religion, and celebrations. In addition, ethnicity

and sense of peoplehood are recognized by themselves and by others.

In Oman the common ethnic group consist of Arab, Baloch, Caucasian, South Asian (Indian,

Pakistani, Bangladeshis and Sri Lankan) and African

2. CULTURE:

The Cambridge English Dictionary states that culture is "the way of life, especially the general

customs and beliefs, of a particular group of people at a particular time”.

Culture may also be defined as the sum of total of the learned behavior of a group of people that

are generally considered to be the tradition of that people and are transmitted from generation to

generation.

In more detailed manner Culture may be defined as, “undefined practices prevailing (existing) in

the society”. Otherwise it is a life style of the people living in particular areas. It includes many

aspects of the human life like ideas, customs, food habits, dressing style, marriage ceremony,

family system, social responsibilities, nature of profession, type of construction (Buildings

Architecture), religious belief, celebrations etc.

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3. CORPORATE/ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE

Corporate culture refers to the beliefs and behaviors that determine how a company’s employees
and management interact and handle outside business transactions. A corporate's culture will be
reflected in its dress code, business hours, office setup, employee benefits, turnover, hiring
decisions, and treatment of clients, client satisfaction and every other aspect of operations.
1. Dress Code: An office dress might be casual or formal in design. Employees may be
encouraged to follow the dress code that might create among them the feeling of equality
and comfort. For example, in Oman the office dress code for locals is white dishdasha
with muzzar (a type of turban).
2. Business Hours: Business hours are the hours during the day in which business
commonly conducted. Business hours are set keeping in view the common formal
standards like workers may communicate each other more easily, as per customers’
conveniences and find a convenient balance between work life and home life.
3. Office Setup: The design and location of the offices may relate to the employee's
seniority with more senior employees having larger offices or cubicles which are located
the furthest from the door.
4. Positive and Caring Management Attitudes to Employees: Management used to
project a caring and personable attitude by sending cards and gifts to employees on key
dates in their lives such as birthdays, marriages, births and deaths of family members.
5. Positive and Caring Management Attitudes to Clients/Customers: The caring and
personable attitude of management may be projected to the customers through a high
level of service, personal recognition of key customers and corporate involvement in
community and charitable organizations.

CULTURAL DIVERSITY:

Cultural Diversity' refers to “a range of different societies or peoples with different origins,
nationalities, races, religions, gender, age, educational background, belief and traditions living
and interacting together”.

55
Cultural diversity to any country is considered its strength and an asset. An organization or
corporation that value diversity on its workplace opens the wealth of possibility, encourage
creativity and foster innovation.
Islam and the Quran are clearly appreciative of diversity and dissimilarity -in creation, culture,
and beliefs- within human world.
‘O mankind, indeed we have created you from male and female and made you
into nations and tribes so that you may know each other. Indeed, the most noble
of you in the sight of Allah is he who is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is
knowing and acquainted’. (Sura Al Hujuraat, verse 13)

4. IMPORTANCE OF CULTURAL DIVERSITY AT WORK PLACE:

Diversity is especially crucial in today’s global marketplace, as companies interact with different
cultures and clients. Organizations/corporations keeping in view the need and importance of
diversity at workplace are giving emphasis on investing and including it in execution of their
management function. Organizations valuing and recognizing diversity reported with multiple
benefits:
1. Helps to Promote Human Values: Organization with workplace diversity fosters the
mutual respect among employees, demonstrate on tolerance & collaboration and
appreciate the different culture. Diversity at workplace brings gain in terms of strong
employees’ performance.
2. Helps to Create and Retain a Pool of Talent: Organizations that invests in diversity
generally results in the creation and retention of a bigger pool of talent. The diverse group
comprises of different skills, qualifications, experiences, knowledge, languages and age is
really useful to exchange and learn each other’s positives and competencies. Moreover,
such a pool of talent helps the organization to progress in very tough competitive
environment.
3. Increased Creativity and Problem Solving: Organizations which are valuing diversity
at workplace in fact valuing different mind and intelligence. Employees with different
skills, educational background and experiences may bring their own way of thinking and
open the wealth of possibilities to different problem solving issues and decision making,

56
may introduce different style and approaches of creativity and may help to foster
innovation.
4. Helps to Recruit, Retain and Improve the Employees Performance: A diverse
organization is in a position to recruit and retain efficient staff at competitive
remuneration. Access to a larger talent pool is one of the biggest advantages of having an
employment recruitment policy that values diversity.
Many studies related to organizational behavior conclude that promoting cultural
diversity reduces absenteeism rates, lower employee turnover, reduce the costs associated
with hiring new employees and reduce legal responsibility in discrimination lawsuits.
5. Helps to Increases Market Share and Create a Satisfied Diverse Customer Base: An
Organization with a diverse range of employees is well placed to understand the needs of
a wide range of customers, and can interact with a broad client base.
6. Improves productivity and profitability: Finally, cultural diversity brings different
talents working together towards a common goal by using different sets of skills and
experiences. Such an active persuasion of diversity brings tangible benefits in the form of
increasing productivity and profitability.

5. DIFFICULTIES IN DEALING WITH DIVERSITY AT WORK PLACE:


Workplace diversity exists when companies hire employees from various backgrounds and
experiences. Many companies see workplace diversity as an investment toward building a better
business. Although workplace diversity provides many benefits, it also poses many challenges to
employees and managers. To reap the benefits of workplace diversity, employees and managers
must understand the challenges and know how to effectively deal with them.
1. Majority against the Minority: An organizational workforce may be divided into
majority or minority groups based on their ideology, religion, race, nationality and other
factors. The group in majority would be holding key position, controlling resources and
information, while the group in minority may be left with no power. This may affect the
overall performance of the company.
Example: In an organizational workforce is divided into majority and minority on the
basis nationalities. Under such condition it is very common that locals are in majority
especially in government organization and they usually hold key position and power of

57
decision making process. It is like majority of Omani employees working along with few
expat employees holding top positions & decision making process in the public sector.
2. Stereotyping & Prejudice: Stereotype may be defined as, “any commonly accepted
public belief about a certain social group or a type of individual”. Stereotypes based on
prior assumption and are often created about people of specific cultures or races.
Example: Men can only handle the pressure at work place. Women are as not smart as
men at work place.
Prejudice: Prejudice is based on an idea or opinion and not based on facts or logic or
actual experience.
Example: Believing that all youngsters are careless & do not take responsibility and not
giving any work to Ahmed who is 20 years old.
3. Ethnocentrism: Ethnocentrism is a tendency of viewing members of one’s own groups
the center of universe and others less favorably. Ethnocentrism is a
basic attitude expressing the belief that one's own ethnic group or one's own culture is
superior to other ethnic groups or cultures, and that one's cultural standards can be
applied in a universal manner.
Example: A business owner might shout at his foreign employees and call them stupid
because of their different races, cultures or values that are different from the boss.
“The Quran conveys respect for everyone; it does not confer nobility or
higher worth upon any group or ethnicity. Instead the single evaluative
standard for the Quran remains moral consciousness of God (taqwa)”.
4. Tokenism: Tokenism is the practice or policy of making no more than a token effort or
gesture, as in offering opportunities to minorities equal to those of majority. Any
legislation, admission policy, hiring practice etc. that demonstrates only minimal
compliance with rules, laws or public pressures.
Example: A Private company employing an Oman youth in small numbers just to soften
Government pressure. It is hiring only for records. Token Omani youth faces obstacles
for full participation, success and acceptance in the company. Tokenism effect the overall
productivity of the company & morale of employees.

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5. Discrimination & Favoritism: Discrimination refers to unfair or unequal treatment of an
individual (or group) based on certain characteristics, including gender, age, ethnicity,
race, religion, region and language.
Example: An example of gender discrimination is when an employer pays a woman less
than a man for the same work.
Favoritism, Nepotism and Cronyism:
Favoritism: is the practice of giving unfair preferential treatment to one person or group
at the expense of another. Favoritism has a negative effect on workplace morale.
Nepotism: the practice among those with power or influence of favoring relatives or
friends, especially by giving them jobs.
Cronyism: the appointment of friends and associates to position of authority, without
proper regard to their qualification.
“Islam rejects certain individuals or nations being favored because of
their wealth, power, or race. God created human beings as equals who
are to be distinguished from each other only on the basis of their faith and
piety”.

CLASS ACTIVITY (5 Minutes)


Question: Write your opinion in favor or against cultural diversity.
______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

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HOW TO DEAL WITH DIVERSITY?
Diversity in work place is important as heterogeneous groups deliver better solutions and critical
analysis, so the structure of the company should promote diversity by:-
1.Recognition: Recognize that people have differences and celebrate the differences
among your employees and encourage them to let their individualities show. Treat people
fairly and respect the differences that make them who they are.
2. Focus on Yourself: Diversity is an issue that you must manage in the work place and
it start with managing your own attitude and behavior.
3. Employee Assessments: Implement a scientific & objective oriented way for all
assessments and performance reviews of employees. Reduce personal bias, subjectivity
and prejudice in all evaluations.
4. Encourage Interactions: Encourage employees to work with others of different
backgrounds and generations. Interactions encourages your employees to learn more
about talents and goals – their own and those of their fellow workers.

6. CULTURE SHOCK:
A feeling of uncertainty, confusion or anxiety that people experience when visiting, doing
business in or living in a society that is different from their own society. Culture shock can arise
from a person’s unfamiliarity with local customs, language and acceptable behavior since norms
can vary significantly across cultures.
Culture shock is the personal disorientation a person may feel when experiencing an unfamiliar
way of life due to immigration or a visit to a new country.
Home sickness, withdrawal & boredom, excessive sleep, mood swings, anger & irritability and
hostility towards host nationals are few symptoms of culture shock.

HOW TO DEAL WITH CULTURE SHOCK?


1. Admit that these impacts exist. It is not a sign of weakness to admit that you feel
uncomfortable, tense or confused.
2. Learn the rules of living in your host country. Try to understand how and why the local
people act the way they do.

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3. Get involved in some aspect of the new culture. Whether you study art or music, or
learn a new sport or martial art, being an interested student will make a world of
difference.
4. Take a time to learn the language. It always helps to understand as much as possible of
what people are saying. They will appreciate your effort to communicate with them in
their language, even if it is just a few simple phrases, and it will make your daily life
much easier.
5. Take care of yourself. Eat well, exercise and take the time to sleep.
6. Take out some time to travel and explore the new country’s sights.
7. Make friends and develop relationships. Getting to know local people will help you
overcome cultural differences and understand the country. It will also show you how to
be more sensitive to culture norms and expectations.
8. Maintain contact with friends and family back home. Writing home about your
experiences and problems can help you sort through them.
9. Do something that reminds you of home. Listening to your favorite music or practicing
a familiar hobby can boost your spirits when you are feeling homesick.
10. Avoid idealizing life back home. Try to make the most of your stay and consciously
adopt an open mind.

CLASS ACTIVITY (10 Minutes)


Share any incidence of your life you can be regarded it as culture shock.
______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

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Self-Assessment Questions:
1. What do you mean by culture?

2. What do you mean by ethnicity? Explain with suitable example.

3. What do you mean by cultural diversity? How cultural diversity is advantageous to any

organization/corporate?

4. What difficulties the organizations faced in dealing cultural diversity? List all and explain

any one with suitable example.

5. How can be dealt with diversity at workplace?

6. What do you mean by culture shock? How one can deal with culture shock?

Reference:

http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-

maps/ethnic-variationethnicity

http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/organizational-culture

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Business_hours

https://saharconsulting.wordpress.com/2010/03/26/6-advantages-of-workplace-diversity/

http://smallbusiness.chron.com/diversity-workplace-important-employees-10812.html

http://www.multiculturaladvantage.com/recruit/diversity/diversity-in-the-workplace-benefits-

challenges-solutions.asp

http://smallbusiness.chron.com/examples-diversity-problems-workplace-19389.html

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CASE STUDIES
Case 1: Hanaa has been working at a large construction company for three years. Although an
intern, Hanaa has earned the respect of her peers. Her supervisor (and project manager), along
with her coworkers, constantly support her by teaching her new materials and encouraging her to
tackle new tasks. For one specific project, her supervisor chose her to visit the jobsite for the
construction of flood retaining walls. Hanaa is familiar with the protocol required by her
company, and her boss trusts her to always wear protective equipment every time she goes into
the field.
However, when she went to the job site for this project, she heard someone yell, “Be careful not
to break a nail!” while she was walking down a particularly steep mud slope. She dismissed the
comment at first, but throughout the remainder of the project, different construction workers
would make arrogant remarks and gestures at her. They would call her ‘Princess’.
Hanaa feels she is being treated disrespectfully because of her gender, but never brings it up to
her supervisor as the workers were subcontracted from various companies by the General
Contractor. Hanaa doesn’t feel right getting other people in trouble for such little comments, and
is worried long term about how her success might be affected if she makes a complaint.
Should Hanaa say something?

Case 2: Marian, a top graduate from ABC College in Humanities, was hired by a major
corporation into a management position. Marian finished the corporation's management training
program top in her group, and is performing above the norm in her position. She is really
enjoying her work.
As a black woman she feels isolated, as there are no other black women managers and few
women in her area. One night at a company party she heard a conversation between two of her
male co-workers and their supervisor. They were complaining to him about Marian's lack of
qualifications and her unpleasant personality. They cursed affirmative action regulations for
making the hiring of Marian necessary.
Marian is very upset and wants to quit.
1. What are the ethical issues?
2. What is the ethical dilemma?
3. What Marian should so?

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Chapter Five
SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

Outcome Covered (8): Function in a Moral and Ethical manner in his/her life –Part B

Learning Objectives:
This chapter will help the student to understand the importance of social responsibility and its
different aspects. The student will be able to understand these concepts and would understand its
practical application in real world.

Topics covered:
1. Introduction to Social Responsibility
2. Individual Social Responsibility (ISR)
3. Responsibilities as Individuals and Citizens
4. Responsibilities as Global Citizens
5. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
6. Difference between ISR & CSR
7. Class Activities

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1. INTRODUCTION: SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY (‫ ) مسؤولية اجتماعية‬AND ETHICS:
Social responsibility is an ethical theory, in which individuals are accountable for fulfilling their
civic duty (‫ ;)واجب مدني‬the actions of an individual must benefit the whole of society. In this way,
there must be a balance between economic growth (‫ ) النمو االقتصادي‬and the welfare of society and
the environment. If this balance is maintained, then social responsibility is accomplished.
What it mean to be Socially Responsible and Ethical?
The theory of social responsibility is built on a system of ethics, in which decisions and actions
must be ethically validated before proceeding. If the action or decision causes harm to society or
the environment then it would be considered to be socially irresponsible.
Moral values that are inherent in society create a distinction between right and wrong. In this
way, social fairness is believed (by most) to be in the “right”, but more frequently than not this
“fairness” is absent. Every individual has a responsibility to act in manner that is beneficial to
society and not solely to the individual.
When Do Social Responsibility and Ethics Apply?
The theory of social responsibility and ethics applies in both individual and Organizations. For
individuals it should be incorporated into daily actions/decisions, particularly ones that will have
an effect on any aspect of the society and/or the environment.
Businesses have developed a system of social responsibility that is tailored to their company
environment commonly known as Corporate Social Responsibility. Maintaining social
responsibility within a company ensures the integrity (‫ ) النزاهة‬of society and the environment are
protected.
Often, the ethical implications of a decision/action are overlooked for personal gain and the
benefits are usually material. Organizations attempt to cheat environmental regulations or are
involved in many unethical practices. Even individuals tend to overlook their responsibilities in
many areas and contribute to behave in way that affects the society or environment.

2. INDIVIDUAL SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY (ISR):


What is Individual Social Responsibility (ISR)?
Individual Social Responsibility (ISR) is about an individual becoming responsible in his/her
actions that have effect on communities outside his/her immediate circle. The immediate circle

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being family and friends and the outside circle includes neighbors, related organizations and
various aspects of the society. There can be an argument about also including family and friends,
but it would be rather pertinent to include them as part of Individual Personal Responsibility.

Workshop for Civic Initiatives Foundation (WCIF), Bulgaria, describes ISR in its position
statement on Social Responsibility as, "The individual social responsibility includes the
engagement of each person towards the community where he lives, which can be expressed as an
interest towards what’s happening in the community, as well as in the active participation in the
solving of some of the local problems. Under community we understand the village, the small
town or the residential complex in the big city, where lives every one of us. Each community
lives its own life that undergoes a process of development all the time. And every one of us
could take part in that development in different ways.

For example by taking part in cleaning of the street on which he lives, by taking part in
organization of an event, connected with the history of the town or the village or by rendering
social services to children without parents or elderly people. The individual social responsibility
also could be expressed in making donations for significant for the society causes – social,
cultural or ecological. There are many ways of donating, as for example donating of goods or
donating money through a bank account or online".

Is ISR only about philanthropy (‫?) اإلحسان‬


ISR is not only about committing acts of charity or working for the communities where you have
material interest. These only form part of ISR, which is a broader concept that can be achieved
through action as below:
i. Philanthropic behaviour of an individual.
ii. The campaigner (‫) حملة‬, volunteer (‫ ) تطوع‬and activist (‫) ناشط‬instinct in the individual that
picks-up and supports issues affecting the society.
The above two coupled with an individual being ethical (integrity, honesty) in his/her outward
dealings.

3. RESPONSIBILITIES AS INDIVIDUALS:
An Individual responsibility can be classified into 4 broad categories which include:

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 Economic responsibility: This involves responsibility towards the problems of economy
in terms of income inequality, unemployment, prices of goods & services etc.
 Social responsibility: This involves responsibility in dealing with the problems of the
society like old age pensions, discrimination, nepotism, divorce problems etc.
 Civic responsibility: This involves responsibility in promoting community activities,
voting rights, respecting and following laws, use of community resources etc.
 Environmental responsibility: This involves responsibility towards preserving and
protecting the environment from any harm or damage.

4. RESPONSIBILITES AS GLOBAL CITIZENS:


As a citizen, living in an emerging world community one must have moral, ethical, political, and
economic responsibilities. It is a continuous and a difficult task that requires the provision of
education, training and awareness raising, starting at an early age and extending through
secondary and post-secondary education. As a responsible citizen one must fulfill the following
responsibilities.
1. Responsibility to understand one’s own perspective and the perspectives of others
on various issues: Almost every issue in any country has multiple ethnic, social,
political, and economic perspectives attached to it. It is the responsibility of citizens to
understand these different perspectives and should involve in problem-solving activities
among the different perspectives and the building of common ground solutions. A
responsible citizen should avoid taking sides with one particular point of view, and
instead search for ways to bring all sides together.
2. Responsibility to respect the principle of cultural diversity: In building a sustainable
values-based community. It is important to maintain respect for the different cultural
traditions; to make an effort to bring together the leaders of these different cultural
traditions who often have much in common with one another and to help leaders bring
the best elements of their cultures to the task of solving issues and building a better
community.
3. Responsibility to make connections and build relationships with people from other
countries and cultures. As citizens one needs to reach out and build relationships with
people from other countries and cultures. Otherwise we will continue to live in isolated

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communities with narrow conflict-prone points of view on various global issues. Building
such networks help those involved better understand their similarities and differences and
search for common solutions for the global issues that everyone faces.
4. Responsibility to understand the ways in which the peoples and countries of the
world are inter-connected and inter-dependent: It is the responsibility of every citizen
to understand the many ways in which their lives are inter-connected with people and
countries in different parts of the world. They need for example to understand they ways
in which the global environment affects them where they live, and how the environmental
lifestyles they choose affect the environment in other parts of the world.
5. Responsibility to understand global issues:As citizens we have the responsibility to
understand the major global issues that affect their lives. For example, they need to
understand the impact of the scarcity of resources on societies; the challenges presented
by the current distribution of wealth and power in the world; the roots of conflict and
dimensions of peace-building; the challenges posed by a growing global population.
6. Responsibility to understand the environment problems: Citizens must be able to
understand the impact of development on the environment. This majorly includes the
harm created towards the nature and animal life. One must be concerned about damage
done environment which in turn will be affecting the quality of life on the planet. For e.g.
Wastage of resources, Air Pollution, Water Pollution, harmful radiation etc.
7. Responsibility for advocating for more effective equity and justice in each of the
value domains of the community. There are a growing number of cross-sectoral issues
that require the implementation of uniform standards of justice and equity; for example
unequal access for public properties, lack of consistent policies etc. Citizens have the
responsibility to work with one another and advocate for equality and justice solutions to
these issues.

CLASS ACTIVITY:
Activity 1:
 Initiate a class discussion about the importance of being environmentally friendly. Invite
students to suggest why it is important to be environmentally friendly. Let them list their
ideas on the board.

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 Split the class into two groups: Group 1 and Group 2. Each group will perform activities
in group and in pairs
 Present the following statement to Group 1: ‘What causes the most damage to the
environment?
 Ask the students to work in pairs and to use the statement to identify how individuals and
organizations could damage the environment.
 Present the following statement to Group 2: ‘What can be done to become
environmentally friendly?
 Ask the pupils to work in pairs and to use the statement to identify how individuals or
organizations can be environmentally friendly.
 Invite pairs from Group 1 to present their ideas to the rest of the class. List their ideas on
the board. Ask the class to vote on the five most damaging things Individuals and
organizations can do to the environment.
 Next, invite pairs from Group 2 to present their ideas to the rest of the class. List their
ideas on the board. Ask the class to vote on the five most effective ways individuals and
organizations can be environmentally friendly.
Activity 2:
 Organize the class into groups of three or four individuals. Ask the groups to create a
poster or leaflet to encourage students to become more environmentally or socially
responsible.
 Generate and agree the success criteria in advance, for example: - present views clearly; -
keep a clear focus on the intended audience; and - use a range of strategies to engage and
persuade, such as language and visuals.
 Display the work around the classroom. Invite the pupils to evaluate each other’s work
based on the agreed success criteria

Activity 3:
 Ask the pupils to work in pairs.
 Each pair must choose a social enterprise or not-for –profit organisation and prepare a
leaflet to encourage people to work or volunteer for that organisation.

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 Encourage the pupils to use the internet and/or local newspapers to research their chosen
social enterprise.
 Give them time to carry out their research and prepare their leaflet.
 Ask each pair to join another pair and to present their leaflets and thoughts to each other.
 Encourage the pupils to consider the benefits of working in a social enterprise.

5. CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILTY (CSR):


Corporate responsibility refers to fulfilling the responsibility or the obligation that a company
has toward its stakeholders (Stakeholders – Employees, Customers, Suppliers, Community, and
Environment etc.).
CSR is all about how companies manage the business processes to generate profits to itself and
produce an overall positive impact on the society from where it obtains all the resources –
human, financial, material and others. CSR is concerned with the public interest or societal
wellbeing.
“Corporate social responsibility is a commitment to behave ethically and contribute to
economic development while improving the quality of life of our workforce and their families as
well as the local community at large”.
We can also say, “It is a concept whereby organizations take responsibility for their impact on
society and the environment”.
Classification of Social Responsibility
1. Responsibility towards self: - Every corporate’s primary duty is towards increasing its
organizational efficiency, attain growth, expansion, stability and thus earn profits.
2. Responsibility towards employees:-Employees are an integral part of any organization.
The responsibilities of an organization towards its employees are providing a hygienic
environment, fair and impartial treatment to all its employees, timely payment, health
care, career enhancement.
3. Responsibility towards shareholders: - safeguarding the shareholders’ investment and
providing a reasonable return on their investment is the responsibility of every
organization.

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4. Responsibility towards customers: - this responsibility should be fulfilled by
maintaining high quality standards at reasonable prices; it should not resort to
malpractices such as hoarding and black-marketing.
5. Responsibility towards State: - the state is entitled to certain share out of the profits the
company makes in the form of income tax. Utmost transparency has to be maintained in
accounting statements.
6. Responsibility towards environment:- it is the responsibility of the organization to
contribute to the protection of environment, produce environment friendly products,
taking care of industrial waste management, etc.,

6. ISR vis-à-vis CSR:


1. ISR is at the roots of CSR, because a corporate / organizations are run by individuals and
hence determines the social responsibility culture it follows.
2. As CSR is being increasingly viewed as a tool to make organizations socially responsible so a
greater need for ISR is expected.
3. If ISR becomes way of life CSR may be an automatic end result.

CLASS ACTIVITY:
Activity 1:
 Divide the class into groups of four or five individuals.
 Let them identify a company of their choice local or foreign company.
 Ask the students to find all the information related to CSR Practices undertaken by such
company.
 Ask them to classify such activities into: - economic; - social; and - environmental
responsibility.
 Invite the groups to share their ideas with the rest of the class.
 Initiate a class discussion. Encourage the students to talk about why organizations might
choose to introduce CSR strategies.
 Invite them to pose questions about how CSR affects various stakeholders like
employees, customers, society, government etc.

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 Ask the students to then submit a report on their activity which includes the following: a
brief outline of the organisation; a description of how the organisation is socially
responsible; and an outline that explains in what ways being socially responsible benefits:
the company or organisation;
the employees; and
the local community.

Activity 2:
 Organise the class into groups of four or five individuals.
 Ask the groups to generate ideas for how the local organisations can be socially
responsible.
 Ask the groups to list their ideas under three headings: - economic - social -
environmental.
 Ask the groups to share their ideas with the rest of the class. Record these onto the
whiteboard
References
1. "ISR is here, watch-out CSR!” by Anup Tiwari at
http://nonprofitfundraisingindia.blogspot.com/2008/06/isr-is-here-watch-out-csr.html
2. Workshop for Civic Initiatives Foundation (WCIF) position on ISR at www.wcif-bg.org/en/
3. Suresh Govindarajan in "Individual Social Responsibility" on www.siv-g.org
4. "The End of Corporate Social Responsibility", posted by Joseph Pine and James Gilmore
on http://conversationstarter.hbsp.com
5. ”Private virtue, public vice” by Gurcharan Das,December 17, 2006, Times of
India, http://www.ccsindia.org/ccsindia/gdas/toi1.htm
6. http://www.harrisinteractive.com/harris_poll/index.asp?PID=774
7. ” The Inconvenient truth about corporate fundraising” by Sean Triner in www.sofii.org
8. http://www.theglobalcitizensinitiative.org/global-citizenship-blog-may-2014/
9.http://www.rewardinglearning.org.uk/microsites_other/employability/documents/wow_factor/y
ear_12/unit4.pdf

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