Monday, June 25, 2012

Professional Ethics between The Asian & The West.

Is Honesty the best policy? It depends....

In Asian this could happen. A Mercedes owner send his car to a mechanic, cause there is an irritating sound rattling beneath the car floor board. Immediately the mechanic crawls underneath his car for a quick inspection. On checking he realises it is only a tiny nut not properly tighten. However he tells the owner it might take him awhile to fully check the unhidden fault and requests the owner to come back in a couple of hours. As soon as the owner leaves, the mechanic gets the nut tighten in just a few minutes. Few hours later, when the owner comes back, he is charged for $300 which is a few minutes' repair. Mechanic may exaggerate that a heavy repair is done. Owner is too pleased to pay and fully satisfies with the repair. $300 charge is worth the waiting for the big boss.

In The West this could happen. Everything is the same as above, except... Upon detecting the faultiness of the loose nut, mechanic would immediately tighten the nut while he is still beneath the car. After the quick job is done, he would charge $300 and the owner would pay willingly at the same time. 

Reason for not arguing over the high repair charges for a quick job; The mechanic is efficient in detecting the mistake. By doing so, he has saved much time for the owner and he could continue his journey without interruption. The $300 is worth all the effort. 

Not the Asian. If the mechanic would reveal the truth, the big boss might not pay a $300 job for a few minutes' repair. By being not honest, the owner is willing to pay $300 for a few hours untruthful task. So readers... Who is right and who is wrong? You tell me please!!! 

My belief - "Integrity is doing the right thing, even if nobody is watching".


Anonymous said...

Dear Robert,

Whether you are an asian or western, the circumstances do not make a man, they actually reveal him.

Every action we take reveals who we are and what we choose to uphold. The hardest part is that sometimes those choices are not easy and that is what separates an ethical results driven leader from everyone else.

Having firm values and adhering to them is difficult because by taking this action we may be viewed by some as one way or another. Then we are grouped and now judged not for who we are, but for another’s perception.


Robert Foo said...

Hi Lhs,

Thank you for sharing your thought. It was well said.