We commenced with the introduction to this exciting field of work, lecture’s details and the study guide to guide us throughout the whole semester. We were also introduced to the new penalties guidelines which were not previously made in the study guides. These penalties emanate from the CUT calendar which are:-
Academic dishonesty i.e. plagiarism, possession of unauthorized notes in test or assessment etc.
Alcohol and prohibited substances
And other types of misconduct
We also dealt with the teaching and learning strategies/modes of learning which are direct instruction, discussion, and group work, more emphasis was put on the latter where we will be engaging in group work throughout the whole semester and at the end of which we will doing presentations about ethical topics of our choice (as a group) and that’s sponsored by PWC.
Another aspect we dealt with the syllabus we are going to do, prescribed handbook and assessment guidelines (formal presentations, written test, and patchwork). Patchwork was the one thing new to the study guide since the module is a continuous assessment we had to do it (patchwork). This patchwork is basically a diary where you compile your weekly summary of what you did in classroom, your research and providing practical experiences. It is submitted at the end of the semester for marking to add to your course mark in order to assist in calculating your final mark. Let’s get right into it then.
Business ethics is more than just a content-based module as it requires you to read (what matters the most is the quality not the quantity of your reading), think critically, analyse information, interpret, and comment and evaluate whatever you have learnt either from the handbook, media (television, radio, newspapers etc.), social ; personal experiences. This diary will do just that as I will also give my perspective.
This week’s news circulating around is that of Steinhoff International Holdings. The story of the matter is that that the company was found to be involved in accounting irregularities (cooking their books by colluding in off-balance sheet transactions). The company was acquiring enterprises that were mostly in structural decline on their financials to obscure (hide) losses and inflate earnings. The report was published by none other than Viceroy Research which believed incestuous managerial transactions, lack of transparency and entirely non-independent governance made Steinhoff borderline uninvest able.
The shock wave ripple through the market as Steinhoff related market valuation carnage since their former CEO resigned, share price plunged beyond limit and the majority shareholder net worth hit ground level and other notable undesired results, courtesy of Google chrome engine search.
According to what I have learnt from this article, once you start earning large amounts of money regardless of your profession, you tend to want more and more, try by all means not to cover up whatever seems to be wrong, be ethical at all times or else the consequences are unbearable. When you engage in immoral activities like the company did when it acquired other businesses to cover their losses and inflate their earnings, somewhere somehow the skeletons in your closet will come out unexpected & you will be left with no one but yourself to gather around before they cause massive damage not only for but also the profession you are involved in and the society you live in, I guess the company’s management did not notice that (or did but they were ignorant) that’s why it went up in flames.
One of the currently trending scandals is that of Capitec Bank. According to News24 (www.news24.org), one of the well-known research firm namely Viceroy Research published a report claiming that Capitec Bank is a work I a sheep’s clothing and a loan shark and should be placed under curatorship. Those were bold statements made by the firm as it hit Capitec quite bit time as their share price fell off by a big margin as a result. This I not the first time the firm published a damaging report as it did reporting about a retailer called Steinhoff International Holdings. This report results in the collapse of the company’s share price like it did with the bank.
Any large company would of course try by all means to preserve its image by publishing their own report to counteract what the media is portraying to its shareholders. The bank did just that and also initiated internal investigations to prove that the allegations are not true. The result came positive I favour of Capitec as being not involved in any of the allegations and South African Reserve Bank declared it will not institute any insolvent proceedings as it well capitalised and has an adequate liquidity, therefore it was not placed under curatorship.
Some companies take advantage at the expense of others like the research firm did with the bank. There were rumours claiming that the firm would benefit from the falling share price as it will borrow and sell at a profit in the market. It was a good thing from Capitec to fight back strongly and maintain its high standard of service provider even though their share price fell. Publishing a story about rumours instead of facts can sometimes lead to undesired effects and those who reported unfactual stories should bear the damages suffered by others.
The news just keep on coming with the latest one is that of Satyam scandal originating from the South East of Asia in India. This company was operating in the computer industry providing Information & Technology services, it was found guilty of accounting irregularities and resulted its shareholders being convicted for fraudulent activities according the Financial 24 search source.
Committing fraud is a punishable offense by law because it is illegal and being caught committing or suspected to be engaged in any fraudulent acts is not a good scenario to be in because the repercussions are not so pleasant not only to you but also to your friends, colleagues, family, & organisations (if it happens you own one) because the society may paint them as being fraudsters too due to the kind of relationship you have with them. That is why professionals give advice to people (especially the youth) not to engage in any kind of unlawful and immoral acts because they have knowledge and experience of what happens when you find yourself in any activities that might cost your lifetime opportunity or might hamper your chances of being successful in your future endeavours.
My personal reflection on what we have dealt during this week is being ethical can prove to be fruitful in whatever your occupation you find yourself or choose to be or any venture you want to start. You can lead a bright life of which there’s no one interrupt you while you enjoy the fruits of your labour. Sometimes we forget that there are people who in need more than we do and we are abusing or exploiting their rights for our own advantage and we want everything to ourselves forgetting that we can’t even the billionaires are not controlling the entire world’s resources but only a proportion of it. We need to learn to be equal even if others are earning large portion than others.
What is exactly ethics? It is the same as business ethics or not? I guess we will find out about these terms as we’ll take a look at each of them in-depth on chapter one of our hand book. Ethics simply means doing the right thing (being ethical or conducting yourself in a moral manner) and business ethics refers to conducting in a way that is not detrimental to and also providing opportunities to the environment in which it operates.
Sometimes it is not always easy to be ethical at all times as you might encounter yourself in a difficult situation to get out of and the only thing you have to do may hurt others but it is in your best interest like in the case of Rob Abrahams from the case study called “a dilemma in professional and business ethics”. An accountant by profession found himself in a predicament of choosing either to do accountant’s duties of a certain company in a hypothetical country and also the benefits he will reap during and after performing those duties. The country was characterised by as one amongst other countries with high level of corruption. He had to do things that would jeopardise his career and tarnish the image of his profession but the rewards were worth a while.
There’s is say no good deed goes unpunished, whatever actions we take we have got to bear the consequences that comes along with them, whether they are good or bad. Ethics and law don’t always see eye-to-eye. Actions we take can be both ethical and legal but in other circumstances the contrary can also be said. Taking a look at the Eskom, Trillian and Mckinsey case as these companies engaged in corrupt practises. Eskom paid large amount of billions for consultation services rendered by Trillian through Mckinsey and now is demanding its money back while Trillian refuses to return it as it regards this money their income for service rendered. The National Prosecution Authority declared that the companies were involved in fraudulent activities and the person(s) authorised such payments should be held accountable (even though they resigned from their term of office).
What I have learnt from this article is that greedy and selfishness will sometimes get you in trouble with the government officials. If I was the person one authorising such payments, I wouldn’t do it because I’d know the consequences that comes with such actions. Immoral acts are not tolerated by the society and you don’t want to be on the wrong side as they will chew you up and spit you out like a gum and that does not look good on your image and also career.
There are other issues that’s been buzzing around the Republic such as the case of Euthanasia going back and forth in courts. I couldn’t gather much information as I heard from the radio station (5fm and CUT FM to be exact). To cut the story short, doctors are fighting for the right of person to die of course with his/her concern when his/her terminal ill but the courts objects to such proposals since the constitution did not stipulate such rights and the courts overrules such objections.
This in one of the difficult decisions doctors have to make because no one would be happy in taking someone’s life (except assassins) even she/he sees that person is terminal ill. Pulling those plugs off the wall circuit can you trauma especially to those professionals in that field of their work. I would say let a person make his/her choice of whether to take his/her own life or decide to continue to torture the pain he/she feels when laying on that hospital bed. Though it costs to live on that life support machines, for those who can afford to cover their costs, they can continue to live with them but for those who can’t the State must provide financial support to help them live.
In this work schedule it was all about the religions and moral values systems for professionals not only in South Africa but across the whole world. Our religions differs from others so does our values and beliefs for instance, a women is not allowed to reveal her face in public (Islamic culture) whereas our custom does not object to such things. A women isn’t allowed to look her boss/his husband in his eyes as it demonstrates respect according to the Hinduism custom but in our Christianity regards that as sign of disrespect and allows a women to look her/his boss/husband in his eyes. There are many comparisons but we’ll not get into much details because that is not part of our scope but we just wanted to get an overview about different religions. Professionals face ethical dilemma in their working environment as they have to deal with people from different religion and values. They face social, environment and economic challenges they have to also deal with and must be dealt with in a moral manner in which everyone expects them to deal with those factors.
One of latest news doing the rounds is that of racial abuse at one of the schools in Kimberly, South Africa.
Parents of the pupils in the above mentioned school fear that a body will have to be wheeled out of the school yard before anything is done to ease apparent racial tensions between pupils. They believe that these pupils attacked each other with dangerous weapons during & after school time. The heart of the matter is that these pupils (Setswana ones) are racial abusing coloured pupils by telling they are not welcomed at their school and are taking over their territory. Some of the parents are also scared for their lives too as they think this issue may escalate beyond the school borders. Government officials condemned the violence and said “schools are for all races, racism cannot be tolerated”
This is one of the delicate issues professionals (teachers in this particular case) have to deal with. Race, gender abuse is totally uncalled for, even we have been through hell during the apartheid era does not mean we can discriminate ourselves, all we need to do is to unite and stand strong as one Africans. Teachers and principals should not teach students about discrimination and how bad it is but should initiate programs & participate in those programs .e.g. initiating workshops that are not only school based learning but also teach and guide students about social challenges may have effect upon them. These factors can have negative effect on them as it is demonstrated from the article, not the teachers have to but the community at large must engage and provide support whenever and wherever needed in order for the whole society to live in harmonious manner.
I have also researched other news relating to what we have done during the week and it revealed some compelling news. The news take place in Southern India and is about the modern slavery, it reads as follows:
Workers held captive in Indian mills supplying Hugo Boss
Guardian inquiry into concerns raised by Hugo Boss reveals Tamil Nadu firm, which also supplies major UK brands, stops women leaving factory.
CITATION Pet18 l 7177 (Bengsten, 2018)Hugo Boss raised concerns about free movement of local mill workers in a 2016 sustainability report. It said it has been working to resolve the issue with local suppliers.
Luxury fashion retailer Hugo Boss said it has found cases of forced labour, a practice of modern slavery, in its supply chain. Young female employees have been held captive behind the walls of garment factories in southern India and prohibited from leaving the buildings at any time.
Hugo Boss, which raised concerns about the free movement of local mill labors in its 2016 sustainability report, said it has been working to resolve the matter with local suppliers
Following the report, a Guardian enquiry into the confinement of thousands of young migrant employees on factory properties in Tamil Nadu found that Best Corporation, the company used by Hugo Boss, also distribute attires to high-street brands including Next and Mother care.
“Hugo Boss has been in regular contact and intensive exchange with the body-wear dealer to work on variations together and to achieve advances in the stated zones,” the company said in a statement.
Best Corporation is not the only firm in southern India where concerns relating to worker confinement exist. The policy of covering large numbers of young female migrant employees in dormitories on factory buildings is widespread in the area.
Factory holders say the policy is essential to ensure worker security in largely rural areas. But young women are effectively imprisoned in their workroom and permitted minimal contact with the outside world for up to four years.
A recent survey of 743 spinning mills across the area, carried out by the India Committee of the Netherlands, a human rights organization dedicated to improving the lives of marginalized people in south Asia, found more than half of the mills were unlawfully limiting the free movement of local workers.
The Guardian found evidence of worker imprisonment at premises belonging to Sulochana cotton mills, which supplies Primark, and Sri Shanmugavel mills, which feed into Primark and Debenhams’ supply chains.
On visits to spinning mills situated in rural areas around Tirupur, Palladam and Dindigul in Tamil Nadu, the Guardian spoke to employees who confirmed that young female labors were not permitted to leave the factory of their own free will at any time, except on rare trips to local markets followed by factory security.
One young woman who works at a Best Corporation mill spoke to the Guardian while her factory chaperone was preoccupied. “We are not allowed to leave the factory without wardens or whenever we want to. I work, when I am told to. I don’t protest. My family needs the money for my wedding dowry,” she said.
According to multiple interviews with labors in factories belonging to Sri Shanmugavel mills, young women living at the factories are either not permitted mobile phones, or have their calls watched by factory supervisors.
“I work next to these girls daily. We are not permitted to chat with them at all, neither during work nor in breaks,” said one male worker employed by Sri Shanmugavel. “At times we use sign language. Off work they almost never come out of the refuge. Only together with guards or parents.”
Native organizations said they are not allowed to check on the working or living conditions of young female workers kept at spinning mills and face fear and intimidations from factory owners.
Best Corporation admitted that it limits labors’ freedom of movement outside the factory buildings, because of the rural location of many of its plants. It said it has taken steps to report worker complaints, including forming a worker committee, alluring local NGOs to train supervisors on workers’ rights, and backing an independently run telephone helpline for employees.
This was one hell of a story trending in the southern part of India, as the rights of female were exploited and they were treated unfairly also. We all know women are human being, breathe, eat, walk and all other things human kinds do, but do we have to treat me like animals or some kind of a creature? No, that’s not the way of doing things in life. We must all live our lives in the best possible way we want them to be not take advantage of someone in order to benefit yourself while your actions might be detrimental to others, that would be totally be immoral and selfish. Like the German philosopher Immanuel Kent said in his book entitled Fundamentals Principles of the Metaphysics of Ethics so as you act to treat humanity whether in your own person or in that another in every case as an end itself and never as a means only in his quest for objective standard for ethical behaviour through rational reflection. In short, no matter what, never treat someone as a means but as an end user. Reflecting on this article, slavery is one major issue that’s need to be addressed quickly before it escalates, women should not be treated like some creepy monsters just because they lack physical fitness, they are more tendery and caring, sensitive mostly, and they are regarded as more of households workers ; keepers than compared to men who are regarded as more of household providers. In our generation, there’s no such thing as “Man are income providers and women are household keepers”, everyone is equal and should be treated fairly & just. Large companies such as the luxury retailer Hugo Boss and its subsidiary should not be involved in such scandal because these are the large firms we expect that it maintains high standard of quality products, ethical performance, high skilled labor force and other aspects that ensures its reputation and good will are highly maintained. The code of ethics, policies and procedures of the company should be revised to account for such actions and to prevent it from ever happening again. Top and middle management should also ensure that such policies & procedures are effectively implemented throughout hierarchy of management levels so that the bottom or operational managers can perform their functions in accordance with the revised code of conduct that govern the organization.
Practising of slavery during and after working hours is totally disrespectful & degrading human dignity (one of the criticism the Utilitarian approach faced), we maybe desperate to find jobs to provide for our families and maintain their standard of living but to resort to being slaves is not an option one would like to choose. We know the vulnerabilities of women are but that doesn’t give us as men an opportunity to take advantage of them just because they are females. I would advise the firm to deal with those practicing slavery during office time accordingly and should also initiate training programs that would advance the rights of its workforce and their moral conduct when performing their duties. The government should also ensure that the rights of its citizens are not being exploited by intervening where it is necessary to do so to enforce its legal prowess (political powers, influence it has on the society.et cetera).
As I was going to the campus, I came across a newspaper called Times Live, I decided to take a look at it hoping that it might have something interesting and might also add to my daily diary and improve my vocabulary too. The most interesting one was that of the Gupta saga as they were raided by the Hawks in Saxonwold, Johannesburg during the lover’s day or better yet Valentine’s Day. According to the former public protector Thuli Madonsela’s state capture report, it directed President Jacob Zuma to elect a commission of inquiry to probe whether any official or organ of state had acted illegally, inadequately or corruptly by giving financial facilities to companies linked to the Gupta family CITATION ALO18 l 7177 (SKUY, 2018).
The state capture issue is one that need careful considerations because it affects our economy; natural reserves & resources; standard of living; business markets; politics in fact it affects everything that revolves around us. The fact that the matter has not be solved yet poses many questions that we might not find an answer soon or not even get at a later stage. Ever since the family (Gupta) has landed feet in the soil of southern Africa, it has turned the country into turmoil. This resulted in political instability, a recession in the economic activity & business cycle, the unemployment has risen to new rates (the highest rate the country has ever reached) and all other bad things with little improvements compared to the former.
The government officials, judges from High Court & Supreme Court, businessman, experts from different professionals and other influential bodies must ensure that our economy is not bulldozed by multi-millionaires bodies and ensure that are our natural reserves are protected in order for the future generation to also benefit from them. They should maintain sustainability while preserving our resources.
In life we are faced with moral dilemmas where we have to deal with them using our knowledge we have accumulated from previous experience while acknowledging it will not have a detrimental to others. Professional bodies & persons also face ethical dilemmas in their field of work for instance, in the case study of Jane Peterson’s downsizing assignment where he was faced with three options namely:
Terminating the contracts of all affected employees in accordance to the accepted fair labor practice
Terminating the contracts of all affected employees in accordance to the accepted fair labor practice, but also offering them assistance in finding alternative employment
Delaying the process of closing down the offices and accelerating the investigation in to the opening of new offices in Gaborone and Windhoek in order to determine whether the existing staff in the three offices that are about to be closed can be redeployed to the new offices.
When we are faced with such predicament it essential we apply the ethical principles that will not be good yourself but also to the others. One way to deal with such dilemma is to apply ethical decision making approach. The criteria for such method includes questions like: Is it legal? ; Does it meet company standards? ; Is it fair to all stakeholders? ; Can it be disclosed? Applying this approach to make business decisions effectively will result in the positive results and the companies’ objectives could be reached more quickly.
Taking a look at the legal aspect according to the criteria, the decision must meet the laws and regulations set by the government. Ethics and the law don’t always goes hand to hand but the general assumption is that whatever actions taken by businesses or individuals are law abiding and ethical. Businesses must structure their ethics policies in accordance with the law. Decisions that are legal and ethical can lead to greater results but before a decision can be reached there are other aspect to look after for like the remaining criteria.
Dealing with the second criteria about the company standard, we can see that this is an internal matter on organization itself. Factors such as company policy and regulations or policy statements; goodwill; employee morale etc. can have massive impact on the decision about to be taken. The ethical decision must be in line with those factors and other uncovered aspects.
Every decision about to be taken must not detrimental to its stakeholders. Customers, Shareholders, Investors have a greater contribution towards the success of business and any activities taken by the enterprise that is not in line for the intended purpose of the business will be unfair towards the stakeholders. When applying this criteria in a decision making process, it requires creative thinking from the decision maker. Two most important ways to use is the moral imagination and stakeholder agreement to ensure fairness is applied to all the parties affected by the decision.
The last but certainly not the least is the disclosure criteria. Whatever decision taken must be disclosed to the public (media, other telecommunication) and personally (family, friends, lover ; other associates).
This week I read news regarding face book and its data discrepancies and the story reads as follows
What the Facebook data scandal means for your finances
Not too stressed about the Cambridge Analytical fallout? Perhaps you should be.
Facebook is so embarrassed by the Cambridge Analytical data scandal that it took out expensive adverts in UK and US media last week to ask for forgiveness to its users. But if you were shocked by the way in which personal data on Facebook appears to have been influenced for political ends, have you thought about how this data could also be used to target your finances? Data security specialists warn that too few people understand how their information can make them susceptible to financial delinquency.
In fact, Facebook and other social broad casting sites offer offenders and impostors a wealth trove of data they could use to take from you – in all sorts of different ways. And if you’re sharing your data or profile beyond your friends and family, you leave yourself even more exposed to attack.
The wrongdoing doesn’t even have to be online. Research circulated by the home security company ADT found that three-quarters of robbers now use Facebook or Twitter to aim belongings. People’s home addresses are simply found using public media spots, ADT cautioned, while posting images of properties and treasures offers criminals with prospective shopping lists; in some cases, shopliftings have taken place when people have posted about being on long weekend, unintentionally allowing thieves recognise their possessions is unoccupied.
In extra cases, phoneys have taken lead of posts from people drifting to aim their associates and relatives – effortlessly gain access through their societal links – with pleas for monetary support. They pose as the holidaymaker and request for assistance immediately with the cost of, say, a health difficult abroad; since associates and relative recognise the tourist truly is in the place named, they’re more probable to plunge for the trick.
As for online assaults, it’s worth imitating on the countryside of the app at the middle of the Cambridge Analytical scandal – a question that Facebook customers completed for entertainment but which gathered a range of personal data from them. Related practices have been used to yield data that is then abused for deceitful purposes.
For instance, an application might probe you to offer your portable cell phone number; this could be used to communicate quality-rate telephone numbers – you won’t know you’ve been targeted until your bill arrives. In other cases, impostors have mimicked well-known marques to launch bogus advancements that yield delicate data or invite people to change secret code with firms with which they have real accounts; this info is then cast-off for scam.
In other cases, data disclosures may be totally out of your control. The user credit company Equifax, e.g., upholds accounts of hundreds of billions of people around the globe – in the United Kingdom, if you’ve ever applied for any kind of credit merchandise, from a cellular phone deal to a mortgage, or if you’re on the democratic roll, the likelihood are that it will hold some personal data on you. Last year Equifax fell casualty to a cyber-security outbreak in which crooks stole the private information of 145 million people, as well as 15 million in the UK.
Equifax says most of this data was simply contact information, though in a smaller number of cases email addresses may have been disclosed – and even partial records of credit card numbers. It has subsequently written to all those affected advised them to keep a close eye on bank statements and other financial accounts, looking out for unofficial dealings that the data could have been used to initiate.
In this surroundings, it is vital to be as vigilant as possible about the data you share online – both the nature of the information and who you make it available to. Don’t sign up to terms and conditions you haven’t read and understood, and be cautious about your secrecy.
New data regulations that come into force in May will aid with this. They’ll boost your rights to query for details of all the data held on you by an establishment; they’ll also give you the right to “ask to be forgotten” – to have your data erased. Be equipped to exercise these privileges to keep your data footmark as slight and manageable as possible.
Keep in mind that it’s not only villains you need to look out for. The financial services industry is making increasingly sophisticated use of personal data created in a whole host of dissimilar ways. If you don’t set clear bounds about how your data is used, you could be disadvantaged.
It’s not inconceivable, for instance, that your health underwriter will one day soon have access to data from your supermarket loyalty card – maybe revealing that your diet puts you at peril of certain health conditions and therefore stimulating an escalation in your payments. Or envision a life underwriter denying to bid you inexpensive cover after sighted pictures of you involved in risky sports on social media.
In the banking industry, in the meantime, the unveiling of open banking at the start of this year was precisely intended at encouraging clients to give organisations admission to their bank account data. There may be tons of benefits from this – open banking followers hope innovative corporations will unveil new services that exploit this data to benefit people to get superior deals or manage their cash more effectively. But you can also see how your data could be used against you, both by dishonest agents and firms that unexpectedly know more about you than you might want.
The bottom line is that the Facebook scandal has some very wide lessons. It’s a reminder that our personal data is precious – where we remain in control, freely sharing information with allies we trust, there may be real benefits. But without caution this data could also be our demise – financially, as well as constitutionally CITATION Dav18 l 7177 (Prosser, 2018).
This subject was very complex to incorporate into my ethical studying because it was written politics all over it and we all know politicians are crooks and selfish too, they will do whatever it takes to obtain higher positions at the expense of someone else. The stealing of personal data to influence the public opinion during presidential campaigns is illegal and unethical too. People can also be exposed to robbery and other illegal activities as a result of their profile pictures uploaded to their online accounts. Applying the first criteria to this article, we can see that the decision taken by Facebook as absolutely illegal, probably that’s why Mark wrote the letter of apologise to the public for deceiving them.
Powerful and influential people like the politicians can have an influence towards anything i.e. businesses in particular Facebook. They can provide financial incentive in return for good public image. This will increase the company’s revenue, market share, and shareholders’ earning to name a few but does that meet the company standards? Organisations promoting elections of government candidates are seen corrupt and untrustworthy because of politicians’ status according to my understanding. Social networks companies such as this one have security systems amongst other things to ensure that private/personal information is kept safe from villains trying to make a living out of it. Only users with registered accounts are protected by the systems. According to the article, what the company did ran counter to their objectives and its operations and now the society is exposed to financial problems because of negligence cause by Facebook.
Applying the third criteria to our article which is the fairness towards stakeholders. Honestly speaking, the decision taken was completely unfair to all the stakeholders as this will (if it hasn’t already) their reputation and also result I the loss of income not only for them but the enterprise as well. Potential investors could retract their investment and run to other companies with no scandals wandering around, customers could close their accounts ; register new accounts with other social networks like Instagram or Twitter thereby giving competitive advantage to its rivalries.
The matter was disclosed by The Guardian ; New York Times to the public after investigation they had done plus also a statement made by the whistle blower who was a former employee of this company.
A word of advice would be that Mark should rectify the mistakes done by the two companies and refund those people who have lost millions of dollars because of this scandal and the society at large. They should try to restore the image lost because of this scandal.
Deviating from the business ethical point of view to a personal ; social point of view, we ourselves faced with ethical dilemmas where there are two or more conflicting point of view and it is difficult to make a decision. Personal conflicts refers to having different arguments within yourself while the social conflict refers to conflicting points of view within two or group of people.
One way to deal with such dilemmas is to apply the Rational Interaction for Moral Sensitivity strategy for resolving the dilemmas. This method is based on four assumptions namely (i). Dissensus does not equal defeat-individual operate on different set of values, (ii). Dialogue can produce solutions-participants commit to themselves to finding solutions within this context of moral dissensus, (iii). Focussing on motives is futile-motives underlying moral viewpoints cannot solve moral dilemmas, (IV). Only moral arguments are allowed-only arguments that meet the minimum requirement of concern and respect for the others can be allowed therefore all selfish arguments are excluded. After considering the above mentioned assumptions that is when you apply the RIMS strategy consisting of three steps which are (1). Generating and evaluating all points of view, (2). Identifying implications (positive ; negative), (3). Finding solutions where you try to eliminate or minimise the negative effects while in the meantime we try to keep the positives as possible as we can.
Wrapping up what we have done for this week I would say it has been an eventful week where we learned new methods/approaches of dealing with ethical dilemmas whether in businesses or society as a whole that we must apply them in order to reach consensus. I think I tried my best to incorporate what we have learned to an article I read during the weekend to check my understanding and also my studying abilities. Nonetheless, I think it an ethical week because everything I did was in the moral manner I intended to be.
This week we did not do much because there was only one class for this week as the other class was cancelled due to illness of instructor. Questions and solutions were handed to students to attempt them and also do revision on what we have done for the first quarter of the year. Ethics are not only thought in one module but also in other modules for instance in the Research Methodology (NMT11BB). In chapter 4 of the research study guide, there is a topic called Ethics in research.
According to the chapter, the goal of ethics are that no one is harmed or suffers adverse consequences from research activities. Unethical activities that are usually persuasive in the research include the following:
Violating non-disclosure agreements.
Breaking participant confidentiality.
Avoiding legal liability, etc.
Regarding the ethical treatment of participants, the researcher must protect the rights of its participants so that they are not harmed by the research activities or feel any discomfort. There are few guidelines that the researcher can follow to ensure ethical treatment of its participants namely: Explain the benefits of the study-the researcher should not overstate nor understate the benefits; Deception should be avoided-the benefits to be gained should be balanced by against the risks to the participants; Obtain informed consent-in any discipline it is considered immoral to collect information without the consent of the participants, their informed willingness to take part in a study therefore it is advisable to obtain informed consent from the participants in a study; Debriefing participants-description of hypothesis, goal, purpose of the study; Rights to privacy-all individuals have the right to privacy and researchers must respect that right.
Ethics and the researcher must abide by the following principles i.e. avoid bias, Provision or deprivation of treatment, Using appropriate research methodology, and Correct reporting. There are also ethics between the sponsor like maintaining confidentiality; right to quality research; sponsor’s ethics and team members for example, their safety; ethical behaviour of assistants; protection of anonymity CITATION Sch18 l 7177 (School for Entreprenuership & Business Development, 2018).
As we can see ethics applies to all disciplines because in whatever field of work we find ourselves in we face ethical dilemmas of which we have to resolve them as soon as possible before they escalate into something that will be difficult to find solutions to it. There are tools to resolve having mentioned in previous pages that can resolve such dilemma but I’m not going to them as this result in repetition. Even though the research instructor did not get into much detail about ethics because it is not an ethics but a research class, I would say there is a link between the two disciplines because of the section mentioned in the research handbook and they complement each other very well. There is also a correlation between the two modules for instance a research project would not be done if there is no ethics included in its research activities.
This week we had a special visit from the director of PWC Professor Dave Lubbe. He presented a presentation about ethics in practice.
We learned the three components emanating from the ethics definition namely the self, good, and others; Code of ethics from the IIA which are Integrity, Objectivity, Confidentiality, and Competency. According to the King VI code, there are characteristics between ethical and effective leadership. Distinction between the two are as follows:-
Ethical Leadership Effective leadership
Integrity Results driven
Competency Achieving strategic objectives
Accountability Positive outcome
Responsibility Fairness Transparency Apart from the corporate code of ethics there are qualities between the two concepts namely: Ethical leaders have the importance of perceptions, passion, humility, and inspirational.
In these days we are living in, we are faced with decisions we have to make but can we ensure whatever decisions we take will not only result for the goodness of yourself but also for others? Well according to the professor, the decisions we have to take must avoid conflict of interest, all the facts must properly coordinated, make a decision based on facts not rumours ; bias, must be in the best interest of others, there must be transparent communication, must be honest not based on naivety, and understandable.
Of course the decision we make will result in consequences whether they are positive or negative. The most common factor hampering our judgement is corruption (mostly common in the financial ; business sectors). The Prevention ; Combating Corruption Activities act was introduced to prevent corruption and other unlawful activities. Other acts are Protection Disclosures Act which is aimed at protecting “Whistle blowing” and Protection from Harassment Act which aims at preventing harassment at any work of place mostly common to vulnerable or the previously marginalised groups i.e. women.
The second class we did not do much but as a group have been meeting to discuss how we going about regarding the presentation which will be performed at the end of May. We discussed which topic will be suitable for us so that we will perform it to our best of our abilities and our instructor approved it when we went to the group consultation and registered it as our own but different from other groups’ topics of which they will also present during the presentations.
The topic of our group presentation was about the minimum wage dilemma is South Africa. We are going to present about the advantages & disadvantages this minimum wage has on aspects such as businesses, standard of living for individuals/households, economy etc. The upper side to this issue are amongst others;-
1. Type of market.The effectiveness of minimum wage actually depends on the type of market it is executed on. Moreover, minimum wage is also witnessed to help with reducing labour turnover and enhancing organizational efficiency, considering that there is just a slight increase in labour costs and no significant variations in unemployment rate.
2. Tax burden.People who are making the minimum wage don’t make use of public services as many as compared to those who are unemployed. As you can see, unemployed people are given welfare, food stamps and rent assistance. Thus, having as many people as possible on minimum wage would decrease the need for public assistance, which will reduce the tax burden on communities and the state.
3. Certain families.Considering that a significant number of minimum wage earners in the US are working parents and are raising a family, these people would be obligated to work for less money without imposing a minimum wage.
4. Small business budgets.A minimum wage policy will let them know what is expected to pay each hour and will allow for a creation of new jobs within their organizations based upon the budgeting information.
5. Employment incentive.A minimum wage will provide the unemployed an incentive to take a job opportunity, as they would know how much their minimum pay would be.
6. Common reference when hiring.Putting a minimum wage policy will make the hiring process for employers easier for skilled and young workers, who would know upfront what kind of salary they can expect.
List adverse effects of Minimum Wage on;
Economic system disruption Considering the demand and supply where the economy is at equilibrium, minimum wage works similarly to a price floor. Granting a higher wage level than the equilibrium would unsettle the price mechanism, which means that the market will not be able to clear, seeing workers not being able to find work.
2. Can be detrimental towards poor people Supporters of increasing minimum wage often say that it is hard to support a family with the only breadwinner earning such minimum salary. However, for a minimum wage increase to assist such an individual earn money for his or her family, he must have a job and try to increase it.
3. Unemployment. In a free labour market, salary rates would reflect the willingness of employers to hire them and the willingness of workers to work. As you can see, individual productivity is the primary determinant of what employers are willing to pay, and most of the people who are working are not directly affected by minimum wage, as their productivity, as well as pay, are already well above it.
4. Personal-growth opportunities.Most people who are working on low wages are usually those who do not have fully developed skill sets. However, they also need to work to support their needs, especially when they have families to take care of, leaving them no choice but to work even for a minimum fee.
5. Job benefits. Even with an increase of minimum wage, it would not secure low-wage earners from not being able to find work, as employers reply to forced higher wages by altering other forms of compensation, like health benefits.
We will also look at the statistics this can impact the above mentioned aspects. This presentation will be in a form of a talk show where we will have guests (group members pretend to be guests) and hosts where they will ask questions and the guests will provide their opinions regarding the minimum wage dilemma in our Republic.
As the group consultation continues so was our rehearsals follow suit. The autumn recess was nearing and everyone was ready to pack and return back to their homes ; loved ones, the group decided to abort the session we were about to have and the rehearsals are going to be paused for only a week.
The ethics definition entails its main components such as self, good, ; others which guides human behaviour to act moral in any kind of situation we find ourselves in but do we know how to manage our ethics principles? Well that is one good to question to ask. In this week we will be learning how to manage ethical performance/behaviour but from the business point of view ; it’s stakeholders. For business to maintain its success, it must account for socio-ethical and environmental performance according to the triple bottom line reporting that can be seen around the globe. Accountants are also advised to be trained to add socio-ethical & environmental accounting, auditing & reporting to their repertoire of professional knowledge and skills. There are four dimensions that govern/manage ethical performance of a business namely, (a). Determining ethical risks of a company (determining the current perception & ethical expectations of stakeholders have of the ethical performance of the organization), (b). Codifying the ethical standards in the company (the ethical standard are written into the code of ethics in order to avoid ethical dangers & to embrace ethical opportunities), (c). Institutionalising ethical standards in the company (incorporating the ethical standards into the business practice/operations & it should occur on both the strategic and systematic levels), (d). Reporting the ethical standards of the company (the company’s ethical performance must be disclosed to all its stakeholders).
All the chapters and the weekly sessions have been covered according to the Business ethics hand book. The following section will be about my personal reflection about everything I have done ; learned during this semester.
My Personal Reflection
This diary was written from the bottom of my heart ; with utmost respect for the people who have been ; will be continuing playing an integral part in my life and my family. This semester was not an easy journey for me, I had to deal with many obstacles like family matters, friends’ family matters, love life, and others abundant things that were giving hard times but the one which prevailed the most was the academics one.
People often resist change, I think I fall on that category too because I had to transition from the place I used to call home to a whole new completely environment I hardly know reason being academics forced me to transit. A transition is very difficult to person(s) like me because you have to adjust to your new surroundings & familiarise yourself with things like public facilities & other stuff of which these factors can have an impact on your studies whether they are positive or negative. The positive effects could be getting greater marks in most of your modules, personal satisfaction & happiness, making new good friends, meeting great lectures and supplemental instructors, meeting influential & motivational leaders and living in a harmonious environment free of violence and political unrest. The opposite can also be said about the above, other negative effects could be personal stuff, people close to you bad things happening to them & other unpleasing events that could hamper your progress towards obtaining your hard-fought & earned qualification.
Shifting the focus to the academics, studying is not an easy task like a walk in the park. You have to put all your energy, sweat & tears, give everything you have to pass all your modules in order to graduate at the end of their year course which is the biggest obstacle students has to face. During our first & second class we watched videos about students’ presentation they did in the previous years, I wondered whether I will be good at performing such acts because acting was not favourite part ; definitely not my career path I wish to follow at all. The students were absolutely fantastic ; presented their presentations to the best of their abilities and hopefully got good marks for their effort.
As time goes on, weeks gone by, I have learned so much about being ethical in any kind of environment we find ourselves either in work, home or in society surroundings we live in. Who can forget the grey area between the ethics and law, the philosophical foundations of theories namely virtue; deontology; ; utilitarian ethics, the ethical decision process, and the Rational Interaction for Moral Sensitivity (Rims) strategy. I believe I have applied these ethical principles (not all but most of them) in my personal life for example, during our class for the Financial Reporting, there was a dispute about certain topic which other students chose to be for the topic whereas others were against it. The matter of the story was to whether to include that particular topic for the main tests purposes or not. Some students raised valid positive points of view while others came up with the contrary to the positive point of view of which I would call it social ethical dilemma where the instructor has to be the mediator to the two groups in opposite sides. The instructor gathered all the points of views from the opposition parties (both good ; bad) regarding the introduction of new chapter before the test, he tried to keep the positive ones as possible while eliminating or minimising the bad ones as possible he can. We engaged in trying to find solutions as a group collectively so that we would reach consensus between us and the lecturer, to me it sounds like a rims strategy even though we did not know it was because in the ethics we had not yet reached the topic about such strategy.
There was this thing about student not getting their allowances in time due to unforeseen circumstances from what I heard from a good friend of mine. We went to the students’ representative council to find out what is going on because both of us were affected by this political unrest & also our allowances were not up to date too. One of the philosophers said moral behaviour is judged by the person’s character (virtue theory), judging by the way we met with the leader I would say the theory does apply to her because as a leader you know how to treat your followers ; how to encourage them into to being leaders someday, though that was not our purpose of visit but we learned something valuable about ethical ; effective leadership of which there was a presentation about these terms during this semester from the ethics class.
I am person who likes to do his own thing but team work sometimes does help particularly in group assignments and presentations. Meeting my group mates was difficult to adjust reason being not used to it, but I had to for the good of my marks ; also the group mates. During our discussion, there were clash of views about which topic are we going to present about during the presentation between us. Everyone came up with his/her point of view regarding the topic of his/her choice, we fought a lot, taking a jab at each other ; all sort of stuff we could do but the most important thing was unity and collaboration of which we made it clear from the first time we met that it should be always like that no matter what happens between group members.
When you engage in a group activity, you meet people from different backgrounds, different characters, cultures ; customs, personality etc. where you tend to want to learn more about them or their customs in order to know this particular person better and does this ; that in their way of resolving disputes of which they have acquired their knowledge from their backgrounds. For instance, in the Christianity custom, a student is allowed to go to campus wearing any clothes of his/her choice whereas in others cultures is it not permitted to do so such a Hinduism, where they are permitted to only wear black gowns when they are travelling to or from campus and any other places they go to as they respect their tradition not we don’t but some of us to respect our customs. I learned different ways of to communicate with louder people, how to treat & care for a person, how group leaders encourages us to strive for not only for results but also your happiness & satisfaction. In our group sessions, we would always try accommodate each other as there was not a lead speaker who will always talk no-stop & acts as if he/she has the power/influence over other group members while others will follow in his/her footsteps. Whatever we did we hoped it would result in the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people according to the utilitarian theory. My group members were absolutely amazing and during our rehearsals you could see that there’s a potential within them ; they will everything they have at their disposals to deliver a well-rehearsed presentation in of the judges and the audience. Credit must be given to them for their effort they have in this presentation, even though I was part of it but I have to give it to them. Big ups for you guys.
A lot has happened during this semester on a personal and also academic level. One of the main thing that drained all of my energy was attending evening classes which was something new to me as I was used to attend day classes. Schooling was never my thing as my future endeavour was to be anything other than the school can offer but things happened ; I could not go through the route I have always wanted but I can’t complain I have gotten to where I am through hard work, passion, dedication and self-motivation. I tried to attend all of my classes as best as I can because according to the study guide, it is compulsory to attend those classes as they will help you gain knowledge about what you had done for that particular day and so that you can apply it in real world situations. There are few that are still lingering in my mind like the golden rule which states do what do to others as you would like them to do to you which is clearly the general rule everyone should abide with even though it is not enforceable by the law but it guides you to act with moral consciousness.
Declaration (copy into your patchwork document)
I, Chulumanco Khupiso (Name & Surname) 215055594 (CUT student number) hereby declare that all the work included in this project is my own work; that none of the work included in this project is a copy of the work of any other current or former candidate or group of candidates for this programme or any other similar programme or module; and that all other sources (literature or otherwise) that were eventually consulted and used for completing this project have been properly and completely acknowledged according to the generally accepted principles of referencing.