Ethics and culture

People who are challenged about the ethics of their conduct, sometimes respond by claiming that “it is my culture”, and the culture at issue may, for example, be “African culture”, “Afrikaner culture”, “Zulu culture”, or “Western culture”.

Can the ethics of our conduct be justified by an appeal to our culture?

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The status of reporting misconduct in corporate South Africa

By Liezl Groenewald

The 2013 South African Business Ethics Survey (SABES) found that 14% of corporate South Africa’s employees have personally observed misconduct in 2012.  This is a statistically significant decrease from the 18% who observed misconduct in 2009 when EthicsSA conducted a similar study (the South African Corporate Indicator 2009).

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When win is lose

We have lost our cool. And the cost is a lot more devastating than we may think.  The lack of patience or the prevalence of its evil opposite, impatience is not about those irrational moments when you lose it, kick the fridge and break your foot. It is about a way of life, or, as that old limerick would have it: “patience is a virtue; virtue is a grace and ….” You know the rest.

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Ethical companies: Is the reward ‘inside’?

Most people will say that they value ethical conduct in employers, but do we value this more or less than a big salary cheque? If you look at research it seems people are not totally mercenary in their job choices. A Kelly Services survey conducted among approximately 100 000 people from 34 countries found the following:

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World Forum in Lille, France on Responsible Economy

EthicsSA once again participated in this year’s edition of the World Forum on Responsible Economy in Lille, France. This three-day event brings together leaders to discuss how we can advance ‘the Responsible Economy’ through showcasing best practices adopted by companies all over the world.

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SA Whistle-blowing system tops – or is it?

Liezl Groenewald

South Africa’s whistle-blowing framework has received the highest possible rating of three stars in a report by global law firm DLA Piper for providing express protection to those making legitimate disclosures.

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A two faced business

Facts and fallacies about the business sense of survival or empathy.

All economic debate is based on assumptions about humanity. Yet surprisingly, despite our scant knowledge of ourselves, we are prepared to assume fanatical stances on economic theory to the point of risking violent conflict.

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The art of building an ethical culture

By Phindi Twala

As a newly appointed Ethics Officer in my organisation, I was eager and ready to make a difference in the governance of my organisation. In my mind, I knew I had all the required knowledge in the field and was enthusiastic about developing systems and programmes that would miraculously change the culture in my organisation. Privileged to be mentored by experienced colleagues with vast knowledge on ethics and integrity management; my task was going to be easy.

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It’s about people, not policies

Kris Dobie  

I have spent much of my time at EthicsSA working on ethics management in an anti-corruption environment.  While the link between the two is obvious there is always the challenge that the ethics mind-set can be swallowed by the anti-corruption mind-set. In other words we can get so caught up in preventing that we forget about promoting.

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The struggle of the self

How a questionable assumption of human nature has polarised humanity.

- By Jerry Schuitema

It’s quite amazing how the great debate about economic systems, interactions and policies, comes down to one simple yet significant assumption about what truly motivates the human spirit and individual endeavour.

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