Personal values against Organizational practices

21 May

This has suddenly become a hot topic amongst my clients.

From a religious and moral stand point, corruption is a no no. Yet from a practical stand point, it seems to be order of the day, especially is one is dealing with the government. So what does a manager do when he is faced with such a situation?

His boss says – this is how business is done, so get on with it, while his instincts tell his that it is not right but by not doing it, the company may loose businesss or he may be seen as a non performer.

How does on trade off personal values against organizational practices that are in conflict?

At which point does “no I will not do it” become, “its ok since everyone is doing it?”

At which point does “Its ok since everyone is doing it” become “no I will not do it anymore?”

Is there a scale that rates things from bad to worse, e.g if you had to rate the following which is the “least bad” to the “worse bad”:

Drinking (alcohol)

getting drunk


giving bribes – cash

giving bribes – gifts : holidays, shopping etc.

stealing company money (hijacking part of the bribes..)

1 Comment

Posted by on May 21, 2007 in General


One response to “Personal values against Organizational practices

  1. m0ozman

    June 5, 2007 at 11:21 pm

    DUMB Answers from a 50% half-asleep brain:

    An expected hand silently lurking ‘under the table’ at every chance will persist as long as another one is willing to complete the transfer.

    Practical to resist? No, at least not in the short run. Some even justify the under-table-money (UTM) as Sedeqah if given to Imams & Kadis, a duit kopi to police officer & profit-sharing to a government officer.

    As the blogmaster once put it, people reacts immediately to immediate pain. Extending this argument further, it is not normal for one to look beyond the horizon of what destruction the practice of rasuah brings down to a nation.

    They will not be able to visualize the horrors that one day we will have to ship out our daughters & granddaughters to Thailand so that they could work less than minimum wages 24-7 & come-what-may working condition totally at the behest of the employer. Nor could they understand the pain that in the time of calamity such as 9.0 earthquakes that one still have to bribe for a piece of Maggi!

    Or could they?

    In the Heart of Change, John Kotter explicitly push out the idea of See-Feel-Change. This is definitely away from the logic, data & fact-based methodology that he initially introduced in Leading Change. One example is the Kempen Keselamatan Jln Raya in portraying the destruction of reckless driving. The same method has been extensively used for improvements of customer-focus.

    The environmentalist seems to hit a long-waited milestone when a piece of 80 minutes documentery received the Academy Award. It may well be the tipping point for the public opinion towards making America green.

    On another note, there are strong business case to protect the environment even for the short-term & even for China. Loss of life, rising health-care cost & destruction of crops due to weather spikes could be quantified. The same goes to the impact of bribery towards the government expenditure for projects. To answer the perennial
    “what’s in it for me”: How much income tax could be reduced had we have 100% bribe-free business ecosystem?

    We have not yet discussed strict & transparent enforcement & consequence, but I shall summarize that the battle against bribe will be long & even dangerous. Start to dig in & plan your actions. We may even need to pull in the Environmentalist as special advisers!


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