Building ethical organisations: From mother’s perspective

As we celebrate mothers in the month of May, we pause to reflect on the pivotal role that mothers play in shaping society. Mothers are a pillar of strength at home, in society and in business. We draw important lessons from motherhood in order to understand how we should strengthen our organisations and inculcate values and principles in building ethical organisations.

Read more ...

Social Networking in the workplace - is part of your organisation’s ethics programme?

Social media is a challenging topic because it crosses over so many ethics issues.  However, like any other ethics topic, it can and must be proactively managed for an organisation to safeguard its reputation and provide its employees with the tools to manage their own personal and business activities.

Read more ...

Where is the best place for the ethics office?


In our website poll we recently asked the question “Where is the best place for the ethics office?” 

The largest portion of respondents (36%) believed that governance was the best home for the ethics function, followed by compliance (21%) and internal audit (13%).

Read more ...

Ethics Brief 37: Compassion

While a computer search for definitions of “compassion” typically finds language that addresses awareness of the suffering of others and a desire to relieve it, in business leadership jargon that awareness is more often coupled with a perceived obligation to prevent whatever “suffering” might be inherent in the job, the organizational culture or the dealings employees have with each other, leadership, vendors/suppliers, competitors or customers.

Read more ...

Should ethics and compliance be combined or separated?

The trend to combine ethics and compliance functions into a single function has accelerated in recent years; especially in the USA it has become common practice. The Compliance and Ethics Leadership Council regard it as one function without questioning it (Corporate Executive Board, 2013); the same stance is taken by the Ethics Resource Centre (Ethics Resource Centre, 2010). But is it the right thing to do?

Read more ...

Three Ethical Habits for 2015


The year is barely a month old and we already have ample evidence of how easily societies can fracture. The escalating violence in West Africa perpetrated by Boko Haram, the massacre at the Charlie Hebdo offices in France and, thankfully less dramatically, the Twitter storm that broke after President Zuma’s remarks in Cape Town as well as Zelda la Grange’s tweets from London, all graphically illustrate how different beliefs and opinions can pull nations apart.

Read more ...

Who are the most important role players in building an ethical organisational culture?

A recent EthicsSA website poll asked who the most important role players are in building an ethical organisational culture.

Read more ...


In my worldview, accountability is a basic aspect of leadership. Leadership implies being in charge and that connotes responsibility.


Read more ...

Exploring professional ethics for Information Technology Practitioners in municipalities

Professional ethics is becoming more important in the workplace. As professionals become more specialised in their professional occupation, professional bodies have increasingly been busy developing, revising and refining professional codes of ethics.

Read more ...

The value of managing ethics of an organisation

Many organisations and ethics practitioners invest time and money towards ethics programmes with an aim of building an ethical culture. The regulatory environment has made ethics management a requirement for both the private sector [Section 72(4) of the Companies Act] and public sector (Public Sector Integrity Management Framework).

Read more ...

EthicsSA to release a 'Handbook on Ethics Reporting and Assessment'

EthicsSA to release a ‘Handbook on Ethics Reporting and Assessment’

written by Kris Dobie


The first time I was asked by an ethics officer what she should report to her ethics committee was about 7 years ago. I’m sure it must’ve been clear from my response that I had not yet given this much thought. But in my defence, very few people had.  At that time few organisations even had ethics committees. 

Read more ...

Raising hope through whistle-blowing? The sexual harassment challenge

Raising hope through whistle-blowing? The sexual harassment challenge.

Organisations that EthicsSA engage will often proudly inform us of the existence of their safe reporting, or whistle-blowing, facility. When asked whether many cases are reported through this facility the answer is usually ‘no’. Reasons given vary from ‘the hotline is relatively new’, ‘potential whistleblowers are afraid of victimisation should they be required to act as witnesses down the line’, to ‘it is not in our culture to blow the whistle’.

Read more ...