Academic journal article Journal of Financial Management & Analysis

Focus on Benjamin Franklin's Managerial Ethic: Sathya Sai Baba Code of Virtue-Based Management-A Guide to Sound Financial Management

Academic journal article Journal of Financial Management & Analysis

Focus on Benjamin Franklin's Managerial Ethic: Sathya Sai Baba Code of Virtue-Based Management-A Guide to Sound Financial Management

Article excerpt

Introduction

The subject, ethics : corporate business and government has, of late, assumed great significance in theory and practice - - as encoded in customer service manual and employees rule book of organisations and as a teaching subject : course in educational institutions and organisations - - in almost all countries of the world - - industrialized, developing countries and lately Russia and, in fact, the focus of the June 2, 2001 Congress of the Russian Association of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, held in Moscow, was on introduction of civilized rules (based on good ethics) for corporate governance in Russia.1 A close examination of mottos of selected countries -

U.S.A.

(world's strongst democracy):

"IN GOD WE TRUST"

NIGERIA

(Africa's largest country):

"UNITY & FAITH; PEACE & PROGRESS"

INDIA

(world's largest democracy):

"TRUTH ALONE WINS"

- - in the light of Benjamin Franklin's (the Founding Father of American Management) Management Ethic* which constitute

Individualism; Industry and Frugality; Experimentationl and Honesty which is encoded in the cultural DNA that continues to shape the American management, and `Character Ethic' which is based on the idea that human existence is governed by objective, fundamental principles to which people must conform for maximum effectiveness in life2 and the highly relevant observations of Divine Sathya Sai Baba: when the manager follows the conscience, good results accrue; when the manager follows the vagaries of monkey mind, destructive consequences will follow . . . we want a Government which will make the people tread the path of truth and righteousness. GOD-MENT is the real Government.

Money makes many wrongs. Though man has made many innovations in various fields of life, he has not succeeded in getting happiness from any of them. What is the cause for the failure on the part of man? It is,the lack of virtue that brings about failure. It is only good and virtuous conduct that can lift man from the mire into which he has fallen. Virtue is the very life of man,*

it may be said that to-day

righteousness is at a discount;

truth has become rare (trickery is spreading and integrity is vanishing);

selfishness is growing and selflessness is declining;

Justice and morality are confined to books;

the hearts have become abode of all that is foul,

hands have become instruments of sefishness.3

Again, Divine Sathya Sai Baba has very pertinently pointed out that though everyone knows that one should speak the truth, they tell lies to escape from a problem or to have success in business. If one tells a lie to escape from a temporary problem later on one will have to face a bigger permanent problem. One should control this temptation of telling lie to get over a temporary situation. Now a days people resort to telling lies fearing that they may get into trouble - - otherwise life is fear-stricken.3

Moral Bankruptcy

Inasmuch as it is an established fact (going by recent experiences not only in developed countries but also in developing countries) that, moral bankruptcy (by violating all norms of good business ethics and the mottos set by countries which, in turn, has caused mounting financial looting and related problems as a result of companies and financial institutions engaging in fraudulent deals like currency trafficking, money laundering, forged letters of credit and bankers' receipts, manipulation and falsification of accounts, writing off bad and doubtful debts to show deliberately reduced levels of nonperforming assets by engaging in terminological inexactitudes, etc. …

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