Business levels of judgment to solve ethical conflicts

Business is profitable and competitive in nature and big company tends to monopoly in the market. So, the doctrine of corporate social responsibility (CSR) had emerged for the role of business in the community and society.

The maslahah had applied to ease the hardship of the people. CSR sets standards of ethics and behavior to which a company need to impact the society in a productive and positive manner, other than seeking profit at any cost. CSR had been applied in Islamic perspective, where it needs to comply with the Maqasid Al-Shariah and Maslahah.

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The principles of Maslahah can be put in a pyramid form and divide into three levels, where the bottom level states Daruriyat (Essentials), the center level states Hajiyat (Complementary) and the highest level states Tahsiniyat (Embellishment). In a corporate, this provides managers three levels of judgment to solve ethical conflicts while applying CSR initiatives. By applying the maslahah pyramid principle to CSR, there are three different levels of decision-making process. At the bottom level (Essentials), managers are required to protect and preserve their stakeholders’ essential needs for example, the protection of property, intellect and others, and in general, the public good. While under the corporate’s perspective, the employer need to preserve their employee’s welfare by providing them basic needs such as adequate prayer rooms, provide safety boots, helmet and basic body medical check up to ensure safety and health in the workplace. When the first level is fulfilled, the corporations may achieve the second level, the complementary. In this level, it is required to eliminate difficulties in order to prevent a threat to a normal order’s survival. For instance, the managers could extend their social responsibility commitment by providing continuous and enhancing quality programs and training.

This is not essential but these responsibilities helps to improve the workers’ skills and knowledge. Other examples are Islamic corporate could provide Shariah training to their employees that are related to their career to protect the interests of faith. The responsibilities of corporate includes not selling or manufacturing alcoholic, tobacco and obscene materials and products to affect the society’s health and mind.Next, the highest level which is the embellishments, the corporation may involve in programs or activities that may help to improve or achieve the quality of public life, for the good sake of the public community.

For example, offering scholarships for the needy, giving charity or hold donation program to raise fund for the poor. By providing sufficient goods and services are the commitment of CSR to achieve this level for the society.The Maslahah pyramid give a guideline for the corporations to manage their business where the principles had evolved from the Shariah’s objective. The concept of Maslahah is to prevent harm, this is based on an authentic hadith which stated: “There should be neither harming nor reciprocating harm.” So, a corporate should not cause harm and grief to others while engaging their business and economic activities.


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