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Ethics and Professionalism Business Studies Grade 12 Study Notes

Ethics and Professionalism Business Studies Grade 12 Study Notes. Business ethics refers to the moral principles and values that guide the behavior of individuals and organizations in the business world. It involves making decisions and taking actions that are consistent with moral and ethical values and that promote fairness, justice, and respect for others.

Topics under Ethics and Professionalism

  • Professional, Responsible, Ethical and Effective Business Practices
  • The King Code
  • Issues Challenging Ethical and Professional Behaviour
  • Strategies for Addressing Ethical and Professional Issues
  • Ethics
  • Professionalism
  • Codes of Conduct and Codes of Ethics

What is Considered Ethical Behavior in Business?

In business, ethical behavior involves treating others fairly, being honest and transparent, and acting with integrity. Ethical behavior also involves being responsible and accountable for one’s actions, respecting the rights of others, and avoiding actions that cause harm or exploitation.

Examples of Ethical and Unethical Business Practices

The following table provides examples of ethical and unethical business practices:

Ethical PracticesUnethical Practices
Respecting the rights and dignity of employeesDiscrimination or harassment of employees
Providing safe and healthy working conditionsIgnoring health and safety regulations
Being honest and transparent in business dealingsDeception or fraud in business dealings
Acting with integrityConflicts of interest or corruption
Protecting the environmentEnvironmental degradation or pollution
Treating customers fairly and respectfullyExploiting customers or engaging in price gouging
Paying fair wages and benefitsExploiting workers or paying inadequate wages

Business ethics is an important aspect of responsible and sustainable business practices. Ethical behavior involves making decisions and taking actions that are consistent with moral and ethical values and that promote fairness, justice, and respect for others. Understanding the importance of ethical behavior in business is essential for individuals and organizations to maintain a positive reputation and to contribute to a responsible and sustainable business environment.

How Businesses Can Apply King Code Principles

The King Code is a set of principles and guidelines that promote responsible corporate governance in South Africa. The King Code is comprised of two codes, King Code I and King Code II, which provide guidance on ethical and responsible business practices.

King Code Principles

  1. King Code I: This code was first published in 1994 and focuses on the responsibilities of boards of directors and their role in promoting responsible corporate governance.
  2. King Code II: This code was published in 2002 and expands on the principles outlined in King Code I. It provides a comprehensive framework for responsible corporate governance and covers a wide range of issues, including ethics, transparency, and accountability.

The following table outlines the key principles of the King Code and how businesses can apply them:

King Code PrincipleHow Businesses Can Apply This Principle
DisciplineImplementing policies and procedures to ensure ethical behavior and to promote transparency and accountability.
TransparencyProviding clear and accurate information about the business, its operations, and its performance.
IndependenceEnsuring that the business operates independently, without undue influence from outside parties.
AccountabilityBeing accountable for the actions and decisions of the business and ensuring that the business is transparent and open to scrutiny.
ResponsibilityTaking responsibility for the impact of the business on society and the environment, and working to promote sustainable business practices.
FairnessTreating all stakeholders fairly, including employees, customers, suppliers, and shareholders.
Social ResponsibilityContributing to the well-being of society and promoting responsible business practices that benefit the wider community.

The King Code provides a comprehensive framework for responsible corporate governance and promotes ethical and responsible business practices. By applying the principles of the King Code, businesses can enhance their reputation, contribute to a responsible business environment, and promote sustainable business practices.

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