“Business Ethics a Must Subject for Universities” said Dr. Asha Nimali Fernando to Daily News

Both the public sector and the SME sector should try to improve their PR and business ethics, said Senior Lecturer in Philosophy attached to the Faculties of Humanities and Social Science, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Dr. Asha Nimali Fernando.

She said that today it’s a well-accepted fact that most of the public sector is not customer friendly.

“This has to change and I think one of the best ways to overcome this is to try to infuse a private sector mindset to the employees in the government sector. It would also be a good idea that workshops in public relations should be conducted for the public sector to improve their communication skills which will ultimately also help the productivity of their workplace as well.”

She said that today one of the main reasons for the public sector to lag behind is that they have ‘very little respect’ not only towards a customer but also to their superiors. “This may be because the employee may have political clout or their immediate boss may have been appointed politically and may not have the qualification to hold the job, thereby losing respect for the superior.”

She also said that in the state sector institutions the ‘boss’ mostly acts like a ‘baby sitter’ and this attitude too should change. “Bosses should have the knowledge as well as ability to extract the skill of a worker and put them to use.”

Fernando with two master degrees, one from India’s University of Mysore and the other in Western Philosophy from the University of Pali and Buddhist Studies of Sri Lanka and a PhD in Moral Philosophy from the University of Erlangen in Nuremberg, Germany, said that administrators must address this issue from a psychology point of view to create good work culture in public enterprises.

Since most of the employees in the public sector comes from universities it would also be a good idea to conduct workshops in PR skills, business ethics (marketing/advertising) for undergraduates at the final years of their university education.

“In most developed countries, a university’s management faculty will have a compulsory subject named, Business Ethics,” she said.

Having worked as a research assistant at the University of Erlangen, Germany and University of Stuttgart, also in Germany, she said that in Western countries there is no difference between the work culture of a private or public enterprise and a customer would never know if he or she is in a private or public enterprise.

Commenting on the SME sector, she said that in most areas their public relations too is low. “This is especially evident when it comes to the environment; respect from the SME sector towards safeguarding of the environment is low.”

“When it comes to the sale of their own product most of them have the attitude, ‘if you want, you buy’ which is not customer friendly.’

However she said that in the hotel sector there is great discipline from the employees and this is one key factor for the success of tourism.

Cited from:Daily News>>

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