Saying No to Bribes – The Infosys Way
Corruption is widespread in every walk of life in many parts of the world. It is difficult to define and identify corruption in black and white. Bribing is a form of corruption many corporate bodies try to indulge.
Companies like Infosys disagreed with Government and other contractors who take to corruption considering it as the way of the world phenomenon. Ultimately, the Infosys strategy worked and the message to the corporate world is that honesty, transparency and fairness can make you win irrespective of the corrupt environment around you.
This gives a new insight in to the Virtue Matrix and suggests that a new socially responsible corporate world is in the offing. Saying No to Bribes – The Infosys Way The Cut Out Tasks As a Regional Sales Manager of South East Asia, located in Philippines, I prefer to take the bull by the horns. I have a tough time meeting my corporate goals. There are competitors. I understand my responsibilities that I owe to my employer. I do not have the freedom to show an entirely antagonistic approach to the existing forms of corruption.
But I certainly have the freedom to choose the gradient with which I could maneuver scenarios that involve bribing either directly or indirectly. I am proud of Narayana Murthy of Infosys who asked the customs official “What is the alternative to paying bribe? ” and later he decided “We will just do that. ” (Abdelal, Di Tella & Kothandaraman, 2007) It was a threatening moment for Infosys politically and financially at the start-up.
The question was raised whether Narayana Murthy had succeeded in corporate governance by being anti-corrupt. The answer very much lies in the fact that the Indian Government awarded Narayana Murthy with the corporate governance award in 2000. Infosys grew fabulously. Today it is known for transparency, honesty and trustworthiness. Besides, it stands as a role model inspiring the corporate world. I would avert any situation that lures me towards corruption and solely benefits me.
I would be religious in deciding between choices. The hypothetical case narrated by Narayana Murthy that ‘if he were traveling in Siberia alone and a lady was ready to have a consensual relationship with him, he would deny it’ is a fine example that conscience governs us in our walk of life (Abdelal, Di Tella, Kothandaraman, 2007). The Infosys Strategy Next, I would think from a different perspective – the Infosys strategy. If Infosys could say no to bribe and overcome difficult times at its start-up phase, why not my company?
Where there is a will, there is a way. I would like to develop my team with a positive note and motivate the team members to vie for an identity. Identity is earned through honest practices, transparency, sincerity, by being qualitative and competent in business. The first and serious test for Infosys was threatening both financially and politically when they did not have an identity. At a later stage, Narayana Murthy noted “We have had zero trouble with customs since then” (Abdelal, Di Tella, Kothandaraman, 2007).
Other companies like Tata Consulting Services and Wipro followed its path to remain non-corrupt in their dealings. When a company is given to corruption for whatsoever reason, there is no guarantee that it would be in compliance with socially responsible behaviors. Companies like Infosys with its honesty, integrity, and transparency, will be able to keep in tact the civil foundation at the time of less healthy economies. During troubled times, only the trusted senior management of a company can avert the risks involved to perform well in the strategic frontier of the Virtue Matrix.
The able leadership ingrained with corporate virtue alone can work in the growth and interests of the company that maintains equilibrium among shareholders, employees, their communities, and the environment. Besides the above-mentioned factors, the role of Government is vital in assisting the companies with policies that are impartial and supportive. This in turn will help the companies build socially responsible relations. The Infosys strategy is certainly the right strategy to build the civil foundation in India but with expectations still awaiting from all sides.
There is a growing trend of many companies following at least a minimal degree of social responsibility. This is an indication that building a civil foundation in India using Virtue Matrix is a near possibility. The Growing Trend in Asia The last three decades have witnessed a lot of political and economic changes in the Asian countries. The pressure and demand by the Non-Governmental Organizations, regulators and the social organizations on corporate companies are more.
The combined effort of Non-Governmental Organizations and a strong legal system can drive away corruption and improve working conditions as it is already happening in South Asia. By and large many companies started showing interests in social and environmental responsibilities. The scope of stepping up this positive trend lies in wise adaptation of the Virtue Matrix by the companies in Asia. However, the fact that corruption in many Asian countries compared to many European countries is high, makes it difficult to bring a drastic change (Abdelal, Di Tella, & Kothandaraman, 2007). Guarding S and E
Corruption is an epidemic which could spread down the hierarchy following the pecking order. Only if the top order is non-corrupt and lead by example, the others in the company will follow it. When honesty and integrity are flouted by bribing, the company cannot show an impeccable face towards Skills and Engagements. If at all it does, it is in the self interests of the company for the sake of revenue. The companies should have ethics and corporate virtue while developing technology. This will promote socially responsible attitudes and avoid infringing the rights or utilizing the skill sets to their advantage.