Ethical Values at an Organization
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During conversations, many people tend to use the generalized term of ethical values. But little do people know the vast meanings that lie behind this little word. Ethical values denote something’s degree of importance, with the aim of determining what action or life is best to do or live, or at least attempt to describe the value of different actions. Ethical values are key ingredients in building a strong personal character, a concrete relationship or can provide a strong foundation for an organization to stand upon. Ethical values can be categorized into various branches but the one of our concern is Organizational Ethics. These are an essential code to bring about an organization towards success. Organizational ethics is interdependent with the organizational culture. Although, it is akin to both organizational behavior and business ethics on the micro and macro levels, organizational ethics is neither organizational behavior, nor is it solely business ethics. Organizational ethics express the values of an organization to its employees and other entities irrespective of governmental or regulatory laws.
Organizational Ethics and Integrity:
Organizational ethics is a tool that shapes an organization as a community. In every organization, there is something that works well, which can serve as a foundation for significant progress toward a desired future. Organizational ethics pays special attention to the best of an organization’s past and present to ignite its collective imagination of what might be. It builds from what is working well now toward where the organization and its stakeholders truly desire to go. Organizational ethics sees an organization as a community to be valued and explored. It strives to quicken and intensify existing individual capabilities and organizational capacities, extend their number and scope, organize them so that their conflicts will be harmonized, and mobilize their energies of will and intellect to bring them to self-realization. Organizational integrity is the end sought. It is a dynamic state of being and process; it both shapes and improves. It is about moving the organization toward its guiding image of the future.
The paradigm of the organization of integrity is the still-developing notion of the learning organization. At the heart of the learning organization is the belief that enormous human potential lies locked, underdeveloped and underemployed, in our organizations. Though the accent to date has been on organizational “learning to learn,” organizational integrity is the essence of the learning organization. The learning organization is a true community of cooperative inquiry and action. It strives to shape its own future. It fosters the generative learning of its members. It develops, adapts, and transforms itself in appreciation of the well-formed visions, views, and expectations of all it involves or affects. It sees itself as an integral part of its world. The learning organization does all these while preserving its core purpose, values and vision of a desired future.
Identifying Organizational Ethics:
Researchers have concluded that four definitive characteristics make up the culture or ethical standards of an organization. These four characteristics are 1. Power: This culture’s descriptors include centralization; individual power and decision making; autocratic, patriarchal power; fear of punishment and implicit rules. The values are control stability and loyalty. 2. Bureaucracy: This culture’s descriptors include a hierarchical structure, emphasizing on formal procedures and rules, clearly defined role requirements and boundaries of authority, minimized risks, and impersonal and predictable work environment, employees as cogs or slots, and positions more important than people. The values include efficiency, predictability, production and control.
3. Achievement and Innovation: This culture’s descriptors include an emphasis on the team, a strong belief in the mission of the organization, organized work of task requirements, worker autonomy and flexibility, decision making pushed to lower ranks and the promotion of cross-functional knowledge and skills. The values include creativity, adaptability, risk taking and teamwork. 4. Support: This culture’s descriptors include egalitarianism, nurturance of personal growth and development, usually nonprofit organizations, a safe environment, and a nonpolitical workplace. The values include commitment, consensus and growth. Organizational Cultures that set Ethical Codes:
Without deciding an organizational culture, a code of ethics cannot be established for an organization. Hence it becomes highly essential for an organization to be well-versed with the culture that it preaches. Different conditions breed different ethical morals and values. The environment, the customer market and the bureaucracy are some factors which set out the organizational culture which in turn go onto effect the ethical values. Adapting from Daft’s book named Organizational Theory and Design, here are some of the types of organizational cultures that may exist within a firm.
1. Adaptability Culture: In this sort, the focus lies on the external environmental factors that inculcate innovation, creativity, risk taking and flexibility to build a stairway towards success. This type of organization is prompted to bring in changes in a proactive way in an effort to anticipate responses and problems. These companies are required to change quickly in anticipation of customer needs. 2. Mission Culture: In this class, the mission and goals of the company are clearly visible and focus on high competition and profit-making strategies. The motive of the company is clearly set out by the managers and executives for the employees and high performance is expected along with fringe benefits for goal attainment. 3. Clan Culture: The focus, in this type, is on the employees and how employees can be provided with benefits and features for optimizing their productivity.
The leaders are responsible for taking care of their employees and to make sure that they have appropriate avenues to satisfaction and productivity. Ownership and responsibility is also a key feature of this type of culture. This culture suffers frequent changes because of changing expectations from the environment. 4. Bureaucratic Culture: This type of culture focuses mainly on the internal environment of the organization where stability needs to be constantly maintained. Executives develop strategic plans for the organization and the changes are introduced at a relatively slow pace so that the stability of the organization is not harnessed. Personal involvement and exchange with the employees is reduced for an increased efficiency, productivity and consistency. Many organizations shift from this culture and adopt other cultures due to the stiffness of this sort of culture providing no room for flexibility.
This shows the different types of cultures that are adopted by organizations in order to successfully stand against competition and create profit margins so as to not go out of business. The variety between these cultures is immense and the array of focus for each culture varies greatly. In order to study, the different types of cultures adopted by organizations, more deeply, a study needs to be done on different organizations that deal with different products and services and what influences their choice of a certain type of culture and ethics code. For this reason, we took Tapal Tea Company under our studies and saw the type of culture they breed. The organization has a rich history of success and how they have been able to climb to the top over the past years. A deeper insight on their core ethical values prompts us towards Tapal having a dominant Clan Culture within their organization. The employees along with managers and executives are considered as a part of the family and everyone breeds trust and respect for each other.
DISCOVERY OF TEA
In 2727 B.C Chinese Emperor Shen-Nung was boiling drinking water when a few leaves of a wild tea tree blew into the royal bowl. He discovered that the leaves imparted a delightful flavor to his water; and so it became his flavored drink. It is probable that tea was first cultivated in China, though it is possible that people in Thailand and Burma have used it for as long as the Chinese have. The China tea plant was taken to Japan in about AD 800, where it was regarded as a medicine for several hundred years, until green tea was developed to become a popular beverage. Tea was introduced into England, as a gift from the British East India Company, in about AD 1660 and to rest to Europe soon thereafter. By the end of the 19th century, China still supplied the bulk of the world’s tea. In 1886 it exported 136 million kg, of which 77 million kg went to Britain; while India produced 40 million kg. But within a few years India moved ahead of China in world trade. Ceylon (Sri Lanka) emerged as a tea producer in 1867 and Java (now part of Indonesia) in1878. Today traditional tea growing countries of China, India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Japan have been joined by many others in South America (Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador) and Africa (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Malawi, Rwanda, and Mozambique)
TAPAL – THE MAKING
The journey of Tapal’s remarkable success is the combined efforts of three dynamic generations of the Tapal Family. In 1947, Tapal started out as a family concern under the personal supervision of its founder, Adam Ali Tapal. Against tough competition Adam Ali’s unique blend, later named Family Mixture, became a hot favorite and eventually the largest selling brand in the unorganized tea market. From this auspicious beginning, Tapal moved from success to success introducing tea brands to suit every taste and pocket, sold from its retail outlet in Jodia Bazar, Karachi. The quality of Tapal tea soon became legendary and people from all parts of Karachi started lining up at the outlet to purchase tea. For their convenience, tea distribution was initiated to retail outlets around the city.
The company continued to grow under the management of the founder’s son, Faizullah A. Tapal. Today Tapal Tea is managed by the founder’s grandson, Aftab F. Tapal. After studying abroad, Aftab Tapal returned to Pakistan to introduce professional management and unique production ideas to the business. A well trained tea taster and tea connoisseur himself, Aftab Tapal introduced new tea concepts and developed a wide range of tea blends catering specifically to the tastes of people throughout Pakistan. His progressive outlook resulted in giving further strength to the foundation of quality laid by his family. Making a modest beginning over half a century back, today Tapal has become the largest, 100% Pakistani owned Tea Company in the country. It has modern tea blending and packaging factories, warehouses equipped with state-of-the-art equipment and a team of highly dynamic professionals headed by Aftab Tapal himself.
FEW REASONS FOR TAPAL’S SUCCESS
Tapal has left many people astounded and searching for secret reasons behind the success of the company. However no magical formula lies behind its growth other than hard work, dedication and of course unique tea blends. As a result, Tapal has won the hearts of countless tea drinkers across the country. Tapal’s deep rooted culture and core values differentiate it from its competitors. It is built on sound principles and practices; not dominated by a group of individuals. Their greatest assets are the people; and the consistency of principle and policy give the direction. Few policies which top the chart in maintaining Tapal’s reputation are Tapal’s Quality Policy, its undying dedication towards innovation, research and development and the power of achieving the best as a group rather than as an individual. These values are praised at Tapal and are the reason why the company has been able to achieve beyond its benchmark. The Core Values
“Tapal’s deep rooted culture and core values differentiate it from its competitors. It is built on sound principles and practices; not dominated by a group of individuals. Its greatest asset is its people and the consistency of principle and policy give direction.” -AFTAB TAPAL
Commitment to Quality:
“Never compromise on quality” has been the motto at Tapal since the very beginning. This commitment to quality has resulted in a high level of customer satisfaction and unflinching brand loyalty. Tapal has always been dedicated in bringing the latest in Tea manufacturing to its customers without compromising on quality. The methods used by Tapal are essential in maintaining a nominal price level, which is easily affordable by the customer, along with state of the art quality. This way, the company has been able to maintain its customer loyalty record over the years and is a main reason why the company has been a reported example of commitment to both customer and quality. The machinery used by Tapal has been approved and acknowledged all across the world and the staff works day in and day out to make sure the customer receives nothing less than perfect. As a result of this policy, Tapal has been given several accreditations over its life span. In December 1997, Tapal Tea became the first Pakistani Tea Company to earn the ISO-9001 certification: a symbol of the highest international quality standards. Again in December 2000, Tapal acquired the ISO9001: 2000 certification, making it one of the first few companies in the world to achieve this milestone.
In addition to the standard requirements, the ISO9001: 2000 certification system includes requirements for environment improvement, concepts of TQM (continuous improvement) with major emphasis on consumer requirements and satisfaction. These awards have been a certified proof for Tapal that they have not left any stone unturned when it comes to serving the consumer. The management and the employees at Tapal follow a simple yet diverse policy of quality maintenance. They are committed: • To produce products that meet the customer’s requirements & expectations. • To fulfill the requirements and effectiveness of the quality management system through continual improvements. • By constantly reviewing / updating the relevant quality objectives of products & processes. • To participate as teams or individually towards the improvement of processes, personnel, environment & ethical values. Keeping these pointers in mind, the management at Tapal constantly focuses on developing the best product with excellent quality for its customers. This is the most important reason why Tapal is known today all over the world as a reputable brand name.
Leaders in Innovation:
Tapal is a company which constantly thrives to become the chart topper in its business of choice. Its dedication to become the role model for other companies to follow has taken the firm to a level beyond its expectations. That is why Tapal is one of the known organizations across the globe which celebrates innovation and encourages employee empowerment. At Tapal, the employees are constantly motivated to deal with problems by opening their creativity and use their power of decision making. The organization believes that this way it would be more possible to introduce leadership amongst individuals. Always on the move, Tapal Tea is honored to have taken the lead in a number of areas in the tea industry. Tapal has been: • The first to introduce soft packs in the country,
• The first tea company to introduce metal-free tea bags,
• The first to develop an entirely new blend and category-Tapal Family Mixture (the mixture of leaf & dust), • The first to invent the highly successful brand Danedar Leaf Blend, • The first to market Kenya teas in Pakistan,
• The first tea company to be awarded the ISO 9001/2000 Quality Certification. As a step towards backward integration Tapal has begun tea plantation at Shinkiari in the northern region of Pakistan. This project aims at providing jobs, saving the country’s valuable foreign exchange and is a significant step towards self-sufficiency. Tapal is also the 1st national tea company to export tea to the UAE, Canada and USA. This is again a pioneering step towards increasing value-added exports and is also a fast developing source of foreign exchange for the country. Tapal also believes that employees should be provided with education that is not related to the making and manufacturing of tea.
In order to do so, Tapal keeps regular sessions and seminars for its management and employees so that no loop hole is left in achieving the optimum mark. Tapal has collaborated with Berlitz, NHR and IBA’s faculty to provide state of the art English Language courses to its employees who are deficient of the basic art of English language. As a result of this collaboration, in 2007, the first English language course was conducted at Tapal by Ms. Dilnaaz, a member of the English Language faculty at IBA. In addition to this, regular skill development activity based sessions also take part at Tapal to: * Encourage communication between all levels of management, * Leads to elimination of fear of one’s manager,
* Sense of approachability increases amongst the junior managers, * In the long run, employees respect rather than fear their bosses, * Builds sense of belonging.
Trust in Each Other:
At Tapal, it is believed that the backbone of creating engagement with and between employees is by building a concrete pillar of trust. Honesty and integrity are highly valued at Tapal and they cannot be compromised upon in any case. The old adage, “honesty is the best policy” is followed strictly here at Tapal and trust building is encouraged within the organization in order to end petty squabbles within the company and focus more on the big goals. According to Mr. Aftab Tapal, without trust, it is very difficult for an organization to create a name for itself. At Tapal, interaction between employees and managers of all departments is encouraged and regular get-togethers are arranged in order to build trust amongst employees of the same as well as different departments of the company. The CEO believes that if there is a lack of trust in any organization, it would fail drastically to achieve its goals. As Mr. Aftab Tapal says, “If the employees would not trust each other, they would hesitate to work with each other. As a result, the organization would lag behind and eventually become a part of history.” This goes to show the level of focus that is put upon building trust amongst employees in order to create a smooth working environment. This way the company would suffice well along with its employees being harmonious amongst each other.
Research & Development–An Ongoing Process:
Tea blending and tasting is both an art and a science and Tapal prides itself on having mastered both the aspects. Tapal has adroitly judged the olfactory senses and keenness of the taste buds of their patrons, resulting in the creation of various well-known brands. Aftab F. Tapal is a well-trained and highly experienced tea taster of the country and is recognized as a qualified tea specialist worldwide. Tapal’s tea managers have been trained at home and abroad in this very rigorous and specialized discipline, and have frequently travelled to leading tea-producing countries searching for better teas. Tapal is a research-oriented company. It subscribes to and conducts various researches in the area of retail audits, consumer behavior, media planning and product development.
This research is used for continuous improvement in product quality, brand positioning and communication according to the changing requirements of the consumers. Consistency and quality are the two keystones of Tapal’s production policy, and the Quality Control Department at Tapal ensures that flavor and freshness is never compromised. That’s why all the brands, whether Danedar, Tapal Special or Tapal Family Mixture, always taste exactly as expected; retaining aroma and freshness till the last sip. Along with research and development, Tapal has widely spread its distribution network in order to provide its customers with its product comfortably. Tapal has a distribution network spread across Pakistan, from Karachi to Khyber with over 400 distributors. Extensive training programs are provided for the devoted sales personnel. The popularity of its fine brands is unabated, which makes it the No 1 national tea company in Pakistan.
CSR Activities by Tapal:
Tapal has been involved in number of Corporate Social Responsibility events which show their commitment towards serving the society and creating a better environment. With its roots planted deep in the culture and society of Pakistan, Tapal takes pride in being a socially responsible and active entity with initiatives in the field of education, sports and medicine. Under the banner of its social welfare platform Humqadam, Tapal strives to develop support systems for Pakistan’s infrastructure, and set a philanthropic example for others to follow. Some of the ventures initiated by Tapal are: 1. Tapal Mezban Free Medical Camp
In collaboration with Tapal Humqadam; the Mezban brand actively contributes towards the well-being of its valued customers by organizing medical camps and other CSR initiatives. The free medical camps are set up in different towns of interior Sindh where healthcare is often hard to access. Patients get the chance to avail free checkups by physicians including ENT, Heart and Skin specialists. They also benefit from the availability of free medicine. 2. Tapal Chenak Free Eye Camp:
A three day Eye Camp was sponsored by Tapal at Kantio, Umerkot District. The free eye camps were set up to treat a prevalent eye disease in that area called “Cataract” disease. During the camp, more than 250 patients underwent surgical operations absolutely free and were also provided with follow up medicine. 3. The Citizen’s Foundation Primary School – Tapal Campus Tapal joined hands with The Citizen’s Foundation (TCF) to build its own primary school campuses’ in rural Sindh in order to promote quality education at the grass-roots level in an environment that encourages intellectual, moral and spiritual growth. TCF is a professionally managed, not-for-profit organization set up in 1995 by a group of citizens concerned about the state of education in Pakistan and is one of the country’s leading organizations in the field of formal education. The first unit of TCF Primary School – Tapal Campus, Hala, and Sindh was made operational in August 2006. The second unit of TCF Primary School – Tapal Campus, Hala, and Sindh was completed and made operational in August 2008. 4. Tapal honors the National Cricket Team for the Blind
On the triumphant return of the National Cricket Team for the Blind after their victory in Chennai at the Blind Cricket World Cup 2002, Tapal held a ceremony at the Carlton Hotel to celebrate this achievement. Several celebrities were invited to inaugurate and participate in the festivities, and a cheque of Rs. 4 lakhs was presented by Mrs. Faizullah Tapal to honor the Blind Cricket Team.
All these events tend to show Tapal’s involvement towards its employees as well as the customers. This has been one of the strongest reasons why Tapal has been able to build such a powerful customer backbone along with a powerful relation with its employees. This shows the success story behind Tapal.