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IntroductionEthos is a Greek word which means ―character" that is used to describe the guiding beliefs or ideals thatcharacterize a community, nation, or ideology. The Greeks also used this word to refer to the power ofmusic to influence its hearers emotions, behaviors, and even morals. Ethos can simply mean thedisposition, character, or fundamental values peculiar to a specific person, people, culture, or movement.The Ethos refers to the spirit which motivates the ideas and customs.Many leading businesses no longer debate the legitimacy of the role and importance of ethics; rather, theyare forging ahead, finding new ways to put ethics into practice. A few recent examples highlight theacceleration of firms taking initiative in developing ethical business practices: Nestlé releasing the 2006Water Management Report on sustainable water management and signaling a company commitment tothis issue;1CEOs of 10 industrial companies (including Caterpillar, Inc., Deere & Company, and DuPont)publicly advocating for major reductions in greenhouse emissions;2 GE’s Ecomagination, investing intechnology and innovation toward environmentally sustainable business ideas; and BusinessRoundtable’s training program for over 20,000 construction workers in the Gulf Coast states followingthe 2005 hurricane season.4 This report aims to move beyond questioning the value of integrating ethicsinto the business school enterprise while moving forward to accelerate academia’s ability to keep pacewith the speed of business in developing the next generation of business leaders.Successful and sustained businesses, at their cores, share a universal trait—they are focused on providingvalue to and sharing values with the societies in which they operate. In many cases, the members of thesesocieties are directly involved with the companies as customers, employees, suppliers, and shareholders.Fundamentally, business is about creating value for stakeholders.Companies also embed ethics into business in a very basic way by adding value to people’s lives.Examples of this include developing products that make life more enjoyable like Apple’s iPod or offeringprogressive employment practices like PepsiCo’s flexible work programs. The interests of companies andtheir stakeholders are, and should be, inextricably linked.
Indian EthosIndian Ethos is the outcome of the Hindu way of life. Indian Ethos means application of managing anorganisation revealed in our ancient wisdom described in Gita and Upanishads. Indian ethos wouldcertainly help the future as well as existing organisations to tackle the changes and canalizing it fortheir development. The Indian ethos will prove to be of immense help as well as practical use tomanagers in an organisation.The body of knowledge, which derives its solutions from the rich and hugeIndian system of ethics (moral philosophy), is termed as Indian Ethos in Management (IEM).Management is behavioural science and it has to be culture specific and culture sensitive. IEM hasthe culture base of India as its foundation. India is a country whose culture has its roots in religion;it does draw its principles from the religions of the land, be it Hinduism, Buddhism or any otherreligion practised here.These Indian ethos are required all over the world in present scenario in managing business andindustry effectively and efficiently.Some of these ethoes are as follows:THE VEDANTIC VIEW OF KARMAAll work/Karma to manifest divinity, hence these must be pure, good, honest and sincere. Indianphilosophy also teaches to perform every work without having any attachment to result, becauseresults do not fall under the jurisdiction of a doer. Such thinking and understanding will change thewhole attitude. Now the results will become a PRASAD-gratitude – coming from the God himself.You can now accept the result with open mind without apprehensions-just as you accept membersinto Karma Yoga.THE SELF (ATMAN) AS THE SOURE OF ALL POWER:Considering motivations as internal every human being has the same divine atman with immensepotentialities within Vedanta brings infinite expansion of mind, breaks down all the barriers andbrings out the God in man.
Motivation is to be internal and not external. Such motivation involves the inner beauty and doesnot promote any greed in an individual to have more and more in return of his work.WELFARE OF ALL (YAGNA SPIRIT)Vedanta teaches to perform all activities.―ATMANO MOKHARTH JAGAT HITAY CHA‖Serve your personal interest but do not forget others. Shankaracharya has given the concept to gainperfection in individual life as well as the welfare of the whole world.UNIQUE WORK CULTURE:Work is considered as duty or SADHANA and there is no difference between KARMA (work) andDHARMA (religion). The term DHARMA does not indicate any particular religion. Dharma is aduty to be performed in a given situation. Thus Dharma is possible through Karma only.SKILL IN ACTION AND EVENNESS OF MIND.MEANS ARE EQUALLY IMPORTANT AS THE ENDS. (YADRISI BHAVNAH YASYA SIDDHI BHAVANTI TADRUSI)Thus society acceptable values are to be followed in determining the objectives as well as in theprocess of achieving these objectives.Integrated human personality of self-developed manager can assure best and competentmanagement of any enterprise, involving collective works and efforts. The refined or higherconsciousness will adopt holistic attitude. It will bring out the divine in man. It will achieveperfection or excellence in whatsoever sector you work. We shall achieve peace, harmony andprosperity within and without i.e., in or internal world and in our external world simultaneously.
This is the ideal of Indian ethos: ―ATMANO MOKSHARTHAM JAGAT HITAYA CHA‖ (For gaining perfection in individual life, as well as for the welfare of the world)Human and ethical values or qualities such as courage, vision, social awareness, fearlessness,integrity, pure and clear mind, truth, etc, are subjective and intangible concepts. These representdivine wealth. Features of Indian EthosFollowing are the essential features of Indian ethos and insight: 1. Indian ethos focuses on the existence of human being as a truth. There is nothing more perfect than the supreme soul. 2. Indian ethos focuses on the following principle: If you are good, the whole world is good. 3. Indian ethos is principally derived from the Upanishads, Bhagwad Gita and Puranas. 4. In accordance with Indian ethos, one must successfully strike a balance between spiritual values and secular values so that even a rich person can lead a life of materialism and spirituality. 5. Indian ethos places greater emphasis on values and ethics. Money is not power; knowledge, good health and sound character impart the real power. 6. Indian ethos places emphasis on inner resources. Inner resources are much morepowerful than outer resources. 7. According to Indian ethos, total quality management can be assured through excellence at work through self-motivation and self-development.
NEED FOR INDIAN ETHOS FOR BUSINESSWe need to incorporate Indian ethos in our management for the following reasons:1. Development of proper management system in the organisation: Management systems basedon principles as per ancient wisdom are of immense help for the smooth conduct of business.Value-oriented management system can be established with the help of Indian ethos.2. Assurance of all round development, growth and prosperity: All round development entailsproductivity, marketing and profitability, which can be enhanced by implementing Indian ethosand styles in business practises.3. Larger goal: Indian ethos guides us that if we work sincerely for the society, for our organisationand for Nature, we will really enjoy our life through money, harmony, peace and bliss. Suchdeportment would enlighten our image.4. Man versus machine: Indian wisdom indicates that productivity of human being is moreimportant than the capacity of a machine or plant APPLICATION OF INDIAN ETHOSIndian ethos can be effectively and efficiently applied for the following aspects ofmanagement:• Attitude of the management: This relates to the attitude of top management towardsethics and values. Top management must have belief in value-oriented holisticmanagement of business. Management must help all stakeholders to realize theirexpectations and desires.• Self-management: The manager must first figure out how to manage and controlhimself. He cannot control and manage others without exercising self-management andcomprehending its intricacies.• Meditation: Meditation attempts to resolve many complex problems of managementand organisation demanding higher consciousness. A dynamic meditation is a process oftransforming lower consciousness into higher consciousness. Indian Ethos emphasizes on conceptslike sacrificing individual desires in favour of social benefits and preferring longterm benefits overshort term gains..
Illustration:On November 26, 2008, Harish Manwani, chairman, and Nitin Paranjpe, CEO, of HindustanUnilever hosted a dinner at the Taj Mahal Palace hotel in Mumbai (Taj Mumbai, for short).Unilever’s directors, senior executives, and their spouses were bidding farewell to Patrick Cescau,the CEO, and welcoming Paul Polman, the CEO-elect. About 35 Taj Mumbai employees, led by a24-year-old banquet manager, Mallika Jagad, were assigned to manage the event in a second-floorbanquet room. Around 9:30, as they served the main course, they heard what they thought werefireworks at a nearby wedding. In reality, these were the first gunshots from terrorists who werestorming the Taj.The staff quickly realized something was wrong. Jagad had the doors locked and the lights turnedoff. She asked everyone to lie down quietly under tables and refrain from using cell phones. Sheinsisted that husbands and wives separate to reduce the risk to families. The group stayed there allnight, listening to the terrorists rampaging through the hotel, hurling grenades, firing automaticweapons, and tearing the place apart. The Taj staff kept calm, according to the guests, andconstantly went around offering water and asking people if they needed anything else. Early thenext morning, a fire started in the hallway outside, forcing the group to try to climb out thewindows. A fire crew spotted them and, with its ladders, helped the trapped people escape quickly.The staff evacuated the guests first, and no casualties resulted. ―It was my responsibility....I mayhave been the youngest person in the room, but I was still doing my job,‖ Jagad later told one of us.Elsewhere in the hotel, the upscale Japanese restaurant Wasabi by Morimoto was busy at 9:30 PM.A warning call from a hotel operator alerted the staff that terrorists had entered the building andwere heading toward the restaurant. Forty-eight-year-old Thomas Varghese, the senior waiter atWasabi, immediately instructed his 50-odd guests to crouch under tables, and he directedemployees to form a human cordon around them. Four hours later, security men asked Varghese ifhe could get the guests out of the hotel. He decided to use a spiral staircase near the restaurant toevacuate the customers first and then the hotel staff. The 30-year Taj veteran insisted that he wouldbe the last man to leave, but he never did get out. The terrorists gunned him down as he reached thebottom of the staircase.When Karambir Singh Kang, the Taj Mumbai’s general manager, heard about the attacks, heimmediately left the conference he was attending at another Taj property. He took charge at the TajMumbai the moment he arrived, supervising the evacuation of guests and coordinating the effortsof firefighters amid the chaos. His wife and two young children were in a sixth-floor suite, wherethe general manager traditionally lives. Kang thought they would be safe, but when he realized thatthe terrorists were on the upper floors, he tried to get to his family. It was impossible. By midnightthe sixth floor was in flames, and there was no hope of anyone’s surviving. Kang led the rescueefforts until noon the next day. Only then did he call his parents to tell them that the terrorists hadkilled his wife and children. His father, a retired general, told him, ―Son, do your duty. Do notdesert your post.‖ Kang replied, ―If it [the hotel] goes down, I will be the last man out.‖During the onslaught on the Taj Mumbai, 31 people died and 28 were hurt, but the hotel receivedonly praise the day after. Its guests were overwhelmed by employees’ dedication to duty, theirdesire to protect guests without regard to personal safety, and their quick thinking. Restaurant and
banquet staff rushed people to safe locations such as kitchens and basements. Telephone operatorsstayed at their posts, alerting guests to lock doors and not step out. Kitchen staff formed humanshields to protect guests during evacuation attempts. As many as 11 Taj Mumbai employees—athird of the hotel’s casualties—laid down their lives while helping between 1,200 and 1,500 guestsescape.studies show that the Taj employees’ actions weren’t prescribed in manuals; no official policies orprocedures existed for an event such as 26/11. Some contextual factors could have had a bearing,such as India’s ancient culture of hospitality; the values of the House of Tata, which owns the TajGroup; and the Taj Mumbai’s historical roots in the patriotic movement for a free India. The story,probably apocryphal, goes that in the 1890s, when security men denied J.N. Tata entry into theRoyal Navy Yacht Club, pointing to a board that apparently said ―No Entry for Indians and Dogs,‖he vowed to set up a hotel the likes of which the British had never seen. The Taj opened its doors in1903.Still, something unique happened on 26/11. We believe that the unusual hiring, training, andincentive systems of the Taj Group—which operates 108 hotels in 12 countries—have combined tocreate an organizational culture in which employees are willing to do almost anything for guests.This extraordinary customer centricity helped, in a moment of crisis, to turn its employees into aband of ordinary heroes. To be sure, no single factor can explain the employees’ valor. Designingan organization for extreme customer centricity requires several dimensions, the most critical ofwhich we describe in this articles Indian Ethos v/s International Ethos