Issues Challenging Ethical and Professional Behaviour Notes and Exam Questions Business Studies Grade 12

Issues Challenging Ethical and Professional Behaviour : Notes, Common Exam Questions and Answers Guide, Online Quizzes and Activities for Business Studies Grade 12 Revision Studies, from Ethics and Professionalism section. This content is under Term 1 as per the CAPS Curriculum.

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Issues Challenging Ethical and Professional Behaviour Business Studies Grade 12

Ethical and professional behaviour is essential in creating a positive and sustainable business environment. However, there are several issues that can challenge the implementation of these principles in the workplace. These challenges can include conflicts of interest, pressure to meet targets and deadlines, and lack of resources or support. Additionally, cultural differences, differing value systems, and legal and regulatory frameworks can also present challenges to ethical and professional behaviour. In order to promote ethical and professional behaviour, it is important to identify and address these challenges and to develop strategies to promote a culture of ethics and professionalism in the workplace.

Video: 5 Common Ethical Issues in the Workplace

Issues Challenging Ethical and Professional Behaviour

Issues Challenging Ethical and Professional Behaviour (List of ethical issues in the workplace):

Tax:

  • Failure to report income
  • Misrepresenting expenses
  • Hiding assets in offshore accounts
  • Falsifying tax returns
  • Illegally claiming tax credits
  • Overcharging clients and failing to report income

Sexual Harassment:

  • Making unwanted advances or sexual comments
  • Engaging in physical or verbal abuse
  • Creating a hostile work environment
  • Using power or authority to coerce sexual behavior
  • Making threats or blackmailing employees
  • Retaliating against employees who report harassment

Prices of Goods in Rural Areas:

  • Overcharging rural customers
  • Offering lower-quality products in rural areas
  • Exploiting market power to maintain high prices
  • Failing to invest in rural infrastructure
  • Offering limited product choice
  • Engaging in price discrimination against rural customers

Unfair Advertising:

  • Using deceptive advertising practices
  • Making false claims about products
  • Targeting vulnerable populations with advertising
  • Failing to disclose risks or side effects of products
  • Engaging in misleading pricing practices
  • Using subliminal messaging or hidden messages in advertising

Unauthorised Use of Funds:

  • Misusing company funds for personal expenses
  • Embezzling company funds for personal gain
  • Failing to disclose financial conflicts of interest
  • Creating fraudulent financial reports
  • Failing to follow financial reporting regulations
  • Using company funds for illegal activities

Abuse of Work Time and Resources:

  • Using work time for personal activities
  • Engaging in personal business on company time
  • Using company resources for personal gain
  • Misusing company technology for personal use
  • Failing to report work time accurately
  • Creating a culture of presenteeism or long work hours that negatively impacts employees

Ethical and professional behavior are crucial for individuals and businesses to maintain integrity and trust. However, various issues can challenge ethical and professional behavior, such as tax fraud, sexual harassment, unfair advertising, unauthorised use of funds, high prices of goods in rural areas, and abuse of work time and resources. Addressing these challenges requires awareness, accountability, and a commitment to upholding ethical and professional standards.

Real-life Examples of Unethical Behaviour in South African Workplace

  1. Tax Fraud: KPMG South Africa In 2017, KPMG South Africa faced a scandal involving the Gupta family, where they were accused of facilitating tax fraud and corruption. The scandal led to the resignation of several top executives and the termination of its business relationship with the Gupta family.

Reference: Reuters. (2017). KPMG South Africa CEO promises reform after Gupta scandal. Retrieved from https://www.reuters.com/article/us-safrica-kpmg-idUSKCN1C00RD

  1. Sexual Harassment: South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) In 2018, the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) faced multiple allegations of sexual harassment within the organization. An internal investigation was launched, leading to the implementation of various policies to address the issue.

Reference: News24. (2018). SABC taking action against sexual harassment. Retrieved from https://www.news24.com/news24/SouthAfrica/News/sabc-taking-action-against-sexual-harassment-20180829

  1. Prices of Goods in Rural Areas: Spar In 2020, a Spar franchise owner in the Eastern Cape was accused of inflating prices of essential goods during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Competition Commission of South Africa investigated the matter, and the franchise owner was fined for price gouging.

Reference: Eyewitness News. (2020). Eastern Cape Spar investigated for inflating prices amid COVID-19 lockdown. Retrieved from https://ewn.co.za/2020/03/25/eastern-cape-spar-investigated-for-inflating-prices-amid-covid-19-lockdown

  1. Unfair Advertising: Ford South Africa In 2016, Ford South Africa faced backlash over a controversial advertisement for its Ford Kuga SUV that contained sexually suggestive content. The advertisement was criticized for promoting gender stereotypes and objectifying women, leading to its eventual removal.

Reference: The South African. (2016). Ford pulls controversial ad after social media backlash. Retrieved from https://www.thesouthafrican.com/news/ford-pulls-controversial-ad-after-social-media-backlash/

  1. Unauthorized Use of Funds: Steinhoff International Steinhoff International, a South African retail conglomerate, faced a massive accounting scandal in 2017. Executives were accused of inflating profits, concealing losses, and engaging in unauthorized transactions, leading to the resignation of the CEO and significant financial losses for the company.

Reference: BBC News. (2017). Steinhoff accounting scandal sinks shares. Retrieved from https://www.bbc.com/news/business-42266012

  1. Abuse of Work Time and Resources: South African Police Service (SAPS) In 2019, several South African Police Service (SAPS) officers were caught on camera using a police vehicle for personal activities, such as shopping and socializing during work hours. This incident raised concerns about the abuse of work time and resources within the organization.

Reference: TimesLIVE. (2019). On-duty cops caught shopping up a storm in police van. Retrieved from https://www.timeslive.co.za/news/south-africa/2019-02-21-watch–on-duty-cops-caught-shopping-up-a-storm-in-police-van/

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