Topic: Public/Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration: Status and problems; ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions; laws, rules, regulations and conscience as sources of ethical guidance; accountability and ethical governance; strengthening of ethical and moral values in governance; ethical issues in international relations and funding; corporate governance.
7) A state-of-the-art technology product is to be launched by a leading company on a widely advertised date, simultaneously at different locations in the country, for the first time. There is fantastic customer response and heavy booking for the product. A big event is planned in Bangalore for the launch to which many dignitaries, customers and media have been invited, thus ensuring extensive press coverage. The manager’s career hinges on the success of the event and the launch. Three days before the scheduled launch date, the manager’s deputy tells him that the trucks transporting the product have been detained at the octroi post outside Bangalore, apparently for want of some documents, and the octroi inspector is demanding a bribe for clearance of the consignment. “Should we pay the bribe?” the deputy manager asks the manager. What should the manager do? Discuss the course of action he can take. Keep in mind, that this is not an isolated incident. These kinds of things happen a lot in the country where a bribe is demanded for “quick solutions”. Discuss what approach should be followed in such situations.(250 words)
Ethics by Lexicon publications
Why this question:
The question is based on the theme of ethical dilemma.
Key demand of the question:
One has to discuss the various ethical dimensions involved and the actors likely to be effected by the decision in the above given case study.
Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.
Structure of the answer:
State the stakeholders involved in the situation what are the key factors such as the ethical dilemma involved, issue of bribery, right vs wrong etc.
Explain the possible dilemmas the deputy manager may face and in what way that may complicate his decisions.
The manager has an obligation to obey the laws of the land but as an employee he also owes a degree of obedience
to his superiors and an obligation to ensure the company’s success. This conflicting two-fold obligation comprises not only business and commercial success but also includes his duty to guard his company’s reputation, protect its interests and see that it doesn’t fall foul of the law. Finally, the manager has a duty towards himself not to compromise his own personal conscience.
Discuss then the impact of giving bribe.
Suggest solutions, alternatives.
Conclude that Business is a cooperative activity whose very existence requires ethical behaviour, as any unethical behaviour on the part of any stakeholder is detrimental to business interests. Business cannot strive without ethics, so it is in the best interest of business to promote ethical behaviour among all its stakeholders as well as within its larger society.