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Personal Values and Ethics in the Workplace Sipho Dlamini was born in a small rural village in Swaziland. He spent his...
Personal Values and Ethics in the Workplace
Sipho Dlamini was born in a small rural village in Swaziland. He spent his childhood years looking after his family’s livestock. The community upheld high values, such as honesty and respect, but the people were desperately poor. He realized that he would have to go to South Africa and apply for a job at a gold mine.
As a young man Sipho left his village in the mountains and took on the difficult job of getting to South Africa. He went in search of one of his distant family members who was working for a gold mine near Johannesburg. He managed to find his relative, who was engaged as a personnel assistant. Sipho’s relative managed to find him a job as a general mine worker and accommodation in one of the mine hostels.
Sipho was dedicated to his work, and time passed quickly. Every month, he forwarded most of his wages to his family in Swaziland. One day Sipho’s family member called Sipho into his office and informed him that he was due for promotion. He also told Sipho that he would be required to pay him R500.00 (about $60) for his “efforts.”
This arrangement seemed strange to Sipho since he knew that it was not in line with company procedures. When Sipho asked about this, the personnel assistant replied that he had the authority to do so and that Sipho would not be promoted should he not pay the R500.00. Sipho returned to his room and battled in his mind that night with the options before him. He had grown up with strong personal values that included honesty and hard work, but his family needed the extra income. What was he to do? After a restless night, he returned the next day to the personnel assistant’s office and handed him the R500.00.
He was immediately promoted and returned to his room with a troubled mind. A few weeks later, the personnel assistant was reported and investigated for fraudulent behavior. He was suspended from work, and the investigation revealed all his corrupt activities. The record he had kept on all employees who paid bribes to him was also found. All employees on this list were called in and charged with fraud. Sipho’s name was on the list, and he was found guilty and dismissed from the service of the company, along with all the others.
Please answer the following Questions in your own words and you will be presentingonly questions 3, 4 and 5 to the class for your presentation.
- Was it fair of the mine to dismiss Sipho from service?
- What should Sipho have done differently?
- In what way could the mine management have provided support to him, prior to his wrongful act?
- How would you have acted had you been in a similar situation?
- What should you do when your personal values are in conflict with a certain work ethic?