SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT essay sample

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BusinessethicsinIslam:theglaringgapinpracticeSamirAhmadAbuznaidSchoolofFinanceandManagement,HebronUniversity,Hebron,PalestineAbstractPurpose–ThepurposeofthispaperistoexamineanddiscussbusinessethicsfromanIslamicperspective.Design/methodology/approach–Descriptive,analytical,andcomparativeanalysesareused.Findings–ThestudyrevealsseveralfactorsthataffectMuslims’ethicalbehavior,includinglegal,organizational,andindividualfactors.However,therearefactorsthataffectmanager’sunethicalbehavior;forexample,stageofmoraldevelopment,familyinfluenceandpeerinfluence.ThepaperoutlinessomeoftheethicalguidelinesthatshouldbemanifestedinaMuslimmanager,suchasbeingtrustful,honest,andconsultative.Finally,thepaperhighlightssomeofthemoralissuesthatseemtobecommonbetweenIslamandotherreligionssuchasnolying,stealing,fraud,ordeceit.Researchlimitations/implications–ThepaperprovidesinsightsintoIslamicworkethicsforWesternmanagersandemployees,enablingthemtoworkmoreeffectivelywithIslamicmanagers,employees,andbusinesspartners.ItisbelievedthatthepaperwillprovideabetterunderstandingofMuslimsocietiesingeneralandIslamicmanagersinparticular.ItalsohassomeimplicationsforIslamicmanagersandemployeeswhohavetodealwithethicaldilemmasaswellassituationsthatofferpotentialbenefitsorgainsandareconsideredunethicalonadailybasis.Itisalsohopedthatthispaperwillreinforcemanagers’Islamicbehaviorandmakethemmoreawareofthecodeofconductonbusiness.Practicalimplications–ThefindingspresentedinthisresearchcanbeusedbyWesternmanagers,employees,businesspartners,andacademiciansasaguidetoIslamicworkethicsinMuslimsocieties.Originality/value–ThepapermakesacontributiontotheliteratureonIslamicworkethics.ItisbelievedtobeoneoffewstudiesinvestigatingtheissueofmanagementethicsinIslam.ThefindingspresentedwillbeofgenuineinteresttoWesternandnon-Westernmanagers,employees,andacademicians.KeywordsIslam,Businessethics,Managers,Organizationalbehaviour,OrganizationalculturePapertypeResearchpaperIntroductionThereareliterallyhundredsofpaperswrittenonbusinessethics.However,asfarasIknow,fewpapershavebeenwrittenonbusinessethicsinIslam.Inthispaper,theresearcherattemptstofillinsomeofthegapsintheliteratureonmanagementethicsfromanIslamicperspective.ThisworkinvestigatesthemeaningofethicsfromanIslamicperspective.ItanalyzesthefactorsinfluencingethicalbehaviorinanIslamicenvironmentandalsoexplorestheimpactofethicalbehaviorofMuslimmanagersonbusiness.Inaddition,itaimsatsheddinglightongeneralethicalguidelinesandpracticesforMuslimsinanIslamiccontext.HistoricaloverviewIslamisawayoflife.EthicsarethereforeapplicabletoeveryaspectofMuslims’lifeincludingadministration.Fortunately,inIslamthequestionofwhetheranactisconsideredavirtueoraviceisdeterminedintheQur’an(Islamiclaw)andsunnah,Thecurrentissueandfulltextarchiveofthisjournalisavailableatwww.emeraldinsight.com/1753-8394.htmIMEFM2,4278InternationalJournalofIslamicandMiddleEasternFinanceandManagementVol.2No.4,2009pp.278-288qEmeraldGroupPublishingLimited1753-8394DOI10.1108/17538390911006340 literallymeaningthebeatentrackoftheProphet,anditismostlyderivedfromhissayings(hadith)andactions;thereisnotwowaysaboutit(Alhabshi,1993,p.93).IntheMuslimWorld,businesspeoplearefaceddailywithethicalissuesatwork,andsometimesdonotknowhowtodealwiththem.Someoftheissuesbeingfacedbymanagementandemployeesincludebribery,nepotism,stealing,lying,fraudanddeceit,conflictofinterest,qualitycontrolissues,discrimination,falsificationofinformation,abuseofpublicfunds,andenvironmentalpollution.InIslam,itisnotenoughforaMuslimtoobservethefivepillarsofIslam;aMuslimmustadheretotheIslamiccodeofethics.Hence,businessdecisionsareguidedbyfaith,oriman,whichinpracticemeansfollowingshariahlaw,andengaginginwhatishalal,permitted,andavoidingwhatisharam,orforbidden(Alawneh,1998).So,aMuslimhastodistinguishbetweenhalal,i.e.ethical,andharam,i.e.unethical,rightorwrong,fairandunfair,justandunjust,andagoodintentionandabadintention.InIslam,ethicsarenotlimitedtobusinesspracticesanddealings.Thebusinessdecisionmakerhasafreechoice,butreligiousprinciplesprovideaframeworkfortheappropriateexerciseofthatchoice(AliandGibs,1998).Onethingshouldbeclearhowever;thatis,managementandemployeesareresponsiblefortheirownactionsandcannotsimplyblametheorganizationfortheirshortcomings(HolyQur’anLIII:38-39).InIslam,ethicshavetwodimensions;firstethicstowardAllah,thecreator.AMuslimhastobelieveinAllahandhastoworshipHim.Thesecondisethicstowardothers;aMuslimbusinesspersonhastodealethicallywithothersbymaintaininggoodtreatmentandgoodrelationship.Thispaperisofvitalimportancebecausepeopledonotknowsometimeswhatisethicalunlesstheystudyethics.Ethicsprovideanessentialfoundationforbusinesstransactions(CherringtonandCherrington,1995,p.1).Theyareessentialfororganizationaleffectivenessandarenecessaryforinterpersonalrelations.Muslimlivesarefilledwithmoralandimmoralissues.Apersonmaybecomeuncleanandselfishandinmanycaseshe/shewilldefrayfromlovingAllah,thesolecreator.Besides,onmanyoccasions,he/shewilltrytojustifytheirwrong-doingandunethicalpracticesbyfindingreasonablewaysofjustifyingsuchactions.Thesubjectofethicshasbeendiscussedwidely.Infact,almostallbusinessschoolsthroughouttheArabworldoffercoursesonethicsintheircurricula.Mostmanagementbookstodaydedicatechapterstothesubject.IntheMiddleEast,likeanywhereelseintheWorld,thesubjectofethicsisdiscussedextensivelythroughworkshopsandspecialseminars.TheoreticaloverviewEthicsdefinedEthicsisdefinedasabranchofphilosophythatdealswithmoralbehavior.Moralityreferstowhethersomethingisrightorwrong,goodorbad.Althoughmoralityisacomplexconcept,itcanbedefinedintermsofbothmeansandends.Meansistheprocesswhichoccurs,whileEndsreferstotheconsequences(CherringtonandCherrington,1995,p.2).Ethicsmayalsobedefinedas:[...]asystematicinquiryintothebeliefswehaveandthemanagementwemakeaboutwhatismorallyrightorwrongandmorallygoodorevil.Itisaninquirythatattemptstoanswerthefollowingquestions:Whatkindsofconductaremorallyrightorwrong?Andwhatthingsaregoodandwhatthingsareevil?BusinessethicsinIslam279 Ethicsisalsodefinedasthecodeofmoralprinciplesthatsetsstandardsofgoodorbad,orrightorwrongbehavior(Schemerhorn,2008,p.32).Ethicalbehavioriswhatisacceptedasgoodandrightasopposedto“bad”orwronginthecontextofthegoverningmoralcode.IslamicbusinessethicsisdefinedasthecodeofmoralprinciplesthatareprescribedbytheQuranandSunnah(HadithorsayingsofProphetMohammad).Themethodofaddressingethicalquestionshasoftenbeencriticizedbycontemporaryviews.Oneofthemainargumentsagainstthisisthatmoralrightandwrongdependsonone’scultureratherthanreason.Sowhatisconsideredethicalinonecultureisregardedasunethicalinothercultures.Ethicsandmoralprinciplesdoguideone’sbehavior.Moralprinciplesprescribewhatoneshoulddoorabstainfromdoing.Businessethicsreferstoorganizationalethicsormanagementethics.WithintheIslamiccontext,theconceptofethicshasbeendescribedwidelyintheholyQur’an.Termslikegoodness,rightness,justice,truth,right,andpietyhavebeendescribedasSalihatorgoodness,andimpiousactionsaredescribedasSayyi’atorevil.Ethicsisusuallydefinedbyawrittencodeofethics.IntheMiddleEastnotmanyorganizationsandprofessionshavewrittencodesofethics(MudawanatAlsuluk)andviolationisthenormratherthanexception(AMAN,2006).Behaviorsthatconformtothosewrittencodesofethicsareconsideredethicalandwhateverviolatesthewrittenstandardsisconsideredunethical.ImpactofIslamicethicsonbusinessAlthoughethicsprescribewhatoneshoulddoorabstainfromdoing,IslamicethicsprescribedbyQur’anandSunnah,affectMuslimbusinesspeopleinthefollowingdifferentways:.increaseeffectivenessandefficiency;.leadtointegrity;.causeaMuslimbusinesspersontoabstainfromcheatinganddeceit;.preventcorruptionandabuseofpower;.leadtobettercareofemployeesandtheirrights;.leadtoconsistentconsultationandcooperation;.createinitiative;and.leadtobetterquality.Islamicethicsisbasedonrationalmethodsaswellasrevelation.Revelationprovidesthetruthwhilstrationalmethodsleadtounderstandingandappreciationoftruth.Hence,Islamicethicsisbasedontawhid,orunityprinciple,whichdeterminestheuniquerelationshipbetweenGodandman;manandman;andmanandhisenvironment(Alhabshi,1993,p.83).WithintheIslamicculture,thetermthatismostlyassociatedwithethicsisreferredtointheHolyQur’anasKhouloq(Beekun,2004,p.2).AllahintheQuranhasdescribedProphetMohammadasaProphetofgoodethics.TheQur’anusesseveraltermstodescribetheconceptofgoodnessKhayr(goodness),birr(righteousness),quist(equity),adl(justice),hagiqah(truth),maruf(knownandapproved),andtaqwa(piety).Piousactionsaredescribedassalihatandimpiousactionsaredescribedassayyiat(Fakhri,1991,pp.12-13).IMEFM2,4280 InIslam,faith,oriman,isthebasicmotivatingfactorforbelievers,anditdeterminesconscience(Wilson,2006,p.113).FactorsaffectingindividualethicalbehaviorinIslamSomepeoplebelievethatmoralfoundationsfordecidingwhatisrightandwhatiswrongareformedinchildhood,beforeeventheageofsixandeight,andnothinginlaterlifesignificantlychangesthismoralfoundation.Whilemostmoralvaluesarelearnedinearlylife,thereareseveralsoundreasonswhypeopleshouldcontinuetostudyethics.Someofthereasonsmightincludetheneedtoknowwhattodoanddecidetodoit,andpersonalcommitmenttochoosewhatisright,andthiscontinuestodevelopasonegrows.Someothersbelievethatthestudyofethicswilldefinitelyleadtoethicalbehavior.Whatisconsideredethicalbehaviorinoneculturemaybeconsideredunethicalinothercultures,i.e.inanIslamiccultureaMuslimisnotallowedtoeatpork,whileinanon-Islamiccultureporkisapopularmeal.Whatisconsideredrightbehaviorinonecountrymightbeconsideredwrongbehaviorinanothercountry,i.e.datingandgoingoutwithgirlsmightbeconsideredappropriateinanAmericanorEuropeanculture,whilethisbehaviorisregardedasdisgracefulanddeservesheavypunishmentinanIslamicculture.Peoplenormallydefinerightorwrongbythenatureoftheact.Moralactionsareviewedasjustandfairwhileimmoralbehaviorisconsidereddishonestandunfair.InIslam,thereareclear-cutfactorsthataffectethicalbehavior.Theyincludelegalinterpretations,organizationalfactors,individualfactors,socialfactors,theenvironment,andthemanager(Beekun,2004,p.3)(Figure1).Legalinterpretations.InanIslamicculture,valuesandstandardsareguidedbytheQur’anandSunnahandthecollectionofpreviousFiqhjudgment.InculturesliketheUSAandEurope,forexample,affirmativeactionlawsmakeitillegaltodiscriminateagainstwomenandminoritiesinemployment.Bycontrast,inIslam,theQur’anandSunnahhavegivenwomenpermanentandunalienablerightsandhaveneverdiscriminatedagainstminoritiesonanybasis.IslamicethicsdonotendorsethecaveatemptorconceptsthatmanyWesterncountrieshaveconsideredvalidinseveralcases.Forinstance,inIslamitisunacceptabletosellfruitsunlesstheyarealmostripe.Inthecaseofasellerwhosellshiscaraspossessingcertaindesirablequalitiesandwhichislaterproventobelackingsuchqualities,thepurchaserhastherighttoreturnthecarandgethismoneybackorhe\shecankeepthecarbutatalowerpricethantheoneagreedonbefore.Organizationalfactors.Theorganizationisanotherimportantinfluenceonethicsintheworkplace.Organizationsdoaffectethicalbehaviors.OneofthemainsourcesthataffectbehaviorinorganizationsisthecommitmentofmanagementtoethicalpracticesFigure1.OverviewofdeterminantsofindividualethicalbehaviorinIslamLegal factorsOrganizational factorsIndividual factorsSocietal factorsThe environmentThe managerSource: Beekum (2004) with modification by authorStage of moral development Individual ethical behavior and …
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