7. Socially Responsible Products
We have to take care of not only the amount of production but also the way we can serve the society through proper production in terms of quality and also at affordable prices. But today, we are producing only those goods and services that satisfy our personal needs and justify our ends. We are spending large amounts of money on advertising those products that are either unnecessary or detrimental to society. For instance, in certain countries, the advertisements of items like liquor and cigarettes, figure in radio, TV and the print-media. In this context, we have to appreciate the significance of answerability and moral obligation to society in making products detrimental to public health and welfare. Do people consume these products because they are made available by business people or do business people make them because there is great demand for such products? Business people assert that they produce such items because there is great demand for these things. This may not be the complete truth. The truth is also that people do consume these things because companies make them available. Those companies and their management, who make money-making their sole aim, undertake the production of such items which are harmful to public health. As such, business people have to do some soul-searching and assess whether their products make or break the society. Corporate organisations make decisions from the standpoint of increasing profits and wealth. They might not have so much concern about social or national welfare or the harmful impact of such products on society. However, management students should always assess as to what could be the impact of their organisation’s products on the society.
8. Values-based Leadership
The prosperity of any country depends on the type of education and values that are prevalent in the country. There is a saying in folklore literature in India that if the daughter-in-law in the family happens to be of dark complexion, then the entire progeny in the family would also be of dark complexion. Likewise, if people at the helm of affairs in a business organisation possess certain values, it is likely that the workforce in that organisation would reflect the same values with respect to various aspects of organisational activity. On a national level too, the country will reflect only those values that the people of the nation in general, and opinion makers in particular possess. Therefore, if the business world follows the path of morality and truth, every other element of human activity will follow the same, for, corporate activity and organisations happen to be the centre of the hub in modern society. Thus, whatever problems are found in society today, their roots can be traced to the business world, for, business occupies such an important position in society today. If people who are primarily egoistic and self-centred dominate the business world, the same negative value system will gradually seep into other dimensions of life with the passage of time. Therefore, the people who are going to enter organisations as executives ought to possess values that would be conducive to the development of the society.
9. Faith in the Divine
9. Faith in the Divine
For their personal selfish ends and concealed gains businessmen have been financing those in power and making them more and more powerful. If businessmen live up to their principles, all this corruption can be ended in a moment. It is true that there is no one who does not desire wealth. An old Telugu proverb states that even a dying person will get up if he sees somebody offering money. It is not surprising that if bribes are offered, officials engaged in the regulatory apparatus of business may not decline them. It is for businessmen to set a limit to their profits and utilize their abilities for the promotion of public good and social welfare. It may be difficult to integrate business with morality, but it is not impossible. Therefore, the first requisite is to install morality in one’s own heart, and with faith in the Divine, engage oneself in business. If this is done, the nation will benefit from the business man's efforts and he will be serving the society. Today everyone talks only about what he wants. He says, “I want this, I want that.” If he loses anything he moans about his loss. The entire life-time is spent in acquisition and losing and as such there is no peace of mind. Businessmen have to understand the basis of human relations and cultivate harmony and understanding. Unless such a broad-minded approach is developed, businessmen will not experience the bliss of the Divine. How long can the pleasure derived from education, wealth, health or position last? Like the lamp that sheds its light on all alike, one must cultivate love towards all.
Source: Values-oriented Finance: Insights from Ancient Wisdom, Chapter 7, Man Management: A Values-Based Management Perspective