Organisations that follow ethics and play by the rules under all circumstances are respected by customers, public and the government.

But in the recent past we have seen that some business houses have let go of their sense of ethics to the wind.

And for those mistakes they are facing the heat of the law.

Ethics is not something that can be bypassed at will and practised as a whim. Ethics should form the bedrock of the business principles.

Organisations get a murky reputation due to the mistakes a few managers make while taking decisions.

With fierce competition rising from new contenders some organisations deem it fit to adopt any and every tactic to stay on top in the business world.

Following such practices is a sure path to doom.

Every activity that a business undertakes must be based on ethical principles and these must be enunciated clearly to all concerned.

All stakeholders - employees, suppliers, shareholders and contractors— must be informed of the principles to be followed in their respective business practices.

They also should know that violation of these rules will entail cutting off business ties with them.

Give wide publicity to these practices through your web site, Intranet, newsletters and annual conference brochures.

Managers have the responsibility of taking decisions for the growth of business and while taking these decisions they must follow the laid out ethical norms.

Transparency:Any decision taken has to be transparent and be fair to all concerned.

Managers must be able to make decisions without being biased in favour of a particular person or organisation.

For example when making a decision to buy air conditioners quotations must be called for and evaluated on cost, performance, maintenance and service basis. Just because a particular vendor is a friend of a top executive the contract must not be awarded to him.

When decisions are transparent, the organisation builds a special reputation for itself in the market.

Have concern:Today's manager has a greater responsibility than his predecessors.

He has to take all decisions be it production, process or waste management taking into consideration the impact they will have on the environment.

What the long term consequences of bad waste management can be on the environment must be assessed and flaws corrected immediately.

Sustainability should be the watchword. Protection of environment beyond what the law stipulates will add to the stature of the company.

Even internally ‘green practices' must be followed. Using power saving devices and equipment, switching off lights to save power or recycling sewage water for the lawn are not only environment friendly practices but also bring out the point that you care for society at large. This reflects the ethics that your company believes in.

CSR:Paying taxes on time and maintaining fair record books of accounts is a good way to show that the company follows all rules. But the way in which the company is keen on sharing some of its profits with community around it is a reflection of its ethics.

Helping the community members in their livelihood, providing education, safe drinking water or medicare can go a long way in improving the image of the organisation.

Giving back a part of the profits the community is a good way to say ‘ thank you and we care for you'.

In times of a calamity ordistress provide solace to the community by providing shelter or food.

Through ethical decision making managements can showcase their ability to the right things for the good of all and not just the large majority.

K. V. Rajasekher