Most of the Business Management-MBA/PGDM- students do not study a full course in Business Ethics therefore the awareness about ethics remain limited & confined to the legal-commercial interpretations under the Competition law. But having quite a few corporate honchos inside the Tihar jail has warmed up the debate in bschools about the need to deliberate on this subject more minutely. After-all what could an executive do if the boss is looking for great results at any cost? On the other hand, lots of greedy executives take liberties with the law & established procedures even without the knowledge of their boss and end up on the wrong side of the law of the land.
Most believe that the ADA group senior execs who are in Tihar jail were completely aware of the consequences of their decisions and have taken what according to them were a calculated risk in business. Regrettably the business environment has changed leaving them with unexpected fallout of their actions. While teaching to students in MBA/PGDM the issue of business ethics & morality generally comes up and naturally you have the majority of the students on the side that is willing to take risks to attain objectives.
We must draw a line between legitimate business and the other economic activities that would result in generating huge profits. I am reminded of my mba days at Punjab University in 1990s when we had a gentleman professor who was known as reputed scholar in the business ethics area, but he was never given much attention by students as we thought that ethics has no place in business! Well how wrong we were.
In a competitive environment people are willing to live for money & associated greed and in pursuit they are willing to take risks. Some people are forced to cross the line under pressure from the superiors in an organisation. Though putting up a hoarding or banner of your company at an authorized place may not look to be a serious illegal act but selling expired medicines in new packaging is surely criminal.
At Apeejay institute, Dwarka, New Delhi i had this particular colleague from the finance area who idolized Harshad Mehta and Ketan Parikh etc. He admired Reliance industries' actions of hobnobbing with the governments to affect policy changes that bordered on getting an unfair deal. And Marketing, my area, is generally seen as the realm of the evaporating truths. But i have always maintained that one must abide by morality & laws to achieve our objectives without infringing any laws of the land and the society we live in. Its time we discuss Management Ethics in greater details in the bschools in India.