Effective Role Playing By Socially Responsible Managers

Effective Role Playing By Socially Responsible Managers

Effective Role Playing by Socially Responsible Managers

Robert Austin suggested that the way to resolve the confusion and controversy about business ethics is to promulgate a code of conduct for executives or a creed for corporations.

The basis of a code for the professional manager should be that he (1) places the interest of the company above his own; (2) places his duty to society above his duty to his corporation; (3) has a duty to reveal the facts in any situation of conflict of interests; and (4) realizes that when he adheres to this code the profit motive is the best business incentive.15 Cable goes one step further with the idea that someday there will be a manual to which managers may refer when making decisions involving ethical judgment. A great many corporations have set down explicit company creeds in recent years.

Their purpose is to formalize and clarify the firm's basic philosophy and objectives; to guide basic operating procedures; and to improve corporate relations with employees, stockholders, customers, and the public.

None of these techniques is literally the ethical dimension of business with which the business statesmen must wrestle. Codes of Conduct and corporate creeds may be of some use(certainly they do no harm) in capturing dramatically the essence of the spirit of an enterprise and its management.

If they attempt to give a rule for every contingency, however, they become encyclopaedic and hopelessly unwieldy. It may take nothing short of a book to communicate the philosophy of top management, and few businessmen are prepared to write such a book. A condensed version is likely to be merely a set of very broad statements with which nobody disagrees, but which are so general as to have no unique or easily perceived application in specific situations.

On the other hand, Cable's notion of a manual for business statesmen seems impractical. Each decision calling for ethical judgment is unique and defies neat categorization as a precedent. see evolving companies

Much of the confusion and controversy about business ethics is due to the belief that here is one particular set of expectations that govern management Behaviour; and that once these are learned, it is simply a matter of doing what is expected of one. Such a static interpretation is at odds with the dynamic nature of life and business in America. The socially responsible manager's role is inherently dynamic because it is geared to social change.

As we have seen, in the broadest sense the role expectations of the socially responsible manager consist of a generalized readiness to carry out society's will in the economic sphere. Society is always moving in some direction, but at any one time it is difficult to interpret the social drift.

Consequently, it is not easy for managers to know exactly what is expected of them or the company at any particular time. Thus business ethics is never in a state of being; it is always in a process of becoming. A manager should never reach the point where he is certain for all time to come of his ethical position. to do so would be as foolish as to be sure for all time to come of the state of technology.

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