1. Assignment on Business ethics Submitted by JOB THOMAS #10, MBA (PT) Semester – 3 SMS, CUSATDate of submission: 11/10/2011
2. 1. Identify some realistic and universalistic issues in each functional area ofmanagementThe subject of ethics in business management is complex. Fair-minded people havesignificant differences of opinion regarding whether realistic and universalistic approachis to be adopted in functional areas of the management. Relativism is the concept thatpoints of view have no absolute truth or validity, having only relative, subjective valueaccording to differences in perception and consideration. Universalism is a concept thathas absolute truth or validity and have universal applicability. In realitivistic approach,one has a tendency to make choices only on the basis of what looks right or reasonableaccording to ones own belief or value. In universalistic approach, one has to takedecision based on universally acceptable solutions. Some of the important realistic anduniversalistic issues in functional areas of management are discussed belowSl. Realistic issues Universalistic issuesNo.Functional Area : Human Resources1 Recruitment of persons based on the Recruitment of best suited candidate personal choice2 Retention of subordinate based on Retention of subordinate who is capable personal choice do the work3 Training the subordinate based on the Training the subordinate based on the choice of management preference of the candidate4 Ignoring health and safety at worksite Design based on health and safety at worksiteFunctional area: Customer service1 Hiding information that is important Providing all information without for the recipient but may be harmful to looking into the future aspects. management2 Providing customer support to Providing customer support to all privileged customers only customers equally.3 Providing after-sales support to Providing after-sales support to all privileged customers only customers equally.4 Providing customer advice in a way Providing customer advice stating beneficial to management absolute pros and conesFunctional area: Marketing and sales1 Conducting market research in a way Conducting market research based on beneficial to management for publicity true representative sample2 Using different market strategy Using same strategy for all regions (price/product) for different regionsFunctional area: research and development
3. Sl. Realistic issues Universalistic issuesNo.1 Improving existing product in Improving existing product based on comparison with the competitor’s the true demand product2 Imitating ideas of the competitor Experimenting with new ideasFunctional area: Administration/IT support1 For improving the business in global As the part of continuous improvement, market, adopting IT technology such adopting modern technologies and as SAP for clerical works services in administrationFunctional area: Production / operation1 Introducing modern equipments for For improving the production, the production to compete with the introducing new technologies and major competitor equipments in the operation2 Introducing quality control for the Adopting ISO 9001 guidelines for sake of competition quality control as the part of continuous improvementFunctional area: Finance and accounts1 Fixing the wages, based on the Fixing the wages, based on the standard performance of the worker norms. Same wage for same type of work2 Doing adjustments in accounts like Providing the correct accounts without window dressing for local interest any adjustmentsSummaryThe universalistic approach is good for solving issues related to functional areas ofmanagement. The relativistic approach is sometimes probabilistic but useful for solvingcertain issues that have a span within the locality. It is appropriate to incorporateintuitions and commitments of a manager without buying ideas from relativisticapproach.
4. 2. Interview a friend who believes in relativism and another friend who believes inuniversalism. Conclude who is more rationale and justifiable. Why and how?Absolute and unique solution for a particular issue, irrespective of the micro or macroenvironment is the theme of universalism. Identifying persons who believes inuniversalism is a difficult task. Most of the people around us believe in relativism andthey change their thoughts and ideas based on the pressure from local environment. Theresponse of the person believes in the universalism and relativism is given below.Sl Questions Response by person believes inNo. Universalism Relativism1 Are you a universalism relativism believing in universalism or relativism?2 Is it necessary No, Same rule must Yes, depending upon the local culture, to have be made applicable different law is to be framed for different law for all human being different countries of the land for different countries?3 Why is Prostitution is a sin According to Indian culture, prostitution prostitution must be banned in is a sin. However, prostitution is legal in authorized in all countries. Canada, most all of Europe including some England, France, Wales, Denmark, etc. country? Perhaps, they may be thinking that sex is a physical enjoyment need not be restricted.4 Do you Yes, freedom to No, certain norms or code of conduct believe in speech must be must be followed in all conversation. freedom to given to all so that The way one speaks to president of a speech constructive country (or chairman of the business suggestions can be firm he works) should be different from picked up. the way the same person speaks to his subordinate.5 Are you Yes, democracy is Democratic country is a good concept. supporting the need of the day. However, there are countries successful democracy? See what happens under dictatorship. For example, in Bahrain these Arabian countries like Muscat, Dubai days etc. Getting consensus for all proposals would not be possible. Most of the expectorates adjust with the customs and don not exercise the speech democracy when they join for a job at Dubai like countries
5. Sl Questions Response by person believes inNo. Universalism Relativism6 What do you Secularism is the A systematic approach would help us to think of only system that improve the performance. For initiating secularism? protects all faiths new ventures, secular structure would equally without not be available to follow initially and allowing any to secularism must evolve over the time. dominate7 What is your The pollution Environmental pollution and human opinion about standards must be health hazards are sensitive issues of the environmental kept same in all day. Restricting the functioning of a pollution? countries. Freedom power plant in the name of pollution to live should be without looking into the fact that it legally supported supplies energy at industries around by the enforcing would not be acceptable. The cost- pollution standards. benefit ratio present project or feasibility of alternate projects shall be evaluated before blocking the functioning of any industry due to pollution control law8 Do you Yes. The No. The ‘right to survive’ should also be believe in meritorious considered for the class of less ‘survival of candidate should privileged people. the fittest’? get opportunities and should be recognized.9 Do you think No, There is only Yes, person who steals bread to satisfy ‘everyone has one right, which is hunger will find his own right in his the right to be the absolute right action. selfish’10 Do you agree No, right or wrong Yes, the culture determines right or the fact that is absolute wrong ‘right or wrong depends on individual viewpoints’ConclusionConsidering the responses delivered by the person who believes in universalism andrelativism, the relativist seems to be more flexible than the person believes inuniversalism. The thoughts of the relativist are seems to be more practical and justifiable.Hence in my opinion, a relativist would succeed as a manger in the business environment.
6. 03. Examine yourself whether you are predominantly a relativist or UniversalistBased on my self assessment, I am a relativist because of the following reasons 1. I believe that ‘the wrong’ depends on the environment one work and there is no absolute wrong for any of human actions. 2. I understand that there are questions in ethics which have no correct answers. 3. I realize that it is always wrong to judge for another person what is good or bad. 4. I have experienced that an action can be right in some situations but wrong in other situations 5. I change my decisions based on the micro and macro environment