Over a number of years I’ve been trying to determine those actions which an organisation needs to take to build an ethical culture.
Volkswagen South Africa has been reassuring local owners that the international "Dieselgate" catastrophe doesn't affect their products locally. This comes as a relief in view of the continuing developments in the international scandal that engulfed the German automotive giant.
Ethics officer not only need to be capacitated in term of the knowledge of the ethics framework, but also need to develop the skills/ tactics that are key in driving and implementing an effective ethics programme. Even the most experienced ethics officer’s often have to draw solutions from other sources such as nature.
Whistleblowers serve private and public interests when they raise concerns about wrongdoing but how do we recognise those who choose to come forward? Should we offer financial rewards for their moral courage to stand up for what is right?
The King Committee on Corporate Governance launched the King Report on Corporate Governance for South Africa – 2009 (King III Report) at an Institute of Directors (IoDSA) Conference, 1 September 2009. In that report the components of an “effective ethics program were detailed. The Board’s specific obligations regarding ethics oversight were presented in detail. Among those are the obligation to receive periodic reports from the responsible officials within the organization (e.g., ethics officers) regarding corporate practices and conduct.
Assessing corporate culture
The following article, republished with permission from www.financialdirector.co.uk (click here for the original article), shows the growing understanding of the importance of corporate culture in organisational governance. It also sets out some challenges in assessing corporate culture.
“Talking about fraud and corruption isn’t going to prevent it from happening,” says Professor Deon Rossouw, CEO of the Ethics Institute of South Africa (EthicsSA). “We need to train people in preventing unethical conduct.”
The workforce is currently composed of individuals from three generations: the ‘Baby Boomers’, Generation X and Generation Y. Generation Y are also referred to as ‘Millennials’, the ‘Dot.com Generation’, ‘Nexters’, the ‘Digital Generation’, ‘Generation E’, ‘EchoBoomers’ and ‘N-Gens’. Generation Y has been accepted as referring to any individual born from the mid-1970s to the early 1990s. Donaldson (2012) by means of qualitative research and Syffert (2013) through a quantitative approach, investigated whether Generation Y job seekers consider the ethical reputation of prospective employers?
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.
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.
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%).