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A CRITICAL REVIEW OF ORGANIZATIONAL ETHICS IN CONTEXT OF CULTURE AND COMMUNICATION PROCESSES IN GLOBAL ORGANIZATIONS


With high pressure to perform, the need for purpose, meaning, altruism, virtue, in work has assumed critical importance. Transcendental needs and values have become critically important. Work-related outcomes are important as they affect bottom-line but they are also related to ethical treatment of employers like fair treatment, caring, and compassionate working environment. Few topics over the last five years have gained the amount of national and international attention within both scholarly (Anand, Ashforth, & Joshi, 2004; Ashforth & Anand, 2003; Davis & Ruhe, 2003) and mainstream media outlets (Calain, 2002; Craig & Hechinger, 2005) as corruption and ethical breaches. Those guilty of such charges hail from governmental to corporate organizations and instances range from single individual behaviour to systemic breaches and collapse of institutions. Ghoshal (2005:76) traces this apathy to a dominant ideology that is amoral in nature and breeds an attitude of lack of moral responsibility and this position is supported by Kanter (2005),Pfeffer (2005), Mintzberg (2005) and Donaldson(2005).The act of interpretation of a phenomena also influences those phenomena very much like the quantum reality(Ferraro et al.2005). Most of these approaches are based on individual motivations, responsibilities and accountabilities and are analysed through frameworks of agency theory, game theory and transaction cost economics; these individuals are self-regarding, opportunistic and isolated rather than embedded in community. These theories promote and legitimise behaviour (Mueller& Carter 2005:222) and are underpinned by normative assumptions about society and human nature. It paints a pessimistic viewpoint of self aggrandizing individuals whose single agenda is wealth appropriation and social action that is atomistic, fragmented, and incoherent but utterly fails to incorporate the individual in larger human network.

There is a rising trend in amoral behaviour despite the legal checks and balances that arose in the early 1990s to prevent such abuse (Driscoll & Hoffman, 1999). For instance, to deter unethical behaviour a system of heavy fines and probation conditions is being stipulated. Moreover, a stern warning to key individuals, such as directors, that they could be held personally liable for corrupt or unethical corporate behaviour and cultural ethical breakdowns are being held out; these scenarios tend to offer little in the hope of moving ethical management forward. Rather, these cases emphasize the punitive approach to fixing ethical lapses. More importantly, punitive approaches also tend to be reactive—the damage to a firm’s stakeholders has already occurred. Indeed, the bankruptcy and partial liquidation of such corporate giants as World- Com, Baring bank and Enron are painful exemplars of the catastrophic loss in jobs and in financial investments that correlate with a reactive approach to building character. The large body of leadership literature is shorn of ‘values, ethics, and morality have been leached away’ (Sankar 2003:45). Rather terms like trait, situational, and contingency separate the leader from their context and the relational aspect of context have been ignored (Grint 2000).

LITERATURE REVIEW:

We focus on developmental and positive approaches to ethical and character development. The United States Military Academy at West Point has a pro-active HR policy and practice and ethical issues are evaluated painstakingly; Specifically, West Point relies on rigorous recruiting, selection, job rotation, and training practices to foster character development among its members by managing communication, organizational learning, organizational design and development, and organizational socialization and culture shaping.

INSTITUALISATION OF ETHICS

To fulfil the character component of this mission, West Point developed and deploys a comprehensive Honour System whose “larger and more encompassing purpose is education” (Honor Systems and Procedures, 2001, p. 19). The foundation of the honor system begins with the honor code, which reads, “a cadet will not lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate those that do.” Earlier, the punitive aspects of the system were stressed notably the practices of immediate dismissal or “silencing” a cadet found guilty of an honor violation; Until 1976, the West Point Honor System remained relatively unchanged and gradually transformed from a rule based/ enforcement system of honor to a developmental and commitment-oriented approach.
Today, even more emphasis is placed on ethical development as opposed to ethical discipline. The finding regarding learning from ethical lapses is an important, new contribution to the HR field; organizations can use ethical transgressions as a tool to transform the ethical development of their members and to build a strong moral-ethical climate. They successfully communicate expectations and signal forcefully the overriding concern with ethics. In the long-run these have positive correlation with job-satisfaction and reduce voluntary turn-over apart from intensive emphasis on socialization process (Bretz& Judge, 1998).
The training programme offers an ethical foundation in the form of Honour Code: “a cadet will not lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate those that do”. With this “starting point” and with minimum ethical expectations clearly communicated, they are able to motivate cadets to meet the “Spirit of the Code,” which are “set of broad and fundamental principles, not as a list of prohibitions”. Further they have a decision-assisting tool namely the Three Rules of Thumb. The use of decision-making heuristics is common as G. A. Klein (1999) demonstrated how medical emergency and first aid responders use simple decision making trees to reduce ambiguity and complexity that surround major accidents. Furthermore, studies of pilot training indicate that aviators rely on basic decision-making formulas to ensure safety in the midst of dangerous circumstances (Flin, O’Connor, & Mearns, 2002). A major benefit of these decision-making rules is that they marginalize environmental influences that may confuse or distract the decision maker. Not surprisingly, rationalization is believed to be a significant and potent antecedent to corrupt behaviour (Anand et al., 2004).
Since rationalization is believed to contribute to unethical and immoral decision making along with corrupt behaviour (Anand et al., 2004), the authors investigated whether West Point is, indeed, effective in reducing rationalization tendencies as West Point depends on training to mitigate the force of rationalization. The cadets entering West Point come from a variety of background, some of which may not have emphasized character, ethics, or honor. In order to educate “the basics” they issue the Hip Pocket Values Education Guide, a booklet that is aimed at providing each cadet the same core basic knowledge through the identification and definition of key terms. In particular, the Cadet Leadership Development System (CLDS) is the vehicle to test the effectiveness of the West Point Honour System. The premise of these two programs is that character can be best built and tested under leadership positions involving various stakeholders, perceived levels of high stress, and limited time. This leadership training mirrors managerial reality—namely, leaders often must make timely decisions under stress that, incidentally, involve conflicting stakeholder priorities (Badaracco, 1997; G. A. Klein, 1999). Practice in dealing with stakeholder influence, stress, and time constraints are particularly important since these factors impair judgment, or, directly contribute to unethical and immoral decisions (Badaracco, 1997; G. A. Klein, 1999; Werhane, 1999). Interestingly and contrary to traditional agency arguments that emphasize control mechanisms that restrict decision making to deter unethical behaviour (Eisenhardt, 1989a), West Point appears to promote a liberating, not constraining, perspective on developing moral ethical reasoning, best accomplished through realistic leadership practice.

Central to the moral-ethical development program is their reliance on social cognitive theory and vicarious learning. The essence of social cognitive theory is that individuals learn new behaviour by watching others in a social situation and then imitating their behaviour (Bandura 1977). Closely related with social learning theory is the notion of vicarious learning, which is an individual’s capacity to learn through observation without direct participation (Bandura, 1977; Davis & Luthans, 1980). Consequently, this is preferable since individuals are not required to engage in trial-and-error behaviour and is cost-saving also. This finding is interesting, since contemporary social capital research almost exclusively frames trust and commitment as an antecedent to social capital (Adler & Kwon, 2002; Leana & Van Buren, 1999).
In contrast, the researchers found ethical-moral development to be both an antecedent and consequence of social capital. Here, the primary benefit is that informal social systems are working to strengthen the ethical-moral component of the culture. This can occur, however, only when ethical-moral development is integrated with organizational development .While West Point enjoys strong internal and external leadership, whose contribution in shaping and promoting mission of moral ethical development of its cadets is praiseworthy; they devote considerable energy to establishing and emphasizing organizational priorities, which include moral-ethical development. One of the keystones to this approach is an intensive personal development opportunity offered to students who have committed a violation of the cadet honor code. Just as an individual may experience quantum growth only following physical trauma or the death of a loved one (Calhoun & Tedeschi, 2001; Linley & Joseph, 2003), this personal development opportunity allows individual students and the organization as a whole to grow because of— in spite of — an ethical transgression.
The case study attempts to enrich an individual’s ethical reasoning from exposure to another’s ethical lapse. Indeed, Nonaka (1994) indicates that exposure to environmental stimuli challenge mental models and assumptions and promote a deeper level of organizational learning. Rather than being “old “news,” the deviation or, cheating scandal becomes part of the fabric and folklore of West Point. In a phenomenon not unlike what Weick and Roberts (1993) describe as a collective mind, these transgressions remind West Point cadets and leadership of “what could be” when there is little emphasis on the moral-ethical portion of an organization’s culture by means of certain core HR policies .

HRM and ETHICS

Here, HRM can use orientation and socialization program to build an ethical foundation. In addition, HRM can play a proactive role in shaping and managing the communication process to ensure understanding of key moral-ethical issues and definitions. Also, HRM, through organizational design and involvement in leadership development program, can ensure the integration of such programs with character and honor development. Rather than pursuing these programs as two disparate streams, HR professionals could integrate both. as such. HRM can provide managers with decision-making heuristics and other tools to help manage the simple to complex ethical quandary.

The management of communication process help these individuals grow ethically and morally. The character development process can actually inform and improve existing communication channels. As a result of this heightened trust, communication is generally efficient and avoids costly contractual hazards (Williamson, 1985). Moreover, this trust also may limit political hidden meanings often embedded in messages in favour of rich, honest, and more transparent dialogue, which are key components of relational and cognitive dimensions of social capital (Nahapiet & Ghoshal, 1998).In conclusion, Whereas traditional HR research has employed as dependent constructs such outcomes as job satisfaction (Robie, Ryan, Schmieder, Parra, & Smith, 1998), job performance (Vinchur et al., 1998), and promotion rates (Wentling, 1992), recent research has looked at the ethicality of HR practices themselves as the construct of interest. For instance, Ferris, Hochwarter, Buckley, Harrell-Cook, and Frink (1999) highlight the need to focus on justice and political perspectives in the conduct of such HR practices as personnel selection, performance evaluation, and compensation. Similarly, Rowan (2000) focuses on practical ethical questions concerning employee rights to such things as safety, due process, and privacy. More critically, Greenwood (2002) raises the question of how ethical is the very concept of viewing humans as resources rather than as ends in and of themselves. Admittedly, these are important issues and ones that we address, by shifting the focus from the ethics of HR to ethics through HR, which can open the doors to a fruitful stream of practical ethics research.
Heifetz talks of how the burden of organizational action and dilemma is shared challenging the community to face problems for which there are no simple, painless solutions and this forces people to learn in new ways. Nonaka & Toyama (2002) describe this mode of engagement where issues of authority are worked out across different levels of the organization and it is done iteratively as problems are gradually addressed; in other words the leadership has to identify key challenge of resolving question of authority and responsibility and this is done by changing context to transcend contradictions and manage improvement (Nonaka& Toyama 2002:1005).
Such improvisations are capable of changing the situation and contradiction can be resolved and simultaneously new contradictions are generated. Synthesising apparent contradictions is a sign of advanced thinking (Kramer 1998). Only a dialogic technique elicits this response and such tolerance inevitably enacts distributed engagement which requires that a shared space is created to control stresses produced by problem solving. Heifitz idea of a holding environment and dialectics of action interact to solve problem. For effective distributed form of engagement necessitating examination of assumptions about activity of leading, notion of responsibility and the need to challenge existing mental models (Senge 1990) or social scripts (Schank& Abelson 1977, Mueller& Carter 2005) often understood as cultural resources that can challenge and infer decision-making and guide behaviour A script might make one person responsible, moulded either in the role of hero or villain.
Enabling one to challenge assumptions is in itself an acknowledgement that complexity is not only acceptable but that it is not the sole responsibility of the leader to resolve tension; unquestionably a major role of the leader is to orient the others towards action agenda while the others have to assume the responsibility to handle and manage the implications of the contradiction (Morrel 2004a) which entail growing maturity to share responsibility and accountability. Tackling such problems demand not only understanding needs of different communities but also addressing them and the enlightened leader prefers to empower them to make choice and choose for them (Katz 1969).
In the Socratic tradition questioning is fundamental to understanding basic principles through rigorous argument and this forms and informs our wisdom. In fact incoherence between espoused values and actual practices is the dialectical tension that exposes the basic inconsistencies between the local and universal values leading to moral confusion among citizens and men. For example when we refer to people as assets, capital, or resources we produce incoherence in our organizational talk and that in other talks happening in some other settings. Commentators voice their concern at the abysmal lack of virtue and ethics in organizations (Deakin& Konzelmann 2003, Watkins 2004). Jennings advances the argument that a formal guidance was a better institutionalized mechanism to influence the character, motivations and attitudes. Actually the concept of “Ram-Rajya” is also such a formal guidance system based on assumptions of virtue but it calls for continuous vigilance and striving to uphold the moral order. This would involve a process of critique to challenge the discrepancies between espoused theories and theories-in-use.

ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE and ORGANIZATIONAL ETHICS

Argyris holds that it would surface issues that render the undiscussed in the open for scrutiny and debate and an appropriate vehicle could be dialogue. However since management science has no absolutes such discussions are difficult because organizational actors have to take decisions in ambiguous situations and there is need to create trust at both individual and collective level. Perhaps then dialogue can then be taken up as technical modality for identifying problems and as a metaphor to scrutinise. Given the fact there are cultural diversities in an organization and the potential harm caused by hegemony and the prevalence of fads and fashion in management bringing incoherence in management (Abrahamson&Fairchild 1999; Alvesson &Sveningsson 2003) it is worthwhile to facilitate processes that encourage people to work on their own, but with some kind of guidance mechanism available to them rather than seeking off-the- shelf solutions. The primary importance of multiple perspectives on a problem is valuable as it is capable of challenging the received wisdom (Arlin 1990). A culture that promotes dialogue also can mobilise collective action and inculcate ethical behaviour.

Core values are important because they affect views and behaviour but there is no unanimity on the kind of nature that value has both within and without the company especially in context of relationship dimension (Meglino & Ravlin, 1998). Burns noted that values specify certain standards that guide behaviour at work-place and sets down criteria for guiding choices between or among alternatives. Values percolate down and employees fix the personal standard by emulating the top leadership. Often unethical behaviour results into inefficiency and ineffectiveness and missed opportunities and sullied reputation (Neilson, Pasternack,& Mendes,2004; Sims & Brinkmann,2002). On the other hand organizations exercising value-based and ethical behaviour impact organizational culture that strengthens social integration and positively affects profitability and sustainability (Grojean, Resick, Dickson,) .The governing ethics of an organization is potentially stable and provides continuity even under situation of change. This continuity is referred as “sameness”. It is thought that ‘sameness” has led to the development of such philosophy like Population ecology, entrepreneurship theory, design theory, evolutionary economics etc. Many interesting possibilities have been explored in the context of sameness. For example how can an entrepreneur sustain identifiable advantage? How can managers diffuse strategic vision and fix long-term objectives while having to integrate the short-term adaptations? How can organizations arbitrate between exploration and exploitation in negotiating with environmental constraints? How does an organization balance between inertia and action? By using sameness principle to understand OC process there are serious limitations such as constrained depiction of organizational and individual behaviour like aggressiveness,; opportunism and compliance; secondly “otherness” is an imitation of sameness and thirdly there is less discretion available when one has to focus both on conformity to institutional norms and distinction from competitors and above all there is no normative guideline to as to why one change is preferable to another.
It must be acknowledged that organizational ethics had always included “otherness” in business models like stakeholder theory (Donaldson&Dunfee 1994, Donaldson&Preston, 1995; Jones 1995; Jones &Ryan, 1997). Instead of studying ideological duality of egoism and altruism the sameness and otherness can be used to shed light on OC and OE (Ford &Ford, 1994) to analyse evolutionary and revolutionary changes within OC processes. The two dimensions of sameness are “the pursuit of self-centred goals and “unbalanced relationship”. Organizational theorists have studied this paradoxical continuity-versus- disruption nature of change as change falls short of critical change to transmute it radically beyond recognition; in nutshell change does not affect some enduring trait that remain constant over time characterising an organization’s existence, bracketed between onset and termination.
The “end-prevalence” dimension of sameness emphasise survival and above-average performance and the enduring propensity to retain some core traits; ‘unbalanced relationship” is unequal treatment of others and precedence of self over others. Sameness –based OC theories is premised on reductive principles of opportunism and compliance which is aggressiveness and subordination. At the same time we have some exceptions too as alternative behaviour exist; sympathy, empathy, generosity, charity which appeal more to otherness than to sameness (Huy, 1999). As stakeholder theory holds that organizations have multi-dimensional relationship with their environment and they strive to better the community (Freeman, 1984; Jones, 1995).
OC theories appreciate otherness and integrate competitors and partners under the sameness banner. Nash models like “Prisoner’s dilemma” surfaces ambiguity of situation as well as interdependence of decision makers where end prevalence and unbalanced relationship of sameness and are oblivious to otherness and the underlying changes unfolding surreptitiously Above all sameness leaves them in dark about changes they should make adopting either exploitation or exploration. For example if first –movers have advantages in terms of performance but followers also have their set of benefits which leaves us with a sense that we are same and at the same time different as well (Deephouse,1999). Organizational behaviour does not depend on only sameness principle but also on general organizational traits, like ownership or strategic positioning; for instance family owned firms rely on altruistic principles rendering agency theory redundant to understand their performance and development (Schulze, Lubatkin, Dino, &Buchholtz,2001). In fact an otherness consideration under OE can help us to build a change theory that dialectically intertwines the two approaches.

A major shortcoming of OE theory has been its failure to handle organizational plasticity and changes. Nevertheless a major contribution of OE was in reconciling descriptive and instrumental view of ethics with a normative conception of ethics. Bounded moral rationality and macrosocial contracting establish the basis of integrative social contract theory which offers free space along with contractor’s permission to consent or exit and the existence of authentic norms and a set of priority rules among these norms. At organizational and community level microsocial contracting must be compatible with hypernorms, and the complementary evolution of ethical, transaction-specific micronorms having allegiance to basic principles of morality emanating from cultural, religious, and philosophical traditions. Hosmer (1995) identifies that in a joint endeavour trust is visualised as being based on moral duty where trust is translated into expectation by stakeholders for an ethically justifiable behaviour. A radical theory in the form of Stakeholder theory held that both shareholders and stakeholders have same rights and same goals (Mitchell, Agle, & Wood, 1997). Scholars like Jones (1995) agreed with the instrumental stakeholder theory which holds the practice of ethical principles of trustworthiness, trust, and cooperation yielding long-term benefits amounting to significant competitive advantage. Yet another school of thought like Jones and Wicks held a convergent view of stakeholder theory and found it sound in normative sense as well as pragmatic (1999).
The principle of sameness applies as much to OC and OE. The passive ethics of not harming others is not pessimistic as is mistakenly believed but it is an ex ante recognition that an organization is accountable for the consequences of its action and acknowledgement of others sameness as the consistency provides a basis of interaction and capable of establishing norms of ethical behaviour for themselves. It is hypothesised that there is strong alignment between organizational and individual values (Brass et al., 1998). But there is also strong reason to believe that powerful actors develop diverging approach to their sameness relative to the sameness in the organization. A contrary model proposes that OC and OE may tie together based on otherness through organizational design to influence moral action. The gap between expected moral ideal and the desired moral approbation creates the moral intent and moral behaviour.

All OC proceed from organizational discrepancies in values- Different subgroups have interest dissatisfaction and their respective value commitment so much that the ethical dimension impact on OC process is overlooked but incongruously recognize moderating influence of power dependencies and capacity for action on the relationship between value commitments and OC processes but do not adequately account for the available range of actions to the powerful actors. By contrast self is derived from the continued experience of life instituted in the engagement with the others which posits the sameness against otherness. This otherness “belongs instead to the tenor of meaning and to the ontological constitution of selfhood” (Ricoeur, 1992). It introduces a paradox of the self between sameness and selfhood; the former enacts universal principles of actions and being, while the latter strives to mediate between the historical and contextual situations one faces. Solving this riddle implies use of practical wisdom. A practically wise man is a symbol of moral exemplarity and reciprocity He recognises a priori the value and interest of others opinion and judgment while reciprocity consecrates the equal nature of the other. Powerful agents influence the relation between same and other by way of changing orientations, make strategic decisions, shape organizational identity; they have capacity and responsibility to bestow legitimacy, by designing strategies, structure and processes.
In OC literature such powerful agents look at themselves in evolutionary sense as undifferentiated elements of organizational routines or as reflectors of environmental trends and endowed with the task of positioning and legitimising the organization. In entrepreneurial and strategic theory powerful agents are invested with the responsibility to design the mission and objective that flow down to the bottom level. In OE perspective they play crucial role in advancing organizational values and morality (Hosmer, 1994; Jones, 1991; Weaver, Trevino, &Cochran, 1999). These agents are aware of the organizational strengths and weakness, are more alert, and gather important informations that have critical bearing on conducting change and although they stretch the goal they never embark on unrealistic quest. They are not control hungry, and are open to people and ideas and are less vulnerable to cognitive bias and earn respect and consideration from their colleagues.
For practical wisdom to manifest in the form of moral exemplarity and reciprocity during OC process the essential conditions are exemplary narratives and conversation spaces. Ricoeur has elaborated on narrative identity in his study of the relationship between individual sameness / selfhood and otherness (1992).The interstice between sameness and selfhood is made accessible through the narrative identity which indicates whether context exist or not and the extent of influence that practically wise people can operate during OC process. Such agents use promise in moderation and are particular with honouring their commitment. Direct benefits of exemplary narratives lie in reducing cost of information and enforcement and also prevent siren songs and censor deviant behaviour. The narratives reinforce presence of practically wise powerful agents and evolutionary OC processes.

CORPORATE VISION and CULTURE CHANGE

The limitation of culture change as a way of redirecting the organization and its performance was increasingly questioned during 1980’s. Its failure to deliver during stark period was evident especially true in case of organizations that were praised for their organizational culture (Chakravarthy, 1986). As a result attention was focussed on the need for inspiring vision and several theories were proffered. The vision concept has dealt with corporate strategy rather than being concerned with substantive content. It has led to a neglect of the role of visions in social construction and control; the neglected issues range from visionaries’ claims to foresee aspects of the future; to generate an ethical dimension for the organizational life; to validate their vision with intuition-based insights. This is correlated to the way narratives are created out of these elements and how these interact with power as expressed within strategic decision making processes. Another difficulty is accessing those in power to understand the discourse (Clegg, 1993:34). Corporate visions reflect the position occupied by the powerful and the way it influences strategic direction of their organization.

These narratives exercise powerful social control and shape social institutions and their overt reliance on past to sanction or prescribe behaviour. Visions like narratives also tell a story and help the recipients to make sense of their environment. Apart from creating and affirming organizational identity they are also specific to individuals situated in their environment, are placed to anticipate a particular future for them. Vision is then seen as a motivational tool. The focus is on how to make a good vision and how to implement them and how to overcome impediments in implementing them (Bertodo, 1990; Wilson, 1992; El-Namaki, 1992; Nanus, 1992). Their analysis highlighted only the rational and logical side and overlooks the intuitive side; in a sense they emphasised the aspect of communication of vision and ignored the substance of vision.
However in recent time substantive issues have taken the centre-stage. As old strategic planning fell in disrepute due to increasing technological complexity and shifting markets required a new approach which adopted a visionary posture in which the role of intuition is acknowledged. Growing importance of intuition is also on account of uncertainty and the link of intuition with futurist dimension is now well accepted. There was reference to the benefit of holistic approach to problem solving as vision was recognised as a narrative. For example the vision of global markets led to strategic organization and production changes at Hoechst (Kennedy, 1990).
Similarly there were several such instances when corporate culture changes were more in response to environmental changes. The shift in public value was oriented to ‘self-fulfilment’, ‘fairness’, ‘cultural identity’ and ‘environmental regard’ and increasingly values of affluence and luxury of the top-management was questioned as values were revealed arising out of shock that led to a new set of values to moderate the future relationship of the organization and its environment. Moving to the next stage of evolution the revelations were linked to business objectives and a programme of strategic change were initiated and it strove to create a sense of identification with the company’s goals and it tried to ensure that those goals were compatible with their own ethics (Kennedy, 1993:19). A programme of organizational restructuring aimed to inculcate attitudinal change in employee especially the younger ones and it sought to create a participatory sense in actively shaping them. Intense competition and rapid obsolescence necessitate that a war like strategy be adopted. The ethical appeal is needed so that members relate to the organization in the way that the citizen by implication commits to the state in time of war.
The public expects that the CEO has a vision as to where the company is headed. Aspirational goal for the company as opposed to where one finally lands up calls for new thinking and new processes (Harvey-Jones, 1988:36). Why a war metaphor is suitable can be gauged from the fact that it provides a discourse to structure the relationship of the business organization to the environment and provide a vision intended to appeal to , and shape, the organization’s member’s response. There is a possibility that there are multiple visions about what one sees and seniors may view tomorrows as not significantly different in their predictions. Since long-term view is redundant and there is a need to limit the futurist aspect of vision. Hence an in-born instinct guides need and that raises the question whether a five year goal can be really chased and the importance as well as the need for desirable and flexible corporate vision.
It is also seen that personal background of the leader becomes a solid base for the formative experiences behind their managerial style and vision. Leaders who had more of a rebellious streak in them during formative phase had been seen to break away from conservative style of functioning and presented a radically different vision convincingly to the employees and the union. Their growing disillusionment with the dysfunctional nature of authoritarian style leads them to the insight on their democratic and anti-bureaucratic management style. This new approach led to momentous change and unleashed energetic commitment which led to unparalleled success when vision is fortified with ethical dimension and foreshadowed by intuition. These elements are linked together to constitute a form of narrative which is marked by internal consistency, completeness, and dramatic import. One must analyse the individual element to comprehend how its appeal and power is evoked along with its limitations. A vision attempts to locate the organization in temporal term because it renders the appeal relevant. Although future portends major discontinuities, yet the leader must have a dim view and inspite of it, future springs surprises and catches us unprepared. Even scenario planning throws dilemma and compels that trade-offs be made; risks be balanced and an array of internal and external factors be incorporated.
Notwithstanding the obstacles the visionary has to produce a rationale for changing the attitudes in the organization as well as those in the external environment to the organization. The application of the strategy can be seen as a narrative which defines the changing relation favourably with the intention to influence various stakeholders and by implication defining and manipulating the environment in its favour. Corporate visionaries establish the basic values in the discourse to convince and persuade the participants in the organizational environment to view the organization in a certain way and set agenda to enable participants to select and react to what is significant in the environment. Visions derive authority from the way in which the insight of a particular individual.
Key insight and future direction derive from intuition and hence the ‘authority’ of the individual for which experience is only corroborating evidence. When the imperative to follow the vision becomes important the issue of ethical dimension becomes critical. In order to command respect of even the dissidents it must be backed by ethics and moral imperative. A vision is the glimpse of the Promised Land and it has to be idealistic and it can do so only when it clearly and demonstrably depicts a future that is better for people and society. The ethical dimension of vision is an appeal to values which go beyond self-interest and it includes an appeal to larger social good and can mobilise others like stakeholders and entities like government, employees, and the community. Visions are created by authentic individuals who restructure relationship with environment and their sole power is derived from ethical dimension which give direction, purpose and credibility enabling the organization to own it. The vision is a dream of the visionary but it is a dream that is people centred, not very precise but inspiring and co-owned.
Building vision is a shared, on-going activity and a lot of leadership activity encompasses not only vision but also purpose and core values as well. Visions take time to germinate and are time consuming as well as less glamorous. Anyone who wants to practice shared vision building must operate out of his comfort zone and this requires that we learn to manage the creative tension. It is no longer an idea but a living force in the sense that it is both compelling and inspiring and creates an identity of commonalty which permeates the whole organization and gives coherence to diverse activities by connecting and binding people together by common aspiration. It generates infectious enthusiasm and excitement. Intrinsic vision is ennobling and uplifting which converts work into larger purpose embedded in system, style, and climate of the organization. Vision in this sense act as gravitational force pulling and pushing people to some uplifting goals and in the very act it challenges the routine activity and undermines the organizational inertia.

GLOBALIZATION and Crisis

Globalization has also impacted the structure, strategy, form and function, size, scale and scope of corporations. It has redefined their identity and role as well as their perception. Some kind of organizational convergence can be noticed as they have increasingly incorporated code of ethics to reflect their response to external environment. Apart from respecting the first generation ethics which focussed more on legal context of corporate behaviour and the second generation ethics that locate responsibility to groups directly associated with the corporation they have begun to embrace the third generation ethics which is more grounded in responsibilities to the larger interconnected environment. This is self-evident as more than three quarters of organizations have adopted the third generation ethics. New dynamics of interconnectedness is visible as there are signs of environmental crises threatening the globe, exposes of work-place misdeeds having global ramifications and this has triggered new forms of organizing, novel types of organizational constraints and opportunities and growing public awareness globally about corporate social responsibility.
Irrespective of structure, and location virtually every organization is forced to accommodate complexities of operating within a multicultural communicative, legal, moral, and social context where boundaries are becoming fuzzy and blurred. Corporate Codes of Ethics are formal public statement of corporate principles and rules of conduct that govern interorganizational and intra-organizational practices and guides their present and future behaviour underlining ethical values that is upheld by the employees to one another and to organizational stakeholders(Kaptein and Schwartz,2008). Ethical issues are pre-dominant in global matters.

CORPORATE CODE OF ETHICS - an evolutionary perspective

Corporate Code of Ethics is now more common and widespread(Carasco and Singh,2003; O’ Dwyer and Madden,2006) not only as the imperative to comply with law but it also guides the employees in the cross-culture contact that are compelled by the logic of globalization as it facilitates practice and interpretation. With a plethora of national and international laws, and emergence of newer nations due to fission tendency and the growing role of non-governmental organizations a broad stream of initiatives to encourage development and compliance with ethical codes have been instituted. Public activism and social justice movements are forcing monitoring and evaluation of corporate activities. Both regionally and across industry and sectors the unmistakable growth in ethical consciousness is visible. Mass-media scrutiny also has led to stringent monitoring of corporate activities. Most corporations have veered to the idea that Codes of Ethics can be used as marketing instruments of legitimation and capable of winning employee commitment to their corporate vision. Popular public campaigns have been targeted at corporations operating within apparel and extraction industry regarding global impact of their action on environment and health.
Corporate ethical responsibility spans issues related to welfare, health and safety of employees and its impact on societies. Apart from rights granted to the individual and preventing workers exploitation earned over time and referred as first and second generation of Ethics, the third generation embodies social and material as well as reflexivity associated with globalization and ethical behaviour is firmly planted in the larger interconnectedness of the environment within which organizations operate and function. The “Gaia hypothesis” acknowledges the non-duality of existence and how life in all its varied form and function is interconnected and a single unity. Globalization is reflective of this underlying unity. To this effect Code of Ethics is a concern that consistently reflects the dynamics of globalization. However there are differences in the degree to which Codes of Ethics reflect the interconnected dynamics of globalization. In this sense western European corporations are leaders in adopting third generation thinking into their Codes of Ethics. Third generation thinking are ethical guidelines that transcend profit motive and enhancement of stockholder positions and the protection of employees and include greater consideration of external global stakeholders. Corporate Codes of Ethics of largest organizations have begun to converge and becoming commonplace which institutionalises standards and values and are embodied in formal communication guidelines.
In the twentieth century the world has had to learn that nations cannot prosper without institutions like law and order, stable governance and property rights. More than two thousand years ago Aristotle had objected to Plato’s ideal of common ownership of property as he had argued that it is the middle ground of liberal’ self-interest’ which drives ordinary human beings. But this self-interest must be regulated as illustrated by Prisoner’s dilemma for we observe that if individuals only pursue self-interest they undermine collective good and harm themselves.
Corporate Code of Ethics seeks to design such institutions that balances selfish and unselfish motivations and impels them to act responsibly because of enlightened public scrutiny and an executive that has legitimate and superior authority to maintain order and punish those who breach the moral rules. Being embedded in a global network of alone does not provide sufficient impetus for changes in values, communicative expectation, or standards of action as this spillover to organizational behaviours in other sectors so that experience and effectiveness of cooperative frameworks in one technical sphere are reproduced in other spheres. In fact these forces are tempered by local environment and have given rise to the phenomena of glocalization. An important role therefore befalls on the authority figure as the meaning has to be created for others and CSR is a conceptual architecture for collective choice (Weber 1948).
Argandona (2003) proposed a model for fostering values in organizations. His process was based on need identification, communication, institutionalization, commitment, aligning values and practices, redesigning policies and review of the process. One needs to articulate an integrated system of ideas, values, beliefs, and attitudes that posits enlightened self-interest, and also upholds the higher social values or common good. Often these ideas are organized into clusters that take into cognitive, emotional, and moral needs that constitute organizational ideology. In ethical organizations it is found that these cluster network and produce high resonance of core organizational values and it is equally reflected in their performance and outcome (Jin, 1991, 1997). Organizational values affected ethical attitudes of managers (Ferrell and Skinner, 1998; Howard, 1990; Posner and Scmidt, 1984, 1992; Vitell and Davis, 1990; Vitell and Festervand, 1987).
All organic organizations have value cluster characterised like openness,collaborativeness,creativeness, and relationship-oriented; whereas in a mechanistic organization managers perceive it as closed for political control, cautious, task-oriented, rigidly structured, hierarchical and processes that are biased in favour of pressure, power and centralization. Researches results (Jin and Drozdenko, 2003, 2005) show unambiguously that managers of organic organizations were more ethically scrupulous than managers of mechanistic organizations. It can be surmised that organic core values are reinforced and strengthened by ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility and wherever this interaction is strengthened the organizations driven by them outperform, although the dynamics could be more complex.

MAHABHARATA and INDIAN ETHICS

Compassion is central to Dharma as our consciousness acknowledges the other. The story of seer Jajali depicts how one is transformed from self-absorbed entity to someone who cares for others. Yudhishthira’s existential pain protests living in a world, where goodness is not repaid with goodness and where capricious death reigns.
Mahabharata can be interpreted variously; a cosmic allegory of the eternal struggle between good and evil; at another level it is a royal story of war and thirdly it is crisis of conscience. Are we condemned or can we redesign our institutions to humanise existence? Does MAHABHARATA’s message have some relevance particularly for the management as far as ethics and responsibility is concerned?
Our vanity spawns emotions of envy, hypocrisy, and status anxiety. The two virtues of actively helping and passively avoiding harm can neutralise them. Similarly ethical standards are incoherent in Mahabharata as all characters experience different pulls and pressures. For management of organization, Mahabharata is an excellent text to study as we have rich elucidation of ethics and spirituality in shaping attitude related to work and organization, work reward and job involvement; it can be a powerful resource for problem solving and a metaphor to assist change. It can enhance creativity and emotional intelligence. Organizational culture benefits by such stories that create sense of identity and commitment to something larger than one’s self-interest. But there is no discussion on how such institutionalization can be done. And the mechanism of delivery is left to imagination.

FUTURE DIRECTION:

In considering these multiple aspects of Ethics, Organizational Culture and Communication processes under the historical context of globalization we have seem how the concepts have evolved and the implementing mechanism have been refined and fine –tuned to address the emerging concerns. The existing literature on ethics, culture and communication are diverse but consistent. However there are some future directions for research. These research objectives could be:

RO1.What could be the implication of embeddedness for organizational performance?
RO2.Does nature of politics impact insecurity and breed unethical behaviour?
RO3.Can the architecture of vision overarch differences and variation in ethical connotation and allow space for the variety of norms and values to create core values that can sustain and nurture social responsibility?
RO4.Can organizations create moral point of view and action that is practiced and believed because it protects us against tragic vulnerabilities?

CONCLUSION:

As per Indian concept of DHARMA everything keeps evolving and is continually contested. Today the meaning of Ethics is to create and sustain social harmony, the cultivation of ethical self and socially responsible organizations. In this sense, dharma has universal appeal and deals with inner traits; Swami Vivekanand spoke about it as ‘dharma of humanity’ regarding it as an ethical code applicable to the whole of man-kind. It is not surprising to note that the word ‘DHARMA’ has evolved and enriched from the time of Rig Veda through a process of contestation and adaptation.
I have surveyed the western and Asian perspectives on the ideas of corporate ethics, culture, organizational communication, and social responsibility in the twentieth century and how the concepts have evolved within the context of globalization. Ideas like CSR and ethics are not ritualised actions that connect stimuli and response alone but that the encounter is ongoing productive engagement. The ability to adopt a reinterpretative framework like the idea of Dharma gives flexibility to organizational actors to select aspects of organization to improve performance. When we resort to the vision we actually shape expectations and are also influenced by expectations of other stakeholders. It is a mindful enactment to deliberately adapt structure, strategy and form to respond to societal concerns on part of powerful actors who exercise intuition and logic to adjust to external environment.


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