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1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
The profession of business ethics has long needed a highly practical resource that is designed particularly for leaders and managers - those persons charged to ensure ethical practices in their organizations. Unfortunately, far too many resources about the importance of business ethics end up being designed primarily for philosophers, academicians and social critics. As a result, leaders and managers struggle to thoroughly make use of the resources available.
Ethics and social responsibility of a business organization is extremely important toe every society and Nigeria at large. Ethics and social responsibility are related concept that pay attention on moral conscience of the business organization.
According to twin cities consultants Doug Wallace and John Pekel (of the twin cities based fulcrum group; 651-714-9033), ethics includes “the fundamental ground rules by which we live our lives”. It involves learning what is right or wrong and then doing the right thing”.
Wallace and Pekel explained that attention to business ethics is critical during times of fundamental changes - times much like those faced now by businesses, both non profit or for - profit. Values that were previously taken for granted are now strongly questioned.
Maxwell Pinto in his book, management- Titbits for the new Millennium (2004:62) exerted that knowing the difference between right and wrong and then choosing what is right; and a manager or leader treating his employees, customers, shareholders, government, media and the society right, is the importance of business ethics”. Business ethics in the workplace is about prioritizing moral values for the workplace and ensuring behaviours are aligned with those values. Ethics in the workplace sensitizes leaders and staff to how they should act and also helps ensure that when leaders and managers are struggling in times of crisis and confusion, they retain a strong moral compass.
Donaldson and Davis in “Business Ethics? Yes, but what can it do for the bottom line?” (Management Decision v28, No.6, 1990) explain that managing ethical values in the workplace;
a. Legitimizes the managerial actions,
b. Strengthens the coherence and balance of the organization’s culture.
c. Improves trust in relationships between individuals and groups,
d. Support greater consistency in standards and qualities of products.
e. Cultivates greater sensitivity to the impact of the enterprise’s values and messages.
Inspite of the fact that the importance of ethics and social responsibilities in any organization cannot be over emphasized, individuals who work for businesses make decisions and actions everyday that can impact the lives of many other people. When business people make decisions that are not ethical, many people can be hurt —these include employees, customers, and members of the general population — as the business unit. Companies that are operated by people who do not choose to do what is right are often entities that do not survive for the long term. Often, making business decision that are counter to what is right may result in short term profit but lead to eventual demise of the organization. The study of further investigation of this very important aspect of business is carried out with NAKO Industrial Limited, a privately owned company, situated in the suburb of Effurun, Delta State — Nigeria.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEMS
An investigation into the importance of “ethics and Social Responsibilities of a business organization” has shown that if an organization’s corporate culture is characterized by ethical behaviours, then the decisions made by the company’s leaders and workers are likely to be ones that are socially responsible rather than motivated solely by a profit-seeking motive. Socially responsible business decisions are ones made from a stakeholders’ perspective, focusing on coming up with problems that take into account the needs of everyone who has the potential to be impacted by the company’s action. By focusing on the impact on the impact an action will have on all stake holders rather than solely on the bottom line, companies or organization such as. NAKO Industrial Limited, can avoid making decisions that are on the wrong side of the line between right and wrong. This project is being carried out to answer the following questions:
a. Can NAKO Industrial Limited achieve its objective of profit making without enacting the need for ethical values amongst workers in the organization?
b. Can NAKO Industrial Limited complete favourably with other firms within the industry where there is no proper ethics management programme that can help its workers to relate to its environment?
c. Above all, how important in ethics and social responsibility as it relates to the general populace.
1.3 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
In this research study, six (6) research questions are being asked, thus;
1. Is the importance of ethics and social responsibility and organizational development necessary to a private firm such as NAKO Industrial Limited?
2. Are there any proofs that NAKO Industrial Limited is ethically and socially responsible?
3. Can the staffs of NAKO Industrial Limited increase their performance in an environment or atmosphere of unethical practices and social misconduct?
4. Does the problem of unethical practices bring about set-back to the worker’s productivity level?
5. Does the organization benefit, from being ethically and socially responsible?
6. Is ethical training provided for top management, middle management, supervisors and other employees of the organization?
1.4 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The objective of this research study is to find out the importance of ethics and social responsibilities as it affects productivity in NAKO Industrial Limited, Effurun — Delta State. The study will also examine ways by which unethical practices can be checked so as to promote harmony amongst workers.
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The research study on this is geared towards creating a more insightful approach on matters burdening on ethics and social responsibilities and therefore will be very significant to industrialist, personnel manager, supervisors, employers of labour, etc. The studies will equally be useful to students of business management and public administrations and other researchers.
1.6 SCOPE AND DELIMITATION OF THE STUDY
This research study is intended to cover topics such as the concept of ethics and social responsibilities, myths about business ethics, benefits of managing ethics in the workplace description of highly ethical organization, key roles and responsibilities in ethics management, benefits of managing ethics as a program, codes of ethics methods of resolving ethical dilemmas, why social responsibilities matter, what can socially responsible individuals and companies do, etc. The study is delimited to cover the periods 2007 — 2009 (two years) of the operations of NAKO Industrial Limited, Effurun — Delta State.
1.7 ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY
The research study began with introduction and topics discussed include, background to the research study, statement of the problem, research question, objective of the study, significance of the study, scope and delimitation of study, organization of the study, definition of terms and brief historical background of the research case study.
Chapter Two is devoted to the Review of the relevant literatures which is the basis for the theoretical framework. Topics discussed under this chapter include;
ü Why is Business Ethics important?
ü Establishing Ethics management program in the workplace.
ü Benefits of managing Ethics in the workplace.
ü Description of a highly ethical organization.
ü Guidelines for managing ethics in the workplace.
ü Key roles and responsibilities in ethics management.
ü Ethics Tools - Codes of Ethics; Codes of Conduct; Policies and Procedures; Training.
ü Social Responsibilities, what is it?
ü Importance of Social Responsibilities - What can socially responsible individuals and companies do?
Chapter three highlight the methodology and research design, the population of the study and the sample size, methods of data collection and analysis and content validity.
In chapter four, the presentation and analysis of data is discussed while, chapter five dealt with conclusion, findings, summary and limitation of the study.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
v Ethics - learning what is right or wrong and then doing the right thing. Ethics include the fundamental ground rules by which we live our lives.
v Social Responsibilities - Commonly referred to as Corporate Social Responsibility is the ideology that individuals within an organization and collectively as a whole have a responsibility to the public, the community, consumers and those within the same entity.
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