Business – Ethics, Governance & Risk | Question and answers

  1. a. ‘Professionals such as doctors, accountants and lawyers have a charter/framework of code of conduct, duties and obligations that other people do not.’ Why is that so? Present your point of view with its supporting arguments/reasons. (Two points of view/reasons with explanation is good enough)


There are two main points of view that can explain why professionals such as doctors, accountants, and lawyers have a charter or framework of code of conduct, duties, and obligations that other people do not:

  1. Specialized Knowledge and Expertise: Professionals in fields like medicine, accounting, and law undergo extensive education, training, and certification processes to acquire specialized knowledge and expertise. This specialized knowledge is often essential for providing services that have a direct impact on individuals’ well-being, financial matters, or legal rights. Given the significance of their roles and the potential consequences of their actions, professionals are entrusted with a higher level of responsibility. The code of conduct and obligations serve as a framework to ensure that professionals uphold ethical standards, maintain competence, and act in the best interests of their clients or patients.
  2. Public Trust and Protection: Professions like medicine, accounting, and law play critical roles in society and hold positions of trust. People rely on professionals in these fields to provide accurate advice, make informed decisions, and safeguard their interests. The existence of a code of conduct and set of obligations serves to protect the public interest by establishing guidelines for professional behavior, promoting transparency, and preventing misconduct. These frameworks help maintain public trust in the profession and provide a means for recourse if professionals fail to meet their obligations.

In summary, the presence of a charter or framework of code of conduct, duties, and obligations for professionals such as doctors, accountants, and lawyers can be attributed to the specialized knowledge and expertise they possess, as well as the need to protect the public interest and maintain trust in their respective professions. These frameworks ensure ethical conduct, competence, and accountability, which are crucial in professions where individuals’ well-being, financial matters, or legal rights are at stake.

b. Choose any one ethical principle from the below list and with the help of a day-to-day work place process or practice showcase how your company/ any company delivers/ does not deliver on the chosen ethical principle. List of ethical principles: Transparency, Fairness, Responsiveness, Dignity


Chosen Ethical Principle: Fairness

Example: Performance Evaluation Process

In a workplace, the performance evaluation process provides an opportunity to showcase how a company delivers on the ethical principle of fairness.

Delivery of Fairness: A company that upholds fairness in its performance evaluation process ensures that all employees are evaluated using objective and consistent criteria. The evaluation process should be transparent, providing clear guidelines and expectations for performance assessment. It should also be unbiased, treating all employees equally and avoiding any form of discrimination or favoritism.

A fair performance evaluation process includes the following practices:

  1. Clear Performance Criteria: The company establishes well-defined performance criteria that are communicated to employees in advance. This ensures that employees understand the expectations and can strive to meet them.
  2. Consistency and Standardization: The company applies the same evaluation standards and procedures to all employees within a similar job role or level. This ensures that individuals with similar responsibilities are evaluated using the same benchmarks.
  3. Objective Assessment: Performance evaluations are based on measurable and observable factors, such as key performance indicators (KPIs), specific goals, and outcomes achieved. Subjective opinions or personal biases are minimized, and decisions are supported by evidence and data.
  4. Two-Way Feedback: The performance evaluation process allows for open and constructive communication between employees and supervisors. It provides opportunities for employees to provide self-assessment and for supervisors to provide feedback on strengths, areas for improvement, and developmental opportunities.

Non-Delivery of Fairness: If a company does not prioritize fairness in its performance evaluation process, several issues may arise:

  1. Lack of Clarity: If performance criteria and expectations are unclear or inconsistently communicated, employees may not understand what is required of them, leading to confusion and unfair assessments.
  2. Bias and Favoritism: When evaluations are influenced by personal relationships, favoritism, or biases (such as gender, race, or age), the fairness of the process is compromised. This can lead to unequal treatment and perceptions of unfairness among employees.
  3. Inconsistent Standards: If different managers or supervisors use varying criteria or apply different standards during evaluations, it can result in disparities in performance ratings and undermine the perception of fairness.

To ensure fairness in the performance evaluation process, companies should establish clear guidelines, train managers on unbiased evaluation practices, and implement checks and balances to monitor the consistency and fairness of assessments. Regular reviews and feedback from employees can also help identify any issues and address them promptly. By upholding fairness in the performance evaluation process, companies demonstrate their commitment to treating employees equitably and fostering a positive work environment.

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