This book is based on the premise that ‘ethics-in-practice’ derives and flows from ‘values-in-the-being’. This is true whether the situation is one of direct ethics or dilemma ethics. Argument, logic, reason-all have a role but upto a point only. If sound, positive, noble human values are nurtured within the process of human development, then ethical behaviour tends to become natural, spontaneous-almost instinctive. The use of cognitive rationality itself is directed or influenced by the quality of human values. within the decision-maker-whether a person or a collectivity.
Part I of the book has six chapters on theoretical aspects of values. Chapter 1 offers a critical review of the gospel of ‘constant change’ and its ethico-moral implications. It posits the countervailing thesis of the ‘unchanging’ as the basis of all change. The poorna and panchakosha models of personality, along with the DI-RI psychological process, are suggested as a permanent foundation for strong human values culture and sustainable ethical actions.
Chapter 2 attempts to offer a mature theoretical framework for steering the process of post-liberalization, globalizing economic development in India. It is argued that unless the balancing perspective of nihshreysa (transcendence) is kept in front while pursuing abhyudaya (prosperity), and the change agents adopt the process of nishkam karma (detached involvement), material prosperity will be achieved at the cost of values and ethics.
Chapter 3 develops a framework for Wisdom Leadership’ Are-prioritized agenda for wisdom-leadership is presented. Wisdom is distinguished from knowledge-the former being grounded in holistic subjective realization, the latter in fragmented objective data. The theory of rita or cosmic order is outlined a wisdom leader needs grounding in the awareness of the rita as the starting point. Such a beginning evolves into rishi-consciousness which is all-perceiving and all-penetrating. And that is the whole point of the Indian civilization.
Chapter 4 carries the ‘subjective’ keynote of Chapter 3 into the field of Quality Management. It argues that TQM in the objective domain of products and services is ultimately dependent upon ‘Total Quality Mind’ which is a subjective variable. Some key features of Total Quality Mind are presented from the deep structure of Indian civilization.
Chapter 5 attempts to complement the preceding insights with theories which can impart both ‘psychological depth’ and ‘philosophical height’ to our ethical strivings. Thus the theory of involution’ and its relationship with the will-to-ethics’, the ethical problems of competition and the theory of Oneness; the guna, karmavada and karmayoga theories, etc. are dealt with in some detail. ‘Consciousness ethics’, not just cognitive ethics, is the worthy goal.
Chapter 6, the final chapter in part I, projects the ethical agenda against the contrasting backdrops of egocentric swarthasangraha (self-serving) on the one hand, and ego-transcending lokasangraha (universal welfare) on the other. The idea of the supra-rational self, beyond the ‘rational ego’, is offered as a foundation for consciousness ethics.
Part II (Ethics in Application) begins with Chapter 7 which analyses the problems created by run-away technology in relation to slow- moving human consciousness. Sophisticated sci-tech, combined with unrefined ethical sensitivity, is causing psychological, social and ecological crises of great complexity. The common idiom for communicating about progress in measurable, objective terms needs to be re-formed into more subjective terms.
Chapter 8 focuses on the Cooperative movement and its organizations as a crucible for foundational ethical theories like nishkam karma, lokasangraha etc. The bhoodan and sarvodaya programmes are joined with the preceding theories to produce an integrated model of cooperation. This should be intrinsically more ethical than competitive models of success.
Chapter 9 offers a qualitative analysis of written work-plans obtained from the participants of recent Human Values Workshops (for durations between 3 to 6 days) conducted at the Management Centre for Human Values. Content analysis of these six-month work-plans shows that the mind-stilling/quality mind exercise, philosophy of daily living, guna dynamics, and work-place dissemination of concepts learnt have secured the highest commitment, relative to other aspects, from the participants. The chapter also reproduces a sample of work-plans from participants of different religious groups. Muslim, Christian, and Sikh participants indicate no less overall appreciation and commitment to what they have learnt than those by the Hindu participants.
Chapter 10 reproduces entries from the diaries of two sets of post-graduate management students-Indian and European. These students were asked to maintain daily diaries as a part of their optional course work on ‘Managerial Effectiveness and Human Values’. These entries reveal a lot about the ethical precariousness of the present younger generation. Beneath. The gloss and shine of information technology and much else, the mismatch between strong skills and weak often produces alarming consequences.
Chapter 11 presents yet another set of data about values-ethics in practice. Senior academics and managers from India and abroad, who attended our International Workshop at one time or another, had assembled for a Reinforcement Workshop. Going through their personal narratives should prove rewarding to the readers.
Part III is a collection of cases and vignettes- mostly of direct ethics type. I feel that relatively greater attention needs to be given to this category of ethical aberrations which seem to constitute the majority of moral infringements in business and society today. They are hardly dilemma-type ethical situations. Direct unethicality is much less justified than dilemma unethicality. How to reduce and prevent the former-in the first place?
Finally, I hope that this book may help the reader to encounter a perspective on values- ethics derived from the realizations of a sustainable civilization.
Management Centre For Human Values, S. k. CHAKRABORTY Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta,
Part I: A Conceptual View
A Critique of Change for Sustainable Values-Ethics
Human Values and Economic Prosperity:
Reconciliation via Indian Insights
Value-Foundations of Wisdom Leadership
Total Quality Mind Total Quality Management:
The Imperative of Human Values
Theoretical Highlights for Ethics-in-Practice
Lokasangraha, Ego and Ethics
Part II: Ethics In Application
Technology and Ethics: A Subjective Appraisal
Cooperative Ethics: The Future Horizon
Managerial Response To Human Values
Student Response to Human Values
A Report on the Second Reinforcement Workshop on Management by Human Values
Part III: Cases And Vignettes
A Tryst with Truth
The Overtime Imbroglio and its Fallout
Work for Reward
Waves and Ripples
The ITC Explosion
Of Debtors and Creditors
The Dilemma of Personal Growth
The Agonized Technocrat
A Workaholic’s Dilemma
Of Decency and Dissent
A Suicide Haunts Vaishali
An Island of Excellence
Narendra: The Irrational Writer
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