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    Elsevier

    Procedia Economics and Finance

    Volume 11 , 2014 , Pages 15-22
    open access
    Procedia Economics and Finance

    Thoughts on Business Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility from Vedic Literature

    Author links open overlay panel SukanyaAshokkumarDr.

    https://doi.org/10.1016/S2212-5671(14)00171-3 Get rights and content
    Under a Creative Commons license

    Abstract

    In this paper an attempt has been made to draw attention to the concepts of Business ethics and social responsibility as expounded in Hindu epics like the Ramayana, Mahabharata and Vedic literature and understand their relevance in the modern context.

    A review of literature on Corporate Social Responsibility makes it evident that most economists, management experts and businessmen do not endorse Milton Friedman‘s views on CSR (An organization‘s only responsibility is to increase its profits and value). Amidst different perspectives on CSR, the thoughts of vedic literature on the subject are very rich and refreshing. The karma theory cautions the corporate that they ought to be accountable for their actions. The theory of dharma (chathur dharma) counsels that businesses need to exist in harmony at four levels: universal (nature), human, society and individual. The responsibility of business on maintaining and restoring ecological balance supersedes other groups because it is the largest consumer of natural resources and the greatest polluter of the environment. That Business firms should learn to live in harmony with all creation needs no emphasis. In accordance to the human dharma corporate tycoons like Bill Gates who pursued profits in the initial stage of business pursued objectives like charity and welfare with maturity. We also find that many successful business promoters in their mature years identify successors for their business and assume an advisory role. On a similar note the paper also elaborates how the principles expounded in social dharma and swadharma are equally relevant to the Business community. To sum up our Vedic literature calls for a spiritual approach by businesses that requires introspection and inner purification.

    Keywords

    Business Ethics
    Social Responsibiity
    Relevance

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    Selection and/or peer-review under responsibility of Symbiosis Institute of Management Studies.

    Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

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